Illinois Horse Fair @ Illinois State Fairgrounds
Mar 7 @ 9:00 am – Mar 9 @ 7:00 pm

New for 2014, the Heartland Horseman’s Challenge is a judged competition all three days where four-horsemen/women are given an opportunity to choose and work with a rescue horse, culminating in a freestyle ride and challenge course. The Challenge will allow horsemen to showcase their program and potential talents of their chosen horse, which will be available for adoption throughout the event. Fri., Sat., 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily admission $10 or weekend pass is $25. Special events $10 general seating or $15 preferred seating. or 217-529-6503.

Living History at Fort Massac State Park @ Fort Massac State Park
Mar 8 @ 10:00 am – Mar 9 @ 4:00 pm

L’ecole du Soldat or School of the Soldier will be held for French troops. French and Indian War period living historians from throughout the Midwest will attend this two-day training session. You will see the Marines and the malice as they learn the weapons, drills, marching and tactical maneuvers of the French military in the 1750s. Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 618-524-9321.

Spring Home Expo @ Pavilion of the City of Marion
Mar 8 @ 10:00 am – Mar 9 @ 4:00 pm

Annual Home Expo includes more than 70 vendors showing off the latest styles in home décor, improvement and landscaping. Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $4, ages 12 and under are free. or 618-529-5085.

St. Peter’s United Church of Christ Sausage Supper @ St. Peter’s United Church of Christ
Mar 8 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This supper, started in 1940, is still going strong. Menu includes sausage patties, sauerkraut, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, applesauce, drink and dessert. 4 to 7 p.m. Carry out is available. Adults $10, children 5-12 yrs. $5, under 5 is free. or 217-356-3635.

The Irish Comedy Tour @ Effingham Performance Center
Mar 12 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

. For one night, the EPC becomes an Irish pub, its party atmosphere defined by a boisterous, belly-laugh band of hooligans who will have you “Dublin” over in laughter. They’re Irish, they’re American and they’re not holding back! Be sure to catch them from 7:30-10 p.m. Tickets are $35, $25 and $21. or 217-540-2788.

Poetry Out Loud-Illinois State Contest @ Hoogland Center for the Arts
Mar 14 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

High school students who won school and regional recitation contests vie for the state championship, thereby earning a spot at the national Poetry Out Loud competition. They will recite three poems.1-3:30 p.m. or 217-753-3519.

Family Fun-Maple Syrup Time @ Rock Springs Nature Center
Mar 15 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Experience the process of making maple syrup. See how a tree is tapped and how the sap becomes syrup! 1:30 p.m. Free, but reservations required by 3/14. or 217-423-7708.

Midnight Fishing @ Rock Springs Nature Center
Mar 21 @ 10:00 pm – 11:45 pm

Bring your equipment to Rock Springs’ Information Shelter for a unique chance to fish the Cattail Ponds at night. We recommend lit bobbers and worms for bait. Fishing licenses required for those who need them. Fee is $5/person. 10 p.m.-midnight. Register by 3/20. or 217-423-7708.

Spring Floral Show @ Washington Park Botanical Garden
Mar 22 @ 12:00 pm – Apr 6 @ 4:00 pm

Easter lilies and lush tropical foliage fill the Exhibit Hall and Conservatory for the annual display. Daily noon-4 p.m.

Quilt Spectrum 2014 @ Central Catholic High School
Mar 28 @ 10:00 am – Mar 29 @ 4:00 pm

A Quilter’s Legacy
presented by Hands All Around Quilt Guild

Featured artist: Cheryl Adam, a quilt designer. Two of her pieces are on display at the Transportation Center in Normal.

More than 200 quilts displayed. A bed turning featuring quilts of Juanita Engel, special exhibits, quilt vendors, quilter’s boutique and door prizes.