2024 Pekin Marigold Festival theme reveal coming soon...
Stay tuned!!


September 4-8, 2024

Pekin Marigold Festival

The Marigold Festival began in the 1973 to honor Pekin native, Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen. The Senator played an influential role in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it is with great pleasure the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce continues to hold the festival in his honor. 

While in Congress, Dirksen championed the cause to make the marigold the national floral emblem. While unsuccessful in his efforts, his hometown of Pekin became known as the Marigold Capital of the World. The Pekin Marigold Festival is held annually on the first weekend after Labor Day.

The festival has grown to showcase area businesses, community outreach programs, and serves as a fundraising platform for area non-profits.

Grand Marshal of 2023

Marcella Harms

Ms. Harms is a long time Pekin resident and loving mother to eight children. She volunteers her time with many community organizations including Carle Hospital and Special Olympics of Illinois. Marcella has been involved with Compassionate Friends, an organization for parents who have lost a child. For many years, Marcella was responsible for making and decorating the butterfly ornaments that the organization uses to decorate their Christmas trees.
A member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Marcella is known to always help where needed. Her nominator says that “Marcella has made a huge difference in the lives of many families!” She is a “humble person” and a “selfless giving person”.

August 10th, 2024 Miss Marigold Pageant

The Miss Marigold Pageant focuses on awarding a $3,000 scholarship to savvy, goal oriented, aware young women from our community. Contestants will compete in the areas of interview, community service, on-stage question, talent and evening gown.

Congratulations to Pekin Community High School student, Olivia Torrey, the artist responsible for the winning medallion design.

the hunt begins! Jimmy John's ® Marigold Medallion Hunt

“A Community Obsession”
Every year at the end of August, Pekin’s amateur detectives and determined sleuths prepare for the Pekin Marigold Festival Medallion Hunt.  They put their interpretive skills against the Medallion Hunt Clue Meister who has carefully hidden the small disc somewhere on public property, releasing “clues” on a daily basis. The clues carry double-meaning, veiled references, and carefully disguised hints all designed to bring out the “DaVinci Code” enthusiast in us all.

registration is opening soon Marigold Golf Outing

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to host the Marigold Golf Outing! Join us for an afternoon of fun, networking and fellowship. Prizes will be awarded. Mulligans available. Get your foursome together and plan to join us!

Art In The Park

Likely the most anticipated event of the Marigold Festival, Art in the Park returns this year with a vendor line up that is sure to keep you excited through every turn! 
Shop Saturday, September 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and again Sunday, September 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday at 10am Marigold Festival Parade

A Marigold Festival Tradition, beginning at 14th and Broadway and continuing downtown to Capitol St.

Festive Foods

Did you know Festive Foods is actually a fundraising event? All of our Festive Food vendors are nonprofit organizations. We’re returning this event to the grassy area near the Royal Ave Shelter. 

Cooking Demos

Sponsored by ICC

Saturday at 12:30 pm and 4 pm, Sunday at 12:30 pm on Pavilion Porch, Featuring local chefs.

Edible Art Contest

Saturday at 1:30 pm to 4 pm on the East side of the Pavilion Porch.

Eating Contests

kouri's wing eating contest

Saturday at 2pm on Pavilion Porch

Tadoughs donut eating contest

Sunday at 2pm on Pavilion Porch

Souvenir Mugs & Soda Stations

Grab a cold drink and a souvenir mug at the soda stations located in Art in the Park. Show your mug to any station and receive a discounted price on refills! 

watch for wristband pre-sale this summer Carnival

That’s right! The carnival is also returning for all four days of the festival with a bracelet night kick-off. The carnival is located West of the Arena.

Registration now open Chalk Walk

Walk along the Mineral Springs Lagoon and see our area artists at work! This newer event has chalk drawings from all age groups and boasts a not-to-miss display of talent.

lanterns availble during festival Lagoon Glow

This demonstration is nostalgic and where #marigoldmemories are made.
The Lagoon Glow will have lanterns available for purchase during the festival. Write a memory or wish on your lantern, or honor a loved one. The lanterns will be cast into the lagoon at dusk.

fun times ahead Kids Experience

Come check out the coolest place for kids in the park! With activities, freebies and more.
The fun starts at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This is a free event for children.

Registration Now Open Through August 31st Community Spotlight

Standing alongside Art in the Park, Community Spotlight showcases services and groups within the Pekin area that offer outreach initiatives, nonprofit services and more. Check out how these business and organizations serve our communities!

Showcase Stage

The Showcase Stage will be going all day long alongside Art in the Park! See booklet for complete lineup details!

Did you know...

The first Marigold Festival was held in 1973 to honor Pekin's favorite son, Everett McKinley Dirksen.


Our generous sponsors:

Want the latest updates on Festival activities?

Stay connected with us!