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Sculpture Feature Image

This week we asked our Instagram followers to share photos that surround the theme “sculpture.” Check out a few of our favorite shots from around the state below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for upcoming weekly challenges. Share your best photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois and your photo could be featured.

For more unique Illinois destinations, events and attractions check out

Mt St. Mary Park - St Charles - (at)

We kicked off this week’s challenge with this unique black and white shot of Mt. St. Mary Park in St. Charles by!

Star-Crossed Pollinators Sculpture - (at) sam_morehead

How cool is this shot of the Star-Crossed Pollinators Sculpture in Bloomington? Thanks @sam_morehead for sharing!

Lincoln Statue - (at) debsfarmstand

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, and almost anywhere you go, you’re bound to find Lincoln history. Instagramer @debsfarmstand captured this shot of the Lincoln statue in Dixon!

Art Institute Lion - (at) c.kopeckyck1

Instagramer @c.kopeckyck1 shared this shot of the famous bronze lion statue outside the Art Institute of Chicago.

Federal Plaza Flamingo (at)secondcityginger

We love the contrast between the angular, black buildings and abstract, red sculpture in this shot by @jibasaur. This piece called “Flamingo” by Alexander Calder is located at Federal Plaza in Chicago.

Flamingo (at) mrrogers82585

Here’s another shot of “Flamingo” by @mrrogers82585!

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Farmers Market Feature Image

Summer is just around the corner, and that means farmers market season. All over the state, markets filled with locally sourced fruits, veggies, meats, pastries, cut flowers, artisan-made goods and more are opening their doors – or should we say tents? – for the season. We’ve rounded up four of the best in the state here:

Green City Market, Chicago

As one of Chicago’s top farmers markets, don’t be surprised if you see some of the city’s premier local chefs buying ingredients for their weekly menu at Green City Market. The outdoor market is open in Lincoln Park every Wednesday and Saturday from May through October offering a wide selection of local produce, flowers, meat, seafood, breads, pastries and more. Check out Green City Market’s website for information on live demonstrations from local chefs and ready-to-eat food vendors at the market. Open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays May 7 –October 29.


Photo credit: Green City Market

Market at the Square, Urbana

Looking for something outside the ordinary? Look no further than Urbana’s Market at the Square. As one of the largest and most diverse markets in the state, this unique farmers market has 170 vendors featuring arts and crafts, beer and wine, flowers, and locally-grown produce stemming from the richest farmland in the country. This Market also extends well beyond fresh produce – it offers entertainment from local musicians, kids activities with Sprouts at the Market, food trucks with doughnuts and fried egg sandwiches, and much more. Open 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays May 7-November 5.

Market Entrance

Photo credit: Visit Champaign

Old Capitol Farmers Market, Springfield

The Old Capitol Farmers Market can be found in the heart of downtown Springfield. You’ll find local farm and artisan vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods and cheeses, flowers, and more. The market is just steps from the Old State Capitol historic site and other sites like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Lincoln Home and Dana-Thomas House – a Frank Lloyd Wright design! Open 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays May 13-October 31


Photo credit: Visit Springfield

Rockford City Market, Rockford

Rockford City Market features local growers and vendors who sell natural products and unique retail items, live music, demonstrations and kids’ activities. The market is officially up and running as of May 20 and will be open through September. Open 3:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays May 20-September 2 and 3:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays September 9-30.


Photo credit: Rockford City Market

Looking for more farm fresh ideas? It’s not just these markets that offer the freshest produce and local flavors. Illinois is home to a variety of farm-to-table dining experiences that you can enjoy this summer. Check out more on Travel Illinois online.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Feature Image

Illinois rocks. And this year, we mean that literally. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may just be music’s highest honor. This year, the Hall of Fame is inducting two of Illinois’ own. Cheap Trick and Chicago, two bands with Illinois roots and international appeal, are being honored as influential leaders in the music industry. Check out how you can take part in celebrating their music and accomplishments right here in Illinois.

Cheap Trick

Hailing from Rockford, Cheap Trick was formed in the early 1970s by Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, Bun E. Carlos and Robin Zander. Releasing their first studio album in 1977, their success has remained consistent over the past 40 years. With albums like “In Color,” “Heaven Tonight,” “Dream Police,” and “Lap of Luxury,” and singles including “The Flame,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “I Want You to Want Me,” it is easy to see why they’re still selling out shows. Illinois has even stepped up to recognize Cheap Trick’s influence on the music industry, officially declaring April 1 as Cheap Trick Day in the state.

To celebrate the hometown heroes’ Hall of Fame induction, Rockford has planned a full “Cheap Trick” takeover for the city, renaming itself “Trickford” complete with a newly adopted website And the celebrations don’t stop there! Rockford is also naming the four founding members’ boyhood streets after them and establishing “Cheap Trick Fan Trail” tours around the city to allow visitors to experience the band’s Rockford roots for themselves. To top it off, Rockford is planning a two-day celebratory music festival for the early fall. Be sure to sign up for festival updates at so that you don’t miss out on this sure to be amazing event!

If you aren’t able to partake in the festivities, don’t worry, you still have the chance to see Cheap Trick perform live in Chicago, Tuesday, July 19 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Cheap Trick- Use this one

Cheap Trick has been a part of the rock community for over 40 years! (Image Courtesy of Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau)


If you haven’t guessed already, the rock band Chicago is from Chicago! Formed in 1967, Chicago is one of the most successful and longest-running American bands, with five consecutive Number One albums and hit singles including “If You Leave Me Now” and “Hard to say I’m Sorry”. These hometown rock stars even have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.

Chicago is still touring to this day, and will be performing in Moline, IL on April 16 at iWireless Center with Earth, Wind, and Fire and in Rockford, IL at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on August 15.

Chicago - screenshot from website

Chicago is from Chicago, of course! (Image courtesy of

If you’re looking for even more chances to catch some live music, check out one of these other bands that call Illinois home.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Formed in the early 90s in Chicago, The Smashing Pumpkins was one of the most successful alternative bands of the decade. Fun Fact: Although The Smashing Pumpkins went their separate ways in 2000, they reunited in 2007 after an announcement by band leader Billy Corgan through a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune saying he wanted to revive the band.

The Smashing Pumpkins is performing in Chicago at the Civic Opera House on Thursday, April 14.

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins are returning to Chicago this spring! (Image courtesy of

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon was formed on the University of Illinois’ campus in Champaign during the late 1960s. Named after a REO Speed Wagon, a flatbed truck band member Neal Doughty studied in transportation history class, this band produced classic singles such as “Keep on Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”

Listen to their popular 1970s and 80s hits when they come to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park on Saturday, July 2.

Speedwagon - from website

REO Speedwagon got together on the U of I campus in Champaign. (Image courtesy of


One of the top bands in the 70s and 80s, Styx originated from Chicago and had five consecutive platinum albums, including “Kilroy Was Here,” which went triple platinum in addition to being #1 on US charts. Their top songs include “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto.”

MACON, GA - OCTOBER 04: Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)

Styx was one of the top bands in the 70s and 80s. (Image courtesy of

Don’t miss Styx who will be playing in Rockford at Coronado Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 21 and in Joliet at the 2016 Taste of Joliet on Friday, June 24.

-Illinois Office of Tourism

St Patricks Day Feature Image

St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away, and in Illinois, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the luck of the Irish! From parades to pub parties, you can find Irish festivities in every corner of the state.

Below is a roundup of some of our favorite ways to celebrate this year:


The Windy City is known for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including parades, the dyeing of the Chicago River and countless parties at local Irish pubs. Check out these three celebrations coming up this weekend:

  • Chicago River Dyeing, Saturday, March 12 at 9 am – This once-a-year spectacle draws nearly 400,000 people to see the Chicago River erupt into a sea of green. Boats release 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye into the water to amp up the holiday spirit. The dye only lasts about five hours, so make sure to see it at its brightest!
  • Downtown Parade, Saturday, March 12 at 12 pm – Chicago celebrates St. Patty’s Day with one of the largest parades in the country. This free event features floats, Irish dancers, bands, bagpipers and of course, plenty of green.
  • South Side Irish Parade, Sunday, March 13 at 12 pm – Continue the Irish festivities all weekend with 150,000 people at the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday. Floats, music, dancers and the Emerald Isle Mile make this event memorable for all.

See the Chicago River light up as it transforms into a sea of green! (Photo credit: Choose Chicago)


This year marks Springfield’s 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting Saturday, March 12 at noon. This parade is a great opportunity for families to celebrate the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day and explore downtown Springfield.


The theme of Springfield’s 2016 parade is “Family is Thee Pot O’Gold”!


Most St. Patty’s celebrations are during the weekend before the holiday, but if you’re looking to sham-rock out on the actual day, make sure to join Peoria’s 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Party on Thursday, March 17. The parade starts at 11 am followed by the party at the Peoria Civic Center from 11:30 am-3 pm. Parade winners will be announced at the party, and partygoers can enjoy traditional Irish music from the band Goiste.

Peoria St. Patrick's Day

There’s no shortage of festive floats at the Peoria parade! (Photo credit: St. Patrick’s Society of Peoria)

Rock Island

In Western Illinois, the Quad Cities go all out for St. Patrick’s Day. The weekend of festivities kicks off with Irish music from The Greenmore Irish Duo at the Moline Library on Friday, March 11 from 12-1 pm. The following day features the 31st annual Quad Cities Grand Parade at 11:30 am, named one of the top ten St. Patty’s parades in North America! What makes this parade so unique? It’s the only interstate St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation.

After the parade, make your way to Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap party for plenty of beer or take advantage of one of the 22 holiday specials in downtown Rock Island.

Rock Island St. Patrick's Day Parade 2

The Quad Cities parade draws thousands of spectators! (Photo credit: Visit Quad Cities)

Be sure to share your St. Patrick’s Day photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois on social. For more ways to celebrate, visit

-Illinois Office of Tourism

Historical Adventure Feature Image

Home to Abraham Lincoln, Americana and the birthplace of the corndog. History comes alive around every corner in Springfield, home to more Lincoln sites than anywhere else in the nation. Explore everything from Abe’s house and law offices to his must-see presidential museum. Route 66 makes its way through Springfield leaving behind plenty of Americana in the form of classic diners and kitschy roadside attractions.

Throughout Springfield there are historical sites with ties to Lincoln – enough to fill a multiple-day itinerary. Here are a few of our top recommendations.

The Lincoln Home

Get an intimate look at Lincoln during a tour of the Lincoln Home, the only house he ever owned. The Lincoln family lived here from 1844 until they left for Washington. The Lincoln Home is located in a historic four-block neighborhood that looks much as it did in the mid-1800s, complete with wooden sidewalks. A visitor center and restored neighboring homes display exhibits that tell the story of Lincoln’s time spent with his wife, children and friends in Springfield.

Picture 146

Re-enactors at the Lincoln Home in Springfield.

Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices

This is the only remaining structure where Abraham Lincoln maintained working law offices. Lincoln and his final law partner, William Herndon, operated from the top floor of the building from 1843 to 1852. Filled with clutter and makeshift furniture, the offices draw a vivid picture of what a normal day was like for Lincoln and Herndon. Today the building includes a visitor center, federal courtrooms and attorney offices.

Picture 105

The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices in Springfield.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe’s humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.

Picture 274

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

The Lincoln Tomb

The Tomb is the final resting place of President Lincoln, his wife and three of their four children. It was constructed between 1869-1874 in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Be sure to rub the nose of the bronze Lincoln bust at the entrance, which is said to bring good luck. Dogs are allowed on the site; they are not allowed inside the monument.

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is where Abe Lincoln was laid to rest.

Abraham Lincoln’s legacy extends far beyond Springfield with plenty of museums and historic sites throughout the state. See more of the Lincoln attractions in Illinois here.

-Illinois Office of Tourism