Bagelfest in Mattoon, Illinois, in July Bagelfest in Mattoon, Illinois, in July

Big Bagel Bash in Mattoon

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The small breakfast treat called “bagel” is recognized in a huge way each July at Bagelfest in Mattoon.

Since 1986, Lender’s Bagels factory has been attracting thousands of people to its bagel celebration, and the host likes to throw a good party.

Bagelfest hosts the World’s Largest Bagel Breakfast, which hands out tens of thousands of bagels, complete with cream cheese, honey, butter and jelly.

Also among the event’s activities are a parade, a beauty pageant, concerts, vendors and a carnival. There’s even a Beautiful Bagel Baby contest for kids up to age 5.

Bagelfest used to boast the world’s biggest bagel, which weighed 563 pounds, according to the 1997 Guinness Book of World Records. Find out more about the event, including this year’s dates and schedule of events, at

All this talk of bagels has us wondering – what’s your favorite type of bagel? Do you prefer plain bagels with cream cheese only, blueberry bagels with fresh jam or everything bagels with, well, everything? Or do you enjoy a specialty bagel topping, such as cinnamon raisin with peanut butter? Let us know in the comments!

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Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions and travel advisories, many upcoming events have been canceled or postponed. Please check with local tourism offices and event organizers for the most up-to-date information.
Updates from the Illinois Department of Public Health