This year's big events

Noteworthy happenings in and around the capital city

click to enlarge This year's big events
Photo by Carol Weems
Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series, Thursday June 3-July 29

Event listings updated daily at

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is advised to check individual websites for up-to-date information and offerings


Abe's Mini Triathlon
May 8, Sat, 8:30am. 100-yard swim, 5-mile bike ride and 1-mile run. Porta High School, Petersburg, 17651 Bluejay Road, 217-341-1309.

Mother's Day Remembrance Tribute
May 8, Sat,10-11am. Honoring all mothers and the important roles they have played in our lives. The brief ceremony will be led by a certified celebrant. CDC guidelines will be followed. Roselawn Memorial Park, 1735 S. Camp Butler Road, 217-525-1661.

May 15, Sat, 9am-4pm. A bunch of blacksmiths sharing stories and making metal parts the old-fashioned way. The historic buildings will be open for small, socially distanced tours. Beverage service and popcorn available. Clayville Historic Site, 12828 State Route 125, Pleasant Plains, 217-481-4430.

Spring Market
May 15, Sat, 9am-2pm. Local vendors and artisans. Sangamon County Farm Bureau, 2631 Beechler Court, 753-5200.

Springfield Area Highland Games and Celtic Festival
May 15, Sat, 9am-10pm. Competitions for Highland dancers, individual pipers and drummers, bagpipe bands and athletes, demonstrations, storytelling, music, animal exhibits, children's area, merchandise and food vendors, many of which will be showcasing Scottish and Irish goods. $8-$15. Children under 5 are free. Tickets are available online only. Sangamon County Fairgrounds, 318 W. Birch, New Berlin. 217-488-2685.

Abstract Self-Portrait Gallery Show
May 21-22, Fri and Sat, 6-8pm. Variations on reality ... really. Dim Art House, 1613 S. MacArthur Blvd., 773-235-5600.

"Playing with Fire"
May 28, Fri. Part of the Movie in the Park Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks. Film begins at dusk. Free. Lincoln Park, Fifth Street and Sangamon Avenue, 217-544-1751.


International Carillon Festival
June 3-6, Thu-Sun. Begins at 6:30pm each evening. Fireworks at dusk on Friday. Lauded as one of the world's most important and prestigious carillon events, the festival has earned an unsurpassed tradition of presenting the finest carillonneurs from around the world. Free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-306-1838.

History Comes Alive
June 5 – Aug 7. Meet Abraham and Mary Lincoln at historic sites throughout the city where you can hear about their lives in Springfield, listen to Abraham deliver some of his most famous speeches or enjoy an ice cream social with them at Edwards Place. Various locations. Schedule to be determined. 217-789-2360.

Rochester Public Library Farmers Market Opening Day
June 6, Sun, 12-3pm. Shop local farmers' and vendors' products. Held rain or shine on pavement. Rochester Public Library, Rochester, 1 Community Dr., 217-498-8454.

"Field of Dreams"
June 11, Fri. Part of the Movie in the Park Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks. Film begins at dusk. Free. Bergen Golf Course, 2900 E. Clear Lake Ave., 217-544-1751.

Sangamon County Fair
June 16-20, Wed-Mon. A classic Midwestern county fair with livestock shows, a queen contest, midway and top-notch entertainment. Sangamon County Fairgrounds, 316 W. Birch, New Berlin, 217-488-2685

Juneteenth Celebration Weekend
June 18-20, Fri-Sun. A community-wide Juneteenth celebration with a variety of family friendly events, music and special displays at area museums.  Find more information on the Juneteenth Celebration- Springfield, IL Facebook page. 217-572-0234.

Paint the Street
June 26, Sat. Reserve a 6 ft. x 6 ft. square and getting to painting beginning at 12pm. Live music will begin at 7pm and food will be available. Paint the Driveway is also an option this year. Admission is free, squares are $30-$35. Downtown Springfield, Washington Street between Fourth and Eighth streets. 217-523-2631.


Legacy of Giving
July 2-3, Fri-Sat. Musical acts, children's area and food trucks. All proceeds benefit local charities. Downtown Springfield, Old State Capital Plaza, 217-361-5678.

Morgan County Fair
July 5-11. Mon-Sun. Cross the border to fill up on more corn dogs and lemonade shakeups. Livestock shows, carnival, exhibits and stage shows. Morgan County Fairgrounds, 110 N. Westgate, Jacksonville, 217-245-6800.

July 9, Fri. Part of the Movie in the Park Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks. Film begins at dusk. Free. Veterans Memorial Pool, 2700 Ely St., 217-544-1751.

"The Music Man"
July 9-11, July 14-18, July 21-25 and July 28-Aug 1. Wed and Thu at 7pm, Fri and Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm. A fast-talking traveling salesman brings trouble to River City, Iowa when he cons the townspeople into buying instruments for an imaginary band, but his plans are foiled when his heart is stolen by the town librarian. The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence Ave., 217-528-9760.

Women's Distance Festival
July 10, Sat, 8am. Bring your mother, daughter, sister or friend and run or walk this beautiful two-mile course through the park. For women and girls of all ages, whether you are a competitive runner or just plan to take a stroll. Registrants get a race shirt and an awesome swag bag. Washington Park, 1501 South Grand Ave. W., 217-544-1751.

Memorial Health Championship
July 15-18, Thu-Sun. Official PGA Korn Ferry Tour golf tournament. Panther Creek Golf Course, 3001 Panther Creek Dr., 217-416-1535.

Stoneman Sprint Triathlon, Abe's Olympic and Route 66 Half Triathlon July 31, Sat. One day, three races. Staggered start times. Lake Springfield Beach House, 100 Long Bay Dr., 217-341-1309.


"Avengers: Endgame"
Aug 6, Fri Part of the Movie in the Park Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks. Film begins at dusk. Kiwanis Park, 3050 Stanton Drive, 217-544-1751.

Powerlight Abe Lincoln Car Show
Aug 6-7, Fri-Sat. Super cruise at 7pm on Friday and car show spectacular 8am-4pm on Saturday. Free admission. Knight's Action Park, 1700 Knights Recreation Dr., 217-553-5271.

Illinois State Fair
Aug 12-22, Thu-Sun. So much to do it's impossible to list everything. Food, entertainment, grandstand shows, midway, exhibit, agricultural shows and more. Admission. Visit the Facebook page for event updates. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.

Abe's Amble
Aug 22, Sun. 10K/5K race. On the last day of the Illinois State Fair, hundreds of runners from Illinois and surrounding states take to the streets covering the fairgrounds, Lincoln Park, Oak Ridge Cemetery and back. This challenging 10K course is USATF-certified and a lot of fun. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.

"Raya and the Last Dragon"
Aug 27, Fri. Part of the Movie in the Park Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks. Film begins at dusk. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-585-1821.


"Negro League Beisbol"
Sep 4-Oct 30. Explore the connections of African-American baseball history with Hispanic cultures, communities and countries. Features profiles of significant baseball players including several local players and other country's baseball histories. Open during regular museum hours. Free. Springfield and Central Illinois African-American History Museum, 1440 Monument Ave., 217-391-6323.

Springfield Mile 1 and 2
Sep 4, Sat. The greatest spectacle in motorsports racing on the fastest one-mile dirt track in the world. $35 in advance, $45 week of the race. Illinois State Fair Grandstand, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-632-0277.

Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
Sep 4, Sat,12-5pm. This event has raised over $87,000 for area charities. Features over 130 different types of craft beers, 5000+ gourmet oysters, live music and local food trucks. Having a good time is much easier when it's for a great cause. $20-$25. The Inn at 835, 835 S. Second St., 217-523-4466.

9/11 Ride to Remember
Sep 11, Sat. A free memorial event to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Ride begins at Hall's Harley Davidson and ends with a ceremony at the state capitol. Hall's Harley Davidson, 2301 N. Dirksen Parkway, 217-528-8356.

Capital City Century Ride
Sep 11, Sat. One of the oldest and most popular recreational bicycle rides in Illinois. A scenic, one-day ride on low-traffic roads. Five route options. Hosted by the Springfield Bicycle Club. Centennial Park, 5529 Bunker Hill Road. 217-899-9175.

Art Spectacular
Sep 11-12, Sat-Sun. A juried fine art and craft fair, ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of The Best 200 Art Fairs in the United States every year from 2015 to 2020. Free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-306-1838.

Edwards Place Fine Art Fair
Sep 18-19, Sat, 10am-5pm and Sun 10am-4pm. Shop over 70 different art vendors, take tours of Edwards Place Historic Home and join in other fun family activities. Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631.

Fall Festival
Sep 18-19, Sat-Sun. A local favorite with music, food, crafts, children's activities and historic buildings to tour. Clayville Historic Site, 12828 State Route 125, Pleasant Plains, 217-481-4430.

International Route 66 Mother Road Festival
Sep 24-26, Fri-Sun. Celebrating 20 years, this festival brings street machines, muscle cars and hot rod enthusiasts to historic downtown Springfield for an incredible weekend of family entertainment. Downtown Springfield, between Washington and Capitol streets and Fourth and Seventh streets, 217-789-2360.


Fat Ass 5K and Street Party for Charity
Oct 8-9, Sat-Sun. Craft Beer and Cigar Festival on Friday evening. Saturday's race is a professionally timed 5K that has generated over $1.5 million for charity since 2008. The race includes stops for beer, corn dogs, donuts and ice cream, along with live music and entertainment throughout the race route. It is followed by a street party that includes cold drinks, barbecue and more live music. Downtown Springfield, Sixth and Adams streets, 217-525-1111.

Oct 9, Sat, 3-9pm. Join in this unique ceramic raku fundraiser event. Glaze a pot and while it's firing in an outdoor kiln, enjoy the fire, food and live music. Admission $20 or $30 with a pot, children 12 and under $15. Members receive 10% off. All prices increase $5 on the day of event. Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631.

Ron White
Oct 14, Thu, 7:30pm. The cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour phenomenon, has long since established himself as a star in his own right. $39-$95. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.

Whose Live Anyway?
Oct 16, Sat, 8pm. Improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. $35-$69. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.


Josh Turner
Nov 19, Fri, 8pm. Nashville recording artist, multi-platinum-selling star and a country music fan first and foremost. $19-$85. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.

Holiday Indoor Farmers Market
Nov 20, Sat. Local produce and art, plus holiday treats and gifts. A great way to get a jump on holiday shopping. Anvil and Forge Brewing and Distilling Company, 619 E. Washington St., 217-494-6200.

Nov 20, Sat, 7:30pm. The band draws from over four decades of barn-burning chart hits, joyous singalongs and hard-driving deep cuts. $54-$149. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.

Old Capitol Holiday Walks
Mid-November – Mid-December. Downtown Springfield Inc. presents the annual Old Capitol Holiday Walks with a variety of special events each weekend throughout the holiday season. 217-544-1723.

Light up the Gables
Nov 26, Fri. Annual holiday event with the lighting of the tree by celebrity guests and special events. The Gables, 2800 Plaza Dr., 217-793-3344.


Christmas with Santa
Dec 4, Sat. Clayville Historic Site, 12828 State Route 125, Pleasant Plains, 217-481-4430.

Holiday Lights Parade
Dec 4, Sat. A dazzling event for the season with a possible sighting of the jolly old elf himself. Hosted by the Springfield Jaycees. Parade begins at dusk. Downtown Springfield, Jefferson Street to Fifth Street to Monroe Street to Sixth Street, 217-544-1723.

Candlelight Christmas
Dec 10-11. Fri-Sat. Experience the sights and smells of Christmas long ago in the candlelit historic buildings. If you catch a chill from the nippy weather, warm up by the stone fireplace. Clayville Historic Site, Pleasant Plains, Route 125, 217-481-4430.

Holiday Indoor Farmers Market
Dec 18, Sat, 9am. Local produce and art, plus holiday treats and gifts. Anvil and Forge Brewing and Distilling Company, 619 E. Washington St., 217-494-6200.

First Night Springfield
Dec 31, Fri. An annual celebration of the arts with live music, dance and art exhibits at various downtown venues. A family-friendly, handicapped-accessible, and affordable event. Snacks available for purchase. $20, children $5. Hosted by the Springfield Area Arts Council. Downtown Springfield, 217-753-3519.