Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a pigeon show!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a pigeon show!

By Francesca Boston

The Jacksonville Area Pigeon Club is putting on its 47th annual Pigeon Show. This year’s show is a commemorative in honor of June Trone. Trone was one of the founders of the Jacksonville Area Pigeon Club back in 1973. 

Sarah Brown, the Pigeon Club’s secretary, said that show typically sees around 20 exhibitors from the local area and surrounding states. There are typically around 200 pigeons of every size, shape and color that will be judged at the show. 

“I compare [the show] to dog shows, that kind of thing. Every breed has a standard. The judges look for the bird that best exemplifies the qualities of that breed,” Brown says. 

There are around 35 different breeds of pigeons that have entered the show in the past. Each breed has subcategories broken down by age and gender. These are young hen, young cock, old hen and old cock. Any animal born after the first of January is classified as a young bird. 

Brown said this show is open to the public, and they typically see a good number of families who will attend. There will be food available at the show. Brown said that many of the families who attend have children in 4-H, as they come to the show to ask questions about pigeons, to get involved in the hobby or to find a new 4-H project. 

“Everybody’s welcome to come, have lunch and kind of spend the morning, early afternoon … learning about pigeons. There’s no fee to come in and watch the judging,” Brown says. 

Newcomers will also be able to purchase pigeons at this show, as some exhibitors who come to the show are there to buy and sell pigeons, rather than entering them to be judged. A new addition to the show this year is Kalmbach Feeds, a feed, supply and equipment company. The company will be at the show this year as a vendor. 

The event will be held at the McGee Spaulding Pavilion in Nichols Park, Jacksonville on November 13. Judging will start around 10 a.m., but Brown says the public is welcome to come by any time after 8 a.m. 

To learn more, go to the club’s website at or visit their Facebook page, Jacksonville Area Pigeon Club. To enter the show, contact the Jacksonville Area Pigeons Club at or 217-242-9422. 

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