Be sure to keep an eye out for the Color Drive Flag.  Each official WELCOME BOOTH will be displaying this flag during the Color Drive Weekend !


Press Releases

April 26th 2018 

Pike County Color Drive 2018 Cancelled 

It is with heavy heart that we regret to inform you that Pike County Color Drive will no longer be held October of this year 2018. The president of the Color Drive held a meeting with all members of the committee on April 16th 2018 to discuss previous events of the Color Drive's past and what could be done to prevent this from happening again. 
If you are not aware, two years ago there was an edible item sold at one of the many Color Drive locations in the county that made several visitors ill. As a result of this happening there are currently multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the Color Drive and its officers. As a committee we researched and talked with more that one local insurance agent to see what was available and what said insurance would cost. Each agent stated to fully insure the Color Drive, that the Color Drive itself had to have an event liability policy, each location had to have it's own event liability policy, and each vendor had to purchase their own event liability policy covering the two day event. Once we had a plan in place, we asked for an estimate on the amount of premium it would take to get this accomplished.  Aside from the Color Drive itself and each location it would still cost all vendors $300-$500 each for their policy, unless there could provide proof of their own insurance.   After this discovery and learning all food vendors would be subject to a health department inspection, which came with it's own fee, we had many locations drop out immediately due to the high cost of insuring the event. As a result of over half the locations leaving the event we felt that we had no choice but to discontinue with the event this year. 
Sincerely Pike County Color Drive


October tradition continues with the 2011 Pike County Fall Color Drive

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011, PITTSFIELD, IL - With the third full weekend in October comes one of the most exciting and important events in Pike County - the Pike County Fall Color Drive.  October 15th and 16th mark the 23rd anniversary of the Color Drive.  Begun as a way to promote local crafters, artisans, and communities within Pike County by attracting visitors to the county during the peak fall foliage time, the Color Drive has grown dramatically.  

The Pike County Fall Color Drive is the only countywide event held annually. Area residents support participating communities by displaying their crafts, providing food services, and volunteering their time to assist with the event.  Besides our spectacular fall scenery, Pike County also has a rich Lincoln and Civil War history attracting history buffs as well. 

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce is the sponsoring organization of the Pike County Color Drive. The Chamber’s Executive Director, Kaye Iftner serves on the Executive Team, along with co-chairs Peggy Hill and Marilyn Hyde, Treasurer Lois Pennock, and Secretary Sue Gleckler.  These officers were selected by members of the county-wide committee of participating community representatives. 

Over 20 communities participate in the Pike County Color Drive each year.  Each official stop has a site manager who handles the details of the stop’s activities and manages the site’s vendors. These site managers serve on the county-wide committee, which has been meeting since last year’s event to discuss issues and opportunities and share information.  This county-wide cooperation has been one of the keys to the event’s growth and success.

The Color Drive is funded by contributions from the towns and village governments, as well as vendor fees and business donations.  The contributions and fees are used to print the Color Drive map/brochure and fund advertising and promotion to bring people in to visit from outside of Pike County. 

The Pike County Fall Color Drive has an informational website (, which has been updated to include the activities in each participating community.  A new map/brochure is in production and will be available next week.  For general information call the Chamber office at 217-285-2971. Site Managers are listed on the Color Drive web site.

Click here to download pdf copy of the above press release.


Local Media Coverage


Oct. 20 2010  Pike Press (webposted 11/15/10)

Good weather invites crowds out for the Color Drive

By:Beth ZumwaltOctober 20, 2010

Two sunny days brought out the crowds for the Pike County Color Drive this weekend, giving the 22 communities involved good crowds throughout both days.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kaye Iftner said that she has been hearing reports of great attendance on Saturday with smaller crowds on Sunday, which is normal.

“All the feedback I have gotten has said that we got good crowds,” Iftner said. “We had good crowds and the vendors seemed pleased and many of the food stands used up all their food.”

Iftner said that she talked to a few vendors who said they had to go back home to replenish food stocks before coming back Sunday for the second day of the Color Drive.

“I had a vendor tell me that she ran out of jelly and had to go home and make more,” Iftner said.

She added that it may sound bad that people ran out of food, but she said for fundraisers, it means that groups that need funding were helped greatly this year.

The weather also played nice with the Color Drive this year, giving people mild temperatures for the weekend. Iftner said that she heard a lot of people say the weekend was a step up from last year because of the cold front that came in that year. She added that people seemed more excited to be out for both days instead of just one.

“I would say that it certainly gets people out and about,” Iftner said. “When it is a beautiful day on Sunday, people just go out. It really encourages attendance. Then again, we have die-hards who go, rain or shine.”

One of the places that drew the most interest was the petting zoo in Nebo. She said she heard a good number of people talk about the wallaby that was being shown along with the camels. She added that having events like the petting zoo allowed children to have more things to take part in compared to last year.

The seven stamps required on the Color Drive map were another thing that got people out. Since the number of stamps was reduced from nine to seven stamps, Iftner said towns have been bringing in collected maps in bigger numbers compared to last year.

If there was any negative feedback Iftner heard throughout the weekend, it would only be the crowds that came into Pittsfield that clogged up traffic throughout town.

Some of the other things that Iftner said she was happy with were the new website, the Color Drive Facebook page and the number of volunteers who came out to help with the weekend events.

This year, a videographer also traveled throughout the county and recorded many of the sights and sounds of the Color Drive. Iftner said the video will be used for marketing for next year’s Color Drive and added that it will be on the website once it has been completed.


Hammering home a tradition

With a hot forge, an anvil and a hammer, Jerry Grimes, of Pittsfield, is preserving an art form that could be lost in a world of ever increasing dependency on technology.

In the heart of Time during the Pike County Fall Color Drive weekend, Grimes demonstrated an art form that harkened back to an era before computers as he forges a variety of metals into shapes for the audience.

Grimes enjoys being out amongst the crowds, because he said the gatherings feel more like a get-together instead of just a stop on the Color Drive.

“It was a wonderful reunion,” Grimes said. “They really do serve as a kind of reunion.”

He said that he talked with other vendors about how wonderful Time was as a location for the Color Drive. He added that people enjoyed watching him work.

“These festivals go off like clockwork,” Grimes said. “What I like most is meeting the people.”

Grimes has been blacksmithing since 1976 and said that he loves the creative element of it. He added that he hopes that his work helps keep the tradition of blacksmithing alive.

“We promote and preserve blacksmithing so it doesn’t become a dead art,” Grimes said. “At least we know the technique and we know how it is done.”

He said he often goes to local events, such as Pig Days, to show off his craft to curious people. For the most part, blacksmithing serves as a family hobby.

“I kind of tinkered with it for 10 years and then started doing a few festivals,” Grimes said. “I’ve done the Color Drive for a long time.”

He said that he got his start through his mentor, Kelly Moore, from Milton. He also said he was inspired by Ron Laux, from Pearl, who loaned him an anvil at one point.

“Those two men were really helpful,” Grimes said. “But Kelly was the one that got me started from day one.”

Grimes said that he intends to have another blacksmithing booth next year. He added that his family, including his children and grandchildren, have been part of the blacksmithing tradition.

©Pike Press 2010


Sept. 19 2008  Pike Press (webposted 09/23/08 11:16)

Fall Color Drive heads into full planning mode
By:Beth ZumwaltSeptember 19, 2008
With the Pike County Fall Color Drive just four weeks away, organizers are in full planning mode. 
"It's hard to believe it's so close," Peggy Hill, one of the event organizers, said. "It's really starting to pick up. We're getting lots of calls."
Hill said while the slate of events is being set, there are still possibilities for vendors, demonstrators or entertainers. Anyone who would like to have a booth, do a demonstration, supply entertainment or participate in any way is urged to call either Peggy Hill or the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.
"We'd love to have every place as full as we can get it," Hill said. "Demonstrations or things to do are very popular and we'd like to have as many as we can." 
According to Hill, there will be 22 different sites on the drive, with a possibility of more.
"That's about the same as last year," she said. "But the potential for more is very exciting." 
Hill said the idea of having a Lincoln theme has been a good one for the drive.
"Several towns have decided to play up their Lincoln angle," Hill said. 
Pittsfield is planning a re-enactment of Lincoln's trip from the Colonel Ross home, east of town, to the courthouse lawn. Lincoln was escorted Oct. 1, 1958 when he was running for the Senate. He was brought into town in a carriage drawn by six black horses and escorted by 100 young women dressed in white and on horseback.
"We're not going to have the 100 young women dressed in white," Kathy Zimmerman of the Lincoln Project said. "We are going to have a horse-drawn carriage of some sort." 
Once "Lincoln" arrives at the courthouse, he will speak on the south courthouse steps before introducing U.S. Representative Ray LaHood, who plans to attend. LaHood is on the Lincoln bicentennial planning commission.
Perry has also embraced the1860s era by having a campaign pole raising. Perry hosted one in 1860, and according to reports, 1,000 men attended. 
"That number doesn't include women and children because in those days they didn't count women and children," Zimmerman said.
The community also plans to have a tribute to General Grant's March of Fame.
Grant and his troops were on a recruiting mission and crossed into Pike County just west of Naples. The group camped just east of Perry for a short while before being called away.
Aaron McCombs is working at having a Lincoln connections to the Fall Color Drive.
"To begin the celebration of President Lincoln's Bicentennial Birthday this year's color drive will emphasize a Lincoln presence," McCombs said. 
Abe Lincoln impersonator will be visiting different communities within the county. Pleasant Hill is focusing on Lincoln's visit to the town's well."
McCombs said the Pleasant Hill Color Drive committee is planning to host 'bucket races' at the fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct. 17 around 4:00 p.m., if there is enough interest. The races would consist of individuals and teams. Teams could consist of two to ten members. To register please call McCombs at 734-9267.
The Color Drive is also looking for a wishing well that can be placed at the fairgrounds for pictures to be taken during Lincoln's visit. If you have a wishing well you would be willing to lend for the event contact Aaron McCombs at 734-9267.
Griggsville will be moving to the fair grounds this year.
New Griggsville coordinator Sheila Boes said the high traffic flow was the main reason for the move.
"I feel it's a safer location," she said. " It is still along Route 107. There is plenty of room for vendors, parking, it's handicap accessible and camping sites are available."
Boes says the fairground will be divided into areas with craft vendors in one section, flea markets in another and the food court in yet a different section. 
"We'll have picnic tables, benches and entertainment," she said. "If you would like to share your talent please call me for details."
Also in store at Griggsville is K and T Llamas from Oxville. Demonstrations on llama handling and handspun lama yarn will be ongoing. Backyard Pony Cart rides from Beardstown will also be in the kids/family area and an antique tractor show will be both days with vendors selling sought after parts for antique tractor restoration. . 
El Dara is planning a Civil War fashion show and Detroit will have a Lincoln-era log cabin on display.
Kinderhook plans a salute to the Pike's Peak Ocean Road and Barry will give cemetery tours. There is also a possibility of events at New Philadelphia.
New vendors are being placed in an equalized manner.
"If somebody calls, we try to send them to a place and then the next caller goes to the next one on the list," Hill said. " A lot of them want to be in the bigger towns, they don't understand that some of these little towns have a lot going on and draw really big crowds."
The committee is looking for all sorts of vendors and events for the weekend. Demonstrations are particularly of interest to those attending the drive.
©Pike Press 2008

Oct. 25, 2007  Pike Press

Organizers say Color Drive best ever

By:Beth ZumwaltOctober 25, 2007
With organizers still tallying the final numbers, the general consensus is this weekend's Color Drive was the best ever.
While final numbers are not available, the sign-in sheets show the bulk of the visitors came from the tri-state area but visitors were also recorded from Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Colorado and Louisiana.
"It is difficult to get an accurate count," Lois Pennock, a Color Drive committee member, said. " Volunteers from the sites felt the crowds were as large as in the past. Visitors say they heard about us through radio ads, television, brochures at rest stops, Internet and newspaper ads."
Pennock said the drive was also included as part of a Honda Bike Tour and a car club.
"I know all the vendors in Pittsfield were happy," Sandy Wigington, Pittsfield coordinator, said. "We had a lady come for the first time with primitive crafts. She said she hoped to make $300 over the weekend. She sold $300 before 9 a.m. Saturday."
Wigington said the crowd on Saturday was bigger than Sunday.
"And it's just different on Saturday," Wigington said. "Saturday is more young families while Sundays are more older people."
Wigington said the firefighter's motorcycle raffle drew a huge crowd. The firefighters sold 800 tickets during the day and then drew Saturday afternoon. 
"A lot of people bought tickets and then stayed for the drawing," Wigington said.
Troy Martin of Baylis was the winner of the bike.
Pleasant Hill coordinator Rachel Scranton agreed crowds in Pleasant Hill were better than ever on Saturday but said Sunday was steady.
"We probably had the biggest crowd ever for a Saturday. Sunday was a bit slower. It wasn't packed like it was Saturday but there were still a lot of people," she said. "All the food vendors were sold out by four p.m."
Scranton said the food vendors were the most popular.
"If people eat everywhere like they eat in Pleasant Hill, they have to roll home," she said. 
Scranton said the perfect weather was a great asset to the drive.
"It was perfect on Saturday and a little windy on Sunday but it was still warm enough to be comfortable."
Scranton said all of her vendors have indicated they would come back next year and several went ahead and signed contracts.
She also said the car show was a big success.
"I don't know how many cars they had, I know it was more than 30. I heard lots of people talking about it," she said.
Pennock said she thought the crowds were big, the weather great and the success overwhelming.
"Everywhere I went there were people having a good time," Pennock said. 
Debbie Harshman said the vendors at Barry were pleased with the event.
"We had some new vendors here and they weren't sure what to expect," she said. "They were happy at the end of the day. We had over 700 sign in on Saturday and about half that on Sunday. The Barry Business Association advertises for Fall Color Drive and that helps our crowd. We have the flea market and people really enjoy looking for that treasure that will remind them of their childhood."
Judi Sutton at El Dara said the village was a beehive of activity all day Saturday.
"We had lots of people," Sutton said. "J.B. Elmore Portraits sold a lot of his work. He sold a lot of Lincoln stuff. He has really nice drawings of Lincoln and he sold a lot of those."
The Fall Color Drive Committee has decided to use the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday and Pike County's strong Lincoln connection as a theme for the 2008 Fall Color Drive.
"We had color drives in the past with themes - quilts and different things," Pennock, of the overall committee, said. "For next year we're going to try Lincoln. We have all these Lincoln sites in Pike County and it would be good to lead us into 2009, when the Lincoln Project committee has a number of things planned for his birthday celebration."
©Pike Press 2007

Web Changes

Aug. 28, 2007

We have posted the latest activity information for each community participating in this year's Color Drive.  Find out what's new by starting here:

Aug. 21, 2007

Check out our new interactive county map.  Each community is hyperlinked to the map; simply click on a town and view it's activity page.


[New!] Pike County Color Drive Establishes Internet Presence