32nd annual Mattoon Bagelfest kicks off Tuesday

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Mattoon, Ill. (WAND) - The 32nd annual Bagelfest begins its festivities on Tuesday with two contests. Throughout the week, the festival features live music, food from local businesses, games and carnival rides. 

The festival started in 1986 when Murray Lender brought Lender's bagels to downtown Mattoon for a free bagel breakfast. Lender wanted to show the town what a bagel was since many in the Midwest had not had one before. That's when the tradition of a free bagel breakfast first began. 

Mattoon Tourism and Arts Director Angelia Burgett says the annual festival brings out the best of Mattoon with help from local vendors, sponsors and volunteers. 

"When the community gets together and it showcases the best of us, I think that's always good and people really sort of put this on their calendar as a big part of their childhood and their family, so you know it's important to keep it around," Burgett says.

Events start Tuesday and go through Saturday. The free bagel breakfast will take place on Saturday from 8-10 a.m. in Peterson Park. 

Country artist and American Idol winner Trent Harmon will perform on Saturday on the main stage from 8-10 p.m. Doors will open at 6. 

For a full list of the schedule and events, check out Bagelfest's website

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