BLANDINSVILLE — Blandinsville celebrated its long history at the 131st Farmers’ Day Picnic on June 14 through June 16.
The community worked hard to keep festivities as large as ever during the three-day weekend event, which included a tractor pull, a parade, a fishing derby and a racing derby.
Kicking off events Thursday were a four-mile, one-mile and a two-mile run/walk competitive foot race with a separate category for young children to compete in. The winners in each of the adult categories won a medal, and the children won a goody bag. Runs were sponsored by Fortress Bank.
There were 20 registered competitive runners for all of the adult races. Winners of the four-mile run were Andrew Butler at 26 minutes and 53 seconds, and Roxanne Mason at 39 minutes and 59 seconds. Winners of the two-mile walk were Jim Olson at 40 minutes and 4 seconds, and Mary Killip at 29 minutes and 17 seconds. Logan Little won the one-mile run at 7 minutes and 22 seconds.
A separate Little Farmers’ one-block foot race was held for area youths aged 3-9 with each runner receiving a goody bag.
Following a ceremony recognizing competitors and winners from each of their respective categories, run organizer Gina DeSpain said, “When we first started back up again (10 years ago), participation was really good. The last couple of years participation has been down a little bit, but this year was a little bit better. (We’re) always hoping to get more and more every year and build it back up.”
DeSpain said her mother, Cynthia Grate, used to run in the race years ago. “She passed away, and they haven’t had the race for many years – and that’s the reason I brought it back because (although) she wasn’t a runner, she just ran in the Blandinsville picnic race every year, and that’s why I brought it back, kind of in memory of her,” she said.
Gesturing to a Blandinsville Walk/Run jersey with a distinctive winged-shoe logo representing the Greek god Hermes, she said, “If you notice on the shirts we have a star. The star is in memory of her, and we usually have that on most of the shirts every year.”
For more information about the 131st Farmers’ Day Picnic, visit their page on Facebook and

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