This summer, The Bob Brady Auto Group, Neuhoff Media and Limitless Decatur are giving you The Hot 25! A list of the 25 hottest things to do and see in central Illinois this summer! Make sure to follow NowDecatur on Facebook all summer long as the team checks out these events in awesome vehicles provided by The Bob Brady Auto Mall and Bob Brady Cadillac/Buick/GMC! Better yet. . come join us to snag some “It’s Hot Bob” swag!
1. Grillin’ in the Garden – June 1
Friday June 1st, Baby TALK will host Grillin’ in the Garden, their biggest fundraiser of the year. This Louisiana-style Low Country Seafood Boil will be held this year at Progress City on the campus of Richland Community College. The down-home culinary evening will include food for seafood and land-lovers alike, with the main courses and desserts served up by Nelson’s catering. Door 4 craft beers, signature spiked peach tea and live music from the Jason Gotts Band. The event is casual and proceeds from Grillin’ in the Garden support Baby TALK’s local programming for at-risk children and the many families with young children in our community who are in need of support. Tickets are $75 each which includes dinner and 2 drink tickets, seafood boil, cornbread, pulled pork sliders and side dishes. Call 217-475-2234 to purchase. Tickets will also be available at the door. You can also purchase tickets when you click HERE. The event is sponsored by HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Earthmover Credit Union, Dynagraphics/Fast Impressions, Mcleod Express, WAND-TV, Panera Bread and Neuhoff Media.
2. French Fried 5K – June 2
The French Fried 5k & Street Party is back again to liven up downtown Decatur on June 2, 2018 from 10am-2pm. This non-traditional 5k and street party combines entertainment, exercise and fried foods in a way that appeals to everyone from runners to “just wanna have funners”. For the serious runners, this event will be timed like a traditional 5k. However, “funners” can walk the route, ride in a golf cart, or even bypass a portion and go straight to the party at the end. The route will once again feature multiple refreshment stops where runners can choose water and a banana, and “funners” can indulge in a beer and/or “less than healthy” treats. The Street Party in historic Central Park, features local favorite party band “Wreckless Whiskey”, drinks and “Taste of Decatur” style food booths featuring local restaurant tents serving up sample sizes of their most popular menu items. For Registration info, Click HERE. The Event is a fundraiser for the Decatur Celebration.
3. Moweaqua Pow Wow Days – June 7-10
Held the first full weekend in June every year in Moweaqua’s Central Park. The Moweaqua Pow Wow is four fun-filled days of live entertainment, contests, a parade, a talent show, a car show and amusement rides. A parade and car show takes place on Saturday. Little Miss/Mr, Junior Miss and Miss pageants are held. Children’s games, peddle tractor pull and much more for the family to enjoy. The Moweaqua Business Association started the Moweaqua Pow Wow in 1979. The Pow Wow will be held June 7-10, 2018. Click HERE for more info.
4. The Forsyth Classic – June 11-17
The Forsyth Classic is the longest running tournament on the LPGA Symetra Tour and the third longest running women’s golf tournament. This year, the tournament at Hickory Point Golf Club will showcase a three day, 54 –hole stroke play professional tournament featuring a purse of $130,000. For 34 years, the Forsyth Classic has been a fixture on the Forsyth summer calendar. Fans throughout Central Illinois travel to Forsyth to watch as 144 players from the United States, and around the world, compete to earn their spot on the LPGA Tour. Past Forsyth Classic champions have included two-time winner Tammie Green, Marilyn Lovander, Vicky Hurst, and four-time Rolex LPGA Player of the Year Award winner Lorena Ochoa. And who can forget winner Jennifer Song who so graciously gave back to our community. The event is free to spectators. Click HERE for more info.
5. Forsyth Family Fun Fest – June 15-16
This is a family-friendly weekend celebration, which includes activities such as: a Friday night cookout, amusement rides, games, Saturday morning 5k, parade, various food vendors, and free entertainment. The festivities conclude on Saturday night with live music and a firework display. For more information, Click HERE.
6. Shake the Lake Concert Series – June 22
Join 95Q for their 7th annual 95Q Fan Appreciation Concert presented by Speed Lube, as part of the 2018 Shake the Lake Concert series from the Decatur Park District and Dansig. The concert is free for all ages in the parking lot near the Beach House. Gates open at 6 pm and music will begin at 7 pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase. On June 22nd, see Jacob Bryant at 7pm and Walker McGuire at 8:30 p.m. For more info, Click HERE.
7. Come Together Be Empowered – June 30
Join the fight against Ovarian, Breast and Cervical cancer! The eighth annual Come Together will be held on June 30, 2018. This community event focuses on the fight against Ovarian, Breast and Cervical cancer. The logo, with three ribbons, symbolizes efforts in educating all women about these diseases and brings them under one umbrella of education, awareness, screening and treatment. By participating in this event, you along with our sponsors are helping us raise funding for not for profit organizations and their gynecological cancer programs. As this year’s presenting sponsors, Decatur Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, are assuring that women’s health is of paramount importance and can be addressed through a coordinated community approach. For more information, Click HERE.
8. Shake the Lake concert Series – July 4
Celebrate the 4th of July with a live concert in the park and fireworks! Held in conjunction with the Decatur Park District, Neuhoff Media and presented by Dansig! On July 4th, enjoy B.O.S.S. Jr. & Sr. performances at 5pm, followed by everyone’s favorite party mash up band, FUN DMC at 6pm! Fireworks will go off at dusk over Lake Decatur! Concert will take place in the “horseshoe” parking lot west of the Beach House. Concessions and beverages will be available for sale. No personal coolers. For More info, Click HERE.
9. Opening of Heroes Hall and the Children’s Museum of Illinois – July 7
On July 7th, 2018, a multi- million dollar expansion will open at the Children’s Museum of Illinois. Heroes Hall is a new wing that aims to positively introduce children to law enforcement. In addition to building the expansion, the museum has expanded partnerships with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur Police Department and Decatur Park Police to create programming which will build relationships between children, parents and local law enforcement officers. The two-story, 7,000-square foot expansion was funded through a $3 million grant by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The massive exhibit will include interactive activities related to law enforcement, including forensics, sketch artistry and even a real helicopter.
10. Scovill Zoo Ice Cream Safari – July 15
Nearly 1,000 zoo goers will visit Scovill Zoo on July 15th to see the animals and sample ice cream from Prairie Farms Dairy. Guest “dippers” will be handing out free samples of various flavors in this fun family friendly event. The event is from 1pm-4pm at Scovill Zoo at 71 S. Country Club Road. While supplies Last. For more info, click HERE.
11. McElroy Memorial Golf Outing – July 20
The 3rd Annual McElroy Memorial honors the legacy of Mayor Mike “Tuna” McElroy, paying tribute to a man who worked tirelessly to improve lives in Macon County. Proceeds benefit children, adults and families in our community by providing programming and member scholarships. $150/player includes golf outing, lunch and dinner; 4 drink tickets; commemorative Team Soy slap koozie and McElroy visor. For more info, click HERE.
12. BO3K – July 21
The Big Obstacle – July 21, 2018: Professionally timed 1.8 mile course of military-style obstacles, climbing walls, tunnels, strength and endurance challenges, inflatables and a slip-n-slide finish. BO3K 2018 offers challenging new obstacles, kids’ course, and a “kinda big obstacle” course for those who aren’t quite ready to take on the full BO3K. Stick around for music, food and beverages. Proceeds benefit Decatur Park District youth programs and United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois. Sign up by July 1st for $5 discount and to guarantee t-shirt/tank. For more into, click HERE.
13. Warrensburg Corn Festival – July 26-28
The Warrensburg Corn Festival is a free family friendly event on July 26th, 27th and 28th featuring live music, 5K run/walk, bicycle fun ride, parade, bounce houses, food vendors, craft vendors, Maddox sweet corn, car show, corn shucking contest, and so much more!! Thursday is Krekel’s West Family Night featuring Christian music artist Jason Gray! Friday is Tennessee Borderline. Saturday night is Big in Texas and the Boat Drunks. For more info, click HERE.
14. Shake the Lake concert Series – July 27
Celebrate summer with live concerts in the park, held in conjunction with Neuhoff Media and presented by Dansig! All concerts will take place in the “horseshoe” parking lot west of the Beach House. Doors open one hour prior to concerts. Concessions and beverages will be available for sale. No personal coolers. On July 27th, Shake the lake presents Canaan Cox at 7pm and Sam Grow at 8:30pm. Click HERE for more info.
15. Findlay Walleye Festival – July 27-28
This yearly festival has plenty of entertainment, food and fun. The Walleye is a feature for the festival with the fish being served daily. There will be plenty of entertainment, an ice cream social, fireworks on Friday, games, a farmer’s market, tractor pull, car, truck, & motorcycle show, a 5K event and plenty more. A large parade starts at 10am on Saturday and there will be plenty of kids activities and games both days.
16. Kidstock – July 28
KidStock is an arts and music festival featuring local children’s musicians and performers! Bring a t-shirt to tie-dye and your creativity to make crafts and explore the arts! Watch a live performance by The Awesome Squad! Create a tie-dyed piece of art (shirts for sale at event or bring your own item). Get a groovy (removable) tattoo. Learn about different instruments with the Symphony Guild at their musical instrument “petting zoo”. Visit booths from local community partners to create and paint! Admission is $12 for General Admission and $6 for members. 10am to 2pm at the Children’s Museum of Illinois. Click HERE for more info.
17. Razzle Dazzle Goodtimes Parade – August 4
The Razzle Dazzle Goodtimes Parade presented by Tate & Lyle, Decatur Earthmover Credit Union, and WAND-TV is the best parade in the Midwest and is a shining feature of Decatur Celebration, the most Exciting Street Festival in the Midwest.This fantastic parade is filled with over 70 unique marching units, creative floats, and bands giving their audience a memorable experience. For more info, click HERE.
18. Annual Lighted Lantern Parade – August 7
Join the Decatur Park District’s 82st Annual Lantern Parade on Tuesday, August 7th in Hess Park! The Park District is partnering with the City of Decatur, Decatur Police Department, and Macon County Sheriff’s Office to combine the Lantern Parade with the annual National Night Out! Enjoy a picnic, Scovill Petting Zoo, a DJ, games, inflatables, and a lantern parade around the park. 5pm to 8pm at Hess Park. Click HERE for more info.
19. Blue Mound Fall Festival – August 9th to August 11th
A 108 year old tradition continues! Every August the almost 12 hundred residents of Blue Mound welcome back former residents and invite the neighboring communities to the annual Blue Mound Fall Festival. The weekend activities include carnival rides, bingo, a DJ along with live entertainment. There are pageants as well, along with the parade at 10am Saturday. For more info, click HERE.
20. Backpack Attack – August 11
The Decatur Family YMCA wants to help those children get what they need to succeed this school year by offering the 8th Annual Backpack Attack. At the event, over 2,100 backpacks are given away to local kindergarten to 6th grade students. Inside those backpacks will be school supplies to help get them started. Funding for the project is provided by local sponsors. If you would like more information about how to receive a backpack or would like to volunteer, contact the Decatur Family YMCA. Click HERE for more info.
21. Pony Express Days- August 16-19
Mt. Zion Pony Express Days is a 4 day Fall event held by the Mt. Zion Lions Club at the Lions Club Pony Express Days Grounds. Bands, Carnival Rides, Food, Beer, Mud Drags, beautiful baby contests and the rowdiest and most celebrated Mud Volley Ball tournaments around! Click HERE for more info.
22. A Walk on the Wild Side, A Zooriffic Evening and the unveiling of new additions to the sculpture park – August 18
Don’t miss the Decatur Parks Foundation’s amazing, adults-only event, Walk on the Wild Side (formerly Zoo-rific Evening)! Event is August 18 at 5 p.m. at Scovill Zoo. Your $75 ticket includes unveiling of the new Sculpture Park sculptures, animal encounters, delicious food from your favorite local restaurants, beer and wine, live and silent auctions, and an after party with DJ Mondo! If you would like to just attend the after party at the Scovill Oriental Gardens, tickets are just $10 and available at the door.Purchase tickets at Behindeveryexperience.com or 422-5911. All proceeds benefit Scovill Zoo! For More Info- CLICK HERE
23. Amish Cheese Festival -September 1-3
Arthur invites tens of thousands of people to town every year over Labor Day weekend to celebrate its heritage and to just have fun. A whole downtown full of Food, games, crafts, races, entertainment, and of course, lots of CHEESE! They cut up two big 300 pound wheels of fresh cheddar and serve it free with crackers to thousands of guests everyday of the event. Add a corn dog or walleye sandwich or something else from the many vendors for a complete and “healthy” festival meal. Enter the Cheese Curling contest or try out as a Cheese Eating Champion, listen to some stage entertainment, or shop the bargains all the Arthur merchants put out on the street.Lots for the kids to do in Artie’s Party Zone with games , inflateables, kids rides, clowns, and special stage entertainment for the young at heart. Click HERE for more info.
24. Labor Day Pops Concert with the Decatur Millikin Symphony Orchestra – September 3
Join the MDSO in paying tribute to your hard work with a program selected entirely by you! From the patriotic to the sentimental, from the musical theater stage to the dance floor, the entire family will enjoy this program of audience favorites. The event is free in Central Park and features the musicians of the Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Sergey Bogza. Bring a lawnchair and a picnic! For more info, click HERE.
25. Arcola Broom Corn Festival – September 7-9
You are invited to the world-famous Arcola Broom Corn Festival, including the parade (featuring the world famous Lawn Rangers), craft booths, live entertainment, food vendors, and the 5K & 10K road race. Live entertainment will include 90’s Daughter, Feudin’ Hillbillies, Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets and more. Plus, don’t forget the national broom sweeping contest! Click HERE for more info.