Maple Syrup Festival at Argyle Lake State Park - March 4, 2023
Located in Colchester's Argyle Lake State Park and hosted by the Friends of Argyle, the annual Maple Syrup Festival is sweet and sticky event features hay rack rides that take visitors to the park’s “sugar grove” of maple trees. For nearly a quarter of a century the festival has annual featured demonstrations of sap collecting, a “sugar shack” where the sap is boiled into syrup, children’s activities and educational displays, a campfire area where local Boy Scouts read out loud to children, concessions, and of course, maple candy and syrup.
The Maple Syrup Festival is free and open to the public.
ARGYLE LAKE BLUEGRASS CAMP OUT - May 5-7, 2023
The Argyle Lake Bluegrass Campout is an annual three-day bluegrass lovers paradise held at Colchester, IL's picturesque Argyle Lake State Park. Camping, jamming and entertainment for all ages. Bring your fiddle, banjo or guitar and join the fun.
Dates subject to change.
Blandinsville Farmers Picnic - May 11 - 14, 2023
2023 will mark the 136th year for this annual Forgottonia tradition in Blandinsville, IL. The Farmers Picnic is a three-day weekend event, which historically includes a tractor pull, a parade, a fishing derby and a racing derby. Plus, you'll find carnival rides, food, games, live music and good ol' fashioned fun for the whole family.
Dates subject to change.
May Play Days - 2nd full week of May (MAY 11 - 14, 2023)
May Play Days is an annual Forgottonia event held in Bushnell, IL the second week in May. It was founded over 40 years ago by the Bushnell Chamber of Commerce and Boden Amusement of Bushnell.
In addition to carnival amusement rides, classic fair food such as corn dogs, funnel cakes and lemon shake- ups are available along with the Bushnell Rotary Club's traditional favorite rib-eye sandwiches.
Sodbuster Days - June 2-4, 2023
A tradition that stretches back more than 46 years in Forgottonia is Sodbuster Days, an annual three-day heritage celebration held during the month of June in the village of Good Hope, IL.
In addition to the all-town yard sale there’s festive concessions like lemonade shake-ups, corn dogs, funnel cakes, tacos and pork chop barbecue.
You’ll also find an annual parade, a Little Miss and Master Pageant, a free magic show, a DJ, karaoke, bounce houses, and games including an egg toss, a boardwalk, pie eating contest, pinatas, bingo and a bags tournament.
There’s even a back seat driver contest which features a blindfold driver on a tractor with a person behind them in the wagon has got to tell them how to maneuver on a course riddled with curves, straights and turns!
Plus the Good Hope/Sciota volunteer firemen’s fish fry and barbecue, a kids’ pedal tractor contest, the Fireman’s Water-fight, and of course live local music.
Dates subject to change.
Click here for more info or call Jim and Kathy Wyatt at 309-456-3759.
Macomb Heritage Days - June 22-25, 2023
Since 1982 Macomb's Heritage Days Festival has been an annual family friendly event in Forgottonia which features live music on the main stage from Nationally Recognized Artists, incredibly Delicious Food, American Banner’s exciting Carnival Attractions, a Classic Car Show, Arts & Crafts vendors, a cooled tented Beer Garden, Contests & Games, The Bob Anstine Memorial Parade and the annual Airport Pancake Breakfast Fly-In plus SO much more! Heritage Days is traditionally held the last full weekend of June, so mark your calendars and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!
Independence Day - July 4th
The City of Macomb and Western Illinois University host this Forgottonia Independence Day Celebration annually on July 4.
Due to the global pandemic, all activities for our 2020 July 4th celebration that would have typically taken place in “Q-lot” have been cancelled. These included the Macomb Municipal Band and The King Graffiti Band.
Those attending the Fireworks Display may park in Q-lot, but must allow one parking space between each vehicle and follow all CDC social distancing guidelines (cdc.gov).
You may bring lawn chairs and enjoy the fireworks outside of your vehicle by utilizing the empty parking spots near the west of Western Hall. Additionally, because of the pandemic, public restrooms will not be available.
Survival Challenge - July 5 - July 9, 2023 ( July 8-9 open to spectators)
Held in the rural Forgottonia outskirts of Macomb, this 5-day event pushes contestants, from around the country and even former cast members of the hit television show “Survivor," to the limit of their physical, social and strategic skills as they enduring harsh elements, intense competitive challenges, and top-notch opponents in an attempt be the contest’s sole surviving winner.
SURVIVAL CHALLENGE is as close as you can get the the real hit television show and its open to the public. Spectators are invited to watch the real, days long grueling competition to see who will become the ultimate "survivor". You might even meet former cast members from TV’s “SURVIVOR!”
Some of the nearly 30 past participating former "Survivor" cast members include; Joel Klug, Troy "Troyzan" Roberts, Nina Poersch, Boo Bernis, Dr. Jill Behm, Twila Tanner, Spencer Bledsoe, Brooke Struck, Kelly "Purple Kelly" Shinn, and even "Survivor" Season One winner Richard Hatch.
Are you up to the CHALLENGE ? See for yourself on their Facebook page.
Bushnell Town and Country Fall Festival - August 23-26, 2023
The Town & Country Fall Festival is an annual Forgottonia event held in Bushnell, IL at the beginning of the school year in late summer/early fall and is open to the public.
In addition to carnival amusement rides and classic fair food this festival also includes free live music in the town square, an antique tractor and gas engine show, a classic car show, and a yearly parade to open the festivities.
Colchester Labor Day Celebration - Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 2023
For over 150 years folks have gathered from across the region and beyond to make in the annual Colchester Labor Day Celebration in Unforgettable Forgottonia. This event, which began a century and a half ago as a simple village picnic has grown to feature a parade, carnival, food and drink vendors, flea market and various entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.
Art, Wind & Fire - September 8 & 9, 2023
The Art, Wind & Fire Festival is a weekend long event in Forgottonia featuring The Gazebo Art Festival, YFC Disc Golf Open and Macomb's annual Balloon Rally.
The Gazebo Art Festival, named for the historic structure that resides in the middle of Macomb's Chandler Park where the event is held, is an event that has been annual held for more than 50 years! The festival presents original juried works of art for sale including painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry ceramics, fiber art and many other mediums that celebrates local and regional artists.
Local food trucks can also participate.
For more Gazebo Arts info click here
The Macomb's annual YFC Open Disc Golf Tournament held at the breathtaking Everwood Disc Golf Course in Macomb's Everly & Glenwood Parks. Lead by Tournament Direct and Disc Golf Pro Johnnie Harrison, this Pro-Am event is open to everyone and offers 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.
The Balloon Rally is the granddaddy of the regions Hot-Air Balloon Festivals and tradition that have last for more than 35 years. Held on the campus of Western Illinois University's Vince Grady Field, balloonists come to Macomb to blow off a little hot air and display their magnificent balloons both in flights and during the balloon glow. Plenty of food is available for everyone Along with live music. Handicap accessible. The event is free and open to all so come out and have a great time!
WIU Mega Reunion - September 8-10, 2023
This event, created to benefit WIU and the Macomb community, is the first ever all classes reunion to be held by the university and is open to all Leatherneck alumni.
In addition to the Mega Reunion proceeds and philanthropic initiatives benefiting WIU and the Macomb community, the WIU Foundation has established the Mega Reunion Fund. The scholarship fund was established to help eliminate barriers and often overlooked financial hurdles for both current and future WIU students.
For more information and registration go to WIUMegaReunion.com.
WIU HOMECOMING - OCTOBER 7 & 8, 2023
Celebrate all things Western Illinois University during the Leatherneck's annual Homecoming weekend in Macomb.
WIU's Homecoming celebration has been a century long annual event and the week leading up to the big day features competitions and activities including Scavenger Hunts, Annual Rocky's Boat Regatta, Variety Shows, Painting of the Paws, Paint the Town and the eventful Yell Like Hell contest.
Saturday's Homecoming Day itself spotlights the annual W.I.U. Homecoming Parade, which showcases marching bands, floats, and other regional attractions, as it winds it's way through Macomb's historic downtown square on it's way to the university campus. The day caps off with the traditional Homecoming Football Game in which the W.I.U. Fighting Leathernecks display their true gridiron grit.
Find the WIU Homecoming schedule here
Dickens On The Square: A Magical Holiday - Dec. 1 & 2, 2023
This annual holiday festival held in Macomb's Historic Downtown, presents the perfect opportunity to slow down, take a step back in time and experience the nostalgic small town charm the Christmas season brings. Experience this magical holiday festival featuring colorful characters, food, music, Clydesdale drawn carriage rides, live reindeer, the Festival of Trees and of course the ol' boy himself, Santa Claus (real beard) meeting children all evening in his magic cabin in the Square!
Sign up for the Santa Zephyr Express and experience an enchanting train ride with Santa and his helpers as Amtrak’s Illinois Zephyr car is transformed into a magical place that takes you from Quincy to experience Dickens Christmas On The Square: A Magical Holiday in downtown Macomb, IL.
Book your overnight package and have breakfast with Santa and his friends!
Christmas Lights Parade - December 2, 2023
Nothing will put you in the holiday spirit quite like the Christmas Lights Parade in Bushnell, IL.
This annual event features of scores of vehicles, intricately and painstakingly dressed in awe-inspiring yuletide lighting and festive seasonal decorations. As they slalom their way through the village streets, throngs of thrilled onlookers line the curbs as their children squeal with delight.
This is an event you don't want to miss. If ever there was a true Wonderland of Winter, the Bushnell Christmas Lights Parade may be just that.