Pekin marigold festival
2018 Pekin Marigold Festival
September 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th
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 for 2018
Cheers star John Ratzenberger to appear at the 2018 Pekin Marigold Festival
The Pekin Marigold Festival proudly welcomes John Ratzenberger as our 2018 Guest Celebrity to help us celebrate the festival theme: “Cheers to Marigolds.” John will be joining us on Saturday and Sunday of the festival, September 8th and 9th.
A multi-Emmy-nominated actor and accomplished screenwriter, director, producer and author, John Ratzenberger may be best known for playing mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the long-running NBC sitcom “Cheers.” Along with his eleven seasons on “Cheers”, John has worked in feature films, made appearances on numerous TV shows and commercials, but animation has been a natural home to John’s versatile vocal talents. He is the only actor to participate in every Pixar film, voicing the iconic characters of Mack the Truck, Hamm the Piggy Bank and his favorite, P.T. Flea. Due to John’s volume of film work, he is listed as the 6th most successful actor of all time in terms of box office receipts.
John produced and starred in the Travel Channel documentary series “Made in America,” which highlighted U.S.-made goods and workers. He also co-founded the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness among young people of skilled trades and engineering disciplines. And in 2010, he became affiliated with and now represents the Center for America (formerly the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice) to further develop his work and increase awareness about the skilled worker shortage facing the United States and the changes needed to positively impact and increase the number of skilled workers. Articles written by John about the skills shortage in America have appeared in many leading publications and web blogs.
John was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, attended St. Ann's School in Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1971, he moved to London and while working as a carpenter in London, he began his career in the performing arts. Early in his career, John founded Eco Pak Industries, a company that developed and manufactured packaging alternatives made from biodegradable and non-toxic recycled paper as a safe alternative to Styrofoam “peanuts” and plastic bubble wrap which is now used worldwide.
John Ratzenberger will be riding in the Marigold Festival Parade sponsored by Busey Bank, signing autographs at the Celebrity Tent sponsored by Kouri’s Pub and answering questions during a special Q & A Session. Watch for more details on the Marigold Festival Facebook Page and website.
We look forward to having John Ratzenberger at the 2018 Pekin Marigold Festival with “Cheers to Marigolds”!
Marigold Merch is still available at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Office
Did you miss a year for your Marigold Mug collection? Chances are we have it!
Marigold Merchandise is now available at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce office. We have mugs, shirts, hats and grocery bags from different years. Visit the office at 402 Court Street, Pekin to see the must haves!
(Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm - Tuesday Hours are 8:30am - 12:00pm)