I would be remiss in my Central Illinois blogging if I didn't mention that this weekend is the largest free street festival in Illinois, the Decatur Celebration.
For me the Celebration is something I like in small doses. I don't like being shoulder to shoulder looking at crafts or trying to eat my deep fried Snickers for very long. But, every few years the Celebration gets some out of this world acts and you have to check the stages so you don't miss out. This year the Celebration has War and that's awesome. One deliriously good year they got Moxie Fruvous, one of my favorite Canadian bands.
We used to live six short blocks from downtown, so we walked to the Celebration several times each weekend. I enjoy the parade (no politicians allowed!) and some of the food is awesome (hello, deep fried Snickers) and on Sunday the drunken rowdy crowd is sleeping off Friday and Saturday nights and the lines are shorter and the streets more maneuverable. If you take children, there is a large parking lot set up with activities. Otherwise, if you go at a popular time, may I suggest a leash?
If you go, there is good parking on the residential streets west of downtown. Prairie, William, and North near Monroe are good bets for free shady street parking. Check out my google map!