News Briefs 10/5/2023


Fall Market at Hidden Creek Estates

Over 30 local vendors were at Hidden Creek Estates on Sunday, ranging from handmade crafts to delectable treats, for their Fall Market. The wine bar is open Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evening, with live music and their food truck L’Osteria next to the yellow barn on the patio. 

On a larger scale, the Vintage Shop Hop on Friday and Saturday will showcase over 400 vintage shops, antique stores, barn sales, and ladies' boutiques in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Ten nearby shops will participate, and the six shops of Rockton and Roscoe have a punch card that offers even more excitement. Shoppers who get punches at all six shops could win gift certificates from all the shops.

In a football battle between Hononegah and Boylan that came down to the wire again, Hononegah won, with big plays, hard hits, cheering crowds, and dynamic plays from dynamic players on both teams.  Hononegah plays Belvidere North this Friday.

The Rockton Food Pantry at Old Stone Church is in desperate need of donations. Three other local food pantries have closed recently and corporate sponsorship has also decreased. Several groups and organizations, including Roscoe Methodist Church, support the non-sectarian food pantry with volunteers, donations and fundraising. With the recent reduction in SNAP benefits, the increased cost of food, loss of corporate sponsorships and the closing of local food pantries the Old Stone Food pantry has more clients than ever. The pantry serves the Hononegah school district area, which is the heart of our readership.

West of Rockton, Lost Flora Fen on Raccoon Creek is holding an open house on Saturday, but the new nature preserve is now open to the public daily. It consists of two tracts of land totaling 387 acres that includes several types of habitat from woodlands, to a fen with a boardwalk, to prairie, to agricultural land and the meandering Raccoon Creek. The wide range of plant, animal and insect species includes threatened and endangered species like the Blanding’s Turtle. One and a half miles of the creek meanders through the east side of the farm, fed on site by a number of seeps and springs. To date 91 species of insects have been identified, and more than 100 species of birds are known to utilize the habitat.

Sunday afternoon at Macktown Living History is Apple Cider Sunday. The event includes a cider tasting and you can see the equipment with which cider is made. Suggested donation is $5. The year's big event, Frenchman's Frolic, a reenactment of a pre-1850s rendezvous camp, is coming Oct. 21-22, 2023. It will feature historic games & contests, black powder shooting, period crafts, historic skills and lifeways, and traders & trade blankets.

Ashlyn Dull of Rockton has been accepted into medical school. She was part of the inaugural class of the McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars at The University of Alabama. The McCollough Institute, endowed by Dr. Gaylon and Mrs. Susan McCollough, attracts aspiring medical professionals who want to pursue a wide range of fields including law, business, health care-related paths and even furthering graduate studies. And it worked: all nineteen members were accepted into medical school. At Hononegah, Ashlyn was on the swim team, claiming she chose it "partially because I’m very uncoordinated, but also because I feel most comfortable in the water."

This week is National 4-H Week. The local 4-H club is showcasing their crafts and other information in the windows at Taylor + Max on Main Street Rockton. Families can also stop by to pick up free materials and fun activities for the kids. The shop's owner, Lisa Washington of Roscoe, describes 4-H as "about character building, arts, crafts and nature. Better than playing video games all day."

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