Campton Township officials will host their 7th annual Prairie Fest Saturday at Corron Farm in Campton Hills.
The fest, which will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. rain or shine at the farm, 7N761 Corron Road, will have the usual attractions of hayrides, storytellers, live music and refreshments.
But this year, the Corron Farm Preservation Society also wants to get opinions on what should be done with an 1875 barn that has roof and structural issues.
Laurel Garza, a preservation society board member, said the group will survey festival attendees to get their thoughts on whether: the entire structure should be restored; only the 1875 structure and not the 1915 addition should be saved; or the barn should be dismantled.
Garza said the preservation society's vision is to restore the barn, using fundraising and grants and not a tax increase, into a museum for historic farming equipment.
"We've had some experts come in and look at the barn," Garza said. "For the preservation society, (dismantling) is not an option for use. That actually was suggested by one of the professionals. The preservation society is about history. We obviously don't want to see the barn go away."
Garza said the preservation society recently received its official nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status, which will allow it to pursue more grants.
The society also raised $8,000 in a pig roast fundraiser earlier this year, she said.
Garza recalled the May 2007 collapse of the historic 122-year-old Teeple Barn near I-90 and Randall Road in Elgin. The state's only remaining 16-sided barn was in need of renovations but succumbed to high winds.
"That's why we have a little urgency," she said. "We want to keep the momentum going."
For more information, visit preservation society's website.
As for the Prairie Fest, organizers will offer tours of the 1850s brick Greek Revival home, built by Robert C. Corron, one of the earliest settlers in Campton Township.
Local honey produced at the Corron Farm will be for sale, and the event also will feature door prizes, and welcome as storyteller Carolyn Finzer, who dresses up as "Flora, the Flower Fairy."
Garza, who also is a township volunteer, said the event drew between 400 and 500 people last year and organizers expect a similar turnout.
For more information, visit camptontownship.com.