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  • Kent Casson

Community ready for sale day

Items displayed on the street during last year's Chenoa Community Sale.

A big fundraising event for the annual Chenoa 4th of July celebration happens this weekend.

The annual Chenoa Community Sale is planned for Saturday morning (April 9) downtown. All sellers must register with the clerk on the street as items are tagged with a lot number. Tagging begins at 6 a.m. with no items tagged after 10. All buyers must register at City Hall with registration starting at 7 a.m. A $2.00 fee is charged for each buyer’s number. The sale starts at 10 a.m. sharp.

“It is one of our events to help raise funds for the fireworks show,” explained Jessica Ifft, Chenoa 4th of July committee secretary.

This is one of many events held during the year which benefits the committee. A few auctioneers have been lined up and the VFW Auxiliary will serve a biscuits and gravy breakfast. Members of the Chenoa Women’s Club will sell baked goods near City Hall and Chenoa Firemen will grill pork chops for lunch.

“People have plenty of options as far as things to eat while they are browsing around,” said Ifft.

Rain or shine, the sale goes on. Typical sale items include plenty of tools, animals, furniture, antiques and signs. No poultry will be accepted for buying or selling as the Illinois Department of Agriculture has filed emergency rules prohibiting the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at various events due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus.

Looking ahead, the next big event for the 4th Committee is the road rally to be held Sunday, June 26 and they are looking to bring back the golf cart giveaway. That is followed by the July 3 street dance downtown and the July 4 activities all day with the fireworks at night.

Fundraising has been more challenging since COVID hit in 2020 and costs have gone up. For instance, the committee’s budget for the fireworks had been $21,000 in recent years and that went up to $30,000 last year. The 2022 fireworks quote came in around $43,000.

“Our fireworks company had to merge with another company and they are holding our contract but the price has gone up quite a bit,” added Ifft.

While donations have been slow to come in, Ifft reminds everyone they do not have to donate at the in-person events in the community. Funds can be sent to the Chenoa 4th of July Association, PO Box 84, Chenoa, IL 61726.

“We are really just looking for people to be generous this year in addition to the generosity they’ve shown in years past.”

The Chenoa 4th of July Committee consists of Zack Lopeman, president; Jeannea Shier, treasurer; Jessica Ifft, secretary; Crystal Semmerling, vice-president and members Brett Campbell and Clayton Bracken Jr.

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