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Historic National Road Scenic Byway
The National Road is called the "road that built the nation" because it was the first highway in American history. Today the National Road in Illinois covers 164 miles, from Marshall and the Wabash Valley to East St. Louis and the Mississippi River.
National Road Interpretive Center
The National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois tells the story of the surveyors, laborers and travelers of the National Road, sometimes called the Cumberland Road or National Pike. The Interpretive Center is a museum with hands-on activities for children including a Conestoga wagon that the youngsters can load for its journey. Abraham Lincoln’s connection to Illinois National Road towns is also spotlighted. One of the largest artifacts is an original National Road timber dating to the 1830s. Visitors will develop a better understanding of the importance of this road to Illinois and American history as well as an appreciation for the people that were involved in its construction.
Grand Levee and Harvest Festival
The Grande Levee is a celebration of the grand receptions held during the 1800s to honor government dignitaries and important visitors. Friday evening the event kicks-off with a ham and bean dinner on the Vandalia Statehouse grounds along with musical entertainment. Saturday brings a day full of events at the Statehouse grounds for the Ground Levee. The Harvest Festival, which is held on Gallatin Street, will have vendors, sidewalk sales, bingo, kids' activities, inflatables, RC race car exhibition and more!