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Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 1 | Speedkin

Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 1

Last weekend, Charlie and I headed up to Dadant to attend their 150th Anniversary Celebration.  We started off the morning at their candle facility in Kahoka, Missouri, where we met up with blogger Christopher Beeson of Show Me The Honey.  He did a great write up of all the tours here.

Now, some of you know how I get when I’m sleep deprived, right?  Spacy doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Heh.  Anyhow, I’m pretty sure I walked through 99% of the tour with my mouth hanging open, maybe a little drool dribbling down the side of my chin.  I really didn’t expect a candle factory to be that cool but it really was.  I think our favorite part was the “snow” room where they drizzle a fine coating of melted paraffin onto a cylinder to cool, then scrape it off and roll it around inside of the cylinder to round the little bitty bits of paraffin.  It looked like what you’d imagine Santa’s Workshop to look like at the North Pole.  The only thing that would have made it even cooler is if that part of it was real wax instead of paraffin.

They make not only real beeswax candles there but also many paraffin candles.  They make stick candles, votives, giant pillars for the Catholic Church, decorative candles is all sorts of shapes and colors.  If you ever get the chance to tour their candle factory, do it.

Unfortunately, they didn’t let us take pictures on any of the tours or you can bet I’d have had one of the snow room for ya!  Instead, we made it through the gift shop (with a few candles that happened to jump in our bags) and took a pic outside.



Then we were off to the main Dadant building in Hamilton, Illinois, where we go to buy our beekeeping supplies.  Talk about busy!  We had to wait a bit for a tour — and that was a very good thing because I got some much-needed coffee into me.  Unfortunately, it didn’t help much because the entire tour is just a blurry whirlwind in my brain.  A blur of machines and wood and wax…  Seriously, I don’t remember anything after the coffee and donuts.  How funny.

Next up was the metalworks plant in Dallas City, Illinois.  After more caffeine.  Like, serious caffeine.  By the time we got there, I was once again halfway alert but I’d lost Chris.  Oy.  Way to make a good first impression, Diane.  *thumbs up*  The metal factory was pretty neat but the tour was very short, only about 10 minutes.  Our guide, although a very nice woman, didn’t seem to know much about how things worked but she gave us free reign to oogle over everything.  After we had left, Chris arrived & later texted me that he had the ultimate tour.  See what I get for being ditzy?  Sheesh.  Next time, I’m tying ropes to all of us like a bunch of children so I don’t get lost and miss the good stuff.  :-)

The tours of all three facilities were open to any and all.  Later in the evening and the following day, there were meals and presentations for those who had preregistered.  So off Charlie & I went to Friday evening’s banquet back in Hamilton…

We saw several folks from our bee club there and got to sit next to Russ, Leann, and Janet & Bob, all from our local club.  I would come to really appreciate this particular seating choice as the weekend wore on.  Another beekeeper, Roland, and his son plopped down next to us, having met Janet & Bob earlier in the day.  Now, let me tell you, if you ever want to learn a giant, heaping buttload of information as quickly as your brain can soak it in — sit between Russ and Roland!  Holy information overload.  Geez.  I think I learned more from the discussion at the table over the weekend than I have thus far, to date, from all previous sources.  And there was lasagna.  Lasagna always makes me feel smarter.

The banquet was followed by (or was it preceded by?) a speech from James Tew.  He is an amazing speaker, should you ever get the chance to hear him.  There was no real meat to Friday evening’s speech, being a lighthearted, fun one just to welcome us and get everyone ready for the meat of Saturday’s presentations.  That’s a good thing, though, because the caffeine was starting to wear off by then and I was getting stupidly slap happy.

I’ll go ahead and post this portion and start writing up Saturday’s presentation later tonight and tomorrow.  I hope to have it all up by Tuesday evening when MVBA meets.  *crossing fingers*

5 Responses to “Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 1”

  1. Gail Curry March 26, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    I just love reading your posts – they are so very refreshing.

  2. LeAnn Moyers March 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    You are such a descriptive writer. I didn’t get a chance to tour the various buildings, but I don’t feel left out.


  1. Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 2 | Speedkin - March 26, 2013

    […] Part 1 here. […]

  2. Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 3 | Speedkin - March 26, 2013

    […] Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here. […]

  3. Dadant’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Part 4 | Speedkin - March 26, 2013

    […] Part 1 here.  Part 2 here.  Part 3 here. […]

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