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Harvard Milk Days

Harvard Milk Days

Harvard is most famous for its annual festival held the first weekend of June, Harvard Milk Days. It is the longest running festival in the state of Illinois dating back to the first celebration in the spring of 1942. It all started as a way to honor area dairy farmers who were producing vast amounts of milk for the servicemen and women during World War II.

From those humble beginnings, Milk Days has evolved into a two week long festival with events ranging from a Milk Day Roast, Bed Races, Prince, Princess and Queen contests. Cattle and Horse Shows, Tractor and Mini-Tractor Pulls, Farm Tours, A Milk Run, Carnival and the famous Milk Day Parade.

The parade flows down the Milky Way, a street painted white, for two hours or more. It has attracted local and national political figures and entertainment personalities including Governors, Senators, Miss Americas, the Budweiser Clydesdales, radio, television, sports personalities and even “Mickey Mouse” from Disney World.

Harvard Milk Days

The Harvard Milk Days Festival provides a time to re-establish the belief in the Harvard hometown spirit every year during the first weekend of June.

It has also been the inspiration for Harvard’s most famous resident, Harmilda, a fiberglass cow that sits at the five point’s intersection of Highway 14 and 173 in Harvard. Harmilda is a constant reminder of Harvard’s past and has become the City’s mascot and yet another source of community pride for Harvard residents.

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