This weekend, just over an hour from Rockford, you can visit this Illinois festival that celebrates of all things a vegetable stew.

Yes, a stew gets it's own festival.

So what is this festival?

It's the Burgoo Festival in Utica, IL

If you're scratching your head thinking "What the HECK is Burgoo?"

It's a sort of vegetable stew that's made of "beef, carrots, potatoes, hominy, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, and other vegetables carefully blended with special spices and herbs. It is cooked outdoors for between 12 and 18 hours over a wood-burning fire that gives it a special taste." (LaSalle County Historical Society)

The early versions of Burgoo were made with "made with wild game such as venison or squirrel, and whatever the pioneers grew."

Here's what a small bowl of Burgoo looks like.

Susan Tyler; Townsquaremedia
Susan Tyler; Townsquaremedia

Yes, this is a picture that I took of the bowl I enjoy on a chilly, crisp fall day a few years ago.

The festival is all about celebrating the pioneers who settled in Illinois and most likely ate a stew much like Burgoo.

This weekend the town is celebrating it's 49th year in the making Burgoo. It's both this Saturday and Sunday, October 6th & 7th.

By the way, the  hearty stew won't be ready to eat until Sunday. In the meantime, you can enjoy shopping the Canal Market that has over 90 vendors. Plus there's a car show Saturday along with live entertainment.

On Sunday, you can eat your fill of the Burgoo and enjoy checking out their craft and antique vendors. There will be live entertainment along with children's game a 50/50 raffle and more.

To see more and to help plan your weekend adventure to trying out Burgoo visit their website by clicking here. Or visit their Facebook at LaSalle County Burgoo.

Happy eating.


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