951 S. Greenmount, Belleville, IL, 62220 / Cake artist: Mary Hessler
One of Belleville’s iconic attractions began as a simple roadside fruit stand in 1910. Today it is run by 6th and 7th-generation Eckert family members. The orchard is operated on what was once known as ‘Turkey Hill’, where fruit trees were first planted in 1890. Since its inception, it has evolved into a successful retail, restaurant, and of course, fruit stand! It also just happens to be the largest pick-your-own orchard in the United States.
Eckert’s, which has branched out three other locations (Grafton, St. Louis, Millstadt), is open all-year round. Many festivals take place, such as the Strawberry Festival. Live bands perform here during the summer weekends.
Cake placement date: February 26
Where is the cake now?: The cake still sits outside. (April 2017)