COLES COUNTY NEWS:

THE GATHERERS AND THE REPORTING

PART G

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197.

OAKLAND, ILLINOIS HISTORY-- 

POPULAR CORNBREAD & BEAN FESTIVAL BEGINS

 

(Continued from page 195) lines and eating the delicious beans and cornbread.  

WLBH radio was the chief sponsor of the big event. 

WEIC radio was never directly involved in the festival. Louise would conduct interviews in the Charleston studio, to help the festival through publicity.

FESTIVAL GROWS DRAMATICALLY 1948-1969

The 1950 festival included an even larger crowd and Several programs were offered for morning, afternoon and evening   (with   the Honorable Lee Lynch presiding). 22 planes staged a fly-in. Wayne Karr and his orchestra furnished a "Karr-load of Music and Fun" performed for the evening dance on the new concrete dance floor over in the Oakland Park.

In 1951, Howard Miller, WLBH Farm Director, and Oakland resident was appointed chairman. 17,000 attended the festival that year, even with an on and off rainy day.   Lee Lynch had died in 1951, and J.R. Livesay of WLBH would become the master of ceremonies.   Louise Taylor, new WLBH reporter would help out on WLBH until 1955.

In 1952, 20,000 people attended the festival and jammed the football field to see and hear the wedding of Miss Jorja Honn and Gene Henry.

The year 1955 included a celebration and tribute to our men in the service.

In 1956, a crowd of 30,000 attended the festival.

The year 1957 had Mr. Leroy Van Dyke as the featured entertainer.

1958 was a special year at the festival, celebrating itís' 10th anniversary.

1961 had the theme of ďPeace, the Hope of the World" with a flight of white doves.

1962 had a theme of "This community works hand in hand".

1965 funds made in excess of expenses were used to build a shelter and concrete floor.

MISS MYRTLE JONES AND BROTHER LAWTON TAKE MY WIFE AS A YOUNG GIRL TO FESTIVAL                                            

Sandra (Grubb) Taylor, my wife, can   remember   Myrtle   taking   her   to   the   Oakland Cornbread & Bean Festival, She can't remember the year. Myrtle was a reporter for the Greenup Press.   She and Lawton attended many public events and reunions. Myrtle was indeed an active reporter

FESTIVAL ENDS IN 1969

The giant event would end. In 1969 the Dr. Hiram Rutherford house was dedicated, and his granddaughter were honored. Farmers who had travelled to Washington D.C. with the United Grain Farmers of America Demonstration were honored. The Festival was rejuvenated in recent years on a smaller scale.

 

 

 

 

At Left:  DR. HIRAM RUTHERFORD HOME, DEDICATED DURING THE LAST BIG CORNBREAD AND BEAN FESTIVAL, 1969

 

 


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