Harvard Milk Days

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Event# 815-943-4614

Event Details

Harvard Milk Days is the longest running festival in the state of Illinois. It all began in the spring of 1942 when people got together to honor the area farmers for their "War Effort" of increasing milk and food production for the servicemen. At that time there were seven dairy companies within a 15-mile radius of Harvard and more milk was being produced than anywhere in the United States. Harvard became the self-proclaimed "Milk Center of the World!"

Milk Days grew through the forties and during the 50's mirrored a decade of good times and growth, within Harvard and the country as a whole. The ninth annual festival in 1950, marked the first open cattle show, 165 cattle were entered that year. The Milk Maid style show began in 1953, the dairy derby weight-loss contest added a year later. A record 75,000 people attended the special centennial Milk Day in 1956. The dairy princess contest was held for the first time in 1960. The Farm tours of area dairy operations became a milk Day tradition in 1967.

1970, introduced Harvard's famous fiberglass cow, Harmilda. The first annual Milk Days Horse show was held in 1974. The Milk run, which featured a 2 and 7 mile run was introduced in 1978. The 1976 bicentennial celebration featured Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford.

The 80's marked the addition of some of Milk Days favorite events, bed races, big wheel races, the tractor pull, sock hop and the Milk Days roast. Milk Days continued into the 90's and now 2000's stronger than ever. The huge crowds continue to come the first weekend in June.

Harvard Milk Days

Address : Various locations Harvard IL
Phone : 815-943-4614   (Always call and confirm events.)

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