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Illinois Country Living

DATEBOOK: September 2008

8/30 – 9/1, Antique Gas Engine Show in Argyle. Enjoy threshing, a tractor and car parade. Souvenir buttons for $1. Free Admission. 309-329-2841.


13, River Otter Feeding at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 10:30 a.m. Visitors will have a chance to watch the Zookeeper feed the North American River otter. Free with paid zoo admission. or 309-434-2250.

8/30 – 9/1, Amish Country Cheese Festival in Downtown Arthur. Enjoy this large outdoor street festival with something for the whole family, including free cheese giveaways, a car show, crafts, a flea market, food booths, rides, free entertainment and more. 217-543-2242 or

8/30 – 9/1, The 42nd Annual Pioneer City Rodeo and Labor Day Festival in Palestine. Enjoy professional rodeo performances, flea markets, carnival rides, a chuck wagon breakfast, lunch with the rodeo clowns, free entertainment and more! More than 500 campsites are available. Visit unique shops, art galleries and a winery. 618-586-2222 or

4-14, All My Sons performed by the Stagecoach Players in Dekalb. Arthur Miller’s, All My Sons tells the story of an American family caught up in the struggle between personal responsibility and duty to their country. 815-758-1940 or

5-7, The 38th Arcola Broom Corn Festival in Downtown Arcola. Enjoy free continuous entertainment, broom-making demonstrations, a huge parade, arts, crafts, street vendors, a five and 10K walk, a carnival and more. 800-336-5456 or

6, Women in the Outdoors Event at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State F&WA in Chandlerville. 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This course will include archery, canoeing, outdoor photography, landscaping, beginning and intermediate fishing, bird watching, basic auto maintenance, GPS, turkey calling, deer and turkey hunting, Tai Chi, boating safety, fish filleting and more. An optional camp-out will be available Friday evening with a program on stargazing. The cost is $55, or $50 if registered by August 23. 217-498-0283 or

13, Women in the Outdoors Event at Sand Ridge State Forest in Forest City. A specialized event focusing on horses, including horse care; tack, saddle, and bridle selection and a horse trail ride. 309-253-5746 or

Gazebo Art

13, Gazebo Art Festival at Chandler Park in Macomb. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy a fine art festival featuring artists and their original work, food vendors and more. This event will be in conjunction with Al Sears Jazz Festival. 309-833-1315

13, The Sixth Annual Art in the Park at the Vienna Park in Vienna. Enjoy crafts and original artwork. Free. 618-658-4112.

13, Benefit Race for the Oblong Children’s Home at Hutson Historic Cabins in Hutsonville. 8 a.m. run and bike race combo. Running – two heats of two miles. Biking – one heat of 20 miles. Registration starts at 6:45 a.m. Early registration is $25 per person, $30 the day of event. Each registered participant will receive a t-shirt, post-race refreshments and goodies, and will be eligible for randomly drawn prizes. or

12-14, The 38th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Contest and Craft Festival at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Lincoln. A fun and educational event for all ages – rail splitting, corn shucking, tomahawk throwing, a pioneer village, antique car and tractors, historical displays, Lincoln presentations, a quilt show, crafters, a flea market, kids’ games, food vendors and much more. or 217-732-8687.

13, Old Settlers’ Day in Bishop Hill. A celebration of the 161st anniversary of the Bishop Hill Colony and the 111th year of the Old Settlers’ Association. 11:30 a.m. – traditional chicken dinner, 12:15 p.m. – High Society Band Concert, 1:30 p.m. – Colony Descendents program 309-927-3345.

14, Second Sunday Celtic Music at White Owl Winery in Birds. Join us the second Sunday of each month for the turbulent and tantalizing strains of Irish music Enjoy wine tasting and toe-tapping music! Bring your friends! This event is free. 618-928-2898.


12-14, Lincoln-Douglas Debate 150th Reunion in Jonesboro. A weekend of family fun celebrating the famous politicians’ time in Union County. Saturday enjoy old-fashioned crafts, food, music, children’s games, buggy rides, artillery demonstrations and more. Sunday service in historic Kornthal Church built in 1850s and picnic at the debate site. Walk Where Lincoln Walked in Southernmost Illinois. or 1-800-248-4373.


20, Wine and Music on the Lawn of the Dr. Charles M. Wright House in Altamont. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Purchase a commemorative wine glass and sample wines from Illinois Wineries. The 1889 house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and will be open for tours for $5 for adults and $1 for students. 618-483-6397 or

19-21, Oktoberfest on the Riverfront in Peoria. Live German music, dancing, food, children’s activities, concessions and more. Friday: 5-11 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Adults $7; children ages 3-13, $3; family rate, $15. 309-360-1616.

21, The Third Sunday Market in Bloomington. Thousands of Midwestern collectors to show the finest in antiques, collectibles and crafts. The indoor/outdoor sale features more than 450 top dealers, representing 17 states. Whether you’re looking for the finest in antique furniture, Americana, folk art, vintage advertising, sport memorabilia or antique linens and clothing you’re likely to find it here. 217-202-2847.

21, K & T Llamas and Llamafun Annual Fall Open Pasture in Bluffs. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Try your skills at walking a llama through an obstacle course and see the baby llamas. Enjoy the fall foliage on the beautiful bluffs above the Illinois river valley. Free family fun. or 217-473-7283.

26-28, The 39th Annual Steam Show and Fall Festival Days in South Jacksonville. Come see International Harvester tractors and equipment and more. 217-473-7431 or

26-28, Thresherman’s Bluegrass Festival at Threshermen’s Park in Pontiac. This indoor event is a celebration of country music. Bring your own lawn chairs and enjoy the live music concerts. The stage will also be open at designated times for those interested – registration required. Food will be provided. 815-844-3560 or

27, The 10th Annual Fall Festival at Benld City Park in Benld. A family event featuring a washer tournament, a pizza eating contest, Illinois Products samples, fire safety house, cow milking contest, exotic animals, business expo, games, food court, reptile display, classic car show, craft market, live entertainment and more. 217-839-4888 or

27, The 47th Annual Wayne City Bean Days in Wayne City. Enjoy a parade, free ham and beans, a flea market, a quilt show, bingo, a car, truck and tractor show and more. 618-895-2661 or 618-895-2215.

27, The 53rd Annual Old Market Day at Old Market House Square State Historic Site in Galena. A living history example of a turn-of-the century, open-air market with produce, homemade breads and pastries and more. 815-858-3392.

27, Alton Block Party on Third Street in Downtown Alton. Enjoy live music and dancing in the street, food and drinks, kids’ activities, adult festivities and more. 618-465-6676 or

27-28, The 41st Annual Tour of Historic Galena Homes Guided tour of four privately-owned and beautifully-furnished houses. Tour includes admission to the Galena/Jo Daviess County History Museum, housed in the Daniel Barrows Mansion built in 1858. Free shuttle. 815-777-9129 or

27-28, The 46th Annual Peoria Fine Art Fair on the beautiful Peoria Riverfront. View work from more than 150 artists from across the nation. 309-637-2787.

27-28, Jordbruksdagarna in Bishop Hill. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Celebrating Bishop Hill’s agrarian heritage, this event features traditional 19th century harvest activities and demonstrations, hands-on activities, music, farm produce, vintage baseball and colony stew. 309-927-3345 or

27-28, Past to Present Festival at the Saline County Fairgrounds in Harrisburg. Enjoy food, a flea market, crafts, antiques, wagon rides, buck skinners, heritage demonstrations, washer pitching, children’s games, an old fashioned tent meeting, all day entertainment and “The Farm,” a fun area for children ages 4-10. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission $1 per car. 618-252-5255.


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: August 15 for November Events, September 15 for December Events.

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

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