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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.

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

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.

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.

2-5, Annual Barry Apple Festival in Downtown Barry. More than 50,000 people join this quaint historic town to celebrate the apple industry. Old-time crafts, specialty food, entertainment, a car show, and a parade are highlights of the weekend of festivities. 217-223-1000.

DATEBOOK: October 2008

1-28, Country Bumpkin Pumpkin Patch in Kansas. Try one of seven mind-stumping mazes, play hillbilly golf, see the barnyard animals, ride the Bumpkin Express and pick your own pumpkins. 217-946-4279 or

2-4, Greenup Fall Festival in Downtown Greenup. Thursday: 7 – 10 p.m., Queen pageant and Little Miss contest; Friday: 6 – 10 p.m., Free legends entertainment and Saturday: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., a pancake breakfast, parade, car show, horseshoe tournament, quilt show, scavenger hunt, crafts, food, entertainment and more. 217-923-3751 or

3-4, Candlelight Tour of New Salem in Petersburg. Bring the family to experience New Salem village after dark. Interpreters in period clothing will welcome you into the reconstructed log homes of the historic village where Abraham Lincoln lived for six years. 217-632-4000 or

3-4, Harvest Festival in Robinson. Come to the home of the Heath Candy Bar and enjoy a craft fair, food, a parade, a Heath Toffee Recipe Contest, live entertainment and more. 618-546-1557.

3-5, Flatcon Gaming Convention in Bloomington. Three full days of gaming. Games include miniature, board and card games. Tournaments will be played and a variety of genres will be represented and vendors will be displayed. 309-829-3976 or

4, Chili Cook-Off in Greenfield. Event features nearly 20 chili recipes to sample as well as pork chop sandwiches and pie. Crafts, children’s’ activities, games and entertainment. 217-368-2613.

Scarecrow Fest

4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Scarecrow Fest and Maze Days on Meadowlands Farm in Newark. An open market with handmade, homemade, and home grown items. Enjoy demonstrations, a scarecrow contest, live music, a corn maze, wagon rides, a hay pyramid, pumpkin bowling, a corn box and more. Admission is $4. 815-695-5821 or

4, Galena Oktoberfest on the Galena Riverfront. Second annual German celebration featuring live music, kids games, wiener dog races and lots of food and beverage. Adults and teens $3, children free. 815-275-4881.

4-5, Cider and Cinnamon Arts and Crafts Fair in Rockford. More than 50 exhibitors show their creations. Also enjoy hot apple cider and fresh cinnamon doughnuts, plus fall specials. 815-226-0212 or

4-5, Harvest Frolic and Agricultural Fair in Lerna. Harvest festival and agricultural fair featuring period artisans, craft makers, music, entertainment, food, rides and more. 217-345-1845 or

4-25, Haunted Historic Rivertown Tours in Quincy. Every Saturday in October, a two-hour guided tour showcasing haunted historic sites in Quincy aboard the London double-decker bus. 217-223-1000 or

4-25, Haunted Harvest in Libertyville. The Haunted Harvest of Lambs Farm is a spooky celebration full of fun and adventure for thrill-seekers of all ages, featuring our unique Train of Terror! This event transforms the Farmyard with delightfully frightening activities including the Creature Walk, Graveyard Golf, an Enchanted Carousel and the Monster Midway. This is a kid-friendly event. All Night Pass $15 per person, kids under 3-years-old are free (with purchase of adult pass). Individual activity pricing also available. 847-362-4636 or


5-7, Ladies Getaway Weekend in Galena. A weekend dedicated to the celebration of women. Registration includes a commemorative tote bag with a keepsake ornament and a chance to win a $300 Galena shopping spree. Also enjoy a fashion show, hypnotists, special brunches, an all women’s art show and more. Register on-line at


11-12, Broom’s Orchard’s Pumpkin Festival in Carlinville. The farm market will be stocked with the usual goodies including several apple varieties and sweet cider. You can search for the perfect jack-o-lantern at the five-acre pumpkin patch, or choose from a pre-picked selection of pumpkins, gourds and fall decor. Try the corn maze or straw maze, play in the playground, see the live entertainment, and take a ride on a wagon through the orchard. Cider slush, hot dogs, nachos and homemade caramel apples will be available for purchase. 217-854-3514 or

10-11, The Central Illinois Braggin’ Rights KCBS BBQ Competition in Downtown Arthur: 40-plus teams, BBQ food stands, live entertainment, $9,000 prize money and more! 800-722-6474 or

10-12, Art in the Park at Lindendale Park in Highland. Free. Fun for the whole family. 618-654-3721.

11, Ghost Stories at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello. The evening begins with not-so-scary stories for the younger crowd and gets creepier and scarier for the second set! 217-762-2721 or

11, Oktoberfest 2008 Craft Fair at Sesser City Park in Sesser. A one-day festival with craft booths, a farmer’s market, music, entertainment, a motorcycle show, jump rides and more. 618-625-5566 or

11, The Fifth Annual Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Health Fair and Fall Fest in Downtown Waterloo. Dozens of crafters, music, food, family and fun.

11, Stinson Memorial Library Tour in Anna. Tour the library that was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, a colleague of Frank Lloyd Wright. Activities will include a book sale, a flea market, crafts, jewelry, food and music. 618-833-2521 or

11-12, Frontier Skills and Folklife Fair in Elizabeth. Join costumed interpreters and learn the fine arts of hide tanning, sausage making, meat jerky preparation, gunsmithing and blacksmithing. Recipes for spirits preparation will be part of the festivities. Enjoy root beer and other fare. 815-858-2028 or

11-12, Galena Country Fair at Grant Park in Galena. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. More than 150 vendors will be selling original, handmade arts, crafts and fine arts. Farmers’ market with apples, pumpkins and honey; country bake shop offering home-baked breads, pies and pastries; Gazebo Garden serving a European breakfast and local wines. Fair favorites including caramel apples, hand-cut French fries, funnel cakes and baked potatoes. Live entertainment, children’s games, silent auction and raffle. $2 donation. 815-777-0817.

12, 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, The 36th Annual AALA Fall Historic House Tour in Alton. Take a self-guided tour of the beautiful historic homes, buildings and churches of Alton, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be 10-12 sites on the tour. Tickets will be on sale and available beginning Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau at 200 Piasa Street. 618-463-5761 or

16, Abraham Lincoln Courthouse Lawn Restaging in Lincoln. This historic event was a rally held on the courthouse lawn in 1858, in which Abraham Lincoln addressed a crowd of approximately 5,000 people. Witness and be a part of this historic restaging. The commission is also looking for volunteers to assist with the setup for the event, as well as to be period re-enactors in the crowd. 217-732-8687.

18, Heart of Jacksonville Porky Days and Applefest in Jacksonville. Come join us in downtown Jacksonville for tasty pork sandwiches, apples and a large flea and craft market. Lots of fun, plenty of parking and free admission. 217-245-6778 or

18-26, Boo! at the Zoo Festival at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield. Crazy costumes, treat bags, haunted hayrides and pumpkin-carving demonstrations. The not-so-scary event will begin at 11 a.m. each day and will include one of Chicagoland’s largest costume parades; an impressive costume showcase; Zoo Chats featuring bats, snakes and owls; and frightfully fun activities for the entire family! 708-485-0263 or

18-19, ArtEAST in Edwardsville. ArtEast was started in 1998 as a way for artists to pool their resources and bring attention to the extraordinary talent in the Metro East area. Art lovers get a map to artist studios to watch demonstrations and view exhibitions. 618-656-3348 or

19, 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.

19, Garden Harvest Festival and the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Shop for garden crafts from dozens of vendors at the country market, learn about history from old world demonstrators who will be making pottery, spinning and weaving, making quilts and more. Enjoy Native American songs, dances and stories. Kids will especially like the petting zoo, free hayride and pioneer games. Vote for your favorite scarecrow. 309-794-0991 or

25, Fall Follies in Oblong. Crafts, flea market, food booths, high school marching band field competition, entertainment, pancake supper and a night parade. 618-592-4355 or

30-31, The Ninth Annual Conference on Illinois History at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in downtown Springfield. Featured topics will include politics, geography, community studies, Abraham Lincoln, African American history, and the Civil War. Teachers will benefit from workshops on a variety of topics offered. Register by Oct. 24. 217-785-7933.


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: September 15 for December Events.

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

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