Google asks, I answer. What is going on in Central Illinois over Labor Day weekend? The following information is gleaned from the local newspapers. I did the sleuthing and decided what events were worthwhile for you. More events than this are happening so check out the newspaper links over on the right.
Friday, August 31st
Central Illinois Life favorites 56 Hope Road are playing in Decatur at the Cornerstone Tavern from 9pm to 1am.
In Peoria at the Riverfront Park, the Illinois Blues Festival will be going strong Friday and Saturday featuring Dave Mason, Watermelon Slim, Big James & the Chicago Playboys, Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones, and other blues performers. 6:45 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday. $12 for one day, $20 for both days.
All weekend in Decatur you can enjoy dancing at the Midwest Big Band Festival. The Decatur Conference Center and Hotel will be hosting four different orchestras; 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday. This is an event I have personal experience with because these dancers joyously invaded my wedding reception and showed off their awesome dancing skills to our hired jam band.
Another all weekend event is the Allerton Music Barn Festival in Monticello. It's pretty expensive, but a meal is included. The weather should be fabulous. Features Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, Donald Schleicher Festival Chamber Orchestra, Gusti Sudarta Balinese Wayan Kulit Gamelan Musicians & Puppetry. Tickets are $51 /SC & Stu $41 (includes meal), Festival Passes $226.
This is too good to pass up.
The Sleeze Factor is playing at Mac's Tackle Box on Saturday night in Decatur from 9pm to 1am with a $3 cover charge. If you've ever driven along Lake Decatur, Mac's Tackle Box is the bar/bait shop with the giant fish sign by the entrance to Nelson Park. I have no idea about the band, but the fact that there will be live music at a bait shop tickles me to no end.
Saturday night in Penfield at the Indian Ridge Campground of the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve there will be a guided night hike from 8:30 to 9:30 pm along the trails of the Middle Fork. Call 217.896.2455 to register. Free.
Sunday afternoon you'll want to head to Arcola for the Illinois State Old Time Fiddle Contest at Rockome Gardens. Register tomorrow for $4, after Aug 29 it's a whopping $6; call 217.795.2035 or 217.268.4106. Fiddling begins at 1 pm.
Sunday night the Pantagraph is hosting Pops in the Park at Miller Park in Bloomington. Music begins at 6:30 pm and features the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, with "Springfield Idol" winner Melanie Dennison playing music of Sousa, LeRoy Anderson, "Harry Potter" songs, and more. Free.
And finally, the reason for the day, getting tow down at a labor hall. On Monday beginning at noon (after the parade is over I bet) head on over to the AIW hall in Decatur for a DJ and later Whiskey and a Pickle at 5 pm. If you have never been to the AIW hall it is the eye popping epitome of Decatur labor halls. And I mean that in only the most loving and sincere manner.
There ya go Google, what's happening over Labor Day weekend in Central Illinois in a nutshell. I'll amend this post when I find more.