ALEDO — Aledo will become the rhubarb capital of Illinois on Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8, when it hosts its 28th annual Rhubarb Festival.
Rhubarb pies will be sold by at least seven organizations. Each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a tasting tent is open with samples of rhubarb ice cream, sauces, juices and pastries.
Seating is limited in the park, so visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. There will be live music both days.
New this year will be a Lil’ Rhubarb Royalty pageant for boys and girls ages 3-4 years. It will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the bandshell.
Other activities will include:
- Pork chop sandwiches from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at the bandshell pavilion, with pie and ice cream from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- A craft sale, flea market and antique sale from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Central Park parking lot.
- Trolley rides.
- Luncheon 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, United Methodist Church, 301 N. College Ave.
- The Mercer County Family YMCA 5K run/walk, 8 a.m. Saturday near the Y at 401 S.W. 2nd Ave. At 9 a.m., a "little sprouts" run and one-mile fun run..
- Pancake breakfast from 6 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Aledo Volunteer Fire Department station.
- The Masonic Lodge catfish fry from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the fire station.
- More than 100 exhibitors will display crafts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Mercer County Courthouse.
- A rhubarb recipe contest 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and a pie competition at 9 a.m.
- A rhubarb pie-eating contest noon Saturday.
- Judging at 1 p.m. for largest rhubarb leaf.
The rhubarb festival committee encourages everyone to “avoid rhubarb regret” by coming to Aledo early for the best rhubarb selection.
For more information, visit http://www.aledorhubarbfest.com/.