When I was a kid, we’d all get into the family car and drive to my grandparent’s home in Joy, Illinois, located in Mercer County. You could always tell when you crossed the county line into Mercer County because the blacktop road that we took suddenly became a pothole-pocked roadway; half gravel road-half blacktop. Never one to let a mere pothole slow him down, my Dad would swerve and veer around, and occasionally, hit a pothole head on. It was a bumpy and sometimes white-knuckle ride until you became accustomed to it. It’s with this memory that I write about a fictitious festival celebrating the Joy black top with the “Mercer County Pothole Days”. The following would be a line up of the towns festivities on a “bulletin” of sorts.
Mercer County Pothole Days July 12th-15th in beautiful Joy, Illinois.
- The Pothole Parade at 9 AM: Mercer County road graders galore!!
- Have your family’s photo taken on the edge of the worlds largest pothole discovered this past fall by long time Mercer county resident Roger K. It’s been said that Roger located six (as yet) previously undiscovered profane phrases at the bottom of said pothole as he was picking up the remnants of his trucks transmission. Way to go Roger! Keep on diggin’!
- Free face painting for the kids by Potsy the clown and his trusty sidekick Dug!
- The Pot Hole 500 at the Mercer County Fair Grounds in Aledo. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seats watching the daredevil antics of local racecar drivers maneuvering through the gantlet of massive potholes as the pace quickens to 15 miles per hour! Ladies pray for your men! Those with weak constitutions should not attend!
- The Pothole Flea Market and Pot Luck. It’s the best of both worlds! Total strangers feeding you and selling you used car parts off a ’76 Monte Carlo.
- The Pothole Street Dance-Joy Fire Department EMT’s will be on hand for participants who sprang their ankles in potholes. (It is a pothole dance) 1980’s cover band, Rowdy Rich & the Funky Bunch, are playing all of their hits, bringin’ the FUNK back to Mercer county!
- Local historian Louie W. recounts for area youth the struggles of the area’s early settlers and their battle with the indigenous tribe of Native Americans otherwise know as… “the Mexicans.”
- Mercer County Pork Producers Pothole hot dog feed. Hot-dogs just 25 cents a piece! Feed a family of six for just a buck fifty!!
- See the historical exhibit…Potholes of our Forefathers…why did we settle here?
- Pothole Political Debate…Democrats for potholes; Republicans for sinkholes. Fiery mud slinging is sure to ensue! Debate has never been so debatable!
- Pothole Fire Department Challenge…watch our local boys go up against those uppity folks from United Township & Kewanee. First department to fill two miles worth of potholes with asphalt, wins.
- Pothole Pulled Pork Grill-off. Fill a pothole with hot coals, a hog, cover for six hours and BAM! Pothole Pulled Pork!
- Pothole X Games…watch local men in a testosterone-fueled duel of ATV’s going full throttle up a ramp and (hopefully) over a series of potholes that get progressively bigger & deeper. Sponsored by Mercer County Ambulance, Aledo Immediate Care Clinic & Big Al’s Deep Discount Beer Shed. “Nobody sells booze for less, just ask Big Al!”
Come one, come all to this year’s Mercer County Pothole Days Festivities!