O’FALLON- A celebration of Illinois statehood will take place Saturday, Aug. 25 at the O’Fallon Community Park.
The Fair St. Clair 200 is a sanctioned event by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, according to historian and curator at the St. Clair County Historical Society Will Shannon.
“Especially [St. Clair County] being the state’s oldest county, we figured we would do it up big,” Shannon said.
Shannon said that the bicentennial event is a “big collaborative effort” and it doubles as a celebration and as a way to showcase the county’s historical society that “preserves and promotes our history.”
The event is free aside from a concession stand that is being run by the St. Clair Pomona Grange, which is made up of all the grange chapters in the county.
“If you have ever been to a grange event and you leave hungry, you did something wrong,” Shannon said.
“We will have the Belleville Stags, which is our vintage baseball team. They will be playing a game in Community Park against the Springfield Long Nine,” he said.
Shannon said that there will be music from the Philharmonic Society of Belleville, reenactments in period dress and a Civil War rifle demonstration. There will also be an “interactive exhibit hall” inside the Katy Cavins center.
“Organizations like ours – we try and blend education and entertainment,” Shannon said. “We want to teach people lessons and teach people local history but do it in a fun and entertaining way.”
The O’Fallon Historical Society is one of the partner organizations for Fair St. Clair 200 along with 25 local community organizations and the REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois.
Brian Keller, president of the O’Fallon Historical Society, said that the city’s exhibit will be in the Grange Hut, the log cabin in Community Park, for the duration of the fair.
“We will be bringing some of our more portable historical artifacts from the museum illustrating O’Fallon area history including maps and photos,” Keller said. “We’ll also have information about the historical society’s various programs including the Cemetery Detectives.”
Shannon said that the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. fair “should be a big afternoon” with a large turnout. “We are looking forward to it.”