Chamber Businss Spotlight of the Week for November 11, 2019 - Carterville Lions Club

This week's Business Spotlight is the Carterville Lions Club.

The Carterville Lions Club was Chartered on May 25,1922. The Lions Club sponsors and operates the annual Carterville Free Fair, the Haunted Hayride, and Candy Day program. In addition to events, the Lions Club also takes on various community projects, like installing electrical pedestals at Cannon Park, sponsoring the hearing aid bus operated by the Lions of Illinois, sponsoring the Diabetic Retinopathy van at the annual JALC health fair and screening the eyes of children between 6 months and 6 years in Carterville and surrounding communities.

A little history about the Carterville Free Fair, which began in 1912. It was first sponsored by the Elles Store and it was initially called "Farmers' and Merchants' Fair." It was organized by downtown merchants. In its early days, the Free Fair emphasized the importance of Carterville as a trading center to farmers. It was the only fair that didn't charge people to enter events, such as nail driving contests, egg races, and mule races and best display of chickens, pigeons, and geese, etc. because merchants donated prizes to each winner. Everyone wanted to come to Carterville because it was a free fair. One of the fair's main events, at least since 1942, was the Carterville Free Fair Queen Pageant. The Lions' Club took over the Free Fair responsibilities in the 1950s and they continue bringing the Fair to our community today. It is one of Carterville Lions Club's biggest fundraisers which helps support all of the great things they do for the community and for children with hearing and eyesight needs and for providing scholarships.

Some information obtained from - Carterville, Cambria & Crainville: A Look Back at Our Towns (2011) by Jennifer Spence and Sherri Hunter.

You are invited to consider becoming a Carterville Lions Club member and to be part of doing great things for our communities!

The club meets at 6:30 pm every Thursday at 300 E. Illinois in Carterville. Call 618-985-6868 or visit for more details about this organization.