The Fisher Free Book Exchange is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. The exchange includes reading material as well as rummage tables. A tip jar is available to help keep the doors open. It is open to the public, and there are no cards to buy or fees to pay. For more information, people can call 217-897-6544.

Cheney’s Grove Township Library in Saybrook is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 2 to 5 p.m. each Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday.

The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum is open each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The museum, which specializes in Ford County history, is located at 135 S. Market St. behind Paxton City Hall. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information or to schedule visits at other times, people can call 217-379-4111 or 217-722-2227.

Loda Township Library board meetings will be held at 5 p.m. in the library’s main reading room on Sept. 16 and Nov. 18 in 2019 and on Jan. 21 and March 16 in 2020. For more information, people can call the library at 386-2783.

The PBL Area Community Food Pantry is open from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays at 785 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton. The food pantry serves residents of the Paxton, Buckley and Loda communities.

A potluck dinner for persons over age 55 is held on the fourth Thursday of each month through October in Gibson City. It is held in the Senior Center at the South Park. Chicken and a cold drink are provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share and their own dinnerware.

The Paxton Carnegie Library’s board of trustees will meet at the library at 7 p.m. Aug. 7, Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each Monday at the United Methodist Church, 219 S. Margaret St., Piper City.  Visitors are always welcome to attend — including preteens, teens and adults, both male and female. Their first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit, weight-loss support and wellness education organization with thousands of associate chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Members learn about nutrition, portion control, food planning, exercise, motivation and more at the weekly meetings.   For details, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit www.tops.org or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets from 9 to 11 a.m. on the third Friday of each month at the Paxton Church of the Nazarene, 302 W. State St., Paxton. Each meeting includes breakfast, crafts and discussion on relevant topics, with childcare provided. The group is open to mothers of all experience levels. Annual dues cost $31.95. To register, people can visit www.mops.org and type in code “KSIZ.” For more information, people can contact Julie Foster at 618-304-4092.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the First Lutheran Church, located at 301 S. College St. in Paxton. The public is welcome to come and visit; the first meeting is free. TOPS is a nonprofit weight-loss support, education and wellness organization. For details, people can call Virginia Lafray at 815-668-1728 or visit www.tops.org.

Divorce Care sessions are being held at 6:30 p.m. each Monday at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. Divorce Care is a weekly seminar and support group that will help people heal from the hurt of a divorce or separation. Participants learn practical information and gain hope for the future. For more information, contact 217-784-5702 or visit www.gibsoncitybible.org.

Fisher Odd Fellows Lodge No. 704 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Odd Fellow Hall, located at the corner of Sangamon and Third streets in downtown Fisher. Oddfellowship is a service organization dedicated to the betterment of mankind. Anyone interested in membership information may call 217-897-6544 or stop in at the Free Book Exchange, where pamphlets are available.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6:15 p.m. on Thursdays at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, 107 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., followed by worship from 6:45 to 7 p.m., a lesson from 7 to 7:30 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-784-8673.

Celebrate Recovery sessions are being held at 6 p.m. on Mondays at The Upper Room Bible Church, 455 W. Orleans St., Paxton. Food and fellowship will be offered from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by worship from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m., a lesson from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. and “open share” groups from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. Childcare is available. For more information, call 217-379-4189.

Yarns and Threads, a group of people who enjoy knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and all other sewing crafts, meets  on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at the Paxton Carnegie Library, 254 S. Market St., Paxton.

The next meeting of the Ford County Historical Society will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, and will involve a tour and open house at the historic former Ford County sheriff’s residence and jail at the corner of State and American streets in Paxton The meeting is open to the public, and there is no charge for admission.  For more information, people can call 217-379-4111 or 217-722-2227.

The movie “Dumbo” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, at the Melvin Community Hall. Attendees are asked to bring a blanket or rug on which to sit.

Friday Nights Under the Lights in Downtown Gibson City — a monthly car cruise — will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 19. Organizers are encouraging residents of Gibson City and elsewhere to participate by cruising Sangamon Avenue downtown, or simply parking their vehicles there and showing them off while visiting with friends and neighbors. The city holds the cruise events on the third Friday of each month from May through September. During Friday’s event, Dan Kearfott and his musical friends will be providing music; the Legion Riders will be selling and serving steak sandwiches, hamburgers, cole slaw and potato salad; the Ed Day Skate Park Committee will have Queen of Hearts drawing tickets for sale for $1 each; Pioletti’s Spaghetti will be offering Italian beef and chicken giardiniera sandwiches; GoinPlaces Catering will be selling butterflied pork chop sandwiches, chips and water for $5; the Bayern Stube will be selling $4 brats, $4 Koenig pilsners and holding a drawing for a $50 gift certificate; the food pantry at Shepherd’s Closet will be holding a fundraiser to support the pantry; Preceptorship students at Gibson Area Hospital will be holding a project presentation; Crowridge Farm Ice Cream will be scooping ice cream under a tent; the Gibson City Historical Society will be providing information on its July 21 historical walk; Stone Cole Shaved Ice will be serving icy treats; and New Beginnings Christian Fellowship will be holding its Puerto Rican Food Festival and a blessing of the cars and bikes in its south parking lot at 107 S. Sangamon Ave.

The Bellflower Country Opry’s next country music show is at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the Bellflower Community Center. Joining the Bellflower Country Opry band on stage will be local musicians Dan Basham and Dave Raymer. The cost of admission is $10, with children age 12 and under entering for free. Prior to the show, starting at 5 p.m., there will be a baked barbecue dinner served for $6 per person. For more information or to make reservations, people can call 309-722-3497 or 217-898-7493.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Loda Lions Club. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

Gordyville USA near Gifford is hosting a “barn bash” as a fundraiser for Gateway Family Services, an agency that provides trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy, from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 20. The event will feature drinks, a silent auction and a Little Miss and Mr. Gateway pageant, as well as music by Wreckless Whiskey.

The Paxton Church of Christ, located at 400 W. Ottawa Road in Paxton, is hosting a Community Vacation Bible School from 6 to 8:15 p.m. each evening from July 21 through July 25.  It will be a science-inspired VBS built around the theme “the elements of trust.” Children 4 years old through those entering sixth grade are invited to attend the VBS, which is co-sponsored by the Hope Vineyard Church, the Paxton First United Methodist Church and the Paxton Church of Christ. For more information or to register, parents can contact the Paxton Church of Christ at 217-379-4443.

The 47th reunion of William Creighton and Nancy (Ward) McCoy will be held Sunday, July 21, at Ne’s Place in Piper City. The reunion will be hosted by the Ruby McCoy Weston family. Chicken, table ware and drinks are furnished; attendees are asked to bring their favorite dish to share at noon. They are also asked to bring any vital statistical information.

The Gibson City Through the Years Historical Walk is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, July 21, in the pavilion at Gibson City’s North Park, with proceeds going toward the city’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2021. The event features historical local characters and businesses being portrayed, including Dale W. McMillen from Central Soya, Stephen S. McCall from Gibson City Canning, Henry Hager from Hager Lumber, Elmo Meiners from M&W Gear and a lifeguard from the Gibson City pool. Tickets cost $10 each, with free entry for children age 15 and younger. Ticket sales start July 1 and are available for purchase at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City.

The Friends of the Dominy Library’s summer book sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, July 26, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 27, at the Dominy Memorial Library, 201 S. 3rd St., Fairbury. Books cost 50 cents an inch.

The ACT Theatre Company will present two musicals — Disney’s “Lion King, Junior” and Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins” — at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27, in the pavilion at Gibson City’s North Park. Both musicals include the songs and characters that are familiar and make these shows favorites for both the young and old. “The Lion King, Junior” will be presented by children in grades one through six. “Mary Poppins” will be presented by youth in grades seven through 12. Both productions are under the direction of Amanda Broaddus, Ann Spangler and Brooke Wilfong.   Admission costs $5 per person. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. A limited number of bleacher seats are available. Concessions will be available. Attendees are asked to bring no pets.

The annual Loda Good Ole Days celebration is set for Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28. Festivities begin Friday, July 26, with Family Night in the pavilion at the village’s park. The Little Mr. & Little Miss Pageant and a Junior Mr. & Junior Miss Pageant will be held at 6 p.m., with registration starting at 5:30 p.m. Music by DJ Myles will follow the pageant. There will also be food vendors on hand. On Saturday, July 27, there will be a parade at 10 a.m., with lineup in front of the former Loda Grade School building starting at 9 a.m. Children’s games will be held at the village park following the parade.  Also on July 27, a mud volleyball tournament will be held starting at 11 a.m. on the village’s west side. To register a team, people can contact Sandy Coffey at 217-778-4650.  A talent show and open-mic night will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. July 27 in the pavilion at the park. Prizes will be awarded for first place ($100), second place ($50) and third place ($25). Individual and group acts will be three minutes long. To register as an entrant in the talent show, people can contact Myles Reck at 217-781-2352. Also on July 27, a fireworks show will be held at dusk at the track on Jefferson Street on Loda’s west side. There will be free public parking. A dance will also be held on the night of July 27 at a time to be determined at the track on Loda’s west side. There will be food vendors on hand. On Sunday, July 28, the ninth annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck & Tractor Pull will be held starting at noon at the track on Jefferson Street on the village’s west side. Registration runs from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Details can be found on the Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull’s Facebook page.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 27, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Hands of Christ Food Pantry in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The American Legion Hall in Forrest will host a pancakes/sausage/eggs breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27, with the cost of the meal being $5 for persons over age 12 and $4 for children age six through 12. Children age 5 or under eat for free. A bake sale will be held in conjunction with the breakfast. Meat will also be available for purchase.

A job and resource fair is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the Moyer District Library, 618 S. Sangamon Ave., Gibson City. People looking for jobs or local resources who plan to attend are asked to arrive early, dress appropriately, bring their resume and be prepared for interviews. The event is sponsored by the library and Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s Workforce Development Office.

The Paxton Police Department’s shooting range will be open to the public for target practice, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. The daily fee is $10 per person. The fee covers the person’s right to use the property and shooting targets, but people still need to provide their own gun, ammunition and ear and eye protection. Paxton police officers will be present to make sure people understand how to use their weapons safely. Once that is confirmed, persons will be allowed to shoot at the eight targets that will be set up. To be eligible to use the shooting range, adults must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. Juveniles shooting a shotgun or .22-caliber rifle must have an owner’s safety identification card and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Any gun — with the exception of automatic weapons, which are illegal — will be allowed. Anyone who wants more information is asked to call Paxton police at 217-379-4315.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Loda American Legion post. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

Food, fun, fellowship and fundraising are set as the main events at the annual Hunting Heritage Banquet hosted by the Ford County Turkey & Conservation Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. People can come early to relax and enjoy a social hour before sitting down for the meal. People can call Gary Reiners at 217-249-0514 or email him at greiners0514@gmail.com to reserve tickets for the banquet. The NWTF’s banquets raise funds for wild turkey conservation while combining a great meal with a chance to swap stories with other sportsmen and women. They are also a place to meet new friends who share a passion for the outdoors, win valuable prizes and purchase items unique to the NWTF. By placing the highest bid or winning raffle games, attendees can go home with sporting art, unique hunting firearms, knives, wildlife calls, outdoor equipment and more. Banquet attendees receive an NWTF membership. The cost of admission to the banquet is $35. The cost also includes a one-year subscription to Turkey Country, the NWTF’s full-color publication that includes stories about conservation issues, turkey calling and hunting, the NWTF’s education program and more.

A senior fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton. The event, which is free for the public to attend, will feature door prizes, food vendors and information on a variety of products and services of interest to senior citizens. For more information, people can call Mike Evinger at 217-781-3234 or progolfermike@evinger.us.

The living cast members of the hit television show “Hee Haw” are headed to the Watseka Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 10, as part of their 50th anniversary touring production. All four original cast members — Jana Jae, Misty Rowe, Buck Trent and Lulu Roman — will be bringing the magic, music and fun of “Hee Haw” to the stage. For more information, people can visit www.kornfieldfriends.com.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the American Legion No. 568 Help Hometown Heroes program. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Melvin Men’s Christian Fellowship. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Corn Belt Shrine Club’s Kids Day will be from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in the North Park in Gibson City, featuring hot dogs, go-kart rides, cotton candy, face painting, a cake walk and more. Everything is 25 cents. The event will be preceded by a parade at 11:30 a.m. on Sangamon Avenue, which will end at the park.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s annual Pork Chop Kickoff is set for Friday, Aug. 23, at the high school.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Girl Scouts. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Rainbow Girls. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the First Lutheran Church in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Accolade Healthcare. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in its parking lot to help raise funds for a church camp. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Boy Scouts Troop No. 32 in Paxton. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Lake Iroquois Association Women’s Club. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the GAB Women’s Group. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Toys for Tots program. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Gibson City Masonic Lodge. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, in its parking lot to help raise funds for Missions R Us. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.