Ludlow Days

“Abraham Lincoln” addresses the crowd at the 2019 Ludlow Days festival.

Food, games, vendors, live music and fireworks — it sounds like a pre-virus dream of summer time.

This weekend, it’s really going to happen when Ludlow Days are held, beginning at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday at Wildcat Park on U.S. Route 6 just east of Ludlow.

Connie Smith with the Ludlow Days Association told The Era on Wednesday that the event has come together quickly.

“We just decided this three weeks ago that we were having it,” she said with a laugh. “The cool thing is that everybody has come together to do it.”

Smith said people have been generous with donations, and everyone has been willing to help out.

“It’s really heartwarming to me that we’re surrounded by people who do that,” she said. “We are so lucky to think of doing this all in three weeks. And we are ready to go.”

Events begin with a baseball game at Wildcat Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. “People from the area get together to play,” she explained, adding that work has been done on the ball field at the park.

Explaining what else is planned for the weekend, Smith said there will be tournaments for horseshoes and cornhole, games for children and adults, a dunk tank, rubber duck races on the pond, a full slate of live music and even a church service at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

“This year we have about 40 vendors coming,” she said. The association decided not to charge a vendor fee. “Our thinking behind that is everybody this year has been really struggling.”

Admission to the park is $5.

Food and craft vendors will be on-hand, with all the summertime goodies like cotton candy and hotdogs. Eagle Dream Rehabilitation will be there, with demonstrations and photo opportunities. A firemen’s water battle will also be held.

A couple of special guests will be found in the park, too — Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln and George Olmsted, played by reenactors of course.

Referring to the event, Smith said she is excited.

“We’re hoping it brings people together — but of course with social distancing,” she said. People will be required to wear masks when inside DeForest Pavilion, where information on the history of Ludlow, Kane and the region will be presented. Masks will be required when people are within close proximity of others as well. “We want safety for everybody,” she said.

Saturday will end with a fireworks display, which Smith called spectacular.

“We’re hoping it’s going to be a huge success,” she said, especially since next year is the 150th birthday for the community. “We will be doing a lot more next year.”

When the association revived the festival last year, it was done with the goal of bringing back the wholesome, family fun from the members’ own childhoods.

“It used to be so big that they had amusement rides and so on,” Smith explained. “Then it fell off. We decided to bring it back. I want my kids to feel like I felt when I was there.”

Live music begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will include Toucan Jam, Bo Hog Brothers and Tune in Tokyo. On Sunday, Jerry Melvin Cole is to play music at the 10 a.m. church service. Polka music begins at 1p.m., followed by Billy & The Neptunes and Second Act.

For more details or a schedule of events, see the Facebook page for Ludlow Days 2020.