The History Behind BagelFest

For those of you who don’t know, July 26 is National BagelFest Day. What is BagelFest you ask? BagelFest is a 5-day celebration that takes place in Mattoon, Illinois.

The idea for the event is credited to Murray Lender, owner of Bagel Factory and Lender’s Bagels. When the Bagel Factory first came to the town of Mattoon, Illinois, Lender hosted a free bagel breakfast for all the citizen of the city. This breakfast eventually evolved into a multiple-day festival that celebrates the community every year.

Every year the festival has a Miss BagelFest Contest, a Bagel Baby Contest, a parade and live music. The 2015 BagelFest took place from July 14 to July 18 and marked the 30th year anniversary of the festival.