ALEDO, Ill. — This weekend marks the 25th year of Aledo’s Rhubarb Festival, and the occasion will be marked with Suzy Bogguss returning to her hometown to perform at the Aledo Central Park Band Shell.
The Nashville recording artist will host a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday. The 1975 Aledo High School graduate admits she gets a bit more nervous performing in front of familiar faces.
“Part of that is because my mind starts spinning with memories,” Bogguss said. “When you’re looking out into an audience of people that you grew up with and that have seen you fall down and skin your knees and do all the stuff that you do while growing up, I can’t help but let my mind wander.”
Bogguss, who lives in the Nashville area, also performed at the Aledo Rhubarb Festival in 2009.
“I think about not seeing this person or that person in a really long time, and it will be great to be back with a hometown crowd,” she said.
Bogguss, a former Aledo High School homecoming queen, also will receive her Mercer County High School (Aledo and Westmer consolidated district) Hall of Fame plaque when she’s back in town. She was inducted in February but couldn’t make it back for the ceremony.
Also as part of the 25th year for the festival, the city has unveiled an 11-foot-tall by 13-foot-wide permanent rhubarb statue at the Illinois 17/94 interchange. The sculpture was designed by Aledo sign maker Mike Clark.
This also will be the final year that Darlene Johnson serves as chair of the event. She founded the festival.