Piper City sesquicentennial celebration logo

Piper City will celebrate the 150 years of its history during the town’s sesquicentennial celebration on Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday, Aug. 3.

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 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.

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.

Piper City will celebrate the 150 years of its history during the town’s sesquicentennial celebration on Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday, Aug. 3. On Aug. 2, events include opening ceremonies at 5 p.m., games for people of all ages on the midway from 5 to 9 p.m., a historical show and artifacts on display at the community building from 5 to 9 p.m., a quilt show at the community building from 5 to 9 p.m., a performance by the Happy Hour Barbershop Quartet at 6 p.m. and a performance by the EshVan Project Band from 8 to 11 p.m. On Aug. 3, events include a historical show and artifacts on display at the community building from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., a quilt show at the community building from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., a kiddie parade at Branch Park at 9:30 a.m., the grand parade at 1 p.m., activities and contests at Branch Park from 1 to 4 p.m., a car and antique tractor show at Branch Park from 1 to 4 p.m., games for people of all ages on the midway from 5 to 9 p.m., a Piper City/Ford Central alumni dinner at the Catholic church’s parish hall at 6 p.m., a bags tournament at 6 p.m., a performance by Dan Drilling and Jeff Walle Duet at 7 p.m., a quilt and rifle raffle drawing at 8 p.m. and a performance by The New Relation from 8 to 11 p.m. Food vendors will be on hand throughout the celebration. For more information, people can email pipercityevents@gmail.com or visit the “Piper City Sesquicentennial” Facebook page.

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.

Dennis Stroughmatt and his band from southern Illinois will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St., Melvin. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The cost of admission is $10, with children ages 12 and under entering for free. Prior to the concert, the Gibson City area swim team will serve a meal. For more information, people can call 217-388-2853.

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.

The American Legion Auxiliary Post #150 will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, in the basement of the First Lutheran Church, 301 S. College St., Paxton.

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.

A public hymn festival will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, in the sanctuary of the United Methodist Church of Gibson City. The festival is sponsored annually by the Gibson Area Music Foundation. In addition to the popular sing-along format, a small choir will present a special arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Accompaniment will be provided by Beverly Hilmer of Fisher and Kellie Baier of Gibson City. Milt Kelly of Fisher will return to direct this year’s program, which features hymns selected from favorites submitted by area churches. Kelly will offer short backgrounds or stories about the hymns or their composers. Kelly taught 30 years in the Fisher schools as director of instrumental and choral music, and he served four terms as Fisher’s mayor. Kelly and his wife, Connie, have three grown sons: Nathan, a professor of political science at the University of Tennessee; Jon, principal at Fisher Junior-Senior High School; and Ben, an educational technology coach for Champaign Unit 4 schools. The church is located at 206 E. Church Street (at the corner of Church and Tenth streets), and it offers elevator access to the sanctuary from the street-level north entrance. Other entrances are available on the west and south sides. Ample free parking is available in lots to the north and east of the church, as well as free on-street parking.  There is no admission charged for the event, but a free-will offering will be taken to support events and scholarships funded by the music foundation. Donations may also be made directly to Gibson Area Music Foundation, P.O. Box 292, Gibson City, IL 60936.

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.

The Ladies Aid society of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley will sponsor an ice cream social from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in the lunchroom of St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley. Hot beef and ham-and-cheese sandwiches will be served, as well as pie, cake and ice cream.

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.