Seed Spittin' and Soul Savin' | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

Seed Spittin' and Soul Savin' 

Fire, Brimstone, and Home Cooking at the Methodist Camp Ground Fair

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It was 1860 when a group of Methodists first trooped out to the banks of the Des Plaines River for a revival meeting, and they've been doing it ever since. Since 1865 they've been meeting at the same spot--a 25-acre hideaway tucked between two forest preserves that's 12 minutes and a world away from O'Hare Airport. This weekend's Country Fair at the historic Des Plaines Methodist Camp Ground is a fund-raiser that will feature reenactments of Civil War battles (the camp was a training ground) and (not for the squeamish) battleground surgery. There will also be a craft sale, an 1860s-style baseball game, a quilt show, swimming, hayrides, folk music, and home-cooked food along with pie-eating and watermelon-seed-spitting contests and some authentic revival-style preachin'. The 42nd annual Country Fair Fundraiser runs from 9 to 5 Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13, at the campground, 1250 Campground Road (at Algonquin Road just east of River Road) in Des Plaines. Admission is free; parking is $2. Call 877-376-8624 or check it out at

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