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Calendar of Events

 Let Charleston Tourism help spread the word about community events you are planning
in the Charleston area. Submit event details and contact information 
to for consideration.
All events details are subject to change. Please contact the event directly prior to making reservations.

2015 Calendar

Jan 30 - 31 & Feb 7 @ 7:30 pm, Feb 1 @ 2 pm Charleston Community Theater: Fat Pig
An attractive man falls for a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus sized; this play critiques our obsession with Hollywood ideals of beauty and questions our ability to change what we dislike about ourselves. Tracy Harpster directs this play by Neil LaBute. (Admission fee required. Phone 217-581-2787 for information and reservations).

Jan 31 - St. Vincent de Paul Society Trivia Night
Moriarty Hall, St. Charles Borromeo Church, 921 Madison Street 
Doors open at 6:00 pm and competition starts at 7:00 pm
Adults $10/ Students $5. Teams of 10 welcome. You may bring snacks and beverages, and food will be available for purchase. Free lemonade and popcorn. Prizes for the best table theme/decorations. All proceeds will help us to assist those in need in our Charleston community. Email to reserve a table or call Newman, 217-348-0188 ex. 12 or St. Charles, 217-345-3332.

Feb 7 - Charleston Challenge Mid-Winter Classic
Carl Sandburg School, 1924 Reynolds Dr.
Registration begins at 8:00 am
Get ready to run a 5 K - 10 K - 15 K race. Be prepared for all weather condition ~ sun, rain or snow! For information, call (217) 348-0430. Register online at

Feb 8 - Abraham Lincoln's Birthday Open House 
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
10:00 am- 4:00 pm 

Feb 13 - Vow Renewal Ceremony
Hilltop Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Begins at 2:30 pm
(217) 345-7066

This event is for 12 of Hilltop's residents and their spouses but is also open to the general public. It will be set up just as a wedding ceremony with cake, refreshments, music, and decorations. If a couple would like to participate in the vow renewal just contact Hilltop, but it is open to anyone who wanted to watch without an RSVP.

Feb 13 - 14: Singing Valentines for Hire
Charleston/Mattoon All Day
Quartets from the Coles County Barbershop Chorus will deliver a box of chocolates and sing a romantic song for your loved one in the Charleston/Mattoon area! Proceeds benefit area high school vocal music programs. For details and to order, go to 

Feb 13 - 14: Valentine's Day Dinner Theater Production – "Til Death Do Us Part"
Your LifeSpan Center
6:30 pm - Doors open at 6:00 pm

Your LifeSpan Center in conjunction with The Central Illinois Stage Company (CISCo) will be presenting a very special Dinner Theater Production. Tickets for this event are $20 for singles and $35 for couples. Party tables of six can also be purchased for $100.  Dinner is included and will consist of a pre-show appetizer, garden salad, an entrée selection of either Angelo’s famous spaghetti or Angelo’s renown lasagna with garlic bread and a dessert. Tickets are available at your LifeSpan Center and can be purchased in advance or at the door. For advanced ticket purchases, please call (217) 639-5150 for more information. Enjoy a night of performing arts, laughter, delicious foods, and complimentary adult beverages! Come and have a fun romantic night out with your special someone! Funds raised from this event will go toward your LifeSpan Center to help with programming and offset daily costs.

Feb 17 - Bowls of HOPE
Moriarty Hall, St. Charles Borromeo Church, 921 Madison Street 
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Soup supper and hand-crafted bowl $15; or just he soup for $5 plus a FAB-ulous Dessert Auction that is always loads of fun! Plus live music! This fundraiser benefits HOPE's mission to empower people to live independent, non-violent lives by providing HOUSING OUTREACH, PREVENTION & EDUCATION. For more info, call HOPE 348-5931 and "LIKE" us on Facebook!

Feb 20 - 21: Tours of Early American Folk Art in East-Central Illinois
Friday 1-5 pm & Saturday 9 am-Noon: eGallery
Eastern Illinois University - Tarble Arts Center
These free exhibition tours are presented in conjunction with the symposium Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The Legend and the History sponsored by EIU’s Booth Library, and are open to the public with free admission. The Friday tours are presented in cooperation with EIU’s Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Feb 28 - Second Annual Preservation Bazaar
Charleston Public Library, 712 6th Street, Charleston, IL
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
The event is free and open to the public. Owners of old buildings are encouraged to attend. Preservation experts will be on hand to discuss historic preservation tax credits, resources for renovating old buildings, city code and historic buildings, gravestone restoration, insulating old homes, re-pointing old masonry, how to "green" your old home, and more. For more information please contact Erin Blitz, Commission Chair, at (217) 348-5333, or Deborah Muller, City Clerk, at (217) 345-8426, and visit the Commission's website at

Feb 28 - 2015 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Illinois
Lake Sara Beach, Effingham, IL
10:30 am – 2:30 pm 

Online registration ( has opened for one of the COOLEST events of the winter – the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. Questions, contact Vanessa Duncan, Area 9 Director, 345-2424,

Feb 28 - Steve Parry presents: The Hayloft Gang.
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site: 2:00 pm
Narrated by Garrison Keillor, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of the nation's most popular country music radio shows during the 1930s and ‘40s: The National Barn Dance. The one-hour documentary weaves rare performance footage, home movies, and candid photographs with firsthand accounts from fans and performers. Interviews with historians, folklorists, and media experts reveal historical and cultural perspectives of this unique period in America’s history. Uncle Ezra, a popular comedian featured on the show, was a keynote speaker at the dedication of Lincoln Log Cabin State Park in 1936. Stephen Parry, writer, director and producer will have the audience view the documentary in its entirety in the auditorium and answer questions after.

Feb 28 - First Fruits Chili and Soup Dinner ($5)
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

First Christian Church, Charleston, IL
First Fruits provides fresh local produce to feed families and individuals, in our community, who are experiencing food insecurity. Motherload plays from 5:30 - 6:30 and raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each. The church is located at 411 Jackson Ave. If you cannot attend consider a donation.

Feb 28 - Violin and Piano Concert 
7:30 p.m. at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
Eastern Illinois University

The concert is being presented by the Eastern Illinois University Women's Studies Program, and admission is Free. This year's concert features music from the 19th and 20th centuries written by the German composer Emilie Mayer, the American composer Marion Bauer, and the French composer Mel Bonis.

Mar 6 - Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Annual Dinner
Social 6:00 pm/Dinner and Program 6:30 pm
Ballroom, Unique Suites Hotel,
920 West Lincoln Ave. Charleston, IL
Walt Whitman's Lincoln Join us as we commemorate the death of President Lincoln with the poetry of WaltWhitman performed in first-person by professional storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis. Whitman’s most famous poems, “Oh Captain, My Captain” and “When Lilacs Last Bloomed” were written as eulogies for our martyred president. After Lincoln’s assassination Whitman gave regular lectures on Lincoln to rave reviews. Ellis recreates a program Whitman delivered on the Life of Lincoln woven with his Civil War poems and recollections of their misty morning encounter during the war. Please join us for an exciting evening of history, food, and fundraising. A silent auction will also be offered. Tickets are $60 per person, a table of eight may be purchased for $420, please reserve your tickets by visiting our website and filling out the form under calendar events, once submitted you can pay for your tickets at our Paypal account from the "donate" button on our home page, or mailing a check to LLCF, 402 South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna, IL 62440.

Mar 6 - 15: MID-LIFE! The Crisis Musical
Little Theatre on the Square, Sullivan IL
This wacky musical takes a comic look at the “age old” conditions and situations faced in MID-LIFE!  From reading glasses and mammograms to weekend warriors and proctology exams – all are lampooned with a Saturday Night Live non-sensibility.  Everyone will relate to this hilarious and, at times, touching musical about the curiosities and inevitabilities of middle age.  If you bought some Gingko-Biloba but can’t remember where you put it, then you’re ready for MID-LIFE!

Mar 7 - La Grande Soiree for Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center
Keller Convention Center, Effingham, IL

(217) 258-2511
Join us for the 31st Annual La Grande Soiree. The semi-formal evening includes social hour, dinner, dancing and a Champagne and Ice event. $75 per person. All net proceeds support the Sarah Bush Lincoln Guild Scholarship Fund. Each year the Guild awards approximately 25 scholarships to local and area students pursuing healthcare careers. To order tickets, please call the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation at 217-258-2511.

Mar 7 - The Cabinetry of Thomas Lincoln
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site: Visitor Center Auditorium
2:00 pm

A presentation by Steve Haaff of Spencer County Indiana with examples of period tools and a reproduction of one Thomas Lincoln's cabinets.

March 7 - 29 2015: Undergraduate All-Student Show                    
Tarble Arts Center: Main Galleries & eGallery
This competitive exhibition is open to EIU undergraduates and all art media: painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, digital art, computer animation, metals, and ceramics.   The art exhibited is selected by a panel of area college and university Art faculty and art professionals.  Co-sponsored by the EIU Art Department and the Tarble Arts Center. 

March 8 - All-Student Show Awards Reception
Sunday 2 - 4 pm, Atrium
Eastern Illinois University: Tarble Arts Center

The awards presentation starts at 2:30pm.

March 20 - 22 & 26 - 28 Charleston Community Theatre: Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will? 20 - 21 
& 26 - 28, 7:30 pm and 22, 2 pm at the Atrium
Eastern Illinois University: Tarble Arts Center

A family reunites as they await the imminent demise of their patriarch; through funny, tense, and touching moments, this play explores the rebirth of the family unit.   Richard G. Jones, Jr. directs this play by Del Shores.  Admission: $10/adults, $8/seniors, $5/students. Phone 217-581-2787 for information and reservations.

March 21 - June 7 Southwestern Pottery and Weavings from the Tarble and Area Collections
Brainard Gallery
Featured are Historic Period and contemporary ceramics from the American Southwest and Navajo weavings from the Tarble Arts Center’s study collection complemented by pieces from area public and private collections. This exhibition serves as the basis for the Tarble’s Fifth Grade Enrichment program for area schools April 1 – May 15; presented in cooperation with the EIU Art Education program and underwritten by First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Mar 28 - Cheese Making Workshop
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site: Visitor Center
9:00 am - 5:00 pm  
Spend the day with us and have fun learning a full array of cheese making techniques with instructor Merryl Winstein of St. Louis, MO who has over 22 years' experience in both making and teaching the art of cheese making. After spending the day with Merryl you'll be ready to go home to make all your favorites using either goat's or cow's milk. You'll get your hands right into cheese making, using all your senses to observe the changing textures and aromas which go along with the scientific explanations. Learn the different "clean breaks" for different types of cheese, and find out why correct milk cooling entirely affects the flavor and success of your cheese. You'll also see the correct curd texture at draining, and understand how to monitor and control the acidity, PH, moisture, temperature, and salt, in order to create consistently delicious cheeses. In this workshop you'll be making basic hard-pressed cheeses like the French Tomme, a cloth-bound cheddar, Camembert/Brie, Chevre/Fromage Blanc, Yogurt, Sour Cream, and hand-ladled Ricotta. Reservations required, the cost is 185.00 per participant. 

Apr 4 - 26: 2015 Graduate Art Exhibition     
Tarble Arts Center - Eastern Illinois University, Main Galleries
This group thesis exhibition presents artwork in a variety of media by the current MA candidates in Eastern’s Studio Art program: Douglas Angulo, Amanda Boyd, Annie Cunningham, Jamie Lovell, Ryan Paluczak, Tom Pekovitch, Rindy Ricketts, Angela Rogers, and Daniel Rohr.  A wide range of styles, media, and approaches will be presented.  Co-sponsored by the EIU Art Department and the Tarble Arts Center. (Tarble will be closed April 5th for Easter Sunday).

Apr 8 - Artist's Lecture & Exhibition Opening
Wednesday 7pm, Atrium

Tarble Arts Center - Eastern Illinois University
Nathalie Miebach explores the intersection of art and science by translating scientific data from meteorology, ecology and oceanography into woven sculptures and as performance art. Basket weaving, her main method of data translation, functions as a simple, tactile grid to interpret data into 3-D space. The role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of complex scientific systems is central to her work.  Miebach is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including a Pollock Krasner Award, a TED Global Fellowship, and a 2012 nomination for the World Technology Award. Her work has been shown in the US, Europe and Australia and has been reviewed by publications spanning fine arts, craft, design, science and technology. She lives and works in Boston.   The Weather’s Turning Weird… is the 2014-15 Tarble Humanities Exhibition and part of the EIU Center for the Humanities’ investigation of the concept “Authenticity.”

Apr 9 - What Women Want and more
Unique Suites Hotel, 920 W. Lincoln
4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
“What Women Want” has something for every woman packed into one evening. The event focuses on promoting, encouraging, and entertaining women. And, yes, we do know what women want: Wine, Chocolate, Food, Shopping, Fashion, Prizes, Information and Fun! This is what the “menu” looks like for the evening. Start by checking out the lounge in the hotel and pick up a complimentary glass of wine or beer. Move on over to the main banquet room and visit the wide variety of women oriented businesses and services available in the Coles County area. Thirty-five different exhibitors and vendors will showcase beauty products, home items and décor, health and wellness information, spa services, food items, hairstyling, gift ideas, skin care products, children’s fashions, jewelry and much more. 
Tickets for “What Women Want” can be purchased for $20 per person prior to that evening or for $25 at the door. To purchase tickets, call the Charleston Chamber at 345-7041, stop by the office at 501 Jackson Avenue or go online to

Apr 9 - May 10 Nathalie Miebach: The Weather’s Turning Weird…
Tarble Arts Center - Eastern Illinois University, eGallery

April 10-12: Our American Cousin and the Assassination of President Lincoln
Located at the Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site, Visitor Center Auditorium
Directed by Earl Halbe, volunteers will recreate the play President and Mrs. Lincoln attended that fateful evening when the president's life was tragically taken by the assassin John Wilkes Booth. During these dates the site will feature "Draped in Mourning", an examination of mourning customs of the 19th century.

April 11 - 2015 Graduate Art Exhibition Reception
Saturday 5 pm - 7 pm, Atrium 
Tarble Arts Center - Eastern Illinois University

Apr 16 - HOPE's Children's Basket Binga
Charleston VFW
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Come join us for food, fun, 50/50 raffle, Longaberger Baskets, door prizes, and silent auction. Earlybird Binga starts at 5:45 pm, Regular Binga at 6:00 pm. For more information, see the flyer or contact Camille Gordon at (217) 348-8815 or 

Apr 16 - Artist’s Lecture: Jason Bly
Thursday 7 pm, Atrium
Eastern Illinois University - Tarble Arts Center
EIU alumnus Jason Bly will be on campus to talk about his art.  States Bly, “My paintings serve as my response to living in an age when simulation occurs so frequently that it is hard to determine when the simulation starts and the ‘real’ ends.” Bly teaches drawing and painting at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Bly holds BA and MA degrees from Eastern, and an MFA from SIUE.  His work has been widely exhibited in the St. Louis metro area. This program is sponsored by the EIU Art Department.

Apr 18 - Girls on the Run 5K
EIU start outside and finish inside O'Brien Stadium
9:00 am Start Time

Calling all Superheroes! We welcome YOU to walk, skip, or run your way to the finish line! Join in one of the most moving and unique 5k events in the state! This is a non competitive 5k, with a family friendly celebration afterwards. The 5k will start outside and finish inside O'Brien Stadium. Register online or call Beth with questions: (217) 234-9494.

Apr 18 - Autism Awareness Day
EIU Williams Field on 4th Street 
Softball games: 1:00 and 3:00 pm
The EIU Women's Softball Team has partnered with the Autism Center to sponsor and Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, April 18, 2015 in conjunction with a double-header softball event at Williams Field. For more information visit,

Apr 18 - Beyond the Ashes in Concert

Wesley United Methodist Church
Saturday 6:00 pm
Join us at Wesley United to enjoy a night filled with family fun activities and listen to a live band! For a sample of Beyond the Ashes music follow the link​ and for more information contact Dick Hummel 217-345-4773.

Apr 18- SACIS Team Trivia Night 
Wesley United Methodist Church
Saturday 7:30 pm 
Teams of 6-8 register by contacting SACIS at 217-348-5033$10 per person. Teams play 10 rounds; 10 questions per round. Prizes for winning team members. Beverages provided and snacks available (donations accepted). All proceeds support sexual violence prevention and services to survivors. Great fun for a great cause!

Apr 21 - 2015 Graduate Art Exhibition Gallery Talk
Wednesday, 11am, Main Galleries
Tarble Arts Center - Eastern Illinois University

This free program is presented in cooperation with the EIU Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Apr 24 - Graham Slam!: Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Competition
Friday 4 pm
Finalists in the annual Graham Slam! (Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award) perform their work. Awards and reception follow the slam.  Co-sponsored with the EIU College of Arts & Humanities and the English Department; presented in conjunction with 2015 Celebration: A Festival of the Arts.

Apr 24 - 26 Celebration: A Festival of the Arts
Eastern Illinois University - Doudna Fine Arts Center S. 7th St.
A celebration of a multitude of arts ~ everything from blacksmithing to watercolor, accompanied by live performances and a variety of unique food vendors.  (217) 581-2113 

Apr 25 - Coles County Master Gardeners 
Corner of 9th & Broadway 
Saturday from 8am - 2pm

We are selling perennials, herbs, vegetable plants, hanging baskets, etc.  Saturday, April 25, 8am-2pm. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

Apr 25 - LifeLinks Casino Night
Mattoon Golf and Country Club, 6700 N. Country Club Rd., Mattoon, IL
Doors open at 6:00 pm and gaming begins at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $25.00 each. You must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Play your favorite Las Vegas style games - Roulette, Texas Hold'em, Blackjack, and Bang - and win cash! This year we are also offering pull tabs and a Lucky Raffle! For tickets or for more info, call 238-5720, stop by our office at 750 Broadway Avenue East, Mattoon, or ask any member of our staff. LifeLinks has been your nonprofit community connection to mental health and wellness for over 50 years! Visit us on the web at "Like" us on Facebook at LifeLinks Mental Health. All proceeds will help us to assist adults and children with mental health.

Apr 25 - Tour de Exchange
Charleston High School, 1615 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL
Staggered Start 6:30 am - 9:30 am

Come and join us for a 25 mile cycling race on Saturday April 25th. Sign up now and receive a t-shirt with registration. $20.00 for Adults, $10.00 for Children, and $60 max per family. After April 17th $25.00 Adults and $12.00 for children. Proceeds benefit local groups that help prevent child abuse. For more information please visit us at or contact Harold Strangman (217)348-8644.

Apr 25 - Art and Antiques at Osage Farm
6558N CR 1320E, Charleston, IL
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Arts and antiques at Osage Farm is a premier marketplace offering an eclectic mix of superb country antiques and beautiful handcrafted folk art. Situated in a rustic and rural setting, the show is completely under roof and admission is free. For more information visit,

Apr 25 - 26: Children’s Art Activities at Celebration
Noon - 4 pm, 7th Street (between Tarble and Doudna Fine Arts Center)

A variety of hands-on art make-and-take activities for children as a part of the EIU College of Arts & Humanities’ Celebration: A Festival of the Arts; presented in cooperation with EIU Art Education Association student volunteers with support from Tarble Arts Center membership contributions.

Apr 28 - Casa Basket Binga
Mattoon American Legion

Gather your friends and come to the Mattoon American Legion on Tuesday, April 28, for an evening of Binga, Baskets and Blooms to benefit the Coles County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. The doors open at 5 p.m. and early bird games kick off at 5:30 with all other games immediately following. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.
Don't worry about dinner - the Legion will be offering sandwiches and sides and the CASA volunteers will be making sweet and savory treats, too. The evening will feature plenty of special games, some unique baskets and lots of fun! for more information. CASA is the voice for abused and neglected children in the court system.

May 2 - Sheep to Clothing Event and Sheep to Shawl Competition
All Day Event
Located at the Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
Discover how raw wool from the Lincolns' own sheep is turned into finished cloth for use on the farmstead. Watch interpreters as they weave on the site's mid-nineteenth century Sargent and Martin looms, replicating a period coverlet on one loom and weaving "jean cloth" on the other. After the wool is shorn, visitors are encouraged to participate in the hands-on demonstrations including, sorting and washing the wool, teasing and carding it for spinning, and finally spinning the wool into yarn where some of it will end up being knit into items following nineteenth-century patterns. Interpreters and volunteers will also demonstrate dyeing and felting and will showcase the final step in the process where woolen jean cloth is sewn to make pants for Mr. Lincoln.

May 2 - 18th Street Spring Block Party

May 2 - 24: 33rd Children’s Art Exhibition           
Eastern Illinois University - Tarble Arts Center, Main Galleries
Presented is art in all media by area school students’ grades kindergarten through high school, selected by the students’ Art teachers, to showcase some of the best creations produced in area Art programs.  The students represent approximately 45 area schools’ programs taught by certified Art teachers.  The exhibition is sponsored in part by Consolidated Communications and is presented in cooperation with the participating schools’ Art teachers.

May 16 - Links to the Future
Wolf Creek State Park, Lake Shelbyville
8a.m. - 5p.m.

Kids and family invited to the "Links to the Future" youth outdoors festival. Kids will come leatn about outdoor recreational skills during the 14th annual event. They will learn how to cast, trap shoot, fish and so much more! So come out and join us! For more information please contact (217) 756-8260.

May 16 - June 28  Studio Glass: Selections from the William Weber Collection
Eastern Illinois University - Tarble Arts Center, eGallery
This exhibition presents glass and related works from some major studio glass artists, including blown/hot-worked glass by Dale Chihuly, cast glass by Latchezar Boyadjiev, fused work by Jon Kuhn, woven glass by Eric Markow and Thom Norris, a filet de verre (glass thread) vessel by Toots Zynsky, blown glass by Sonia Blomdahl, and works from other contemporary glass studios.  The objects exhibited are on loan from the collection of William Weber.

May 16 - Oct 3: 18th Street Farmer's Market
This makes for a 21 week season. Our location will be in the parking lot of the Coles County Department of Human Services. Vendor fee will be $5 per week for each booth space. This can be paid by the month ($20.00) or $80.00 for the entire season. There will be a discounted rate if you need more than one space. There are a limited number of spaces available. Please contact Steve Runyon if you are interested in participating.

May 17 - Children’s Art Exhibition Awards Reception
Sunday 1:30 - 3:30 pm, Atrium
Eastern Illinois University - Tarble Arts Center

There are three awards programs broken down by participating schools; please contact the Tarble Arts Center for more specific information.

May 20 -  Life Links Open House
750 Broadway Ave, Mattoon, IL

LifeLinks, a not for profit community mental health center serving Coles and surrounding counties in East Central Illinois since 1965, is hosting an open house on Wednesday, May 20th, from 5 to 7 PM to celebrate its 50thanniversary. Located at 750 Broadway Avenue East in Mattoon the open house will provide community members and supporters an opportunity to tour the LifeLinks’ facilities and learn about service offerings. David Kellerhals, a Crisis Clinician and graduate degree candidate at Eastern Illinois University, will be presenting on “A Community Based Approach to Suicide Prevention” at 5:005:45 and 6:30 PM during the open house. The presentation will be located in the outpatient conference room at LifeLinks and will feature a discussion of warning signs that someone may be considering suicide, community statistics and trends, and resources available in the community. Attendees will be given an opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of each presentation. There is no charge to attend.

May 30 - Sheriffs Posse Ride
Coles County Sheriffs Office
We will be hosting a fund raising event right here in Charleston for our new K9 coming to us in the fall! For more information please contact Sheriff Rankin with the Coles County Sheriffs Office.

 May 31- Northern Suburbs Illinois Lupus 1M/3M Walk
Vernon Hills, Half Day Forest Preserve 
9:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Join the Lupus Society of Illinois in a 1M/3M walk in the half Day Forrest Preserve. Each registered participant will receive a LSI tee, a post-event snack, LSI incentives, entertainment, and more! Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for children and all proceeds benefit LSI. For more information call, 312-542-0006 or Create your team and register online today.

June 3 - Charleston Farmer's Market Square in Charleston, IL 
Every Wednesday from 6:30 - 10:30 am through summer and fall
Fresh produce, baked goods, and homemade music! Come on out and shop locally, play some tunes, and just sit, smell, and listen! (Musicians welcome)
For more info on booths, call Mike Knoop (217) 345-8018 at Roc's Blackfront.

June 4 - Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

June 6 - October 3: 18th Street Farmers Market
825 18th Street, Charleston, IL Saturdays only!!
8:00 am: Noon Parking lot of the Coles County Department of Human Services
The primary focus for the market is fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and homemade items (as space permits). Live music will be scheduled, adding to the festive atmosphere! This event will go from June 7 through October 4!  Interested vendors or musicians should contact Steve Runyon at 217-345-4700 or by email

June 11 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

June 13 - Civil War Saturday, Peace at last! The end of the Civil War
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
Soldiers encampment and mustering out. 

June 18 - Community Meeting
Charleston Carnegie Library
Storytellers wanted with enthusiasm! No experience needed! Attend this important meeting for information, project details, and sign up for your story and story-telling time. WEIU will capture the essence of Charleston with Charleston: This is our Story. This Program will document "the very best" of the Charleston area. Charleston Residents will record the people, places, and happenings that relate to the story of Charleston. These stories will be gathered by WEIU and broadcast on WEIU-TV.

June 18 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

For more information, call 345-6897.

June 20 - Muse Fest 2015
Between 7th & 8th Street on Jackson Avenue, Charleston, IL
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Celebrating local art, artists, music and entertainment! Bands Play all day long! Exhibitors application available  or contact Joshua Benton, 9 muses art director 217-972-3519

June 25 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

June 26 - Charleston Chamber of Commerce  Annual Golf Outing - "Buy Local-Play Local"
Charleston Country Club
Registration 10:30-11:30 am, Lunch 11 am-Noon, Shotgun Start 12 Noon
Dust off those clubs and get ready for a day of fun in the "Buy Local - Play Local" Charleston Chamber Golf Outing. $100 all-inclusive fee per player includes driving range, putting contest for $5000, 18 holes of golf & cart, mulligans, lunch, giveaways, snacks and beverages on the course, "Beat the Mayor" contest, Par 3 poker, dinner and prizes. Foursomes and individuals are welcomed! Registration form available 345-7041.

June 28 - Red, White, and Blue Days Bingo
North Pavilion, Morton Park, Division and Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm 345-7691,


Jul 2 - Jul 5: Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall
Coles County Fairgrounds, State St & E Street, Charleston, IL
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Red, White and Blue Days, 2015, the Charleston 4th of July committee has secured the AVTT Traveling Wall to be a part of the activities in addition to the annual parade, concerts and other activities.  The American Veterans Traveling Tribute is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains every single name etched on the original.

Jul 2 - Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

Jul 3-4: Red, White, and Blue Days
Morton Park, Division and Lincoln Ave. 232-1485, 

July 3rd, Friday
1:00 pm Vendors and Activities begin
6:30 pm Opening Band - Forgotten Highway
Farmer of the Year/Little Mr. and Miss
8:00 pm Jo Dee Messina

July 4th, Saturday
6 - 11 am American Legion Pancake and Sausage Breakfast, Fair Grounds
6:30 am Habitat for Humanity Run/Walk
9:30 am Chalk In - Coles County Arts Council
10:00 am Foam Pit & Inflatables
1:00 pm Parade
2:15 pm Bell Ringing
2:30 pm Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets
*Non Profit vendors will be available all day. Foam pit and Inflatables end at 2 pm.

July 4 - Fireworks at Coles County Airport 
Food vendors on site. Free admission. Handicapped parking available. Shuttle buses running from Charleston and Mattoon. Bring lawn chairs/blankets. No personal fireworks, pets or alcoholic beverages allowed. (217) 345-7120

July 9 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

July 12 - Independence Day Festivities
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site 
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Jul 25 - Christmas in July Trivia Night - Fundraiser for Christmas in the Heart of Charleston
Location TBD
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Gather your friends for a night of Christmas Trivia about music, movies and more! All the proceeds will go towards the Christmas in the Heart of Charleston in December! Teams of up to 6 individuals will compete in 10 categories to see who knows the most about Christmas. The team answering the most questions correctly, will win $100 CASH! Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase! For more information, call (217) 348-0430.

Jul 26 - Aug 2: 161st Annual Coles County Fair
Coles County Fairgrounds
For more information call 345-2656 or visit,

August 9 - The 38th annual Bluegrass Jam Session
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

The 38th annual Bluegrass Jam Session will be held at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site on Sunday, August 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Bluegrass and traditional musicians from Illinois and Indiana will converge at the site for an afternoon of jamming. There will be no formal stage performances, informal groups of musicians will jam throughout the afternoon.  The musicians will play in the shaded area near the site’s main parking lot and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to relax in the shade and enjoy the sounds of bluegrass music in the park, concessions will be available.

August 15 - Illinois 2015 Run for the Fallen
Charleston High School Track, 920 Smith St., Charleston
7:00 am - 1:00 pm

To pre-register, please complete and return the form located on our website to the Charleston Parks and Recreation Department at 520 Jackson Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920. Registration is accepted the day of the event. There is no cost to participate. If you have questions, please contact: Vivian Bales at 217-549-0117, Carolyn Cloyd at 217-234-8022 or Bill Lair at 217-345-9580.

Aug 23 - Historical Society Fall Lectures
Dudley House, 895 7th St
2:00 - 3:00 am

This free program is presented by the Charleston Historical Society. Topic of the day: Do you remember? General Stores and Neighborhood Markets in Coles County. 
Dick Hummel and Norma Winkleblack both had relatives who operated stores. Come hear them share thier memories of those family businesses. There will be time to share your own stories, too, as we learn more about the affects of these stores had on the local economy and community culture. For more information, contact Brenda at 

Sept 1 - Concerts in the Park - Coles Co Barbershopers
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
:00 - 8:00 pm
Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening of FREE music! The Coles County Barbershopers will dazzle and entertain us like the old times! For more information call the Rec Dept (217) 345-6897.

Sept 4 - Grill on the Hill
Trojan Hill & Charleston Middle School, Smith Dr.
4:00 - 7:00 pm
The Charleston Trojan Booster Club will be hosting the annual Grill on the Hill! There will be a block party that includes live remote from 104.3 "The Party," Freddy's Custard, Lemon Shakeups, face painting and much more.  There will also be a meal and entry into the first home football game vs. Mt. Vernon for $7.00.
For more information call the CHS office at (217) 639-5000.

Sept 12 - Tips for CASA

Brick House Bar and Grill
5:00 - 10:00 pm
Help a worthy cause and see someone you never thought could hack it in restaurant serve your food! Special celebrity waiter and waitresses will be serving for a cause! 10% of food sales and all tips will go to CASA! For more information call the Rec Dept (217) 345-6897.

Sept 12 - Kids Arts in the Park
Morton Park
9:30 am - Noon
Join the fun at Morton Park with a wide range of activities presented by local artists, story tellers, art and music teachers, and EIU art ed students! Most activities are FREE and registration is at 9:15 am September 12th. For more information click on the link below.
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Sept 15 - Concerts in the Park - Mackville
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:00 - 8:00 pm
Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening of FREE music! Mackville will get your toes tapping and your hands clapping! For more information call the Rec Dept (217) 345-6897.

Sept 26- Charleston Challenge Duathlon
Carl Sandburg School, 1924 Reynolds Dr.
9:00 am
This 2 mile run, 19.2 mile bike ride, 2 mile run will test your endurance. Challenge yourself on this hilly and scenic course. There will be team and individual divisions available with prizes in all divisions.
For more information call, (217) 348-0430.

Sept 26 - Zombie Obstacle Course& Family Run
Coles County Fairgrounds
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The challenge course features six different obstacles challenges that will give you a chance to dive, dig, and discover! Challenges include a mud crawl, brain search, tire run, and more! This year will also include a "Dark Maze" that is free admission with the purchase of a Zombie Obstacle Course ticket! Cost for children $5 and cost for adults $10. 100 percent of all proceeds benefit the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois.
For more information click on the attached file below!
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Sept 26 - SACIS Take Back the Day 5k
For information call (217) 348-5033 or email us

Sept 26 - 18th St Fall Festival
18th St in Charleston
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
For more information call, (217) 345-4700.

September 26 - 27: Harvest Frolic Fall Celebration
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Come celebrate the arrival of autumn at the Harvest Frolic on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Don't miss experiencing 19th century life on the farm! Activities will take place at both the Lincoln and Sargent farms and will include children's games, craft and doll making, and hearth cooking. Visitors are encouraged to take part in period games and activities. Volunteers will demonstrate apple cider pressing, and food preservation. A number of artisans will be on site demonstrating their crafts including, woodcarving, flax processing, soap making, embroidery, pottery, basket weaving, blacksmithing, wheat weaving, and tatting. Gerry Barker will bring his oxen, the Unreconstructed Civil War Band will perform, and be sure to catch the puppet show. Don't miss the Frolic 5K! A 5k run and mile walk to kick off the festivities on September 26! Registration details will be added at a later date.

Sept 26 - Night of HOPE
Jackson Ave Coffee, 708 Jackson Ave
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Don't miss a great evening of food, fun, friendship, music, art -- all for a GREAT cause: ending domestic abuse in central Illinois. This event is free! Silent Auction ends at 9pm. Music continues till 10pm. Lodestar at 6pm, Bosco Sticks at 7 pm, Motherlode at 8 pm, and Tequila Mockingbyrd at 9 pm.  HOPE art Galleray items will be on display from August 31st - September 26th. 
If you wish to donate art or need more information call, Gaye at (217) 549-2275 or Dan at (217) 345-5283.

Sept 29 - Concerts in the Park - Tequllia Mockingbyrds
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:00 - 8:00 pm
Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening of FREE music! Tequilla Mockingbyrds will take you back to the good old days with some of your favorite music of years gone by! For more information call the Rec Dept (217) 345-6897.


Oct 8: 6th Annual Taste of Something Special 
The Walkway 1501 Lakeland Blvd., Mattoon, IL
5:00-8:00 pm
A Wine Tasting & Silent Auction Event Benefiting the Athletes of Special Olympics Illinois East Central/Area 9 
Tickets: $15 in advance or $20 at door
For more information, contact East Central Area Director Vanessa Duncan at 217-345-2424 or

 Oct 9 - 11: Eastern Illinois University Family Weekend
Eastern Illinois University campus

Pack up the family and check out the family weekend activities, including the EIU Panthers football game.

Oct 23 - 25: Eastern Illinois University Homecoming
Eastern Illinois University campus and Charleston community
Weekend events include an "all-you-can-eat" sunrise breakfast, homecoming parade, EIU Panther football game, tailgating & MORE!

*** Parade Route - Sat 9:30!*** 
Starts at 7th and Lincoln Ave.
North on 7th St.; West on Monroe Ave.
South on 6th St.; West on Polk Ave.
South on Division St.
Ends at O'Brien Stadium
Check out for further details.

Oct 24 - Torchlight Halloween Hike, Pumpkin Carving Contest, and Wiener Roast 
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Join us for our Torchlight Halloween Hike and Wiener Roast where you. won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast. Bring out your best carved pumpkin by 4:30 pm and visitors will judge the best carvings and prizes will be awarded. You will also want to hike the paths between our historic farms by torchlight to hear storytellers in the Lincoln Cabin and Sargent House there to entertain guests with seasonal stories.
To benefit the educational and interpretation programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hot dogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire.

Oct 30 & 31st- Monster Mash Murder Halloween Dinner
LifeSpan Center
6:30 pm Friday & Saturday

Join us for a bone chilling good time...All tickets will be presold before the event, no sales at the door-please call your LifeSpan Center at 217.639.5150 to order tickets! Tickets $35 (Dinner Included). Dinner Package Includes: Black Forest Ham Cheese Ball with Crackers & Garden Salad.. Appetizers, Angelo's Famous Lasagna and Toasted Ravioli & Marinara Dipping Sauce with Garlic Bread & Wicked Chocolate Cupcake Desserts.. Comlimentary Adult beverages will be available! Tea, Water, & Coffee Selections as well. For more information the MONSTER MASH FLYER is attached BELOW!!
Monster Mash Murder Flyer (1) (1).pdf
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Oct 31st - Zumbathon
EIU Rec Center
10:30 am - 1:00 pm

The counseling academic & professional honor society Chi Sigma Iota of Eastern Illinois University is hosting a fundraising event to benefit the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois located in Charleston, IL. 
The Shake your Bones Halloween Zumbathon® is scheduled for October 31, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the EIU Rec Center. Tickets are $15 and that includes an event t-shirt. The Zumbathon® is open to the public and to individuals who are 15 years of age and older. 
To register for the Zumbathon® or to learn more information about the event please click on the link below (the registration button is at the bottom of the website):
Pre-registration is recommended if you would like an event t-shirt (t-shirts are not guaranteed if you sign up the day of the event because supply will be limited). Let's all come together to support a worthy cause! Invite your friends and family!


Nov 4  Yuletide Tunes & Treats ~ Dessert Buffet, Silent Auction & Music
Charleston Moose Lodge, 615 7th St
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, auction ends at 6:40 pm
For more information call, (217) 348-0430.

Nov 5 - Easy Does It
Charleston Carnegie Public Library 
712 6th Street Rotary Room A
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Come check out Charleston-native filmmaker Will Addison's feature film fundraiser! Free deserts and short films! Learn how you can get you name in the credits of an independent action-comedy about two outlaws chasing the American Dream! 

Nov 7 - Charleston Challenge 40 Mile Relay
Carl Sandburg School, 1924 Reynolds Dr.
9:00 am
Divisions include Superman, Dynamic Duo, and Teams
(Male, Female & Open Team Categories)
(217) 348-0430
This event hosted by the Charleston Parks and Recreation Department features 40 miles of fun for up to 4 team members. Team and individual divisions available.

Nov 7- Kids Day Inside Out
Buzzard Hall
8:30 am - 11:30 am

The Education Scholars Program will host its Fall Kids Day Out on Saturday, November 7 from 8:30 – 11:30 am in Buzzard Hall (note the earlier start and end time since it is a football Saturday).  This year we will be featuring the movie Inside Out with all of our activities centered around the movie.  There will be games, crafts, a movie and tons of  other activities.  There is no cost for this event but space is limited so register now.  To register, send your child’s (grandchildren or other relatives are welcome) name and grade as well as your name, email address, and phone number to Doug Bower at  The deadline to register is Friday, October 30th.  If you have questions please email me or give me a call at 217-581-2524. Attached below is the Kids Day Inside Out Flyer!
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Nov 7 - 2015 United Way Auction
Livespan Center 
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

Tickets are $25 or $250 a table (Includes hors d'oeuvre and cocktails). All proceeds benefit United Way of Coles County! Contact United Way: 217-234-8022 or unitedway

Nov 13 - Charleston Chamber Lootery: “Lucky Friday the 13th
Unique Suites Hotel
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Each ticket admits 2 people for fun, food and fabulous cash giveaways. Every tenth ticket wins a cash prize with a Grand Prize of $2,000. For tickets, call (217) 345-7041 Chamber of Commerce.

Nov 15 - Music for Viola 
Wesley United Methodist Church Sanctuary 
2:00 pm
Admission to the concert is FREE! Music for Viola and Piano by friends of Johannes Brahms: Robert Fuchs, Friedrich Kiel, and Theodor Kirchner performed by violist Elaine Fine and Pianist John David Moore

Nov-18 Band Together for Kids
Charleston VFW, 1821, 20th Street

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The tickets for the barbecue dinner and concert are ten dollars for adults and five dollars for all children age three to ten. Children two and under are free.The band lineup will be announced soon, but the committee is collecting donations for their silent auction which will take place that evening.  Anyone interested in donating should call Althea Pendergast at (217) 348-5931.

 Nov 19 - Friends Night Out
Sarah Bush Lincoln
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Get a first look and opportunity to purchase the beautiful holiday creations at this preview event and enjoy this year's signature drink.

Nov 20 - Festival of Trees
Sarah Bush Lincoln
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Enjoy the glitter and glitz of the holiday season with fully decorated 7-foot trees, 4-foot tree wreaths and centerpieces; specialty items, live greenery and trees, entertainment, live and silent auction, and much more. $3 admission, children under 12 free.

Nov 21 - Festival of Trees
Sarah Bush Lincoln
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Enjoy the glitter and glitz of the holiday season with fully decorated 7-foot trees, 4-foot tree wreaths and centerpieces; specialty items, live greenery and trees, entertainment, live and silent auction, and much more. $3 admission, children under 12 free.

Dec 5 - Christmas in the Heart of Charleston
Courthouse Square
4:45 pm - 7:00 pm

Holiday parade, carriage rides, refreshments, window displays, entertainment, photos with Santa and much more. Parents are encouraged to bring their own cameras for pictures with Santa. Parade starts at 5 pm. Streets leading to the Square will be closed ~ please park 2-3 blocks off the Square and walk inward. Check out our event page on Facebook under "Christmas in the Heart of Charleston". For more information please call (217) 348-0430

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