PEKIN (WEEK) - Pekin's Marigold Festival will look a lot different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of the traditional event, the Pekin Chamber of Commerce is offering "A Taste of Marigold," featuring events on the weekend after Labor Day that "can be held safely and allow for social distancing," organizers said.
"The health and safety of the community, our volunteers and our guests is our first priority," the chamber said in a news release.
Masks are required for volunteers and vendors, and they're recommended for guests. There will also be hand washing stations, plenty of hand sanitizer available.
Large gatherings and "high touch" events such as Art in the Park, the Miss Marigold Pageant, and carnival won't be held. Also, there won't be a celebrity guest.
The Festive Foods area will be at alternate locations instead of at Mineral Springs Park.
Organizers are planning a Drive-Thru Parade hosted by Grand Marshal Mary Haynes, a drive-in movie night, the Marigold Medallion Hunt, and the Chalk Walk contest.
The Marigold Festival dates back to 1973, honoring favorite son, the late U.S. Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, whose favorite flower was the marigold.
The Dirksen Congressional Center will host an online video, and families are encouraged to visit Dirksen's statue at Mineral Springs Park.
"A Taste of Marigold" will be held September 11-13.