Aledo Rhubarb Fest Committee & The City of Aledo
9am-4pm both days
Aledo, Illinois Central Park and Downtown
Rhubarb continues to Reign for its 27th year. The Rhubarb Festival is a celebration of all things rhubarb – from pie to soda pop. If it’s rhubarb, it’s here!
Aledo’s affinity for rhubarb became official when the town of 3,600 was named the Rhubarb Capital of Illinois by Governor Pat Quinn. The unique festival draws nearly 10,000 visitors to the Mercer County seat.
The festival is easy to find – at the crossroads of Illinois Highways 17 and 94 – at Aledo’s Central Park and the Mercer County Courthouse lawn.
Since the festival began in 1991, the centerpiece attractions have always been the rhubarb tasting tent and the rhubarb pie! On Friday and Saturday under the “Big Blue Tent”, festival goers may sample rhubarb treats from pie to wine. Local churches and non-profit organizations will be selling more than 3,000 rhubarb pies and other rhubarb baked goods. Aledo Main Street will distribute 12,000 free seeds to festival visitors so they can grow their own rhubarb.
“We encourage everyone to avoid “Rhubarb Regret,” a condition caused by arriving too late to purchase one of our delicious rhubarb pies,” said Darlene Johnson, Rhubarb Festival founder. Visitors should plan to arrive before noon each day for the best selection, she recommended.
On Saturday morning, a recipe contest is held for bragging rights to the best rhubarb dish. This year features an “Iron Chef” competition for area foodservice specialists to show off their rhubarb culinary skills. Youth, adult and community categories are included in the light-hearted competition. A “Biggest Leaf Contest” to determine the biggest rhubarb leaf is set for Saturday afternoon.
Fest goers can enjoy free entertainment all day long at the Central Park Band Shell which will features a slate of local entertainers throughout the festival. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair for seating throughout each day of Rhubarb Fest. Food, antique and flea market vendors will share their offerings in Central Park both days.
On Saturday, more than 100 arts and craft vendors will feature their wares on the Mercer County Courthouse lawn. Historic downtown Aledo will also offer unique shopping and dining opportunities with a free trolley tour sharing the town’s sites and history.
Additional children’s activities on Saturday include a Kids Zone with inflatables, face painting and Alley Art, where chalk masterpieces are created. Rhubarb Festival admission is always free.
Main events run Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other activities include the Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast, the 5K Rhubarb Run/Walk and the Masonic Lodge Fish Fry.
More information, including details on parking and shuttles, a complete listing of Rhubarb Festival events are all available online at www.Aledorhubarbfest.com or by calling 309-582-7985.