656 Posts
35 memert lake fish

Mermet Lake Fish and Wildlife Area, just outside of Metropolis, Illinois on U.S. 45, is a popular hunting and fishing destination, but once a year, it draws a different type of sportsman for one of the area’s largest tourism events in the region.  But these sportsmen aren’t interested in the wildlife or fish – they are focused on a different kind of animal – a foam one.  That’s because they are archers and will be shooting life-size high-density foam animal targets during two archery tournaments June 21-26, 2011.
The Superman Classic Archery Shoot will start off the week with competitions on June 21-23.  Then the Archery Shooter’s Association (ASA) begins its Illinois Pro-Am Tournament on June 24. 
ASA hosts seven tournaments throughout the year, and the Metropolis shoot is one of the largest archery competitions in the country.  For several years, thousands of people have entered the Mermet Refuge during the event, and more than 1000 men and women have aimed their arrows for championship titles in several categories.  The targets are designed to simulate a variety of hunting situations for archery enthusiasts.
Prize money is awarded for the top professional and amateur finishers each day in the warm-up event, the Superman Classic. This competition is sponsored by the City of Metropolis and Illinois Department of Natural Resources and features a $14,000 purse.  Archers will be categorized based on his or her ASA class and will only be shooting against that class.  There is a one-time $20 shooters fee that will cover up to three days of shooting.  Participants will shoot from 9am-3pm daily with all scorecards submitted by 6 p.m. 
On Friday, June 24, the ASA events begin with distance competitions, team shoots and other activities.  The official competition begins on Saturday, June 25 and wraps up on Sunday afternoon.  Other activities such as National Archery in Schools Program competitions, the ASA Coaching Clinic and Future Championship ASA Pro Sessions will take place.
The ASA Illinois Pro/Am Championship is a true archery festival with archery and outdoor manufacturers showing their newest and latest products, special seminars and presentations, youth programs and bow hunting activities for young and old.  It also features a practice range and a chance to watch and meet some of the sport’s top professionals.  These events will provide bow hunters the opportunity to talk and share experience with fellow archers, learn about the newest equipment and improve shooting skills.
Spectators are a big part of the archery tournament.    Some spectators even bring their binoculars for better viewing of the competition.  Drinks and food are also available to all who attend the tournaments.  As with all outdoor summer events, sunscreen, sunglasses and insect repellent are recommended.
The Archery Tournament is easily found by traveling just 11 miles north of Metropolis on U.S. 45.     Or, check out: www.metropolistourism.com or call 800-248-4373.

 Enjoy Southern Illinois!


36 flood waters will not stop superman

Despite the situation that near-record flood waters have caused in Metropolis, the 33rd Annual Superman Celebration will take place June 9-12 as planned. Metropolis Tourism Director Angie Shelton explains that at this time, the only event to be cancelled is the  Superman Road Race. Much of the course for this race is inside Fort Massac and along streets where flooding has occurred.
But as one event is cancelled, Superman fans will learn of a new additions to the Celebration & special celebrity guests on www.supermancelebration.net and on Metropolis Tourism’s facebook page.

As the flood waters are starting to slowly go down, the determination of the Metropolis community to work together and overcome this tragic event is rising.  Residents of the city and county, young and old, have come together to help their neighbors through this challenging time.

During the 2010 Superman Celebration, the official home of Superman welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries.    Metropolis is looking forward to hosting thousands of visitors again in June. Currently, two hotels are closed due to the flooding,  Baymont Inn and Suites and Harrah’s.  Harrah’s ground floor level was spared from the flood, but Baymont was not as fortunate.     Hotel reopening information will be posted as soon as it is available on www.metropolistourism.com.

“We have heard from Superman fans across the country asking what they can do to help,” says Shelton.  Anyone who would like to assist with flood clean-up efforts may contribute to the Metropolis Rotary Club Clean-Up Drive.   The Rotary Club is collecting clean-up supplies for flood victims at two Metropolis locations: Banterra Bank parking lot at 101 West Eighth St. and Shawnee Community College/Metro Center at 5385 Industrial Park Blvd. Individuals and groups are invited to bring supplies to either location on Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at Banterra Bank and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Metro Center. 
Suggested items are: bleach, Lysol and other cleaners/disinfectants, liquid laundry detergent, mops, brooms, buckets, rags, sponges,  industrial paper towels, scrub brushes and scouring pads. Also: disposable gloves, yellow latex gloves, rakes, trash bags, work gloves, goggles, masks, paint brushes and rollers, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, band aids, hand sanitizer and first aid cream. Donations are also welcome to assist with this effort. Checks may be made to Metropolis Rotary Club and mailed to: Metropolis Rotary Club, P.O. Box 472, Metropolis, IL 62960.

Enjoy Southern Illinois!


37 car free vacations

Lincoln Service to Alton, IL - ALL ABOARD!

Time to plan your summer activities, Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation are teaming up with state, regional, and local tourism offices to showcase the variety of tourist destinations in Illinois.

Join us Friday, May 13th at the historic Great Hall of Chicago Union Station (210 South Canal St.) for Illinois Tourism Day.

Enjoy live music from the 1840s to the Roaring 20s performed by the Vintage Brass Band Quartet from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

You’ll be able to enter to win drawings for free Amtrak tickets while you’re there and we will have plenty of free tourism brochures, including car-free vacations by Amtrak, available to help you plan your trips.

Southwest Chief in Henderson County, IL

Downstate and Chicago area city and county representatives along the three state-supported Illinois Amtrak routes will be on hand from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm to answer your questions.  Let them help you plan an itinerary to suit your interests. 


 Illinois Amtrak railway routes:

  • Chicago-St. Louis route will be: Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Main Street Lincoln, Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Central Illinois Tourism Development Office.
  • Chicago-Carbondale Route will be: Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau, Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau.
  • Chicago-Quincy route will be: Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Henry County (Kewanee) Tourism, Galesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Western Illinois Tourism Development Office.

 Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation are teaming up with state, regional, and local tourism offices to showcase the variety of tourist destinations in Illinois.

It’s a great way to plan a few summer weekend getaways, under one roof.  Hope you can join us.

Ciao –


38 rain rain go away

Anthill Gallery, Cobden, IL

With all the recent rains and area flooding, many of the great outdoor recreation opportunities have been put on hold, but, there are many visual art events that can be enjoyed in Southernmost Illinois.      So,    Grab your umbrellas, slip on your galoshes, and sally forth to enjoy the following art events and activities!                                                                 

              Miniature Landscape Oil Paintings by Kenneth Burnside

When: May 5th  –  June 12th                                                                                      Where: anthill gallery & vintage curiosities, 102 Front St. Cobden, IL  Description:  anthill gallery & vintage curiosities is pleased to announce an exhibition of miniature landscape oil paintings by Southern Illinois artist Kenneth Burnside.  The exhibition of Ken’s new work will be presented at anthill gallery beginning May 5 and running through June 12, 2011.  anthill gallery & vintage curiosities is located on the historic elevated sidewalk in Cobden at 102 North Front Street, open Thursday and Friday from noon to 6:00 pm; Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.  

anthill gallery also announces a new adult art class which will be taught at the gallery by Southern Illinois artist Bea Phillips.  The class on Altered Books will begin Thursday, June 9 and run each Thursday for six weeks, concluding on July 14, from 1:00 through 4:00 p.m.  You may sign up for this class by contacting Bea Phillips at ahoneybea@aol.com or you may stop in the gallery at 102 N. Front Street in Cobden to register.  Class size is limited to 10 students.  The fee for the six-week class is $60.   Contact anthill gallery at (618) 303-3183.

Makanda Spring Fest

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 7th and 8th – 10:00 a.m. until dusk

Where: Downtown Makanda, IL 

Description:  If you’ve never visited the famous Makanda Boardwalk, this would be a great time to go.  Artists from the surrounding area will have their finest works on display for viewing and purchase. Local bands will play blues, jazz and bluegrass at the Makanda Pavillion and in the Rainmaker’s Garden.  Artists wishing to reserve a booth for the two day event may contact Nina Kovar at (618) 549-5523 or email Janelle Weber at makandainn@gmail.com.

Reds, Whites, and Blues Festival at Blue Sky Winery

When:  Saturday, May 14th  10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 15th, 12 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where:  Blue Sky Winery, 3150 S. Rocky Comfort Rd. Makanda, IL

Description:  One of the best places to view locally produced art is at the Blue Sky Winery.  Everyone is invited to enjoy fine wine, great music and good company, and to say “Hat’s Off” to new graduates!  King Juba, Black Magic Johnson, Deep Fried Rhythm and Blues featuring Mike Aguirre, and Ms. Dahn & the Misters Variety Band will provide the weekend’s musical entertainment.  Local artisans will be on hand with jewelry, metal and copper works, glass art, and oil, acrylics, and watercolor paintings for sale. Admission is $6.00 and will include four wine samples and a souvenir glass.  Children under 15 are admitted free of charge.  For more information, visit www.blueskyvineyard.com.

-Enjoy Illinois!


39 annual art of illinois

Looking for a way to taste some of the best of Illinois wine without spending a weekend driving all over the state?

The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA), Downtown Springfield Inc. (DSI), and the Old State Capitol Foundation are teaming up again to offer the third annual Art of Illinois Wine Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 22 in Downtown Springfield.

Featuring around 20 Illinois wineries, the event is open to anyone 21 years of age or older and will be held at the southwest corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets in downtown Springfield (map below).

Admission is $10 (and weekend passes now available for $15), which includes a wine glass and five sampling tickets. Wine may also be purchased by the glass, bottle and case.  Tickets can be purchased at the gate or on the Downtown Springfied, Inc. website.

And if the wine alone isn’t enough to bring you for a visit, the festival is situated right next to the Old Capitol Art Fair.  Almost 50 years old, it’s one of the most popular, juried art fairs in the country, which was, “originally developed to contribute to the community’s cultural, social, and economic growth, the Fair has become an acknowledged success and a model for fairs in other cities.”

Some of the wineries that will be on hand include Prairie State Winery (Genoa),Pheasant Hollow Winery (Whittington), Shawnee Winery (Vienna) and Baxters Winery (Nauvoo).  You can get the whole list from the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association website, or from the event website on Facebook.

You can let Amtrak do the driving if you’re on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, and if you want to spend the night, there are four hotels within walking distance of the festival site.

Festival tickets can be purchased online from the Eventbrite website:

-Scott Troehler
Twitter: @Scott217

To learn more about Scott, check out his bio.


More info:

Art of Illinois Wine event page on Facebook:

Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) on Facebook:

Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association

Old State Capitol Foundation

Old Capitol Art Fair

Getting there:

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