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Cattlemen plan annual Beef and Ag Festival

PRINCETON — Grilled steak sandwiches, 70-plus tractors, a cattle show and the naming of Bureau County agriculture award winners are just some of the highlights of this week’s 34th annual Beef and Ag Festival.

On Monday, Bureau County Cattlemen Association’s President Mike Thacker said the annual festival begins Friday evening at Soldiers and Sailors Park on South Main Street in Princeton and continues on Saturday at the Bureau County Fairgrounds on West Peru Street.

The festival begins at 5 p.m. Friday at Soldiers and Sailors Park with the grills heated up and serving rib eye steak sandwiches and beef hot dogs. Last year, the Cattlemen Association served more than 1,000 sandwiches and hot dogs on Friday evening, Thacker said.

Also on Friday, about 70 to 80 tractors will arrive about 5 p.m. at Soldiers and Sailors Park, following a tractor ride around the county, Thacker said.

Another traditional highlight of the Beef and Ag Festival is the annual Decatur Park Singers concert. The free, two-hour concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday and is sponsored by Heartland Bank and Trust. As always, area residents are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and find a comfortable spot on the lawn of the Bureau County Courthouse for the annual concert.

At 8 p.m. Friday, during a break in the Decatur Park Singers concert, the Bureau County Cattlemen Association will present the annual Bureau County Agricultural Service Award and the Bureau County Farm Bureau Foundation scholarships.

Saturday is also filled with Beef and Ag Festival activities at the Bureau County Fairgrounds, Thacker said. The trail ride tractors will be displayed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a full beef meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including more rib eye sandwiches, roast beef, beef hot dogs, sweet corn and Sisler’s ice cream.

As a service to the public, drive-through service for the sandwiches and meals will be offered both Friday at Soldiers and Sailors Park and Saturday at the fairgrounds, Thacker said.

Saturday’s events will also include the third annual heifer and steer jackpot show at 11 a.m., with cash prizes given for winning entries, and a bucket calf show for the children.

Thacker said he hopes people will come out and enjoy this year’s Beef and Ag Festival and help promote agriculture in Bureau County.

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