Pekin marigold festival

2019 Pekin Marigold Festival
September 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th

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 2019

Pekin Marigold Festival proudly welcomes 2019 Guests, The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team

The Pekin Marigold Festival proudly welcomes 2019 Guests, The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team. The 2019 Marigold Festival theme is “Celebrating Marigold Heroes” and will applaud the impact made by our local and personal heroes.

Founded in 2011, The USA Patriots Softball Team is a 501(c)(3) public charity and represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. The team is comprised of competitive, athletic veterans who have lost limbs in combat and non-combat related injuries, and through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again, playing against able- bodied teams in competitive and exhibition softball games, bringing a unique brand of softball, courage, and inspiration to communities nationwide. Their armor now includes prosthetic legs and arms, along with extreme perseverance and attitude. These individuals continue to push the limits of modern prosthetics to inspire, motivate and offer a place for camaraderie and healing on and off the field of play and to continue Serving Beyond the Uniform.

The goal of The USA Patriots is to support and honor veterans’ sacrifices and to show others that life without a limb is limitless. In addition, the team hosts an annual Kids Camp where we bring in 20 children (between 8-12 years old) with amputations or loss of limbs for a week-long camp where our team members serve as coaches and mentors. The team pays the expenses for the 20 children and one parent/guardian. This is just one example of what makes them America’s Amputee Softball Team, and true USA Patriots.

While all the details of the USA Patriots visit to the 47th Pekin Marigold Festival are still being finalized, they will be featured in the Marigold Festival Parade sponsored by Busey Bank on Saturday, Sept 7th and playing softball during the day.

The 2019 Marigold Festival Chairman, Amy McCoy, says “We welcome the USA Patriots to Pekin and to our festival. We look forward to celebrating the team and our own personal heroes as well. To me, a hero is an ordinary person doing the extraordinary - a person intent on making their community a better place for all. Our community is full of heroes and we have planned a new opportunity to spotlight our own, and your, personal heroes at the festival this year.” She also thanked all the Marigold Festival Sponsors including the 2019 Marigold Festival Celebrity sponsor, Kouri’s Pub.

Watch for events and details at or the Pekin Marigold Festival Facebook page.

We look forward to having The USA Patriots at the 2019 Pekin Marigold Festival with “Celebrating Marigold Heroes”!


Marigold Gear

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 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)


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