Turasky's has been with Decatur Celebration from the beginning of the event, planted on the northeast corner of Central Park. The Springfield catering company specializes in butterfly pork chops and ribeye sandwiches, and has expanded its menu in the three-plus decades they've been coming to Decatur.
Al Hartman of Springfield, 60, has worked every Celebration for Turasky's, and he has a plan. He nodded across the street to Subway as a place he might go for a meal when he gets a break.
Alex Hope is working with Hartman. Hope had been part of the family operation working the booth at Celebration, the Illinois State Fair, and other venues. He left for a time, but returned last year. His return included working Celebration.
“I like to go explore and try some other things,” he said. "We'll have some downtime at some point."
He has that advantage over Jeremy and Krista Jewell of Argenta. They are operating the taco fries booth on Franklin Street, across from the post office. “We really don't get a break,” Jeremy said. “We drink a lot of water.”
“And we have cold sandwiches,” Krista said, “but we keep really busy. It's always crowded. Sometimes we have to literally slam down the windows in front of people. Celebration tells us when we have to shut down. People get really angry with us.”
“That's because they're crazy about taco fries,” Jeremy said.
This is the couple's fourth year at Celebration. They're working for Matt Hauersperger of Maroa, who inherited the Celebration spot when he bought the food truck. Jeremy's day job is in bioproducts at ADM, and Krista is a stay-at-home mother.