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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
Surprise 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.

Feb 23- Bowls Of Hope 2016
Wesley United Methodist Church 2206 4th St.
5:00 pm- 7:00 pm
Come enjoy a delicious cup of soup and join HOPE in their annual benefit to empower people to live independently through the provisions of Housing, Outreach, Prevention, and Education. Live music and an auction will be held with prizes ranging from a coach purse to a yummy dessert. Remember the location change and if you have any questions, call HOPE at (217) 348-5931.

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,

Mar 13 - "Lucky Strikes" in Local History: Conversations about Coles County Nuggets
The Dudley House, 895 7th St. Charleston, IL
2:00 pm- 3:15 pm
Join us Sunday, March 13th at 2pm to hear from Dick and Kathy Hummel, and Nancy Easter-Shick, local history sleuths, as they chat about their "Lucky Strikes" they unearthed while conducting history research. They will share the process they used to investigate an 1855 murder in Charleston. The program is designed as a public conversation about research in local history. Anyone who has their own research is invited to share. Contact the Coles County Historical Society at 217-235-6744 for more information.

Mar 15 - Family Caregiver Resource Center: Dementia Conversations
LifeSpan Center, 11021 E CR 800 N, Charleston
8:30 am- 12:00 pm
Are you a caregiver unsure of how to approach sensitive subjects such as when to stop driving and making financial or legal decisions for your care receiver with dementia? On Tuesday, March 15, the Family Caregiver Resource Center will be hosting an educational presentation titled "Dementia Conversations". The doors of the LifeSpan center will open at 8:30 with registration beginning at 9:00. Brunch will also be served at 9:30 as the presentation will follow. There is no charge to attend but you must register by contacting us at (217)639-5168.

Mar 16, 23, 30- Apr 6, 13, 20- Savy Caregiver Program
LifeSpan Center, 11021 E CR 800 N, Charleston
Wednesdays 1:30 pm- 3:00 pm
The Family Caregiver Resource Center would like to invite caregivers of older adults with dementia to participate in an upcoming educational opportunity to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes about their care giving roles. The program is a 6 part workshop meeting on three Wednesdays in March and three in April. This is a free educational opportunity open to the public. Registration is required by contacting us at (217)639- 5150.


Apr 2 - WCIA Home and Garden Show

The WCIA 3 Home and Garden Expo is a FREE community event hosted by WCIA-TV. We have brought together some of the finest home improvement and garden vendors in Central Illinois all so they can help you get your projects solved!

APRIL 2nd, 9:00am - 5:00pm
APRIL 3rd, 11:00am - 4:00pm 

With thousands of square feet of exhibits you’ll find the latest in products and services for everything from builders, contractors, materials, decks, landscape displays/materials, kitchenware, and much more. Get your yard ready and learn from the experts on how to prepare your garden for the spring. Check out the spring florals and plants, visit local landscapers’ booths to have your lawn and garden questions answered. Don’t forget your plans, pictures or blueprints!

Apr 2 - P.E.T Community Day
Paradise Equestrian Therapy Center, 18146 E CO Rd. 740N
9:00 am- 11:00 am
Join us for a fun event for Kids and adults held at our indoor arena. Come get a pony, paint a horse and play tons of games. You may purchase $1 tickets to ride a horse for ages 4-11 and $5 for ages 12 and up. There will be a horseless horse show that you will be able to compete in as well. It is free to attend and family friendly. Hope to see you there!

Apr  2 - Will Rogers Theater Project
Coles County Lifespan Center
Reception at 6:00 pm Dinner 6:30
Since we began working to save our beloved theater we've heard from friends near and far who want to know how they can help. Well this year is the first annual fundraiser in the campaign to save the Will Rogers Theater. Join us Saturday night on April 2nd for a reception and dinner in support of the Will Rogers Theater project. Tickets will be $60.00 dollars each (table of 6 $330.00 and table of 8 $440.00) and are purchased by sending in a check made out to the Will Rogers Theater Project.

Apr 8 - 9 - Common Mind  Experience @ Boneyard Arts Festival

LOCATION: Fluid Event Center, 601 N. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, Il 61820
April 8th,  5:00pm - 11:00pm
 April 9th, 12:00pm - 12:00am

The Common Mind Art Collective is once again teaming up with the Fluid Events Center to create a massive one of a kind event.The Common Mind Experience at Boneyard Arts Festival will be filling over 15,000+ sq. feet of Exhibition and Performance space!!

Apr 8 - 9 - Coles County Community Shantytown
Morton Park, West Pavilion
4:00 pm (Clean up 6:00 am Sat)
All of Coles County is invited to join EIU habitat for humanity in raising funds and awareness of inadequate housing in Coles County. We encourage teams of five to sign up as you will be building shanties to sleep in overnight. Since this is an overnight event there will be food provided which is included in the registration fee. The cost is $20 per person or teams of 5 for $15. You must have the registration forms turned into Newman Catholic Center or EIU habitat for humanity mailbox by Sunday, April 3rd for T-shirt.

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 16 - Kids Day Out Prehistoric Party
Buzzard Hall
8:30 am - 11:00 am
For Pre-K- 6th grade (generally 3 years old)

This Spring we will be featuring the movie The Good Dinosaur  with all of our activities centered around a pre-historic theme. there will be games, crafts , a movie and tons of other activities. there is no cost fro this event but space 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, April 8th. If you have any questions please email me or give me a call at 217-581-2524

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 16 - Spring Fling Lakeland College Disk Golf Outing
Lakeland College
Sign In 9:00 am Tee off 10:00 am
Join us for a Family Fun event of Disc golf. You will be throwing two rounds of nine with an entry fee of $10. Sign-in will be from 9-9:45 the morning of the tournament followed by a ten minute players meeting. Tee-off is set to be approximately at 10:00 am. There will be four divisions in the tournament a women's, rec, intermediate, and advanced so the playing field is fair to everyone. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in the int and rec divisions, payouts in the advanced and women's division will be based on player turnout, the more golfers that show up, the bigger the payouts. This event is family friendly, please keep any extracurricular activities on the down low, thank you in advance.

Apr 16 - Casino Night Fundraiser
Mattoon Golf and Country Club
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Join us for the 3rd annual Casino Night Fundraiser Saturday April 16th. Play your favorite Las Vegas style game (Black Jack, Texas Hold'em, Roulette or Bang) for cash. Pull tabs and a Lucky raffle will also be available. Tickets are $25.00 each (including hors d'ouevres and a cash bar) and you must be at least 21 years old to attend. You may purchase tickets by calling 217-238-5720 or from any LifeLinks staff member. 

Apr 21 - Working Women's Expo 
@ Fluid Event Center
4pm- 8 pm
 The 2016 , Illini Radio Groups Working Women's Expo will be held on Thursday, April 21st at the Fluid Event Center. Join them and discover new products, information and ideas from hundreds of local , regional and nationally owned business. 

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.

Apr 24 - Walk a Mile in Her shoes
Morton Park
2:00 p.m.

Kick up your shoes at the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her shoes hosted by Sexual Assault Counseling & Information Service. To register or for more information on this event please follow this link (217) 348-5033

Apr 26 - Canvas & Cocktails
Mattoon VFW 1220 S. 19th St, Mattoon
Doors Open 5:00 pm Painting starts 6:00 pm
Would you like to release your inner artist skills? Well knows your chance, Join us on Tuesday April 26th for drinks and see how well you can paint. All materials will be provided to create your very own art work. To purchase tickets call (217) 254-7149 or (217) 254-8875 and they will be $35.

Apr - 29 - 31st - Link on to Lincoln
Coles County

The public is invited to explore the rich Lincoln heritage of Coles County with our spring Link-on to Lincoln festival. Delve into many Lincoln stories county wide through a a variety of museum exhibits, lectures, hands-on living history activities, dinner theater and much more.
 For additional information on the Lincoln Log Cabin programs/volunteer call (217) 345-1845 or visit the website

Apr 30 - FUNdFEST at the Fairgrounds
Coles County Fair Grounds
11:00 am- 11:00 pm
This is a fundraising event to benefit all the recently laid off employees at EIU. Donations are accepted and their will also be live music, auctions, vendors, art, activities, and more tv's. The fest will be held by the Midway-Grandstand areas at the Coles County Fairgrounds. For vendors and updated info go to: 


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 12 - Coles County Town Hall Meeting on underage drinking
Carnegie Public Library,  5th St, Charleston
6:00 - 7:00 pm  
Rotary Rm B
The Coles County Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking on Thursday, May 12th from 6pm-7pm at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library, Rotary Room B.  Please see the attached flyer for more details or contact Michelle Eaton, CEAD Council Prevention Office.  217.258.6137  

CommunitiesTalk Flyer.docx
1.4 MB

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

Visit the IHSA website for more information.

May 14 - Races for all Paces
Located near O'Brien Stadium parking lot - Eastern Illinois Campus 

Get your running shoes and enjoy Races for all Paces. The courses are exciting and include the Panther Trail, campus locations, local neighborhoods and the half marathon goes into the country with hills and other exciting challenges along the route. Listed below are the events held for everyone and every skill level. There will also be music , inflatables and other fun activities at the start/finish line. On-line registration ends May 12 at 5pm.

7:00 am - Half Marathon 
7:40 am - 10k Relay Challenge
7:50 am - 10k Individual 
8:00 am - 5k x Walk/run
9:00 am - One mile run/walk
10:15 am - Toddler Trot or Diaper Dash

For additional race information please visit or to register contact Laura Bollan at (217) 345-6828

May 13 - Cookout
910 West Polk Avenue Charleston, IL 61920

Come join us at the Hilltop Skilled Nursing and Rehab for a cookout to celebrate National Nursing Home week.

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 20- Jonah Fish Fry
Lifespan Center 11021 E CR 800 N
4:30-7:30 pm
Join us at the local Lifespan Center for the Coles county RSVP 33rd annual Jonah Fish Fry. The event has become a tradition in Coles county and is recognized for its excellent "all you can eat" fish fry. Tickets for the dinner are $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-12, and children under 5 eat for free. Don't forget that this charity event is being held May 20th as it is normally held in June. For any questions call (217) 639-5150.

May 21-22 - RINEHART R100
Hutton, IL Broken Arrow 3D, 2780 N. CO. Rd. 2200 E.
7:30 am- 5:00 pm
Come Shoot the most amazing 3D archery targets you've ever seen. World record deer, life sized elephant and giraffes, African lion and tiger and more! There will be over $6,000 dollars worth of door prices. If you think you have the best archery shot registration will begin at 7:30 am both mornings. If you want to save money you may pre register at

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. Click here for a flyer. For more information contact Don Dawson (217) 581-6692
or visit us at 

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

Visit the IHSA website for more information.

2016 Summer Schedule
Living History Open Houses - 1-4 P.M.
Demonstrations run 1-4 pm; Music from 1:00-2:30pm.; Programs are at 2:30pm

May 29 (Sunday) "Powder Horns, Old & New: historic style contemporary recreations, a horner's narrative" 
Open Hearth & Wood stove Cooking. Spinning Demonstration. Country and old time music.
June 12 (Sunday) "Dear Dario" Letters from Paul Sargent to Dario Covi, former student & WWII soldier. 
Spinning Demonstration, Bluegrass Music.
June 26 (Sunday) ''1917 Coles Co. Tornado, Effect & Recovery" What do we remember? Share your stories.
Spinning & Weaving Demonstration, Bluegrass Music.
July 10 (Sunday) Blacksmithing Demonstration & Presentation
Chair Canning demonstration 
White Coopering
Bluegrass Music
July 24 (Sunday) "Life and Times of Tilford Dudley" (Starts at 1pm.)
White Coopering
Wool Spinning Demonstration
19th Century Music (Starts at 2pm.)
August 7 (Sunday) "The History and Use of Live Traps"
Cooking wild game on the hearth & stove
Spinning & Weaving
Bluegrass Music
August 21 (Sunday) "Collecting Indian Artifacts of East Illinois"
Spinning & Weaving Demonstration
Bluegrass Music
August 28 (Sunday) "The Women of Spoon River" (Starts at 2 pm.)
A Look at Edgar Lee Master's literary classic 
Spoon River Anthology from women's perspectives.
October 9 (Sunday) FALL FESTIVAL 1-4 pm
Open Hearth & Stove Cooking, Blacksmithing, Food Preservation, Cider Pressing, White Coopering, 
Chair Caning, Spinning & Weaving, Toy Maker, Farm Animal Petting, Scherenschnitte 
Music by; Old Time Fiddlers

May 31-August 11th - Free Lunch for anyone 18 and younger 
Charleston North Park (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) 12:30-1pm
Charleston's Carpenter's Table (Wednesday) 12:30-1pm
Ashmore South Park (Monday-Thursday) 11:30-12pm
Oakland Lake Park (Wednesday)   12:30-1pm

The Salvation Army and Eastern Illinois University have partnered together to provide a FREE lunch to anyone who is 18 or younger starting on may 31st - August 11th. We will have lunches at the above locations, days, and times.  

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 10 - Sara Bush Lincoln Golf Benefit
Mattoon Golf & Country Club
Mattoon , IL

Save the date for some golfing fun at Mattoon Golf & Country Club
6:30 am - 7:30 am - A.M. Registration
7:30 am - 12:30 pm - Morning Flight
11:00 am - 2:00 pm - Lunch
Noon - 1:00 pm - P.M. Registration
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Afternoon Flight
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm - Reception

For more information or to register , contact the SBL Health Foundation at (217-258-2511) or

Saturday June 11-Pancakes for a Playground
Charleston VFW
$6 Kids 5 and under eat free

All Proceeds will help fund a new playground for the children's program at HOPE

June 16 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

For more information, call 345-6897.

Saturday, June 11 - New Vision Band 6pm
Sunday, June 12 - Coffman Family During the Worship Hour 10am
Saturday, July 2 - Blank Pages 6pm
Saturday, July 16 - McMillan & Life 6pm
Sunday, July 17 -   Holy Hands (Puppet Ministry) 6pm
Friday, August 5 -   Alliance Trio 7pm
Saturday, August 20 - Steve Ladd 6pm
Sunday, September 18 - The Chosen Ones 6pm
Friday, September 30 - Never Forsaken 6pm
Sunday, October 16 - Becky Lercher 6pm
Saturday November 12 - Dysart Family 6pm
All concerts are free admissions with a love offering collected and 100% of that offering going to the artists to help support their ministry. All concerts are held at First Baptist Church at 2800 University Drive, Charleston IL 61920. 

June 23 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

For more information, call 345-6897.

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.


July 1, 2016—(CHARLESTON)The Central Illinois Stage Company is ecstatic to announce their annual summer musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!  Six performances are planned for this Old Testament story like you’ve never experienced are July 13-17, 2016 with performances being held at the Salisbury Church, 2350 Madison Avenue in Charleston.  There are four evening performances at 7:30pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.  Ticket prices are $13 for adults and $8 for children twelve (12) and under. No reservations required-general seating.  If you’d prefer reservations, go to our website, Lobby opens 90 minutes prior to each performance if you wish to purchase your tickets early.  House opens 30 minutes prior to each performance.

July 2 - 7-9 pm
American Legion For God and Country
We are having a Benefit Concert at Kiwanis Park in Charleston. This is in conjunction with Red, White, and Blue Days, bring a lawn chair. The concert is FREE music by GW (Gary) & Angie featuring Country, Rock, Blues, and Gospel selections. Post 93 will be accepting donations, selling raffle tickets on a four burner gas frill to be given away on July 4. We will also be selling tickets for our annual pancake & sausage breakfast to be held on July 4 - 6am-11am. All proceeds will go toward post 93 Honor Guard & Post 93 LOCALLY sponsored projects. Our Honor Guard will be opening the program.  
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
1:00 pm Inflatables (ends at 4 pm)
4:00 pm   Joyful Bubbles (ends at 8 pm)
6:30 pm Nestor AnDress 
Farmer of the Year/Little Mr. and Miss
8:00 pm Headliner - Brothers Osborne

July 4th, Monday
6-11 am American Legion Pancake Breakfast
6:30 am Habitat for Humanity Run/Walk
9:30 am Chalk In - Coles County Arts Council
10:00 am Foam Pit & Inflatables (ends at 2 pm)
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 6th - Carson & Barnes Circus
The all new 80th edition of the Carson and Barnes Circus is rolling in to Charleston on Wednesday, July 6 2016. The public is invited to see the giant Big Top up!More than two dozen trucks will arrive at the Coles County Fairgrounds, carrying exotic animals, hundreds of spectacular costumes, and tons of equipment that are all part of America's oldest family-owned circus. We do not want any of the people of Charleston to miss the opportunity to see one of the last traveling circuses under the Big Top. For ticket information, you can visit our website at 

July 7 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

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

July 14th - 1st Annual Beller And Belch Tractor Pull
Hosted by: East Central Illinois Antique Farm Equipment Clubs
Coles County Fairgrounds
Heat begins at 6:00pm, Registration begins at 5:00pm
Hook fee is: $25.00
Contact: Jerry Thomas (217) 232- 7858

July 14th - July 17 2016 ECIA Farm Equipment Club Tractor Show
Hosted by: East Central Illinois Antique Farm Equipment Club
Coles County Fair Grounds
Tractor Parade, Tractor Games, Demos, Antique Tractor Pulls, Tractor Drive Vendors, Flea Market Daily
Contact: Greg Rhoads (217) 254- 1489

July 16th - Stacks & Packs Car, Truck, & Motorcycle Show
Hosted by: East Central Illinois Antique Farm Equipment Club
Proceeds to benefit the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois 
Coles County Fair Grounds 
Registration Begins at 8:00am Awards presented at 2:00pm
Registration Fee: $15.00
Dash, plaques, Door Prizes, Kids activities, Flea market
Contact: Don Nees: (217) 345-7898

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.

Shakespeare Program Cover2.pdf
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Jul 31 - Aug 7: 162ndt Annual Coles County Fair
Coles County Fairgrounds
For more information call 345-2656 or visit,


Celebrating local art, artists, music and entertainment! Bands Play all day long! Author Dwight Connelly, long editor of MUFON UFO Journal will present "The World's Best UFO Cases" will be in Charleston Square from 5-6pm at Pensees Bookshop. Exhibitors application available  or contact Joshua Benton, 9 muses art director 217-972-3519.

August 20 - 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.


August 3, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jordan Haverly

(202) 225-5271 or (217) 820-9812

Shimkus, AT&T Host Senior Citizen Tech Day



Effingham, Illinois – Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) and AT&T will host a senior citizen tech day at your LifeSpan Center on Monday, August 3rd.  


“Smart phones and the apps they run have changed the way we get our news, entertainment and stay connected with friends and family,” said Shimkus. “I’m pleased to be part of this event to help seniors get the most out of new technologies.”


Shimkus and trained representatives from AT&T will be on hand at your Lifespan Center from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. to help senior citizens learn:


  •        How to use their Smartphone or tablet
  •        How simple apps can help with daily life
  •        How to play Smartphone games, and
  •        How to use Skype/FaceTime to keep in touch with loved ones


The event is free of charge and attendees need not be AT&T customers to participate.

The Coles County Council on Aging offices are located at the LifeSpan Center located at 11021 E. Co. Rd. 800N --- North of Route 16 at the corner of 800N and Loxa Road.  The telephone number is (217) 639-5150 for the Coles County Council on Aging and LifeSpan Center.  The telephone numbers for the programs are: Telecare, 639-5166; Family Care Giver Resource Center, 639-5168; and Dial-a-Ride, 639-639-5169 or 1-800-500-5505.  See you at your LifeSpan Center!

The Coles County Council on Aging, a local charity since 1974, sponsors the local Coles County RSVP program.  The RSVP program receives funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service, Illinois Department on Aging, and the United Way of Coles County.


Sat, August 13th   9:00am to 1:00pm

Carpenters Table

375 N. 14th Street

Charleston, IL


The Craft and Vendor Market will have an array of independent consultants, crafts and flea market items. The market will be at Carpenters Table. Please visit our thrift shop while you are there and choose from our reasonably priced used furniture and household items. All of the booth proceeds will benefit Carpenters Table food pantry. If you have any questions about the market or would like to have a table at the market contact Carpenters Table at 217-348-6085 or at We hope to see everyone there!

August 13 - Muse Fest 2015
Between 7th & 8th Street on Jackson Avenue, Charleston, IL
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Thursday, Aug 25

*      6:00pm            Little Mr. & Miss Ashmore Ag Days Pageant, Pre-Registration Required

                              (Cathy Welborn 232-9951)

                              Sponsored by: Edgar County Bank & Richey’s Furniture

Friday, Aug 26

*      5:00-9:00pm    Food Vendors (Bill Edwards 232-1110)

*      6:00-9:00pm    Band “Sawyer Brothers

*      7:30pm            Annual Kenneth Coffey, Sr Memorial Races, Pre-Registration Required

                              (Tami Ogden 549-8808 or Lori Richardson 232-8770)

                                    Sign-In @ 6:30, 1.5 mi Walk & Kids Run @ 7:30, 5k Run @ 8:00

                                    Sponsored by: The Kenneth Coffey, Sr. Family

Saturday, Aug 27

*      All Day            Co-Ed Softball Tournament (Willie Comstock 549-1713)

*      6:30-10:00am Pancake & Sausage BreakfastSponsored by: Ashmore Masonic Lodge #390

*      6:30-10:00am  Farmers Market (Jackie Freezeland 349-8332)

*      10:00am          Parade (Debbie Dunning 349-8471) Line-up @ 8:00,

                              Staging area on the east side of town will be marked with signs

*      10am-10pm     Food Vendors (Bill Edwards 232-1110)

*      10am-10pm     Craft Vendors (Bill Edwards 232-1110)

*      11:30am          Fire Dept. Water Ball Competition

*      11:30-2:30       Free Kids CarnivalSponsored by: Tri County Church

*      12-2pm            Horse Rides by PETS

*      12:00-4:00pm  DJ Jeff Finney (Entertainment)

*      12:00pm          Community Blood Services – Blood Drive

*      1:00pm            Kiddie Tractor Pull, (Terry Coffey 349-8254) Registration @ 12:30

                              Sponsored by: Ashmore Community Club

*      1:00-3:00pm    Cake Walk

*      2:00-5:00pm    Bag Tournament, Registration @ 1:00, Sponsored by: AHW, LLC

*      3:00pm            Homemade Salsa Contest, Registration @ 2:00, Sponsored by: I and I Deli

*      3:00-5:00         Touch-A-Truck:

                              Helicopter (only for 45 min. & weather permitting)

                              Coles County Sheriff’s Office K9 & K9 Squad

                              Fire Truck & Ambulance

                              John Deere Tractors

*      3:00-5:00pm    BINGO

*      4:00pm            Fire Dept. Bike Raffle, tickets available all day

*      4:30pm            Smoke Trailer Demonstration

*      5:00pm            Fire Dept. Gator Raffle, tickets available all day

*      5:30-7:30         Petting Zoo

*      7:00-10:00pm  Band “Battle Creek

Sunday, Aug 28

*      10:00am          Community Church Service

*      12:00pm-?       Co-Ed Softball Tournament (continues)

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. 

1-mile Fun Run & 5K Race -
An energetic and family-friendly event centered on providing opportunities for families and friends to get outside, encourage and celebrate fitness, and have a LOT of fun together! Registration/check in begins at 6pm @ Your LifeSpan Center 11021 E County Rd. 800N (North of Rt.16 at the corner of Loxa Road and 800N) Charleston, IL 61920-8632.


The 2016 annual BBQ and Auction Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, September 17th in the merchant building at the Coles County Fairgrounds. Featured will be a BBQ meal, a silent auction and music by Lance Beever & Gerald Stanford. The auction will feature antiques, collectibles, artwork, and contemporary items, with something for everyone.

Sept 24- DONUT DASH- Boys in Blue Color Run
LifeSpan Center 11021 E. CR 800 N
9:00 am- 11:59 pm
The 1mile, 5K or 10K run will be an event held all day long. Registration is required and there will be more information as it becomes available. If you have any questions call (217) 639-5150 or visit 

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 13 - Taste of something Bold The Walkway 1501 Lakeland Blvd, Mattoon IL 5-8pm
Wine tasting & silent Auction event benefiting the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois East Central/Area 9

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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