Illinois State Fair Aug. 11-21. Deep-fried-everything on a stick, top-notch entertainment, white-knuckle carnival rides, high-energy street performers, agricultural shows and more. All the sights, sounds, smells and bells that you've come to expect from our state fair. Admission. Visit the Facebook page for event updates. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party Aug. 12, 8:30-10pm. From the Cawley Meadow, John Martin, UIS professor of astronomy-physics, takes you on a stellar tour of the sky and you can also catch some views through a telescope provided by the Sangamon Astronomical Society. Weather permitting. Call for more info. Free. Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-206-8342.
Aladdin Aug. 13, 1, 3, 5pm. Presented by the Springfield Dance theatre. Be sure to join the fun in the Cave of Wonders in the Legacy Lounge 30 minutes prior to each performance. $20; $25 day of the show. The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence, 800-838-3006.
Springfield Comic Book Convention Aug. 14, 10am-4pm. Comics, trade paperbacks, comic-related toys and sports cards. A place where you can embrace nerd culture along with everyone else. Buy and sale. Cash only. Free. Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center, 625 E. Saint Joseph St., 217-529-6626.
Cinema Under the Stars Aug. 19, 8-10pm. Watch Clifford the Big Red Dog, an adventure-comedy film, and learn the importance of love, despite differences. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, snacks and beverages (no glass). Free. Chatham Area Public Library, Chatham, 600 E. Spruce, 217-483-2713.
Rockballet Aug. 20, 8pm. Presented by the Copper Coin Ballet Company performing to the music of Queen as played by local band Downstate. $10-$20. The Muni, 815 E. Lake Dr., 217-793-MUNI.
USAC Bettenhausen 100 Aug. 20, 2pm. If you've never experienced the excitement of a day at the racetrack, this is your chance. $25 in advance, $30 day of day. Children 11 and under $10. Illinois State Fair Grandstand, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
Yart Sale Aug. 20, 9am-3pm. The SAA has everything you need to make your art bloom. Check it out. Supplies and equipment in metals, ceramics, painting, photography and more. Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631.
Abe's Amble 10K/5K Aug. 21. On the last day of the Illinois State Fair, hundreds of runners from Illinois and surrounding states take to the streets through the fairgrounds, Lincoln Park, Oak Ridge Cemetery and back. This challenging 10K course is USATF certified and a lot of fun. Certified 5K course option available. srrc.net. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
ARCA 100 + Sportsman Nationals Aug. 21, 1:30pm. Motorsports are some of the most popular sports today. Check out this race and find out why. $25 in advance, $30 day of day. Children 11 and under $10. Illinois State Fair Grandstand, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
Powerlight Christian Music Festival Aug. 21, 12:30-9pm. Featuring Jordan Feliz, 7eventh time down and many more at the Lincoln Stage. Free with paid fair admission. Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-553-5271.
217 Burger Week Aug. 22-31. Celebrating our local cuisine one burger at a time. Visit the website to see participating restaurants. Various locations, Springfield. 217foodweek.com.
Balloons Over 66 Weekend Aug. 26-27. Forty balloons will be launched from four locations. The weekend includes the annual Lincoln Art Fair, a BBQ competition, dock dogs, live music, car show, craft and vendor fair and more in the downtown area. Untethered balloon rides can be purchased. destinationlogancountyil.com. Downtown Lincoln.
Jumanji Aug. 26. When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped in it for decades and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Part of the Movies in the Park series. Begins at sunset. Free. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-585-1821.
Old Capitol Blues and BBQ Aug. 26-27. The best and bluesiest summer music and food. Featuring top blues bands, unbeatable and award-winning BBQ, cold drinks and first-rate fun. Old State Capitol Plaza, between Sixth and Fifth streets at Adams, 217-523-1455.
Bridging the Gap BBQ Aug. 27, 11am-2pm. Tons of children's activities, free food, emergency services vehicles to explore and more. Meet the police, first responders, community service organizations, local education institutions and religious organizations. A place to develop more familiar and trusting relationships with everyone. Hosted by The Outlet. Free. Jaycee Park Pavilion, 2400 E. Monroe St.
Hoop Skirt and Haber-DASH 5K fun run Aug. 27, 8am. Race back to the 19th century. The course is mostly flat. Fun costuming is encouraged. Dress like you just stepped out of a haberdashery or into the hoopiest hoopskirt you can find. A prize will be awarded for the best dressed of the bunch. springfieldart.org. $30. Edwards Place, Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631.
Kitten Circus Aug. 27, 12-5pm. Kittens of all ages and sizes perform daring acts of love and cuteness. Fun for the whole family. Adoption fee is just $25. Adoptions by appointment. Animal Protective League, 1001 Taintor Rd., 217-544-7387.
Wild & Free book signing Aug. 27, 8am-12:30pm. Young author Annaliese Hofner will be on hand at the Old Capital Farmer's Market to sign copies of her debut book, Wild & Free. Come out to meet this up-and-coming author. Old Capitol Farmers Market, Fourth and Adams streets, 217-544-1723.
Ice Cream Social Aug. 28, 5-6pm. Enjoy a frosty treat while listening to the harmonies of the Land of Lincoln Chorus. Coolers are allowed. Limited seating available and lawn chairs are suggested. Free. Sherman Village Park Amphitheater, Sherman, 1200 Rail Fence Dr., 217-496-2621.
Mustang and All Ford Show Aug. 28, 8am-4pm. Twenty-six classes, with three awards per class. Door prizes and silent auction at show. Judging starts at 12pm. Free. Landmark Ford, 2401 Prairie Crossing, 866-807-5399.
Jubilee Regional Championship Morgan Horse Show Aug. 31-Sep. 3, 9am-10pm. The stamina and spirit of the Morgan, combined with its build and way of traveling, contributed greatly to the formation of other American breeds including the Standardbred, Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse and American Saddle Horse. Coliseum, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave.
Prairieland Chautauqua Fri., Sep. 2, 5-8pm. "Celebrating Our Chautauqua, 1912 - 1930." Traditional events from the early years, plus storytellers, poetry recitations, science lectures, music, history and a children's show. morgancountyillinoishistory.com. Free. Nichols Park, Jacksonville, Holken Brink Dr., 217-271-7824.
Sangamon Valley Woodcarvers Show Sep. 3, 10am-4pm. Exhibits by woodcarvers, pyrographers, intarsia carvers and wood turners. Carvings, wood and tools for sale. Sign up for beginners' classes. Door prizes and a carving competition. Williamsville Community Center, Williamsville, 141 W. Main St., 217-306-6080.
Springfield Mile 1 and 2 Sep. 3-4. The world's premier flat track motorcycle racing series will celebrate its annual Labor Day weekend doubleheader. Ticket prices will increase the week of the event, so get them while they're hot. $20-$150. Children 12 and under $5-$25. Illinois State Fair Grandstand, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival Sep. 3,12-5pm. 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. sobfestival.com. The Inn at 835, 835 S. Second St., 217-522-3123.
First Sunday Midwest Bazaar Sep. 4, 8am-4pm. Everything you could ever need all in one place. Illinois State Fairgrounds Exposition Building, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-782-6661.
Bluegrass Concerts and Traditional Music Festival Sep. 9-10. Bluegrass performers from all over the Midwest will be playing in the Kelso Hollow outdoor theater. At the Traditional Music Festival on Saturday, traditional, folk and bluegrass musicians are invited to participate in impromptu jam sessions throughout the park from 10am-4pm. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, 15588 History Lane, 217-632-4000.
Spinning Sep. 9-10. For both new and experienced spinners. Numerous wheels will be available for practice or lessons. Visit the website for more information. jubileefarm.info. Fee TBD. Jubilee Farm, 6760 Old Jacksonville Rd., 217-787-6927.
Art Spectacular Sep. 10-11. A popular juried fine art and craft fair, ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of The Best 200 Art Fairs in the United States for over five years. Free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-306-1838.
Comedy for a Cause Sep. 10, 7:30pm. Presented by RXComedy and featuring some of the funniest comics in Springfield. Proceeds to benefit The Boys and Girls Club. $25. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.
Comedy hypnotist Jeff Harpring Sep. 10, 7:30pm. An evening of comedy, magic and hypnotic entertainment. hcfta.org. $18. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787.
Marbold Heritage Festival Sep. 10-11, 9am-3pm. Travel to the prairieland of central Illinois to see Civil War presentations, steam and gas engines, demonstrations, guided tours, live music, antiques, children's activities, food and drinks. historic-marbold-farmstead.org. Ages 14 and older $5, ages 6-13 $3. Historic Marbold Farmstead, Greenview, 21722 State Hwy 29.
Meet Me at the Movies Sep. 10. Hollywood actor Bishop Stevens and special guests, actor Wyatt Weed and NWA world champion Trevor Murdoch, will lead a red-carpet premier experience, including photo ops, raffles, silent auctions and more. The event will benefit the Garvey-Tubman Cultural Arts & Research Center. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-816-0820.
Opa Greek Fest Sep. 10, 11am. Gyros, Greek chicken, lamb, moussaka, Greek fries, saganaki, spinach pies and Greek salad. Desserts include baklava, cookies and loukoumades. All items individually priced. Live music all day. No admission fee. Opa! St. Anthony's Hellenic Orthodox Church, 1600 S. Glenwood Ave., 217-522-7010.
Vehicle Show and Swap Meet Sep. 10, 7am-3:30pm. An event hosted by the Illinois Secretary of State every year since 1950. See some of the finest antique and classic vehicles, sports cars, motorcycles, trucks and tractors. Held rain or shine. Spectators are free. Contestants $10. Downtown Springfield, Second and Monroe streets.
Ride to Remember Sep. 11. Line up of all vehicles begins at 9am, at Hall's Harley-Davidson. The police-escorted procession will leave at 10am and proceed to the Illinois State Capitol grounds to the 9/11 Memorial site where a ceremony will take place around 10:30am. Free. Hall's Harley Davidson, 2301 N. Dirksen Pkwy., 217-528-8356.
Car Show and Fall Cruise Night Sep. 17, 9am. One of the largest cruise events in Illinois. Come to the car show during the day and stay for the cruise that evening along Morton Avenue. This event brings in classic and antique autos for a day of fun for the whole family. Jacksonville Community Park, Jacksonville, 1201 S. Main, 217-473-1122.
Edwards Place Fine Art Fair Sep. 17-18. Shop over 70 different art vendors, take tours of Edwards Place Historic Home and join in other fun family activities. springfieldart.org. Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631.
Fall Festival Sep. 17-18. A local favorite with music, food, crafts, children's activities and historic buildings to tour. clayville.org. Clayville Historic Site, Pleasant Plains, Route 125, 217-481-4430.
Kids Good Grief Camp Sun., Sep. 18, 12-4pm. A supportive and fun camp for children ages 6-12 who have experienced the death of a loved one. Here they can share their experiences with other children, break down the isolation barrier and head towards an individual healing journey. Cost is $10 and scholarships are available. Sponsored and provided by the Staab Family. Register by Sep. 12. Erin's Pavilion, Southwind Park, 4965 S. Second St., 217-247-4421.
International Route 66 Mother Road Festival Sep. 23-25. Hundreds of cool street machines, muscle cars and thousands of hot rod enthusiasts will roll into the heart of Springfield's historic downtown for a weekend of family fun, live music and entertainment. Don't miss the burn-out contest. Downtown Springfield, between Washington and Capitol streets and Fourth and Seventh streets. 217-553-5271.
Route 66 5K Foot Race Sep. 25, 7:30am. Get revved up to race during the Route 66 Mother Road Festival. Get cool swag and have an iconic experience running on the streets with the classic cars in the show. See the Facebook page for sign-up information. Old State Capitol Plaza, Washington Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. 217-553-7695.
Steam Show and Fall Festival Sep. 23-25. Horse-powered equipment, antique tractors, gas and steam engines, bailing demonstrations, blacksmithing and more. Prairie Land Heritage Museum, Jacksonville, 1005 W. Michigan Ave., 217-243-7262.
Chatham Jaycees Oktoberfest Sep. 30-Oct. 1. Traditional (kind of) celebration with food, beer, games and live music. Chatham Community Park, Chatham, 731 S. Main St.
Candlelight Walk Oct. 7. Peek inside the log cabins lit only by candlelight and a fire in the fireplace. Period-clothed interpreters will be inside many of the homes and shops to talk about life in 19th century Illinois. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, 15588 History Lane, 217-632-4000.
Youth Charity Horse Show Oct. 7-9. Class sessions are 8am-10pm Friday and Saturday and 8am-6pm Sunday. The organization donates its annual proceeds to area charities. Free. Coliseum, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., 217-494-1215.
Carve for the Carillon Oct. 8-9, 11am-3pm. Scooped pumpkins will be ready for your creative carving. Bring your carving tools, family and friends. The carved pumpkins will be displayed at the following week's Jack-O-Spectacular. Rain or shine and while supplies last. Free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-546-3853.
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Oct. 14-15. Featuring carillon music, lighting, sound effects, a unique Tree of Lights and food vendors. Proceeds benefit the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon. Adults $7, children age 4-11 $5 and ages under 4 are free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 217-546-3853.
Prairieland Classic Cluster of Dog Shows Oct. 20-23. AKC Conformation dog shows. Hundreds of dogs in four shows by central Illinois kennel clubs. Dog supply vendors. Canine pals that are not entered in the show need to stay home. Sorry, Fido. Free. Illinois State Fairgrounds Exposition Building, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-621-5169.
Expo XLIII: Lagerstatte Oct. 21-22, 8am-5pm. World's largest fossil-only show. The. World's. Largest. Buy, sell, swap and display. Children's activities, silent auctions, programs and workshops. Sponsored by the Mid-America Paleontology Society. Free. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 815-228-5083.
Fall Festival Oct. 22. Hear the sounds and catch the scents of daily work in a 19th century village. Candle dipping, soapmaking, blacksmithing, spinning wool, gardening and natural dyeing by period-clothed interpreters. lincolnsnewsalem.com. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, 15588 History Lane, 217-632-4000.
Monster Mash Halloween Dance Fri., Oct. 28, 7-9pm. Wear your costume and dance with music by a DJ. Enjoy refreshments and treat bags. Hosted by the Springfield Park District. Erin's Pavilion, Southwind Park, 4965 S. Second St., 217-585-2941.
Zoolie Ghoulie Fri., Oct. 28, 1-8pm. Grab your little ghouls and goblins and have a wild time wandering through the zoo's spectacularly spooky Halloween scenes for some safe trick or treating. $5. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-585-1821.