The Saybrook American Legion Post #427 will host a chicken and fish fry on Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 13 and March 27. The menu includes chicken, whole catfish, all-you-can-eat walleye, baked potato, baked beans, cole slaw and a drink. Serving starts at 4:30 p.m. and continues until 6:30.
A Senior Fit exercise program is available at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, every Monday morning at 9. The program is especially designed to help seniors with strength and balance for daily living. The low-impact exercises can all be done while sitting in a chair. All area seniors are invited to attend.
The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will host splatterboard shooting events on Dec. 8, Jan. 1, Feb. 9 and March 8. Breakfast, cooked to order, starts at 6 a.m., with the splatterboard shoot starting at 8. An Annie tournament begins around 10 a.m. The events are open to the public. For more information, people can visit www.fooslandsportsmensclub.com.
The Corn Belt Shrine Club, based in Gibson City, will be serving ribeye steak sandwiches with chips and a drink for $9 each from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Jay’s Place at 115 N. Sangamon Ave. in downtown Gibson City. Also, each evening the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School Booster Club will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets.
The Elliott Amvets will hold Family Night meals on the first Friday of each month: Dec. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 6, April 3 and May 1. The meal includes fish and chicken plus two sides for $10. Also available for purchase are $1 sodas, $2 beers and $4.50 mixed drinks.
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.
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.
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 p.m. each Monday at the United Methodist Church, located at 219 S. Margaret St. in Piper City. 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 more information, people can call Brenda Hemp at 815-954-8835, visit www.tops.org or call TOPS headquarters at 800-932-8677.
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.
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.
The fall sessions of DivorceCare will be held at 6:30 p.m. each Monday through Dec. 16 at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. DivorceCare is a weekly seminar and support group that helps people heal from the hurt of a separation or divorce. Participants learn practical information and gain hope for the future. For more information, people can call 217-784-5702 or visit www.divorcecare.com or www.gibsoncitybible.org.
A GriefShare support group meeting and seminar is held at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Gibson City Bible Church, 309 N. Illinois 47, Gibson City. GriefShare features nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. Seminar sessions include “Is This Normal?,” “The Challenges of Grief,” “Grief and Your Relationships,” “Why?” and “Guilt and Anger.” For more information or to register, people can call Bonnie at 217-784-5702 or email email@example.com.
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 Ford County Historical Society’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Water Tower Museum, located at 135 S. Market St. just behind Paxton City Hall. At the meeting, the group will look at “Historic Homes of Paxton: A Self-Guided Walking Tour.” The group will also discuss whether to create other mini-tours for some different parts of Paxton. Attendees are asked to bring suggestions for interesting corners, intersections, or neighborhoods that might be featured on mini-maps of that area. The meeting is free to attend and open to the public.
Family Reading Night will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Piper City Public Library. Snacks and drinks will be served. Each child will receive a book to take home. Kids can even wear their pajamas. For more information, people can call the library at 815-686-9234.
The Buckley Lions Club will hold a bingo event on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Buckley American Legion post. Food will be served from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by bingo starting at 6:15 p.m. Prizes will be turkeys and hams. Proceeds will be used to sponsor a puppy for the leader dog program.
Loda American Legion Post No. 503 will host a fish/chicken fry from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at the Loda American Legion Hall.
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.
Gibson City’s 25th annual Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce, is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, with the theme “silver bells.” Entries in the parade will line up at two locations on the city’s south side starting at 5 p.m. — pre-lit floats in the parking lot of GAH Elite and custom floats in the parking lot of County Market. The parade will step off at 6:30 p.m. and head west on Illinois 9 before turning north onto Sangamon Avenue and heading downtown until 10th Street, when entries may pull off at any time after that. Events downtown begin at 4 p.m. There will be food and craft vendors, carolers singing Christmas carols and fires in fire pits. A live broadcast of the parade can be heard downtown over the city’s newly installed speaker system, as well as over local radio station 106.3-WGCY Radio. This year’s parade is anticipated to have more than 50 entries. Following the parade, Santa Claus will visit with children inside Hood’s Ace Hardware, 119 N. Sangamon Ave. Downtown stores will also be decorated for the Christmas season.
The Paxton Area Ministerial Association is sponsoring a community Thanksgiving service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at the First Lutheran Church, 301 S. College St., Paxton. A freewill offering will be collected to benefit PAMA’s benevolence fund.
PRIDE in Paxton’s annual tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at the intersection of Market and State streets in downtown Paxton. During the event, Paxton’s Christmas tree will be lit for the holidays. Also, the Paxton Park District’s holiday prince and princess will be announced. The Hope Vineyard Church will be hosting the event and will be providing hot chocolate and cookies. There will be a story time held at the downtown church after the tree is lit.
PRIDE in Paxton’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, in downtown Paxton. Line-up for the parade begins at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Taft and Orleans streets. The parade will move east on Orleans Street before turning onto Market Street. It ends at the intersection of Market and Pine streets. Paxton-based WPXN-Radio will broadcast the parade live and announce entries. For more information, call Teri Hancock at 217-379-4245.
Paxton’s annual bag sale/Christmas open house weekend is set for Friday, Dec. 6, through Monday, Dec. 9, at participating businesses. More than 1,500 bags, featuring coupons and marketing materials for local businesses, will be printed and distributed locally during the course of the city’s Christmas parade and at local businesses.
The Illinois Santa’s Elf Patrol will visit eight towns in the area from Friday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 8, including Onarga (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6), Gibson City (8 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 7), Melvin (noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 7), Roberts (1:45 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7), Thawville (3:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7), Gilman (6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7), Danforth (10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 8) and Ashkum (1 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8). The stop in Gibson City will be at Corn Belt Ag, formerly Specialty Grains, 231 N. Sangamon Ave. Children attending will be greeted by Santa and his elves. There will also be doughnuts and hot chocolate provided by the Gibson City Lions Club.
The Sibley Business & Historical Association will host a “Night on the Town” event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Sibley, featuring carriage rides, Santa Claus, “4 to Go” singers, a slideshow presentation, refreshments and much more.
The third annual Jingle Bell Junction will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Wesbein United Methodist Church, 113 N. Main St., Saybrook. The event is a special shopping experience for anyone who wishes to buy inexpensive items for their families and friends. Gifts and items for all ages will be available for purchase. There will also be a bake sale and homemade craft items to purchase. Also, a free lunch will be provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meals will last until the food is gone.
The Paxton Emergency Management Agency will host its annual Breakfast with Santa event from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the EMA building at 134 W. State St. in downtown Paxton. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the event by 9 a.m. so they can greet Santa as he arrives at that time. Santa will be present until noon. Between 9 and 10 a.m., a drawing will be held that will award the winner a karaoke machine. The winner must be present as the winning ticket is drawn in order to claim the prize. Breakfast includes biscuits and gravy ($5 for a full order, $4 for a half-order) and all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage ($6 for persons over age 12, $4 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids younger than 6 years old). Dine-in and carryout orders will be available. All proceeds from the event will benefit EMA projects.
Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will host a Christmas concert, soup supper and dessert bake sale on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The soup supper runs from 5 to 6:15 p.m., followed by the concert at 6:30 p.m. Freewill donations will be accepted. The dessert bake sale will be available all evening. Proceeds will go toward the school’s music department for refurbishing its handbells and music supplies.
The Paxton Park District’s annual Breakfast with Santa event is scheduled for 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Paxton Civic Center, 601 S. Fall St. A free breakfast will be served by board members, and Santa will be in attendance to take photos with children.
St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley will host its annual chicken dinner, auction and carnival on Sunday, Feb. 16. The carnival and auction begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the chicken dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $10. Dine-in and carryout orders will be available. The school is located at 206 Main St. For more information, people can call the school’s office at 217-394-2422.