Daughtry Gets Final Day Show Stage Spotlight

Daughtry Gets Final Day Show Stage Spotlight

August 5 – Rock band Daughtry will deliver the final act of this year’s Decatur Celebration with an 8 p.m. performance Sunday on the Show Stage.

Fronted by namesake singer and former American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry, the band produced five Top 20 singles including the platinum hits “It’s Not Over” and “Home.” The band’s fifth album “Cage to Rattle” was released last week.

Sunday’s other headlining acts include the Jeremiah Johnson Band playing two sets of southern rock and blues on the Funfest Stage (6:15, 8:15), and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Crowder on the Christian Stage (6:45).

Preceding Daughtry on the Show Stage will be the winner of the BlueRock Record Battle of the Bands contest (5:30), the Josh Holland Band (6:30), and a 50/50 Raffle and a third Country Financial $1,000 drawing (7:45). The Battle of the Bands finals will be held at 11 a.m. on the North Street Stage.

The earlier shows on the Funfest Stage feature Marquise Knox (2 p.m.) and William Marsala (4 p.m.), while Jeff Quick will take the Christian Stage for a pair of shows before Crowder (4, 5:45).

The Central Park Stage will feature Rock of Ages (1 p.m., 3 p.m.) and Dreaming in Colour (8:15), while the Imagine That Band will play the first of its three shows on the North Street stage at 4 o’clock. NCR will play three shows of modern country and classic rock on the Cabaret Stage (3, 5, 7), while the Prairie Street Stage features singer/songwriter Ashley Riley (noon, 2) and disco, funk, rock and pop from The Collective Band (4, 6, 8).

Also Sunday, the Miss Illinois Festival Pageant will be held at 2 p.m. in the Decatur Civic Center and the double-elimination Central Illinois Bags Bash tournament will be held from 1-5 p.m. on the Civic Center grass.

Garden Offers Upscale Brews and Wines

Garden Offers Upscale Brews and Wines

August 4 – Connoisseurs of specialty brews and wines from around Illinois attending the Decatur Celebration have plenty of options at their discretion in the Wine and Craft Beer Garden.

Now in its eighth year, the garden has been relocated to the northwest corner of William and Water near the Cabaret Stage.

“We’re in a great park, centrally located,” said Bill Niemerg of Niemerg Family Winery in Findlay. “It’s kind of an escape from everything. It’s kind of in its own corner and you can relax and enjoy your wine and have a good time.”

Guests can buy 10 wine-tasting tickets for $10, otherwise all drinks are $5 per glass. Patrons may also buy wine by a bottle directly from the winery. The garden will be open until 10 p.m. Saturday, then from noon until 8 o’clock on Sunday.

Niemerg said his stand was offering sangria and as many as 12 varietals. Niemerg was one of seven wine booths in the garden, while the seven craft beer stands included Decatur’s own Door 4 Brewing and Decatur Brew Works.

“Today has been a really good day for us,” said Deion Corley of Door 4. “Yesterday was awesome, once we beat the heat. We were pouring beer like crazy.”

Corley said that while the beer industry can be competitive, there’s a camaraderie among craft brewers.

“It’s the industry, man; it’s awesome,” he said. “All the breweries here today are super-cool dudes and we’ve had a good time pouring beer with them.”

The other wineries in the garden are: West of Wise (Petersburg), Vahling Vineyards (Stewardson), Kite Hill Vineyards (Carbondale), Fox Creek Vineyards (Olney), Hopewell Winery (Rockport), and Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery (Chicago).

The other craft beer stands are: Golden Fox (Illiopolis), Blind Pig (Champaign), White Oak (Normal), Keg Grove (Bloomington) and 1905 Brewing Company (Assumption).

Free Charging Station at the Decatur Celebration

Free Charging Station at the Decatur Celebration

August 4 – At the Decatur Celebration it never fails, just when you’re ready to grab that pic of your favorite performer, or you’re trying to coordinate meeting up with friends or family, your phone dies. Dead battery.

For the second year, Decatur Computers Incorporated has you covered at the Celebration if you’ve used up your battery. They’ve supplied a free charging station in Central Park, near the corner of Franklin Street and North Park Street.

Decatur Computers Daniel Butler said last year, people didn’t start taking advantage of the free charging service until Saturday and Sunday, mostly because they weren’t aware it was available. However, this year, he says the charging tent has been busy right out of the gate. “As the day goes on, sometimes we’re charging up to 20 or more devices at a time.”

The charging station can charge most Apple or Android devices, and can also charge scooters for those who have trouble getting around the Celebration. So if your phone’s battery indicator is in the red, head to the corner of Franklin and North Park Street in Central Park, just across from the Post Office, and get powered up.

Greer, Braeuninger Win Top Prizes in Adorable Baby Contest

Greer, Braeuninger Win Top Prizes in Adorable Baby Contest

August 4 – A veteran of the Decatur Celebration Adorable Baby Contest, Ashton Greer showed his experience in this year’s event Saturday.

Ashton and Daisy Braeuninger, both of Decatur, were judged as the overall Grand Supreme winners during the contest held on the Central Park Stage. They were among the 10 age-division winners.

Introduced as a “pro at this,” Ashton flashed a broad smile and waved to the crowd in winning the Petite Mister category for 3-year-old boys. He was accompanied by his mother, Ashlee Greer. Joined by her parents Drake and Jessica Braeuninger, Daisy was selected in the Tiny Tot Miss category for 2-year-old girls

Other division winners were: Ja’Lyah Honerable (Infant Miss, 0-5 months), Treasure Gogins (Baby Miss, 6-11 months), A’Hayva Bradford (Tiny Miss, 1-year), Austyn Duncheon (Mini Miss, 4-years), Thomas Blair (Infant Mister, 0-5 months), Isaac Ramos (Baby Mister, 6-11 months), Jaxon Sharp (Tiny Mister, 1-year) and Jeremiah Milton (Tiny Tot Mister, 2-years). The Petite Miss and Mini Mister categories had no entries.

Returning Champ Sets Another Record in the Heinkel’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

Returning Champ Sets Another Record in the Heinkel’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

August 4 – Now in its 7th year, the Heinkel’s Hot dog Eating Contest took over the Funfest Stage Saturday afternoon at the 2018 Decatur Celebration. Before the competition kicked off, emcee Aric Lee introduced Wes Heinkel of Heinkel’s Packing Company who paid tribute to his Grandfather, Erwin Heinkel. He reminded the crowd to live the way their family patriarch always said, “Keep laughing, keep smiling”.

This was the first year there were no pre-competition qualifying contests and the eaters signed up the day of the competition.

The 10 minute contest kicked off, with Brandon “Da’ Garbage Disposal” Clark of Cahokia, last year’s record setting champion with 27 weiners consumed, cruising to an early lead eating 22 wieners by the 5 minute mark. In the end, “Da’ Garbage Disposal” cruised to an easy victory, and set a new Heinkel’s Hot Dog Eating Contest record by devouring 33 wieners in 10 minutes.

Your top 3 finishers are as follows:

1st Brandon “Da’ Garbage Disposal” Clark, Cahokia, Illinois. Winner of $500 and 4 St. Louis Cardinals Tickets

2nd Kyle “The Hammer” Hanner of St. Louis, Missouri. Winner of $250 and a $100 meat bundle from Heinkel’s Packing Company.

3rd Jonathan “Big Jon” Offerman, of Decatur, Illinois. Winner of $100 and a $50 meat bundle from Heinkel’s Packing Company.

33rd Decatur Celebration Parade Delights Thousands

33rd Decatur Celebration Parade Delights Thousands

August 4 – Thousands turned out once again for the 33rd The Razzle Dazzle Goodtimes Parade Saturday morning at the Decatur Celebration. Something unique to this year’s parade was the NowDecatur.com team of Brian Byers, Aric Lee and Kevin Breheny broadcasting live from inside the parade, in two of the 25 Jeeps entered by the Bob Brady Auto Group. While the parade is always about having a good time, there is a competition to for the best parade entries. This year’s winners are as follows:

Best of Show Award: Kids Block

The Celebration Award: Midsummer Moon Productions

The Razzle Dazzle Award: The Scream Haunted Adventure

The Goodtimes Award: Perry Twins Outdoors

“We Like It” Award: Wings of Wonder

The parade lasted for over an hour Saturday morning was followed by the Heinkel’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the Funfest Stage at 12:30 and Adorable Baby Contest in Central Park at 1:30.

For a full photo gallery of the Razzle Dazzle Goodtimes Parade, click HERE