Visitors Guide to the
Calendar of Events in
Southern Illinois & Western Kentucky
in the Mississippi River Meets the Ohio River Region
   

FUND RAISER FOR
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Carbondale, IL
  Saturday, April 26, 2014
Registration at Noon
Walk starts at 1 pm
1365 Douglas Drive
Join other walkers in this signature fundraising event of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in routes of either 1 and 3 mile options.
For more information call 314-781-9020 or visit www.gatewaymssociety.org.
BLESSING OF THE BIKES
Alto Pass, IL
  Sunday, April 27, 2014
7 am - 4 pm
Bald Knob Cross of Peace, 3630 Bald Knob Cross Road

Thousands of motorcyclists travel to Bald Knob Mountain, Southern Illinois’ highest point and the site of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace located just outside of Alto Pass, about 10 miles south of Murphysboro on IL-127.
Free
For information call 618-893-2344

CARBONDALE COMMUNITY
FRIDAY NIGHT FAIR

Carbondale, IL
  May 2 - June 27, 2014
Every Friday: 6 pm - 9 pm
On the Town Square, corner of Route 51 North and Route 13 West

This back to basics community event features local, home grown and handmade products and services.  Have fun, eat good food, be entertained and support locally produced, environmentally conscious products and services.  A large variety of local products including, handmade crafts and local grown produce will be available for purchase. Enjoy fresh food from the Food Court and live entertainment.  Bring the entire family!  Activities and childcare available at the Kids Korner!
Free
For information call 618-529-8040
  or visit www.carbondalemainstreet.com

MAKANDA SPRING FEST

Makanda, IL
  May 3 - May 4, 2014
11 am - 6 pm
Downtown Makanda

This annual spring festival features artists from the surrounding area who will be displaying their finest works for viewing and purchase. Live music is scheduled to take place at the Makanda pavilion and in the Rainmaker's Garden with Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues and various other music by local bands for the duration of the two-day event.
Free
For information call 618-457-6282
  or visit villageofmakanda.com

LUNCHTIME CONCERTS

Carbondale, IL
  May 7 - June 25, 2014
Every Wednesday: Noon - 1 pm
Town Square Pavilion, corner of Route 51 North and Route 13 West

Local musicians play a series of free concert in the Town Square Pavilion. Order lunch from a downtown restaurant, or bring your own. Bring a lawn chair, and we'll see you downtown!
Free
For information call 618-529-8040
  or visit www.carbondalemainstreet.com

ART & WINE FESTIVAL

Murphysboro, IL
  Saturday, May 24, 2014
Noon - 8 pm
Riverside Park, 2610 West Riverside Park Road

Come and enjoy a day of music, fine art, the best regional foods, and all 12 wineries of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. This annual festival has become a showcase for the finest cultural aspects in Southern Illinois.
Admission, tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.
For information call 1-800-406-8774 or 618-684-6421

MEMORIAL DAY
WEEKEND CELEBRATION

Thebes, IL
  May 24 - May 25, 2014
10 am - 3 pm both days
Thebes Historical Courthouse, Fifth and Oak Streets

This event is hosted by the Thebes Historical Society and features music, food, local crafters, vendors as well as numerous drawings for a variety of prizes! All proceeds benefit the preservation and maintenance of the 1800's era Courthouse.
Free
For information call 618-764-2303
  visit www.thebescourthouse.com
     

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
MUSIC FESTIVAL

Southern Illinois
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
June, 2014

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and other locations throughout Southern Illinois
The annual Southern Illinois Music festival features dozens of performances in venues from Mt. Vernon to Cairo and Murphysboro to Marion with the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, the heart of the Festival.  Musicians from throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia perform orchestral and chamber music, opera, ballet, jazz, and new music in an informal and inviting atmosphere. These special events delight young and old alike.
Most of the performances are free
For information call 618-453-2776
  or visit www.sifest.com for complete schedule and ticket information

CARLISLE COUNTY FAIR

Bardwell, KY
  June 3 - June 7, 2014
Carlisle County Fairgrounds, US Highway 62
Special events, 4H, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, carnival, horse show, car show, Queen pageant, variety of foods and other exhibits.
Admission
For information call 270-628-5458
DESOTO DAZE FESTIVAL
De Soto, IL
  June 20 - June 22, 2014
Friday: 3 pm - 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am - Midnight
Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm
700 West Main Street

This community festival features the awesome DeSoto Daze Custom Car Show (cars from in state & out of state), a Talent Show, co-ed softball tournament, yard sale/craft sale, parade, gospel sing, karaoke, pet show, horseshoe & washer contests, firemen's water fight, talent show, food vendors, pony rides, children's activities and more. Grab the family, grab your friends and come join the fun.
Free
For information call 618-867-2315
  or visit www.villageofdesoto.com
JACKSON COUNTY
SHRINERS RODEO

Grand Tower, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
June, 2014

7 pm
Grand Tower Fairgrounds

This rodeo features bull riding, bronco riding, barrel racing and junior steer riding. This is a fantastic event in the small Mississippi River community of Grand Tower along the Mississippi River.
Admission
For information call 618-687-1100

FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

Murphysboro, IL
  Friday, July 4, 2014
Riverside Park, 24th and Commercial Streets
Each year Murphysboro's Riverside Park hosts one of the best fireworks displays in Southern Illinois. The fireworks start at dusk and are preceded by live entertainment on the stage of the historic shell in the evening.
Free
For information call 618-684-3333

BALLARD COUNTY FAIR
LaCenter, KY
  July 7 - July 18, 2014
Ballard County Fairgrounds
Special events, 4H, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, carnival, Queen pageant, variety of foods and other exhibits.
Admission
For information call 270-665-9771

FIREWORKS DISPLAY

Anna, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
July, 2014

Fireworks start after Dusk.
The community of Anna holds its annual fireworks display at Anna City Park.
Free
For information call 618-833-8571

HICKMAN COUNTY FAIR

Clinton, KY
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
July, 2014

Highway 51 North
Special events, 4H, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, carnival, horse show, car show, Queen pageant, variety of foods and other exhibits.
Admission
For information call 270-653-4301

COBDEN PEACH FESTIVAL

Cobden, IL
  August 1 - August 2, 2014
The festival opens at 5 pm each night
Cobden Community Park

This event, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club where attendees can enjoy Karaoke and a DJ Show, Bingo and other games, great peaches and cream, peach cobbler & other great homemade food, along with a carnival, entertainment, and a Peach Queen contest. In addition to festival activities there will be a 5K run/walk on Saturday morning, a parade on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. The Union County Museum and Cobden’s restaurants and shops are open all day each day.
Free
For information call 618-893-2425
  or visit www.cobdenil.com

UNION COUNTY FAIR

Anna, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
August, 2014

7 am - 10 pm
85 Herman Wright Drive

Special events, 4H, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, carnival, horse show, car show, Queen pageant, variety of foods and other exhibits.
Free, Admission charged after 6 pm
For information call 618-833-8923
  or visit www.unioncountyfair.net
ART, CRAFTS & YARD SALE
Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
August, 2014

8 am - 2 pm
SIU Arena Parking Lot #18

This event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Carbondale features a variety of merchandise, including antique alley, an arts and crafts corner, and booths local businesses. The rain date is Sunday, August 25 with the same hours.
Free
For information call 618-529-3307 or 618-549-6953

LUNCHTIME CONCERTS

Carbondale, IL
  September 3 - September 24, 2014
Every Wednesday: Noon - 1 pm
Town Square Pavilion, corner of Route 51 North and Route 13 West

Local musicians play a series of free concert in the Town Square Pavilion. Order lunch from a downtown restaurant, or bring your own. Bring a lawn chair, and we'll see you downtown!
Free
For information call 618-529-8040
  or visit www.carbondalemainstreet.com

MURPHYSBORO
APPLE FESTIVAL

Murphysboro, IL
  September 10 - September 13, 2014
See the website listed below for schedule information
13th & Walnut Streets

The Murphysboro Apple Festival is Southern Illinois longest running family festival, featuring the largest parade in our region!  This family oriented event is a time-honored tradition, synonymous with Murphysboro's good name.  A few of the many events during the festival  include apple pie eating contests, arts & crafts, the Murphysboro Clarkes vintage base ball team tourney, special exhibits by the General John A. Logan Museum and so much more.

Free, some activities charge a fee
For information call 1-800-406-8774 or 618-684-3200
  or visit www.murphysboro.com

MURPHYSBORO
BARBECUE COOK-OFF

Murphysboro, IL
  September 18 - September 20, 2014
Thursday: 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Friday: 3 pm - 9 pm
Saturday: 8 am - 6 pm

32 N. 17th Street
People come from miles around for the Thursday's fish fry, for the barbeque, for dancing and fun at this annual event. The Grand Champion wins the right to compete in Memphis in May for the World Championship, at the American Royal in Kansas City, and wins the title of the State of Illinois Championship. Friday features the Grand Champion Buffet and Band & Street Dance. Awards judging takes place on Saturday and there will be KCBS Great American BBQ Tour demos throughout the day. Sponsored by the 17th Street Bar & Grill
.

Admission
For information call 618-684-8902
  or visit www.17thstreetbarbecue.com

RIVERSIDE BLUES FESTIVAL

Murphysboro, IL
  Saturday, September 20, 2014
11 am - 10 pm
Riverside Park, 24th and Commercial Streets
Come and listen to the sounds of the blues at the premier blues festival in Southern Illinois. There will be bands from Chicago, St. Louis, and Memphis playing all day long. Food and refreshments will be available on the grounds.

Admission, tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.
For information call 618-684-6421
  or visit www.murphysborochamber.com
SIUC FAMILY WEEKEND
CRAFT SALE

Carbondale, IL
  Friday, September 27, 2014
10 am - 5 pm
SIUC Student Center Art Gallery (1st Floor)

Each year the SIUC Saluki Family Weekend celebration brings excitement to the Student Center. Hundreds of parents, students, and members of the Southern Illinois community take part in many campus events including this craft sale.

Free
For information call 618-453-3636
 or visit http://siustudentcenter.org/craft-sales
HORSESHOE LAKE
LABOR DAY CELEBRATION

Olive Branch, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
September, 2014

6:30 am - 4 pm
Horseshoe Lake Community Center, 22434 Railroad Street

Pancake breakfast begins at 6:30 am and BBQ and other food is served from 10 am till 4 pm. There will be music all day as well as vendors, games, crafts & a bake sale. Rain or shine. Proceeds benefit the Community Center maintenance fund.

Free
For information call 618-776-5198

CARBONDALE DOWNTOWN
ART & WINE FAIR

Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
September, 2014

3 pm - 9 pm
Jackson Square, N. 2nd Street

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Association will be joining the Carbondale Main Street Association to hold this very classy event. Fantastic wines, with a variety of local artists and artisans, downtown stores, and restaurants open. This event provides something for everyone to enjoy.
Admission
For information call 618-529-8040
  or visit www.carbondalemainstreet.com
"RADDLE THE BOTTOMS" BLUEGRASS & FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Raddle, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
September, 2014

11 am - 8 pm
St. Ann's Churchyard

This annual festival features a variety of bluegrass bands. The event also features a silent auction, T-shirts, food and beverages, and raffles. All proceeds benefit Sandra's Comfort Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports existing pancreatic research organizations.

$2 per person, Children 10 and under Free
For more information call 618-559-4287

UNION COUNTY
COLORFEST CELEBRATION

Union County, IL
  Saturday, October 11, 2014
Various locations
Celebrate the fall season throughout Union County. Join the P.A.S.T. Historic Walking Tour from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm by purchasing a $5 self-guided tour booklet at Stinson Library Flea Market in Anna. Participate in the biathlon race, tour the Shawnee Hills wine trail, and visit the area’s orchards. Kid Fest will be held at Anna’s city park from 9 to 5 on Saturday and features the Annual Wiener Dog Derby. Activities at Stinson Library include a flea market, a book sale, crafts, jewelry, food and music, and the South End Stump Jumper annual variety show Sat. at 7pm. At the Anna Arts Center local artists provide hands-on workshops in painting, drawing, weaving, 3-D design, mosaic, and jewelry making & evening Stage performances feature local story tellers, poets, musicians, and comedians.

Free, some activities charge a fee
For information call 1-800-248-4373

VULTURE FEST

Makanda, IL
  October 18 - October 19, 2014
Saturday 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm
Downtown Makanda

Black vultures and turkey vultures fly and swoop in the skies surrounding Makanda each fall. Local residents await their return each fall as an end to the hot summer and the beginning of cooler fall weather. This celebration of the Vulture's annual migration features live music and displays by local artists for purchase. Come join the celebration and see this awesome unique event as these birds return.

Free
For information call 618-618-457-6282
  or visit villageofmakanda.com

TOUR DE SHAWNEE
BIKE TOUR

Olive Branch, IL
  Saturday, October 25, 2014
Horseshoe Lake Community Center, 22434 Railroad Street
Great Routes, Great Rest Stops, Great People make this ride a Great Event. The Tour offers rides of 15, 30, 62, and 100 miles. All proceeds from the ride will go toward Alexander County Tourism projects.

Registration fee
For information call 1-866-407-1450 or 618-776-5893
  or visit tourdeshawnee.com

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
IRISH FESTIVAL

Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
October, 2014

Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 4 pm
Lenus Turley Park, W. Main Street

This festival celebrates the music, the spirit, and the traditions of the Irish people with special concerts, a Celtic Fair, dance workshops and demonstrations, Celtic arts and crafts, and merchandise, children's activities, and more. There will be evening concerts on Friday and the Celtic Fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday. For information on the Friday concerts visit the website below.

Admission
For information call 618-549-3090
  or visit www.silirishfest.org

CIVIL WAR DAYS

Columbus, KY
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
October, 2014

Friday: 9 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 10 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 6 pm

Columbus-Belmont State Park

This annual event includes battle reenactments, living history, and encampments. Friday is "education day". Schools, scouts, groups, & clubs are encouraged to schedule field trips. Battles will be held at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Ghost Walk on Friday evening and a Civil War Ball on Saturday night. Sunday morning features services and a Memorial Service at Columbus Cemetery. Sutlers and food vendors will be on site to serve the needs of the reenactors and visiting guests. Special entertainment daily.

Free
For information call 270-677-2327
ANNA ARTS CENTER
HOLIDAY BAZAAR

Anna, IL
  Saturday, November 29, 2014
10 am - 5 pm
Anna Arts Center, 125 West Davie Street

Come find that unique gift.  Art work, stain glass, knives with deer horn handles, quilts, festive cards, jewelry, and more. So get your Christmas list and come find a gift for your family and friends and support the artists and crafters. Make a FREE Christmas ornament at the Anna Arts Center booth. Everyone is invited – kids of all ages! .

Free
For information call 618-833-6525
CHRISTMAS BAZAAR
Cobden, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
November, 2014

Saturdays: 8 am - 4pm
Sundays: 1 pm - 4 pm
Union County Museum, 117 S. Appleknocker Drive

This annual event features Christmas decorations and gifts at reasonable prices. The bazaar begins Saturday, November 16 and runs every weekend through Saturday, December 14.

Free
For information call 618-893-2865
SIUC HOLIDAY CRAFT SALE
Carbondale, IL
  December 4 - December 6, 2014
Thursday & Friday: 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 4 pm

Art Gallery & Renaissance Room (Student Center 1st floor), 1255 Lincoln Drive

This annual Holiday Craft Sale features more than seventy-five regional craftspeople.  Many people take advantage of this annual event to do their holiday shopping for holiday decorations, gifts, and unique items.

Free
For information call 618-453-3636
 or visit http://siustudentcenter.org/craft-sales
CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE
Cobden, IL
  Saturday, December 6, 2014
Downtown Cobden
Santa Claus, strolling carolers, surrey rides, piñatas, Christmas Bazaars and lighting of the village tree. 5K run & walk, along with other activities and entertainment.

Free
For information call 618-893-2425
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
December, 2014

Friday: 7 pm
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7168 Old Highway 13
Kick of the season with this interfaith concert that celebrates the birth of the Savior of the world. The concert features a variety of area musicians and bands that provide a great night of musical entertainemnt, nativity sets from around the world will be on exhibit for three days with musical entertainment on Friday and Sunday
.

Free
For information call 618-684-8587
 or visit the event website
LIGHTS FANTASTIC PARADE
Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
December, 2014

6 pm
Downtown Carbondale

Since 1990, this winter-time celebration has warmed the hearts of the young and young at heart. Drawing participants not only from Carbondale, but also many of the surrounding communities. Over sixty entries including dancers, musicians and some very unique floats travel down Illinois Avenue with Santa Clause as the jolly conclusion. Parking and shuttle buses available at Murdale Shopping Center and University Mall beginning at 4 pm.

Free
For information call 618-529-8040
  or visit www.carbondalemainstreet.com
A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM
Cobden, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
December, 2014

First Baptist Church, 200 South Walker Street
Walk through the streets of Bethlehem. Talk to shopkeepers, shepherds, Roman guards, and townspeople.  Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the “first” Christmas. Have your family’s picture taken with the little town of Bethlehem in the background. Make a toy in the carpenters shop, make your own pottery, purchase soap and spices with (provided) shekels.  Take home homemade breads and taste candy from the candy shop. As you wind through the streets of Bethlehem, you will hear the exciting story of what has happened there.

Free, reservations recommended but not required
For information call 618-893-2261 or 618-697-1051
  or visit the event website
SIUC VALENTINE’S DAY
CRAFT SALE

Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
February, 2015

10 am - 5 pm
SIUC Student Center Art Gallery (1st Floor), 1255 Lincoln Drive

This Valentine’s Day Craft Sale fits the bill for those last minute shoppers searching for the perfect gift for that someone special. Everyone from SIUC faculty, staff, and students to the local community shops at this special one day sale.

Free
For information call 618-453-3636
 or visit the event's webpage

BIG MUDDY FILM FESTIVAL

Carbondale, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
February, 2015

Southern Illinois University
The Big Muddy Film Festival, based at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is among the longest-running student-organized film festivals in the United States. The Big Muddy is dedicated to supporting the work of emerging and accomplished filmmakers and video artists.  The Festival showcases experimental, documentary, narrative, and animation films of all genres and themes.

Some events are free and some charge admission
For information call 618-453-7703
  or visit www.bigmuddyfilm.com

ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVITIES

Murphysboro, IL
  PROBABLE EVENT - DETAILS TBA
March, 2015

See the website listed below for schedule information
Various locations and times

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Murphysboro with a day long’s schedule of activities including the Irish corned beef buffet, a 5K walk/run, a parade, an Irish kids’ festival, beer tasting, and a dart tournament.

Free, some activities charge a fee
For information call 1-800-406-8774 or 618-684-6421
  or visit www.murphysborochamber.com
   
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