FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October tradition continues with the 2011 Pike County Fall Color Drive
SEPTEMBER 26, 2011, PITTSFIELD, IL - With the third full weekend in October comes one of the most exciting and important events in Pike County - the Pike County Fall Color Drive. October 15th and 16th
mark the 23rd anniversary of the Color Drive. Begun as a way to promote local crafters, artisans, and communities within Pike County by attracting visitors to the county during the peak fall foliage time, the Color Drive has grown dramatically.
The Pike County Fall Color Drive is the only countywide event held annually. Area residents support participating communities by displaying their crafts, providing food services, and volunteering their time to assist with the event. Besides our
spectacular fall scenery, Pike County also has a rich Lincoln and Civil War history attracting history buffs as well.
The Pike County Chamber of Commerce is the sponsoring organization of the Pike County Color Drive. The Chamber’s Executive Director, Kaye Iftner serves on the Executive Team, along with co-chairs Peggy Hill and Marilyn Hyde, Treasurer Lois Pennock, and
Secretary Sue Gleckler. These officers were selected by members of the county-wide committee of participating community representatives.
Over 20 communities participate in the Pike County Color Drive each year. Each official stop has a site manager who handles the details of the stop’s activities and manages the site’s vendors. These site managers serve on the county-wide committee, which
has been meeting since last year’s event to discuss issues and opportunities and share information. This county-wide cooperation has been one of the keys to the event’s growth and success.
The Color Drive is funded by contributions from the towns and village governments, as well as vendor fees and business donations. The contributions and fees are used to print the
Color Drive map/brochure and fund advertising and promotion to bring people in to visit from outside of Pike County.
The Pike County Fall Color Drive has an informational website (www.pikecolordrive.com), which has been updated to include the activities in
each participating community. A new map/brochure is in production and will be available next week. For general information call the Chamber office at 217-285-2971. Site Managers are listed on the Color Drive web site.
Click here to download pdf copy of the above press release.
Local Media Coverage
Oct. 20 2010 Pike Press (webposted
October 20, 2010
This year, a videographer also
traveled throughout the county and recorded many of the sights and
sounds of the Color Drive. Iftner said the video will be used for
marketing for next year’s Color Drive and added that it will be on the
website www.pikecolordrive.com once it has been completed.
Hammering home a tradition
With a hot forge, an anvil and a hammer, Jerry Grimes, of Pittsfield, is
preserving an art form that could be lost in a world of ever increasing
dependency on technology.
In the heart of Time during the Pike County Fall Color Drive weekend,
Grimes demonstrated an art form that harkened back to an era before
computers as he forges a variety of metals into shapes for the audience.
Grimes enjoys being out amongst the crowds, because he said the
gatherings feel more like a get-together instead of just a stop on the
“It was a wonderful reunion,” Grimes said. “They really do serve as a
kind of reunion.”
He said that he talked with other vendors about how wonderful Time was
as a location for the Color Drive. He added that people enjoyed watching
“These festivals go off like clockwork,” Grimes said. “What I like most
is meeting the people.”
Grimes has been blacksmithing since 1976 and said that he loves the
creative element of it. He added that he hopes that his work helps keep
the tradition of blacksmithing alive.
“We promote and preserve blacksmithing so it doesn’t become a dead art,”
Grimes said. “At least we know the technique and we know how it is
He said he often goes to local events, such as Pig Days, to show off his
craft to curious people. For the most part, blacksmithing serves as a
“I kind of tinkered with it for 10 years and then started doing a few
festivals,” Grimes said. “I’ve done the Color Drive for a long time.”
He said that he got his start through his mentor, Kelly Moore, from
Milton. He also said he was inspired by Ron Laux, from Pearl, who loaned
him an anvil at one point.
“Those two men were really helpful,” Grimes said. “But Kelly was the one
that got me started from day one.”
Grimes said that he intends to have
another blacksmithing booth next year. He added that his family,
including his children and grandchildren, have been part of the
Sept. 19 2008 Pike Press (webposted
Color Drive heads into full planning mode
September 19, 2008
With the Pike County Fall Color Drive just four weeks away, organizers
are in full planning mode.
"It's hard to believe it's so close," Peggy Hill, one of the event
organizers, said. "It's really starting to pick up. We're getting lots
Hill said while the slate of events is being set, there are still
possibilities for vendors, demonstrators or entertainers. Anyone who
would like to have a booth, do a demonstration, supply entertainment or
participate in any way is urged to call either Peggy Hill or the Pike
County Chamber of Commerce.
"We'd love to have every place as full as we can get it," Hill said.
"Demonstrations or things to do are very popular and we'd like to have
as many as we can."
According to Hill, there will be 22 different sites on the drive, with a
possibility of more.
"That's about the same as last year," she said. "But the potential for
more is very exciting."
Hill said the idea of having a Lincoln theme has been a good one for the
"Several towns have decided to play up their Lincoln angle," Hill said.
Pittsfield is planning a re-enactment of Lincoln's trip from the Colonel
Ross home, east of town, to the courthouse lawn. Lincoln was escorted
Oct. 1, 1958 when he was running for the Senate. He was brought into
town in a carriage drawn by six black horses and escorted by 100 young
women dressed in white and on horseback.
"We're not going to have the 100 young women dressed in white," Kathy
Zimmerman of the Lincoln Project said. "We are going to have a
horse-drawn carriage of some sort."
Once "Lincoln" arrives at the courthouse, he will speak on the south
courthouse steps before introducing U.S. Representative Ray LaHood, who
plans to attend. LaHood is on the Lincoln bicentennial planning
Perry has also embraced the1860s era by having a campaign pole raising.
Perry hosted one in 1860, and according to reports, 1,000 men attended.
"That number doesn't include women and children because in those days
they didn't count women and children," Zimmerman said.
The community also plans to have a tribute to General Grant's March of
Grant and his troops were on a recruiting mission and crossed into Pike
County just west of Naples. The group camped just east of Perry for a
short while before being called away.
Aaron McCombs is working at having a Lincoln connections to the Fall
"To begin the celebration of President Lincoln's Bicentennial Birthday
this year's color drive will emphasize a Lincoln presence," McCombs
Abe Lincoln impersonator will be visiting different communities within
the county. Pleasant Hill is focusing on Lincoln's visit to the town's
McCombs said the Pleasant Hill Color Drive committee is planning to host
'bucket races' at the fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct. 17 around 4:00 p.m.,
if there is enough interest. The races would consist of individuals and
teams. Teams could consist of two to ten members. To register please
call McCombs at 734-9267.
The Color Drive is also looking for a wishing well that can be placed at
the fairgrounds for pictures to be taken during Lincoln's visit. If you
have a wishing well you would be willing to lend for the event contact
Aaron McCombs at 734-9267.
Griggsville will be moving to the fair grounds this year.
New Griggsville coordinator Sheila Boes said the high traffic flow was
the main reason for the move.
"I feel it's a safer location," she said. " It is still along Route 107.
There is plenty of room for vendors, parking, it's handicap accessible
and camping sites are available."
Boes says the fairground will be divided into areas with craft vendors
in one section, flea markets in another and the food court in yet a
"We'll have picnic tables, benches and entertainment," she said. "If you
would like to share your talent please call me for details."
Also in store at Griggsville is K and T Llamas from Oxville.
Demonstrations on llama handling and handspun lama yarn will be ongoing.
Backyard Pony Cart rides from Beardstown will also be in the kids/family
area and an antique tractor show will be both days with vendors selling
sought after parts for antique tractor restoration. .
El Dara is planning a Civil War fashion show and Detroit will have a
Lincoln-era log cabin on display.
Kinderhook plans a salute to the Pike's Peak Ocean Road and Barry will
give cemetery tours. There is also a possibility of events at New
New vendors are being placed in an equalized manner.
"If somebody calls, we try to send them to a place and then the next
caller goes to the next one on the list," Hill said. " A lot of them
want to be in the bigger towns, they don't understand that some of these
little towns have a lot going on and draw really big crowds."
The committee is looking for all sorts of vendors and events for the
weekend. Demonstrations are particularly of interest to those attending
Oct. 25, 2007 Pike Press
Organizers say Color Drive best ever
organizers still tallying the final numbers, the general consensus is this
weekend's Color Drive was the best ever.
While final numbers are not available, the sign-in sheets show the bulk of
the visitors came from the tri-state area but visitors were also recorded
from Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Colorado and Louisiana.
"It is difficult to get an accurate count," Lois Pennock, a Color Drive
committee member, said. " Volunteers from the sites felt the crowds were as
large as in the past. Visitors say they heard about us through radio ads,
television, brochures at rest stops, Internet and newspaper ads."
Pennock said the drive was also included as part of a Honda Bike Tour and a
"I know all the vendors in Pittsfield were happy," Sandy Wigington,
Pittsfield coordinator, said. "We had a lady come for the first time with
primitive crafts. She said she hoped to make $300 over the weekend. She sold
$300 before 9 a.m. Saturday."
Wigington said the crowd on Saturday was bigger than Sunday.
"And it's just different on Saturday," Wigington said. "Saturday is more
young families while Sundays are more older people."
Wigington said the firefighter's motorcycle raffle drew a huge crowd. The
firefighters sold 800 tickets during the day and then drew Saturday
"A lot of people bought tickets and then stayed for the drawing," Wigington
Troy Martin of Baylis was the winner of the bike.
Pleasant Hill coordinator Rachel Scranton agreed crowds in Pleasant Hill
were better than ever on Saturday but said Sunday was steady.
"We probably had the biggest crowd ever for a Saturday. Sunday was a bit
slower. It wasn't packed like it was Saturday but there were still a lot of
people," she said. "All the food vendors were sold out by four p.m."
Scranton said the food vendors were the most popular.
"If people eat everywhere like they eat in Pleasant Hill, they have to roll
home," she said.
Scranton said the perfect weather was a great asset to the drive.
"It was perfect on Saturday and a little windy on Sunday but it was still
warm enough to be comfortable."
Scranton said all of her vendors have indicated they would come back next
year and several went ahead and signed contracts.
She also said the car show was a big success.
"I don't know how many cars they had, I know it was more than 30. I heard
lots of people talking about it," she said.
Pennock said she thought the crowds were big, the weather great and the
"Everywhere I went there were people having a good time," Pennock said.
Debbie Harshman said the vendors at Barry were pleased with the event.
"We had some new vendors here and they weren't sure what to expect," she
said. "They were happy at the end of the day. We had over 700 sign in on
Saturday and about half that on Sunday. The Barry Business Association
advertises for Fall Color Drive and that helps our crowd. We have the flea
market and people really enjoy looking for that treasure that will remind
them of their childhood."
Judi Sutton at El Dara said the village was a beehive of activity all day
"We had lots of people," Sutton said. "J.B. Elmore Portraits sold a lot of
his work. He sold a lot of Lincoln stuff. He has really nice drawings of
Lincoln and he sold a lot of those."
The Fall Color Drive Committee has decided to use the anniversary of Abraham
Lincoln's birthday and Pike County's strong Lincoln connection as a theme
for the 2008 Fall Color Drive.
"We had color drives in the past with themes - quilts and different things,"
Pennock, of the overall committee, said. "For next year we're going to try
Lincoln. We have all these Lincoln sites in Pike County and it would be good
to lead us into 2009, when the Lincoln Project committee has a number of
things planned for his birthday celebration."
©Pike Press 2007
Aug. 28, 2007
We have posted the latest activity information for each
community participating in this year's Color Drive. Find out what's new by
Aug. 21, 2007
Check out our new interactive county map. Each community
is hyperlinked to the map; simply click on a town and view it's activity page. http://www.pikecolordrive.com/maps.htm
Pike County Color Drive
Establishes Internet Presence
- Postal address
- PO Box 283
- Pittsfield, IL 62363
|Be sure to keep an eye out for the Color Drive Flag.
Each official welcome booth will be displaying this flag during the
Color Drive Weekend.