Sandy Kaczmarski – Work History

The Farmside

Editor of The Farmside, a weekly community newspaper serving the growing areas of Huntley, Marengo, and Union, Illinois. Tenure was brief (October, 2006 – March, 2007) due to change in management which resulted in many beheadings. I wrote about the demise of the small town newspapers on HuffingtonPost.com. Made assignments to stringers, handled all correspondence, photos, layout of 16- to 20-page weekly.

  • Worked with local officials including police, trustees, county clerk, county sheriff and township supervisor
  • Expanded number of local by-line stories by covering area events and meetings
  • Photographer for by-line articles
  • Managed design layout each week

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farmside


Huntley’s Turkey Testicle Festival friers ready
By Sandy Kaczmarski, Editor (published: 11/16/06)
The friers are ready and the testicles have been ordered. All 1,280 pounds of them.
“We ran out early last year, so I ordered more this time,” said Mark McDonald, owner of the Parkside Pub in downtown Huntley, where the popular festival of turkey private parts will be celebrated Wednesday, Nov. 22, for the 24th year.
McDonald has owned the Parkside for 19 years, and inherited the festival from the previous owner. He said during his first year, 80 pounds of testicles were served.
While he was reluctant to divulge any trade secrets, McDonald said he orders his turkey testicles from a processing plant in Iowa. He developed his own recipe and starts with raw, bite-sized testicles that are washed and breaded with a mix that uses Bisquick as a base and includes different kinds of peppers for a spicy taste.
About 5,000 people attended the Turkey Testicle Festival last year, which starts at 11 a.m. and continues to 1:15 a.m. Tickets cost $10 each for anyone 21 and older. McDonald uses the ticket money for tents and other costs for the event including the $3.89 per pound price of the testicles. The rest is given to local charities.
“Last year, we donated $28,000 to the Huntley Lions, Jaycees and other local charities,” McDonald said. “A $1,000 scholarship was given to the high school through the Jaycees — all testicle money.”
Patrons can purchase sweatshirts, hats, tank tops, T-shirts and beer huggies with festival logos. Bus service throughout Huntley will be expanded this year, because it was so well-received last year. Four buses will make a total of 25 stops in the north and south areas of the village, generally following school bus routes.
“A lot of people party at home, then see the bus go by and get on,” he said. “They don’t have to worry about parking and will get a ride home.”
McDonald said additional parking will be available this year at the Dean Foods on Mill Street.
Entertainment by various bands will start at 2 p.m. with Going South; followed at 5 p.m. by Street Corner Blues; at 8 p.m. by Hans and the Hormones; and at 11 p.m. by Dirty Deeds. For more information, call (847) 669-8496 or check the Web site at www.turkeytesticlefestival.com.
Oh, and what do they taste like?
“Chicken livers.”

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