34th annual Heritage Fair returns with historic flair July 10

  • The 34th annual Heritage Fair on Sunday, July 11, includes a Garden Glitz plant sale, as well as a car show, pie-baking contest, a fiddler performance, and more.

    The 34th annual Heritage Fair on Sunday, July 11, includes a Garden Glitz plant sale, as well as a car show, pie-baking contest, a fiddler performance, and more. Courtesy of McHenry County Historical Society

Updated 7/2/2021 10:56 PM

The McHenry County Historical Society & Museum will host its 34th annual Heritage Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 11, at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union.

This year's theme, "Local History: It's Only Natural," underscores people's historic connection with the land and human-induced pressures placed upon it. It seems fitting that World Population Day, begun in 1990, also occurs the same day.


Highlights include a colossal Garden Glitz plant sale - courtesy of Countryside Flower Shop & Nursery, The Gardens of Woodstock, Harvard Nursery, Hoffie Nursery, Hubbs Greenhouse, Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Kolze's Corner Gardens, Red Buffalo Nursery, The Growing Scene and Tom's Market. Please patronize these supporters of local history.

Other activities include a children's area with nature-themed, stepping-stone painting you can take home, a StoryWalk and a scavenger hunt.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., magician Kevin Sarnwick from Crystal Lake will be performing around the museum grounds, as will Bruce Young of Carpentersville.

A staple at Heritage Fair for many years, they will share magical illusion, inexplicable demonstrations and lots of fun with audiences of all ages!

A "baby" white elephant sale returns to the former Schuette Building. It will be accompanied by a silent auction, bake sale and a pie-baking contest. Pies will be sold by the slice immediately following the judging at the Heritage Fair's bake sale. The grand champion will receive a trophy and his/her name engraved on a permanent trophy at the museum. For rules, visit GotHistory.org.

The Heritage Fair Car Show returns along downtown Main Street in front of the museum along with DJ Jose Ramos spinning "oldies." As in the past, the free show will feature sports, classic and antique cars. Top cars will receive trophies, including one for Best of Show. A one-of-a-kind, handmade People's Choice trophy and door prizes also will be presented.

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Finally, the McHenry County Historical Society & Museum also is collaborating with Illinois Humanities to present Dennis Stroughmatt, an accomplished fiddler from downstate Albion, Ill. at 2:30 p.m. on the museum stage.

"Illinois Creoles, French Canadians, and Louisiana Cajuns: A Continental Story" takes the audience on a journey of discovery, during which they will hear the history of their arrival to what was considered New France - which stretched from the St. Lawrence River to New Orleans. Hear the French dialects they still speak and the unique music they still perform.

Through story and song, played on a "Creole Fiddle," learn how the French of "The Illinois Country" serve as a time capsule for their cousins to the north and south.

Taught to play fiddle by local Creole fiddlers Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia in the tradition of their fathers, Stroughmatt gradually became an adopted son of the French Midwest Creoles living along the Mississippi River, near St Louis.

The day also features free admission to the museum and food vendors - including Tacos Express, Boy Scout Troop 153 and Kettle Corn Cookery. Information booths manned by McHenry County Conservation District and the Land Conservancy - each celebrating landmark anniversaries this year.

For information, visit www.gothistory.org or call (815) 923-2267.

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