Tuesday, July 17 - Saturday, July 21
Mattoon, Illinois (a city of just under 20,000 people located about 180 miles south of Chicago)
According to the festival's website: "When the Bagel Factory was new to the Midwestern town of Mattoon, owner Murray Lender hosted a free bagel breakfast for the City of Mattoon. That was the beginning of the local love affair with the bagel and the beginning of the Bagelfest. Today, the breakfast has evolved into a three-day festival that celebrates the best of the Mattoon community."
Around 40,000 people are expected to enjoy a broad spectrum of bagel-related events. Don't miss the Beautiful Baby Bagel Contest Wednesday at 6 p.m., and the opening of the beer tent (!!!) at 5 p.m. Friday. Things really ramp Saturday, with the Bagelfest Parade at 10:30 a.m. Rounding things out is a special concert by Ronnie Milsap ("Stranger in My House") on the Main Stage that night at 8 p.m.
Bagels were invented in Poland, most likely in the 16th or 17th century.
According to industry statistics, the top 10 U.S bagel manufacturers sold an estimated 180 million bagels between them in 2010.