With the open-ended question "What's your reality?" as this year's theme for Eldorado's annual Town and Country Days festival, organizers are hoping there will be something every member of the family can enjoy at the four-day event. Festivities begin with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will conclude after musical guest Savannah Jack finishes performing Saturday night.
Jan Rash, who is in charge of entertainment for Town and Country Days, said there are some new events this year she thinks will be a big hit. Wednesday night's talent showcase is one of the new events this year. Rash said they have held talent shows in the past, but they were more kid-oriented.
"This is for any age," she said.
A silent auction, which will be held for a few hours every evening in the information booth, is also a new addition this year. All the items have been donated by community members or local businesses and funds raised will assist in holding next year's Town and Country Days.
The big parade will begin 1 p.m. Saturday and will be immediately followed by performances from Rhythm Effects, a local dance group.
"Last year, Rhythm Effects was a big a hit," Rash said.
This will also be the second year for the kiddie tractor pull, which is set for 3 p.m. Saturday. Registration begins at 3 p.m. for that event. Rash said the kiddie tractor pull was also a crowd-pleaser at 2011's Town and Country Days.
"It was really neat last year," she said.
Friday evening's gospel music night, beginning at 7 p.m., will showcase some local gospel groups, including the Phelps Brothers, who will close out the night.
Saturday night will feature musical entertainment by Jackson Junction beginning at 7 p.m., featuring Southern Illinoisan Juli Ingram, followed by headlining band Savannah Jack.
Nashville-based Savannah Jack is billed as a country band that specializes in its outstanding three-part vocal harmonies and a unique sound, and are known for getting crowds on their feet.
Rash said there will be a variety of vendors selling goods and food throughout Town and Country Days.
In fact, Rash said, "this may be our top year for vendors."
The Town and Country Days Committee would like to thank their top sponsors – the City of Eldorado, who presented the committee with $5,000, and East Eldorado Township, who presented the committee with $1,500. Legence Bank and Ferrell Hospital also each donated $500 towards the event.
"In addition to their donation, Legence Bank also sponsors the 5K walk/run," Rash said.
The annual 5K is set to begin 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Registration forms can be printed out from www.legencebank.com and mailed in to Janet Bixler, or taken to any Legence Bank office. The cost is $15, which includes a T-shirt. Race day registration will start at 5 p.m. at the Shelter behind the Eldorado Lions Club building, on Fourth Street.
Page 2 of 2 - Wednesday, Sept. 12
5 p.m. — Opening ceremony with Eldorado American Legion Post 169 and Eldorado VFW Post 3479 Honor and Color Guards, National Anthem sung by Callie Smith, Eldorado Pre-K performance, Silent Auction begins
5:30 p.m. — Beta Cake Walk
6 p.m. — Carnival Opens with armbands for sale for $18 and Bingo starts
6:30 p.m. — EHS Alumni Band performs, sponsored by Ameren
7:30 p.m. — Talent Showcase: "T&C Days Has Talent!"
Thursday, Sept. 13
5:30 p.m. — Eldorado Miss Town & Country Days Pageant and Baby Photo Contest (Sponsored By Eldorado Woman's Club)
5:30 p.m. — Big Wheel Races, sponsored by Bank of Marion, Eldorado Facility
5:30 p.m. — Washer Pitching registration at Teen Park/Tennis Courts
6 p.m. — Carnival opens with armbands for $18, Bingo sponsored by Ferrell Hospital, Washer Pitching Contest - Singles and Doubles (at tennis courts)
6:30 p.m. — 5K Run/Walk (Sponsored By Legence Bank)
Friday, Sept. 14
5 p.m. — PTO Cake Walk
6 p.m. — Carnival Opens with armbands for $18, Bingo starts, Star Church Cake Walk
7 p.m. — Gospel night featuring Oldies But Goodies choir, Carolyn Ellison, One Voice, The Phelps Brothers perform
Saturday, Sept. 15
9 a.m. — Lite-A-Bike/Bubble Gum Blowing Contest (Sponsored By The Eldorado V.F.W. Aux. & Eldorado Police Dept.)
10 a.m. — Kiddie Parade Registration
10:30 a.m. — Kiddie Parade with the theme What's Your Reality? sponsored by Just for Kids Daycare, Kiddie Parade drawings, carnival opens for $2 tickets only
11:30 a.m. — Girl Scout Cakewalk
1 p.m. — Giant T&C Parade "What's Your Reality?" Rhythm Effects performs immediately following parade
3 p.m. — FFA Kiddie Tractor Pull (Reg. at Bank of Marion drive-thru)
3:30 p.m. — FFA Kiddie Tractor Pull
5 p.m. — Coleman Tri-County Cake Walk
6 p.m. — Bingo starts
7 p.m. — Jackson Junction featuring Juli Ingram
8 p.m. — Drawings and announcements
8:30 p.m. — Live Music performance: Savannah Jack