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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 
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All events details are subject to change. Please contact the event directly prior to making reservations.

2016 Calendar


Feb 6 - 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 6 - 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
$10 per person. 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.

February 12  - Singing Valentines  
Limited to Charleston and Mattoon area
8 AM to 4 PM  in the Home or Work Place
Suprise spouses or friends with a singing valentine! Quartets from the Coles County Barbershop Chorus will deliver a box of candy, beautiful card, photo and sing 2 romantic songs for your loved one in the Charleston/Mattoon area for $35! Proceeds benefit area high school vocal music programs. For details, go to To schedule an appointment, call Ken Hull (217) 508-4116

Feb 12 & 13 - Valentin's Day Dinner Theater - "Mafia Murders"
Lifespan Center, 11021 E Co Rd 800 N, Charleston
6:63 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 $40 per person. Party tables of six can also be purchased.  Dinner is included and will consist of a pre-show appetizer, dinner and a dessert. Tickets are available at your LifeSpan Center and can be purchased in advance by calling (217) 639-5150. 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.

Mar 5 - 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 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. Questions, contact Vanessa Duncan, Area 9 Director, 345-2424,

Apr 9 - Girls on the Run 5K
EIU O'Brian Stadium
9:00 am Start Time

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'Brian Stadium. Register online at or call (217)234-9494.

Apr 14 - 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 22 - Area 9 Special Olympics Spring Games
EIU O'Brian Stadium
8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Come volunteer your time to make the day for someone else! For more information, contact Vanessa Duncan, Area 9 Director, (217) 345-2424 or 

Apr 22 - 24 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 22 - 24  Children’s Art Activities at Celebration
7th Street (between Tarble and Doudna Fine Arts Center)

Noon - 7 pm
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.


May 7 - 18th Street Spring Block Party
18th St
Contact Home Again Consignment for more information (217)345-4700

May 7 - EIU Commencement Ceremonies
EIU Lantz Arena

May 13-14 - ISHA Girls State Badminton Tournament
EIU Lantz Arina and SRC

Visit the IHSA website for more information.

May 14 - Lake Land College Commencement

May 19 - 21 - IHSA Girls State Track Meet
EIU O'Brian Stadium

Visit the IHSA website for more information.

May 21 - October 1: 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
May 21 - Tour de Exchange
Courthouse Square, Charleston
Shotgun Start 8:00 am
Come and join us for a 10, 25 or 40 mile cycling race. Proceeds benefit local groups that help prevent child abuse. For more information please visit us at or contact Deborah Muller (217)345-8426.

May 26-28 - IHSA Boys State Track Meet
EIU O'Brian Stadium

Visit the IHSA website for more information.

June 1 - 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 9 - Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

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

June 16 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897.

June 23 – 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 24 - 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 26 - Red, White, and Blue Days Bingo
North Pavilion, Morton Park, Division and Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm 345-7691,

June 30 – Community Band Patriotic 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, Sunday
1:00 pm Vendors and Activities begin
6:30 pm Opening Band 
Farmer of the Year/Little Mr. and Miss
8:00 pm Headliner

July 4th, Monday
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 Afternoon Band
*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 7 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

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

July 19 - 23 - Mattoon Bagelfest
Peterson Park, Mattoon

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 31 - Aug 7: 162ndt Annual Coles County Fair
Coles County Fairgrounds
For more information call 345-2656 or visit,

August 13 - Illinois 2016 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.

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 17- Charleston Challenge Run
9:00 am
Challenge yourself on this hilly and scenic course. For more information call, (217) 348-0430.

Sept 24 - 18th St Fall Festival
18th St in Charleston
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
For more information call, (217) 345-4700.

September 24: 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 23-25 - 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 21-23 - 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.


Nov TBD  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 11 - Charleston Chamber Lootery:
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-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 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 3 - Christmas in the Heart of Charleston
Courthouse Square
4:45 pm - 6:30 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 4:45 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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