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Underground Railroad Shuttle Tours
Learn about local Underground Railroad sites on a shuttle tour with J.E. Robinson Tours and the Alton Regional CVB. These two-hour guided shuttle tours will stop at some of the sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system including the Old Rock House, Rocky Fork Church and more. Alton’s riverfront location along the Mighty Mississippi played a vital role in helping slaves make connections to the freedom of the northern states. Buried beneath the streets of Alton and Godfrey, remnants of this period in history still exist. For more information on the Underground Railroad shuttle tours or to make advance registrations, please contact the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 258-6645.
Fort Massac Encampment
This annual reenactment of late-1700s Illinois life on the frontier prairie features blanket traders, merchants, military units, fife and drum corps, and period-style food from more than 20 vendors. The encampment offers military drills, mock battles, along with story telling and children's activities.
Sycamore's Steam Show and Threshing Bee
The History of the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club invites you to their annual Sycamore Steam Show & Threshing Bee. This family friendly event is a great way to step back in time and see many antique machines at work. Threshing using steam engines and gas tractors. Also, a sawmill in operation sawing logs into lumber using Steam Power and Baling Straw using Club's 1900 Sandwich stationary wire-tie baler are just a few of the engaging machine exhibitions that will be presented at the Bee. There will also be Barrel Train rides, rope making, mule team wagon rides and much more to entertain everyone.
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Day
Cave-In-Rock Frontier Festival is held on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. The festival, which commemorates the extensive and colorful history connected to Cave-In-Rock and the surrounding community, is an entertaining and fun filled community event. First held in the 1960’s, the celebration includes a parade, carnival, various entertainment held in the Old Opry House, food and craft vendors. A Little Miss and Mister Frontier Days and Frontier Queen pageant is a highlight as well as various other activities. Come join the festivities for a weekend of fun and entertainment.
CITY:Cave In Rock
DeKalb Corn Fest
Corn Fest is one of the last, free, summer, music festivals in Illinois. Well over 100,000 people from around Illinois and the Midwest attend the music festival over a three day weekend. This festival features a carnival complete with rides and games, food booths, free live music, kiddie korner with large inflatables, family entertainment and much more. Festival areas feature food and business vendor booths, and a beer garden.
Clayville Historic Site
The centerpiece of Clayville is the Broadwell Inn, the oldest brick building in Sangamon County, built in 1824 by the Broadwell family as a stage coach stop between Springfield and Beardstown. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is surrounded by numerous other historic buildings from Central Illinois moved to Clayville in the 1960s to recreate an early frontier pioneer village. Come see a unique piece of Illinois history.
47th Annual Prairie Land Heritage Steam Show & Fall Festival Days
Spend the weekend seeing horse powered equipment, antique tractors, and gas & steam engines. If that is not enough, watch demonstrations on bailing, blacksmithing, plowing, threshing, and more! Enjoy train rides, tractor pulls, great food, and a large flea market. There is something for everyone at this three day event.
Join us for the return of the Grafton Rendezvous on the banks of the Illinois River. See pre-1840 history come to life and experience what a busy river port was like during that period. Traders will demonstrate candle and rope making, bead working, wood carving, metal working and leather crafting. There will be tomahawk and knife throwing and much more. Bring the family and enjoy the fun.
19th Century Christmas at Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Don't miss these two beautifully decorated Deere family mansions during the holiday season. The 19th Century Christmas features the interiors of the homes decorated for the holidays; along with living-history volunteers, Choir performances, Santa Claus, music, and make-and-take activities for the children. These homes once belonged to the John Deere family and are now operated by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. Open noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Berwyn Cruise Nites in the Depot District
Head to the Depot District for the 9th Annual Cruise Nites presented by Berwyn Kia, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, Mike & Sons Auto Services, Cicero Auto Parts, Deece Automotive! Cruise Nites take place on Tuesdays from 6-9pm in the Depot District at Windsor & Grove Avenues steps away from the Berwyn Metra Station. Enjoy your summe evenings while taking a stroll through a combination of car show and nightlife.
18th Annual Prairieland Chautauqua
Modeled after traditional Chautauquas, this three day event features musical shows, historical storytellers, and reenactments portrayed by professionals and communal suppers. Come explore history and have a little fun while you are at it.
Cruise Nites in Berwyn
Head to the Depot District on Tuesday, August 6th for a combination of car show and nightlife. Evening begins at 6pm in the Depot District at Windsor & Grove Avenues steps away from the Berwyn Metra Station.
August 20th Cruise Nite in Berwyn
Come down to the Depot District and enjoy Cruise Nites with other families, residents and car enthusiasts. Learn more about Berwyn's proud classic car culture and historical automotive heritage. Cruise Nites are free! Just show up and have a great time!
Jordbruksdagarna – Agriculture days
Celebrate Bishop Hill’s agrarian heritage, this event features traditional 19th century harvest activities and demonstrations, hands-on activities, music, farm produce, and Colony stew. Hours: 10am to 5pm.
Antique Engine & Tractor Association Working Farm Show
Visit the 50-acre showground and experience the fall harvest early 1900’s style. Event features the historical value of collection and exhibition of gasoline and steam tractors, power driven farm machinery and other equipment through field demonstrations, displays of gas engines, garden tractors, farm tractors and equipment. Tractor pulls, craft demonstrations, speakers, children activities and music are featured daily. Food is available and parking is free. Take the kids on a train ride throughout the showground. .
Fort Obie Rendezvous and Living History Encampment
Visit the old world featuring a tipi encampment, black powder shoots, pre-1840 demonstrations, bow-shoots, tomahawk and knife throwing, primitive fire-starting and 1840 trade goods. Open: 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and 10am to 3pm on Sunday. Admission $2.00 per person.
Fever River Railroad/Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen Open House
For model railroad aficionados and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains, this is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 103 by 24 foot scale model of a hypothetical railroad. 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. Industries along the railroad right-of-way duplicate either actual facilities or are typically correct of the industries that would be found in the Upper Midwest. The scenery represents the geographical area as well. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures are on display.
DeKalb County Barn Tour
The DeKalb County Barn Tour is a one-day driving tour of barn sites within DeKalb County hosted by the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and the JF Glidden Homestead & Historical Center. Participants will receive a map Guide Book containing hand-drawn sketches of each barn and the barn’s history, style and use. Participants drive to each location in any order for a tour of the barn(s), including many interiors. Purchase your event ticket at any of the seven locations. Admission is $20 per vehicle (buses extra) (Museum members receive a 25% discount). Bus groups are welcome. Call for details on pricing; Marcia Wilson at the JF Glidden Homestead & Historical Center at (815) 756-7904 or email@example.com.
Old Settlers Days
Calhoun County was a wild rugged land, and its fall re-enactment festival embraces its past history. Old time crafts, mountain-man activities, black powder shooting, historic demonstrations, food, music, fiddlers jamboree, carriage rides and a petting zoo round out the activities scheduled for the weekend. Admission is free. For more information, call (618) 465-2114.
McPike Mansion Haunted Tours
Learn the history of the McPike Mansion and take a look at the documented photos of the mansion and paranormal activity. Then, take a tour of the surrounding grounds and the crypt. Talking with the spirits with Dowsing rods and join us for a dark session in the cellar with our experienced medium. Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. All proceeds go toward the restoration of the mansion. For more information, contact Sharon at (618) 830-2179.
47th Annual Threshing Show and Antique Show
The Stephenson County Antique Engine Club proudly presents this annual event, “The Freeport Show”. It offers over 300 antique steam and horse-powered engines and equipment, and gas engines. This year’s feature is John Deere tractors and equipment. There will be a huge parade daily at 1:00 pm, a large flea market, a large display building offering antique transportation displays, home antiques, crafts, demonstrations, and farm miniatures, Gasoline Alley featuring gas powered engines, sawmill, and blacksmith shop. Also ride the Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad antique steam train A Midwest Championship Antique Tractor Pull will be held on Saturday.
Clayville Spring Festival
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstration, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, with food and refreshments. Enjoy period music and audience participation entertainment throughout the weekend in an 1820's pioneer village.
Old Settlers’ Day and Colony School Reunion
Celebrate the 169th anniversary of the Bishop Hill Colony and the 119th year of the Old Settler’s Association. Enjoy a traditional chicken dinner, the High Society Band Concert and program featuring Bishop Hill Colony descendants’ speakers. Sunday a reunion of students and teachers from the Bishop Hill Colony School takes place and memories are shared. Hours: 11:30 am to 3 pm.
Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad and Silvercreek Museum Labor Day Celebration
All aboard the antique steam train as a 36 ton 1912 Heisler steam locomotive pulls three cabooses and two passenger flatcars for a four mile ride through farmlands and across a bridge 30 feet above Yellow Creek. Purchase your ticket at the Silver Creek Depot, a turn-of-the-century replica filled with railroad artifacts. Browse for novelties in the Freight House and visit the Silvercreek Museum which offers 25 rooms of early Americana, a display of antique machinery, Henney Motor Company vehicles which were manufactured in Freeport, and the operating Cooper-Corliss engine, a giant 130 ton steam engine. The Silvercreek Museum will be serving sandwiches and deserts. Train: Adults: $7; Children under 12: $3; Cab Rides available inquire at the Depot Freight House. Museum: Adults: $4; Children under 12: Free.