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Red, White & BOOM!
The largest fireworks display hits Central Illinois for its 30th anniversary in 2016! Set to music, over the Illinois River, the cities of East Peoria and Peoria throw an amazing riverfront party...
Celebrate the beginning of Summer German-style the Sport Verein’s annual Sommerfest at Hickory Grove Park. This is a family friendly event. Free admission. Rock, blues and pop music is featured along with Bratwurst, Kraut, German Potato Salad and Bratwurst sandwiches! Entertainment: Cusack Brothers from 12:30pm-3:00 pm. Ed and Judy from 3:30-7:30 pm Soccer will be played on the main field. German beer and wine and other beverages will be available along with sandwiches: Brats, Heidelburgers, and hot dogs and German side dishes.
Craft Soda Festival
Taste Over 100 Flavors of Vintage and Craft Sodas! Over 100 craft sodas plus live music, bags tournament, and all day fun at the most unique family event of the year! The innovative, the vintage, the bubbly – you’ll find them here at the biggest soda tasting event you’ve ever seen. Take a trip back to the days of soda in glass bottles sweetened with natural cane sugars. Admission is free. The festival opens and the soda sampling begins at 10am. Soda tasting tickets are just 3 for $1.
Walgreens Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival
Come see the world's fastest growing water sport at Lake Arlington. Twenty paddlers move in unison, combining strength with teamwork in a boat whose elaborate design originates in ancient China.
Dawg Daze of Summer
A fun afternoon at Alto Vineyards for family and friends including canine friends. Enjoy music from Rural Kings Bluegrass, The Bankesters, Jenny Johnson Band, and The Swamp Tigers. There will be food, beverages, pet related exhibits and vendors and watering stations for the dogs This is a family and pet friendly event! Pets must be leashed and current on vaccines.
Carl's Ice Cream Factory
Come visit Carl's for the best ice cream in Bloomington-Normal. Awesome burgers, sandwiches, cheese fries and more.
Lewis & Clark Frontier Dog Walk
This event will center on walking your dogs on a two mile course. There will be dog trainers, groomers, and dog adoptions from local societies. At 1:00 p.m. a guest speaker will be hosted within the Interpretive Center's theater. The event is only on Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Dogs will only be allowed in the theater between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Dogs may be walked through and around Camp River Dubois. For more information, call (618) 251-5811.
Grafton Music in the park
Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a free concert at The Grove Memorial Park in Grafton. There will be a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Jersey Community High School bands. For more information, call (618) 535-9922 or check the website for the 2016 concert lineup.
Eaton Studio and Gallery
Eaton Studio & Gallery exhibits and sells the work of local artist Herb Eaton in a 1902 historic building in downtown Bloomington. The paintings, sculptures and drawings reflect the artist's interest in the local rivers, cornfields, gardens, circus, and music scenes. The Gallery hosts art salons, jazz and acoustic musical and theatrical events and sponsors cultural discussions focused on local community interests. Open most Saturdays 10am-2pm, by appointment, special events, and during 1st Fridays 5-8pm.
Larsen Light Show
Winner of ABC's 2013 Great Christmas Light Fight. Over one million led Christmas lights displayed in sync with a dozen different songs including the Blackhawks' song.
Rockin' with Robert Concert Series
Enjoy a variety of music at the Robert Wadlow statue. Stop by the statue for a summer of monthly concerts. All concerts are free and open to the public. Don't forget to bring your lawn chairs or a blanket. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. 2016 concerts will be held on June 21, July 19 and August 16 starting at 7 p.m. For more information please contact the Upper Alton Association at 618-465-6303 or 618-466-0100.
DeKalb Farmers Market
The DeKalb Farmers Market features locally-grown produce, wine, baked goods, flowers and artisan crafts. Live music is presented each week by the Egyptian Theatre. It's a great way to enjoy an afternoon. Open Thursday's from 10-2 June through September.
The Nature Institute
The Nature Institute is a non-profit land conservation and environmental education organization based in Godfrey, IL. Since its founding in 1980, The Nature Institute's board and staff have worked to foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world through preservation, restoration, and education. The Nature Institute also owns and manages over 450 acres of protected land, such as the Olin Nature Preserve, the Mississippi Sanctuary, the Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary, and the Heartland Prairie Project at Gordon Moore Park. These natural areas provide unique places for the public to experience the diversity of the Riverbend area with its hardwood forests, prairies and wetlands. The preserves are open to the public and free to use from dawn to dusk.
Residence Inn By Marriott
The Residence Inn by Marriott, Bloomington is the newest and brightest extended stay hotel to the Bloomington-Normal market. Located off Veterans Parkway, minutes from State Farm Insurance Headquarters and Central Illinois Regional Airport. Our residential-style hotel offers boutique inspired elegance in the heart of Bloomington-Normal. The spacious suites feature separate sleeping and living areas, a fully-equipped kitchen with refrigerator, and 39-inch HD flat panel televisions with in-room DVR players. Our luxury bedding includes crisp linens, comfy mattresses, custom comforters, and fluffy pillows, guaranteeing a blissful nights rest. Upon waking, join us for a complimentary, full-American breakfast buffet offering hot and cold favorites. Check-out our outdoor patio, fire up the BBQ grill to cook your favorite meal or unwind and socialize around the fire pit. Pack your bathing suit and dive in our saltwater indoor swimming pool and spa, it's a refreshing experience.
VW Welcomefest Downtown Party
Join us for in Downtown Effingham on the Courthouse Lawn for VW Welcomefest, where the night begins with a road tour from Mid America Motorworks. The VWs will make their way through town and come down the parade route about 5 p.m. Food by the Gabby Goat, ice cream, tropical snow and great music will await everyone at the Courthouse lawn from 5-8:00 p.m. Don't forget to sign up to win a Ipad Mini, along with other great giveaways. We've added some cool new things this year you won't want to miss, like "Big Red," a 10,000 pound VW Beetle and a fortune teller! This event is sure to be fun for the whole family!
Arguably this park has one of the bet views of the Mississippi River from the bluffs nestled in the historic Christian Hill District which is filled with 1800s era architecture. Grab your picnic lunch because the view is incredible from this little park. Fall in love with the view of the river and even say "I Do" under the gazebo for an unforgettable afternoon.
Grand Victoria Hotel
Located on the east edge of the city, this is a 90 room facility offering both smoking and non-smoking rooms, free wireless high speed internet access, cable TV, in room refrigerators, microwaves, irons and ironing boards, and hair dryers, pets allowed, and breakfast included. Rates: $59.99 to $169.99.
Ten Acre Treehouses
Whimsical treehouse village for nightly rentals. Spend a relaxing, quiet night in a treehouse on 10 acres of secluded timber! Experience outdoor showers from the porch, Kitchenette, Wifi,pets welcome. Two treehouses available, 220 sq. ft Whitetail cabin sleeps 2-4, the Captains Quarters 400 sq. ft. sleeps 4-6. To book or look at availability visit www.vrbo.com. The most unique lodging in Western Illinois.
Bill's Friendly Christmas Tree Farm
Cut your Christmas tree in a backwoods setting. We have many trees, including Norway, white spruce and blue spruce. Family owned and operated. Trees up to 23 feet tall.
Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival
Celebrate creativity and public art downtown Kewanee, Illinois, July 15 – 17 during the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival. Professional and amateur artists will compete and create colorful art on a concrete canvas sure to catch your eye. Shaun Hayes, Chicago Chalk Art Champ will be the featured performance artist. Shaun will dazzle you with his 3D illusionary chalk artistry. There is truly something for everyone of any age to enjoy, kid’s area with hand-on art children activities, art vendors and the Kewanee car show with vintage cars lining the streets of downtown Kewanee. Live music will be featured throughout downtown Kewanee while you stroll the car show, shop and dine in Kewanee’s specialty shops and restaurants. Color Run Prairie Run is a 5K run/walk with a twist of color. Start out sparkling clean, be prepared for color cloud bursts of blue, green, pink, purples, and yellow as you run along the course. As you finish you’ll look like a tie-dyed Hippie! A non-competitive run it is open to all ages! Be inspired by color! Pick up some chalk, and be an artist this July downtown Kewanee!
Chautauqua Days Celebration
Days of old come together for this festival brought back after many years. This festival showcases the historical Chautauqua auditorium, the centerpiece of Forest Park. There will be live entertainment from Jeannie Kendall & Carl Acuff Jr. Show, the U.S. Army Soldiers of Swing, Eagle Wings Christian Concert, A Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show, A bean Bag Tournament with double elimination, local musicians, a kids area with inflatables, craft vendors, food, and more.
Big Rock Forest
This forest preserve has miles of wooded trails and a quarry lake suitable for hiking and horseback. Fishing, canoeing and kayaking permitted in season.
NW IL Art Fest
Juried art fest showcasing more than 30 area artists in the following categories: ceramics, clay/porcelain, jewelry, photography, drawing, glass, metal, painting, wood, printmaking, fiber/textiles, leather, mixed media, lawn art, paper, graphics & wood.Local food, craft beer, wineries and distilleries. BBQ competition and new this year, live jazz!
Great Rivers Festival
Celebrate the confluence of the three major rivers - Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois - during the Great Rivers Festival at the National Great Rivers Museum and The Audubon Center at Riverlands. You will have a chance to tour a working towboat and barge. There will also be children's activities, food vendors, live entertainment including animal and reptile shows, living history tours and more. For more information, call (618) 462-6979.