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Illinois Country Living


Heart Walk19, Macon County Start! Heart Walk at Fairview Park in Decatur. Come out for a day of fun and learn how to live a longer, healthier life while helping the American Heart Association raise funds to fight American’s number one killer. Register at

5, The 10th Annual Lake Sara Dam Run at Lake Sara Dam in Effingham. The run includes a 5K run/5K walk, 8-mile run and a kiddy run. All participants welcome. There is an admission fee. All proceeds go to the Special Olympics. Registration from 8 - 9:45 a.m. 217-347-2711.

5-6, Home and Garden Showcase at Forest Hills Lodge in Machesney Park. More than 100 companies offering an array of products and services for the home and apartment. See the latest trends in landscaping, decks, backyard ponds and waterfalls, remodeling, gazebos, neat gadgets and more! 815-877-8043 or

6, Grada Celtic Ensemble at
Illinois College in Jacksonville.
A blend of contemporary music styles, modern songs and traditional Irish music, Grada has garnered a strong following around the globe. The Celtic quintet has performed at numerous international festivals and played to four consecutive sold-out shows in Dublin before beginning their world tour. The group’s five members play a variety of instruments, some familiar, such as the guitar, fiddle, whistle and flute, and others more traditional Celtic instruments, such as the bouzouki and the bodhran. 217-245-3000 or

6, 13, 20, 27, Birdwatching Kayak Tour on the Galena River. A leisurely hour and a half tour learning about and observing birds and their habitat on the Mississippi River backwaters. Reservations required. 815-776-9425 or

10-12, The Totally Rockin’ ‘80s Prom at historic Turner Hall in Galena. Put on your dancing shoes! Travel back in time for this audience-participation dinner theatre celebrating teen angst and ‘80s music. 815-777-0917.

10-13, Charlotte’s Web at the Community Park in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Theatre Guild’s adaptation of the story of a barn spider named Charlotte and her friendship with a pig named Wilbur – Some Pig! 217-243-2420.

12, Pope County FFA Antique Tractor Show on Main Street in Golconda. 619-683-5637.

12, Farmer’s Market Begins in Golconda. Every Saturday morning,
7 a.m. – 12 p.m. through September. 618-683-6246.

12, The 21st Annual Class Pack Automotive – Oil and Gas Memorabilia Motorcycle Swap Meet at the Effingham County Fairgrounds in Altamont. 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. $2. 217-234-6372 or

12, Mineral Springs Haunted Museum Tour in Alton. As part of your haunted tour, experience “a night in the museum” as you browse the torture devices on loan from the Museum of Historic Torture Devices located in the Wisconsin Dells, as well as the history of the devices. 618-465-3200 or

12-13, Fever River Railroad Spring Open House in Freeport. For model railroad aficionados-and everyone else who has ever enjoyed model trains-this model railroad is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 103 by 24 foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad running from Duluth, Minn. to St. Louis, Mo. The railroad intersects with models of “real” railroads, each of which can be operated independently – up to 20 trains can be operating at one time A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures are on display. 815-239-2345 or

18, Jim Brickman at the Raue Center in Crystal Lake. Jim Brickman returns to the Raue Center to present his revolutionary sound of adult contemporary music with his pop-style solo piano. 815-356-9010 or

18-20, River City Air Expo 2008 in Peoria. A spectacular fun-filled event for all ages! This year’s show will feature the US Navy Blue Angels and other popular performers. 309-697-6757 or

18-20, President Grant’s Grand Birthday Celebration in Galena. A variety of events commemorating Grant’s birthday, military encampment, battle re-enactment, 1860s baseball, a Grand Birthday Ball, parade and more. 815-281-0408. or

19, National Federation Lure Collector’s Club 2008 at the Knights of Columbus in Effingham. Come see and have a chance to own antique fishing tackle. The public is invited to bring their antique fishing tackles. You will receive a free appraisal and can put your tackle up for the auction. 217-868-2427.

19, The Third Annual Effingham Artisan Fair on the courthouse lawn in Effingham. The Juried Artisan Fair will be a one-day event recognizing artistic talent of all ages. The attendees will be offered a tour of Sculpture on the Avenues, opportunities to talk with the artists, observe the artists producing their work, view the art work and have the opportunity to purchase art work. They will also be able to enjoy various types of performing arts. 217-342-1234.

19-20, Classics and Chrome in Loves Park. A spectacular indoor car show featuring 100 exceptional antique, classic and specialty autos and motorcycles from throughout the Midwest. A luxury will be raffled off during the show, plus loads of activities for the family to enjoy. 815-399-8850 or

19-20, Rockmania in Rockford. Rock River Valley Gem and Mineral Society annual show and sale with exhibitions and demonstrations including geode cracking, beading with seed beads, gem trees, fossil displays, professional vendors, fossil and rock identification and a special kids’ activity area. 815-397-9112 or

20, Spoon River China Art Guild Annual China Show at the Donaldson Center in Canton. 11 a.m. –
4 p.m. Hand-painted China displays, door prizes, China painting demonstrations and refreshments. Free, but donations accepted and appreciated. 309-647-3390.

20, Halloween in April at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 1-3 p.m. Visitors can take part in a costume parade with candy plus enjoy crafts, face painting, games and up close creepy animal encounters. This event will take place indoors if weather is inclement, and is free with regular paid zoo admission. 309-434-2250 or

25-27, Birding Fest 2008 in Southern Illinois. Something for everyone, including guided hikes and tours for people of all ages. All programs will take place at the Cache River Wetlands Center and include guided canoe tours, birding hikes, live bird demonstrations, wildlife photo exhibit and more.

26, Beaux Arts Ball at JHS Bowl in Jacksonville. A proud tradition of the community, this gala brings out the finest in the city’s youth for a wonderful ball and coronation of king and queen of the event. Largest annual fundraising event for the David Strawn Art Gallery. 217-243-5678 or

26, The Third Annual Wings of Spring Confluence Birding Festival at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctory in Alton. Plan on off-site birding trips, arts and entertainment, family-centered educational activities and live bird meet and greets and much more. 618-465-6676 or

26, Mississippi River Clean Up 2008 begins at 8 a.m. at Ferry’s Landing in Galena. Join the JDCF, Galena Boat Club and a growing number of volunteers to help clean the Mississippi River. Free lunch. 815-858-9100 or

26-27, The Gathering at Macktown Forest Preserve in Rockton. A two-day celebration of the first non-native American settlement in northern Illinois with traders, trappers, voyagers, militia, re-enactors and demonstrators, historic food, music and games. Park at the old high school on Hononegah Rd. 815-624-4200 or

27, Benny Goodman Tribute at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. In 2007, 20-year-old David Bennett played for the Greater Alton Concert Association with the New Reformation Jazz Band. This outstanding clarinetist has recreated the music of Benny Goodman and brings to the stage his seven-piece ensemble. It’s like going back to the 40s. Don’t miss this musical rising star. 618-465-7536 or

27, Blessing of the Bikes at Bald Knob Cross in Alto Pass. Motorcycles gather atop Bald Knob Cross to receive a blessing for a good riding season. 618-893-2344.

27, Birding Festival in Cypress. Birders of all skill levels, field trips and seminars for beginners. Live bird demonstrations, hikes and canoe trips. Skilled birders may want to compete in the Birding Blitz to see the most species of birds. 618-634-2231 or

DATEBOOK: May 2008


9-11, Plant Addict’s Weekend at Murphy’s Gardens in Galena. Browse thousands of plants, get advice from growers, designers and master gardeners. Wander display gardens. Free refreshments. Free. 815-777-4273 or

2-3, Illinois State Button Society Annual Show at the Ramada Hotel and Spa in Galena. Thousands of beautiful antique and modern clothing buttons from the 17th century to modern times on display and for sale. 309-683-2661.

2-3, Black Hawk’s Raid: The Fort Under Siege at the Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth. Experience the fort as it was more than 100 years ago as the local militia prepares for the battle. The militia will drill, fire and recruit at scheduled times throughout the day as the women and children demonstrate pioneer skills critical to their survival on the frontier. Free. 815-858-2028 or

3, Ride the Ups and Downs, a one-day bicycle ride on the scenic and hilly back roads of Jo Daviess County. Four routes available ranging from 22-60 miles. Color-coded maps, sag service and snacks on the route. Register at the Jo Daviess/Carroll Area Vocational Center in Elizabeth. 815-275-0041 or

3-4, The Second Annual Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival along the scenic Route 66 between Joliet to Towanda. Enjoy bargain hunting, hospitality and good old fashion family fun. Have fun with 90 miles of entertainment, garage sales, sidewalk sales and yard sales, antiques, car displays, food, farmers markets, wagon rides, festivals, music, historical sites and more. Red directional signs will point the way. Each community will provide its own printed programs of events
and information. 800-835-2055 or

4, Cinco de Mayo (one day early) at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 1 - 3 p.m. Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with live Mexican music, free chips and salsa, piñata games and up close Mexican animal encounters! This special event is free with regular zoo admission. 309-434-2250 or

10, Spring Car Corral and Festival at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo. Buy or sell your collector car here. Hundreds of great cars, plus antiques and craft vendors, food, music, beer garden and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. $9 Adults, $7 Seniors, $5 for Vets and Active Military with ID, free for kids ages 5-12, 847-385-3644 or

10, 3 Blonde Moms at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. This top-notch, high energy show is jam packed and full of hysterical material about being a mom, having a mom, husbands, in-laws and more. Staring stand-up comediennes Joanie Fagan, Helen Keaney and Maryellen Hooper. Perfect entertainment for Mother’s Day Eve! 7 and 9 p.m. Admission: $37 and $34. 815-356-9212 or

10, Mississippi Adventure Day in Galena. A 7-mile kayak, 3-mile hike and 16-mile bike ride. Equipment and lunch provided. Registration required and limited. 815-776-9425 or

17, Spring Music on Main on the Green Street Plaza in downtown Galena. Family fun for all. Dance under the stars to live music. Special activities for children. Food and beverage available. Adults $5, ages 13-20 $3, under 12 free. 815-777-9050 or

23-25, The 27th Annual Mayfest on the historic Campbell Center Campus in Mount Carroll. A weekend of premier musical entertainment, crafts, children’s activities, a car show, food and spirits. 815-244-2411 or

24-25, Apple River Fort Rocks! - Kids History Fun Days at the Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth. Enjoy a fun-filled day full of children’s games and activities. Play stump tug, snake in the grass and more while learning a little history. 815-858-2028 or

24, 5th Annual Wine in Bloom Open House at Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth. Celebrate spring in the vineyard with live entertainment, tours of the winery and vineyard, and wine, chocolate and cheese tasting. 815-291-6700 or

31, Family Health and Fitness Fair at Midwest Medical Center in Galena. Learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Activities include cooking, dance and fitness demonstrations. 815-776-7265 or

31 – 6/1, The Second Annual Kite Festival at the Rec Plex in Pontiac. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Enjoy wonderful free family entertainment featuring a visit from the Chicago Kite/Kite Harbor, Ill. Kite Enthusiast Club. In addition, several national champion winners will be demonstrating their skills. Call 800-835-2055.




To be considered for inclusion, please submit events in the format used above. Preference is given to events sponsored by non-profit entities. Submitting an event is not a guarantee of publication. Photos are welcome, but will not be returned unless a self-addressed and stamped envelope is provided. Events are subject to change, so please contact the event sponsor for confirmation.

Deadlines: April 15 for July Events, May 15 for August Events.

Mail to: Illinois Datebook, PO Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708

E-mail to:

© 2008 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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