Pekin marigold festival

2015 Pekin Marigold Festival
September 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th

It's always the weekend after Labor Day!

In 1972, a group of Pekin residents gathered to investigate the possibility of a local festival. In their discussions, they decided it would be a way to honor Pekin's favorite son, Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen. Throughout his life Senator Dirksen was an avid gardener and enjoyed spending time in his garden. David Burpee, owner of the Burpee Seed Company, learned of Dirksen's strong appreciation for gardening. He contacted Dirksen on numerous occasions, encouraging him to introduce legislation that would name the Marigold the official floral emblem of the United States. Unfortunately, Dirksen's efforts were unsuccessful. But until his death, the Marigold held a special place in his heart. What better way for the people of Pekin to remember Senator Dirksen than to name their festival after something so close to his heart, his beloved flower, the Marigold. The first festival was held in 1973, and now, young and old look forward to our festival. With events and fun throughout Pekin over a span of several days, it is unlikely Everett Dirksen or the members of the original Marigold Festival Committee could have imagined what a fantastic event the Marigold Festival would eventually become!

Our Special Guests This Year

Frank Fritz, star of the HISTORY Channel hit show American Pickers

Frank Fritz, star of the HISTORY Channel hit show American Pickers, will be the celebrity guest at the 2015 Pekin Marigold Festival. The theme for this year’s festival is Pickin’ the Perfect Weekend.  Fritz will ride in the Marigold Festival Parade sponsored by Busey Bank on Saturday, September 12th. He will also be available for pictures and autographs at the Enviro-Safe Refrigerants Celebrity Tent on Saturday and Sunday.   

Fritz started picking early; collecting rocks and beer cans as a kid. As his collection of “staples” grew, so did his knowledge of antiques.

For many years, he worked as a fire and safety inspector, leaving his passion for antiques, junk and anything with an engine as a hobby. Soon enough, he discovered that his keen eye and attention to detail led to finding more than just junk – he was finding treasure amongst trash – a revelation that allowed him to turn a hobby into a career.
He now spends most of his time on the road with his partner Mike Wolfe, digging for treasure in barns, garages and junkyards across America on the HISTORY Channel’s hit show, American Pickers.

Even-tempered and affable, he has a way with potential sellers and a knack for putting out fires: Wolfe calls him the bearded charmer.

With their complementary personalities and shared love of picking, Frank and Mike make the perfect team.

Frank Fritz will be signing autographs at the Enviro-Safe Refrigerants Celebrity Tent on Saturday, September 12th, from 1:00PM to 3:30PM and Sunday, September 13th, from 11:30AM - 1:00PM. There will be a two autograph per person limit, 200 8X10 photographs available for $5 each. Due to time restraints there will be no appraising of items.

The Pekin Marigold Festival was first held in 1973 as an event to honor Pekin native and U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen and his love of the marigold. It has grown into a community celebration spanning several days and locations. 

The festival is planned and coordinated by a Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce committee of 18 volunteers. The dates of the 2015 Marigold Festival are September 10-13. It is held annually the weekend after Labor Day.

Marigold Gear

2015 Marigold Merch is now available at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Office

Quarter-Zip Fleece Sweater with a Marigold Festival logo; $35 for S to XL; $40 for 2XL. 
Order yours at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 402 Court Street, Pekin
(Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm)


Stay Connected

stay informed

Yes, Sign me up for the Chamber E-Newsletter.