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Illinois Country Living

DATEBOOK: May 2008


9-11, Plant Addict’s Weekend at Murphy’s Gardens in Galena. Browse thousands of plants, get advice from growers, designers and master gardeners. Wander display gardens. Free refreshments. Free. 815-777-4273 or

2-3, Illinois State Button Society Annual Show at the Ramada Hotel and Spa in Galena. Thousands of beautiful antique and modern clothing buttons from the 17th century to modern times on display and for sale. 309-683-2661.

2-3, Black Hawk’s Raid: The Fort Under Siege at the Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth. Experience the fort as it was more than 100 years ago as the local militia prepares for the battle. The militia will drill, fire and recruit at scheduled times throughout the day as the women and children demonstrate pioneer skills critical to their survival on the frontier. Free. 815-858-2028 or

3, Ride the Ups and Downs, a one-day bicycle ride on the scenic and hilly back roads of Jo Daviess County. Four routes available ranging from 22-60 miles. Color-coded maps, sag service and snacks on the route. Register at the Jo Daviess/Carroll Area Vocational Center in Elizabeth. 815-275-0041 or

3-4, The Second Annual Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival along the scenic Route 66 between Joliet to Towanda. Enjoy bargain hunting, hospitality and good old fashion family fun. Have fun with 90 miles of entertainment, garage sales, sidewalk sales and yard sales, antiques, car displays, food, farmers markets, wagon rides, festivals, music, historical sites and more. Red directional signs will point the way. Each community will provide its own printed programs of events
and information. 800-835-2055 or

4, Cinco de Mayo (one day early) at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 1 - 3 p.m. Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with live Mexican music, free chips and salsa, piñata games and up close Mexican animal encounters! This special event is free with regular zoo admission. 309-434-2250 or

10, Spring Car Corral and Festival at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo. Buy or sell your collector car here. Hundreds of great cars, plus antiques and craft vendors, food, music, beer garden and more. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. $9 Adults, $7 Seniors, $5 for Vets and Active Military with ID, free for kids ages 5-12, 847-385-3644 or

10, 3 Blonde Moms at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. This top-notch, high energy show is jam packed and full of hysterical material about being a mom, having a mom, husbands, in-laws and more. Staring stand-up comediennes Joanie Fagan, Helen Keaney and Maryellen Hooper. Perfect entertainment for Mother’s Day Eve! 7 and 9 p.m. Admission: $37 and $34. 815-356-9212 or

10, Mississippi Adventure Day in Galena. A 7-mile kayak, 3-mile hike and 16-mile bike ride. Equipment and lunch provided. Registration required and limited. 815-776-9425 or

17, Spring Music on Main on the Green Street Plaza in downtown Galena. Family fun for all. Dance under the stars to live music. Special activities for children. Food and beverage available. Adults $5, ages 13-20 $3, under 12 free. 815-777-9050 or

23-25, The 27th Annual Mayfest on the historic Campbell Center Campus in Mount Carroll. A weekend of premier musical entertainment, crafts, children’s activities, a car show, food and spirits. 815-244-2411 or

24-25, Apple River Fort Rocks! - Kids History Fun Days at the Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth. Enjoy a fun-filled day full of children’s games and activities. Play stump tug, snake in the grass and more while learning a little history. 815-858-2028 or

24, 5th Annual Wine in Bloom Open House at Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth. Celebrate spring in the vineyard with live entertainment, tours of the winery and vineyard, and wine, chocolate and cheese tasting. 815-291-6700 or

31, Family Health and Fitness Fair at Midwest Medical Center in Galena. Learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Activities include cooking, dance and fitness demonstrations. 815-776-7265 or

31 – 6/1, The Second Annual Kite Festival at the Rec Plex in Pontiac. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Enjoy wonderful free family entertainment featuring a visit from the Chicago Kite/Kite Harbor, Ill. Kite Enthusiast Club. In addition, several national champion winners will be demonstrating their skills. Call 800-835-2055.



Horse Show

6-9, The 21st Annual Brocton Springfest Draft Horse Show in Brocton. Events will include a two-man cross-sawing contest, a parade, a redneck horseshoe contest, a kiddy tractor pull, antique tractors, an amateur horse and mule pull, Jonah Fish Fry, Battle Creek Band and more. 217-385-2450 or 217-385-2473.

DATEBOOK: June 2008

5/30-6/4, Sisters and Friends of Bloomington Fine Art Show at Ewing Cultural Center in Bloomington. 309-663-9395.

6, Farmer’s Market in Elizabeth. Every Friday 3 – 6 p.m. through October. 815-598-3138 or

7, Dandelion Wine and Fine Art Festival in Waukegan. Artists, music, poetry, Drum Circle and Lake County Art League Art Sale. 847-360-4740 or

12-15, The 30th Annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis. Come see a 15-foot Superman statue; the Super Museum; meet celebrities such as Ned Beatty, Allison Mack and Noel Neill, along with Comic Book artists and writers; enter the super costume contest; enjoy music, games and contests for kids and adults; a bike run; a car show; a carnival and much more. 800-949-5740 or

Garden Tour

24, Symphony Garden Tour in Rochester and Lake Springfield area. 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. A beautiful topiary garden in Rochester will be featured and refreshments will be served. 217-522-2838.

13-14, Blues on the Fox in Downtown Aurora by the Illinois Fox River. Each year the city provides top-notch Blues performers from around the country combined with all of the typical elements of a festival—great music, good food, beverages and Blues music vendors. All of this is offered in a beautiful and relaxed setting. 630-844-4FUN or www.bluesonthefoxaurora.

13-15, Naper Days in Naperville. Explore Naperville’s rich heritage and enjoy a variety of food at the Taste of Naperville, listen to musical entertainment, see the bed races and participate in plenty of family activities. 630-420-6010 or

14, The 2008 Garden Tour in Golconda. 618-683-9702.

15, Father’s Day at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Fathers and grandfathers who are accompanied by a son or daughter will receive free admission to the zoo. 309-434-2243.

20-22, Long Grove Strawberry Festival in Long Grove. This is the granddaddy of Long Grove’s signature festivals, drawing close to 50,000 visitors to the historic business district for the three-day event. It is considered one of the premier outdoor festivals in the Chicagoland area. The pleasures of summer are celebrated with “berry wonderful” strawberry-filled and inspired treats. 847-634-0888

Car Show

28, The Third Annual Mechanicsburg Magic Car and Truck Show in Mechanicsburg. Awards will go to the top 50 Best of Show. Dash plaques will go to the first 100 cars. Other events include a 50/50 drawing, a flea market, carnival rides, a craft show, food and more. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 217-364-4888.

21, Woofstock at Lambs Farm in Libertyville. Bring your pet, admission is free! Pet enthusiasts are sure to love this event dedicated to “man’s best friend.” Exciting activities take place throughout the day, culminating in the Canine Couture Fashion Show. Shop unique pet product and service vendors and even make crafts with your pooch! 847-362-4636 or

21, Galena Territory Garage Sale at the Marina Pavilion throughout Galena. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Featured as one of the largest garage sales in the area, proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Belden School, built in 1859. A plethora of “treasures” as well as many craft items will be available. 815-776-0433 or 815-777-4825.

21, Shiloh Spurs Women in the Outdoors Event at the Henry White Experimental Farm in Millstadt. Select from a variety of classes including archery, bedding plants, basketweaving, tree ID, our changing weather and more. 618-632-8014 or

21-22, Happy Birthday Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 9:30 a.m. – 4:

30 p.m. Help the zoo celebrate its 117th birthday! Visitors will enjoy free Papa Murphy’s pizza slices and birthday cake, free carousel rides, games, face painting by The Zoo Lady, up close animal encounters and more. This event is free with paid zoo admission. 309-434-2243.

28-29, Saybrook Freedom Festival in downtown Saybrook. Parade, fireworks, wine tasting, musical entertainment and many other activities. 309-475-6951.

Catfish Festival

27, 28 and 29, Havana Catfish and Waterfowl Festival at Riverfront Park in Havana. Festivities start Friday at 3 p.m. Catfish cooking contest at 4 p.m., serving catfish and walleye. Live music 5 – 8 p.m. Saturday Catfish Tournament from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. Festival 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., serving catfish and walleye. Live music 5 – 8 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. Duck Calling and Goose Calling contests for prizes and trophies, serving catfish and walleye 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Exhibitors, boats, ATV’s crappie equipment, rods and reels, duck calls, hunting and fishing equipment and raffles. Kids’ catfish pond, kids’ casting contests for prizes, kids’ catfish coloring contest with winner to go to national finals to win $5,000 scholarship. 309-452-9646.

28, Hunter Fuerste and His American Vintage Orchestra at Grant Park in Galena. 6 – 8 p.m. An authentic recreation of the big band era, the music of 1935 to 1945. Performance includes the hits of Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Count Basie and many others. Music arrangements have been painstakingly transcribed from the original 78 records in an effort to get the vocals as accurate as possible. Event is a fundraiser for The Galena Foundation. Donations appreciated. 815-377-7070.

28, Dimmitt’s Grove Neighborhood Association’s Day at the Vrooman Mansion in Bloomington.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Enjoy house and garden tours, a luncheon in the Vrooman Mansion (includes a mansion tour) and historic walking tours. Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln will be here to celebrate his 200th birthday. Music will be provided by the Thirty-Third Regimental Band. There will be several vendors offering art, plants, crafts, face painting and other children’s activities. Antique cars will be parked around the mansion.

28 – 29, The 29th Annual Fountain Square Arts Festival in Downtown Evanston. More than 250 fine artists show and sell their work to an audience of art aficionados and collectors. The festival is located on six city blocks amid restaurants, a bevy of coffee cafés, stores and hotels. Free admission. 773-868-3010.



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: May 15 for August Events, June 15 for September Events.

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

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© 2008 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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