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Country Corner Pumpkin Cannon and Military Appreciation Weekend
Have you ever seen pumpkins fly at the speed of sound? Watch the Q-9 pumpkin cannon – always shooting for a world record, or pick and shoot your own pumpkin. Distance and accuracy competitions are held twice daily. Military weekend appreciation events too.
Great River Road Run
It is time again for the Great River Road Run. Race your way to victory with the choice of a 2 mile route or a 10 mile route out and back on the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, beginning in Alton. It's the most scenic run you'll ever make as you race to the finish along the Mississippi River and the majestic limestone bluffs.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
20th Annual Galena Triathlon & Duathlon
Ranked by USAT as one of the top 10 sprint distance triathlons in the United States, this challenging multi-sport event offers unique terrain and beautiful scenery, beginning at Nixon Beach on Apple Canyon Lake.
CITY: Apple River
Arthur Amish Country Christmas Kickoff
The Christmas lighted parade steps off at 5:30pm and will showcase Santa & Mrs. Claus through downtown Arthur. Immediately following the parade, Santa will visit with children and parents in Knights Court downtown to start collecting those early Christmas requests. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served during his visit. Throughout the day, businesses in the downtown area as well as the countryside will feature early Christmas bargains and host Open Houses.
Aurora's Holiday Festival of Lights
Enjoy the sparkle, shimmer and shine of the 2014 Festival of Lights. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. A winter wonderland of animated visual arts, lighted tunnels, a forest full of lights and more! Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, 2014. Donations accepted.
Morning Bird Hikes
Join us on our series of morning bird hikes as we explore the woods of Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in search of late migrants and winter residents. Each month will focus on a different bird group. Bring your binoculars and favorite bird field guide. Participants will enjoy a hike on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Come dressed for the weather. Indoor viewing of birds is possible after the program or in unfavorable weather conditions. Registration required: 708.946.2216. For information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org
Boo! at the Zoo
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
December 18th & 19th December 26th - 31st January 1st 4-9pm Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest light festival featuring over 120 animated light displays and million twinkling lights. Come celebrate the holiday season with family and friends during Brookfield Zoos 29th annual Holiday Magic. Enjoy live entertainment, amazing animals, model trains and a train ride, special Dolphin Show, Sing to the Animals and professional ice carvers. Call or visit website for more info.
The oldest footrace in Southern IL. is held the 2nd Saturday in November each year on the Mississippi River levee in Cairo. A long sleeve t-shirt is given to each participant in the 5000 & 10,000 meter run and awards will be presented to winners
Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race
The Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race is a simple concept---take a carved pumpkin, decorate it and insert two independent axles through it and attach wheels, then race your pumpkin down a hill to victory! This event is great family fun and a safe, enjoyable way to celebrate fall. Plus, if you craft a winning pumpkin you get to advance to the championship where you can win prizes!
Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race
Folks from all over literally take pumpkins and creatively engineer them into race cars. Participants race their pumpkins down the streets of downtown Carbondale, competing with one another, and hope theirs crosses the finish line first! Pumpkins race in a series of categories (largest, fastest, most creative, etc.), and must travel unassisted on wheels inserted onto axles that penetrate completely through the melon (no caster wheels and no support frame or chassis will be allowed). This family-friendly competition is both challenging and fun.
Home Garden & Business Expo
Annual Home Garden & Business Expo featuring over 40 exhibitors and 2 full days of "How To" demonstrations. Breakfast and lunch available, hourly door prizes, blood screenings on site and register for the "Grand Prize!"
7th Annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon
The annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon is one of the most popular spring running events in the Midwest… and, arguably, the country with its fast and flat course, ideal for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. With over 20,000 participants expected in the 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, relay and the youth run, the Illinois Marathon is a destination race for people from all over! From flat and fast courses to the Memorial Stadium 50-yard line finish to the rockin’ State Farm 27th Mile Celebrate Victory Bash, this has all the makings for the perfect spring getaway. 217-351-4133
Parade of Lights
Join the Champaign Center Partnership as they officially launch the holiday season with a Parade of Lights. Marching bands and lighted floats weave their way through the streets of Downtown Champaign with Santa making his grand appearance just in time to light the City Christmas Tree.
Lincoln Park ZooLights
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Watch live ice carving then escape Jack Frost with an exotic trip past crocodiles, pygmy hippos and meerkats at the Regenstein African Journey. Animal exhibits stay open late as guests roam taking in the lights, music and taking photos with Santa. Prepare holiday crafts and enjoy the zoo’s incredible animals immersed in an atmosphere unlike any other.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2014! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 22 with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
15th Annual Chicago Lakefront 50/50
View the Chicago skyline as you run in either a 50m or 50k race along Chicago's lakefront paved paths. Run for fun or beat the record that was set in 1984! Show off your 50/50 tech shirt and your medal or belt buckles to all of your friends!
Rugby: USA Eagles vs. New Zealand All Blacks at Soldier Field
The reigning IRB Rugby World Cup Champion New Zealand All Blacks will play their first match in the United States since 1980. Fun fact: The match at Soldier Field will be the seventh time Chicago has hosted the Eagles since 1976.
Spring Equinox Sunrise Observance at Reconstructed Woodhenge
Meet at the reconstructed Woodhenge to hear an explanation of the discovery, form end function of this post-circle sun calendar. Arrive by 6:45 a.m.
Cache River Nature Festival
Enjoy the area’s rich bird life and wetland habitat. A 12-minute orientation film gives a wonderful overview and introduction of the watershed, explaining the unique bio-diversity of the flora and fauna that can be experienced here. Visitors can also acquaint themselves with the area by exploring an interactive diorama of a bald cypress-water tupelo swamp, area state champion tree information and changing landscape displays. Activities include guided field trips, canoe tours, live bird demonstrations and various exhibits from 8am to 4pm.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
Fun for the whole family including roasting hot dogs on an open fire, haunted trail rides and a kid's activity tent.