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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 Theatre: 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 6:00pm and competition starts at 7:00pm
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 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 preshow 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 282015 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,

February 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.

Mar 2 Cheesemaking with Meryl Winstein
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
Artisan cheesemaker Meryl Winstein of St. Louis will be here to teach us how to make several cheeses. Registration information coming soon

Mar 6 - Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Annual Dinner
Social 6:00pm/ Dinner and Program 6:30pm
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 Walt Whitman 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
2:00 pm
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
Steve Haaf, retired teacher, from Spencer County Indiana has conducted extensive research of Thomas Lincoln and his carpentry skills and production. Steve will be in the auditorium to share his research and examine the artistry and skill of our esteemed resident.


Apr 9 - What Women Want and more
Unique Suites Hotel, 920 W. Lincoln
4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
(217) 345-7041

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. Lincloln 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.

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 acution. 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 18 - Girls on the Run 5K
EIU and finish in 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 and finish on the track behind Charleston Middle School. Register online at or call Beth with questions: (217) 234-9494.

Apr 24-26 - Celebration: A Festival of the Arts
Eastern Illinois University Campus 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

May 2   Sheep to Clothing Event and Sheep to Shawl Competition
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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 31- Northern Suburbs Illinois Lupus 1M/3M Walk
Vernon Hills, Half Day Forrest Preserve
Join the Lupus Society of Illinois in a 1M/3M walk in the half Day Forrest Preserve. Each registered participant will receive LSI tee, post-event snack, LSI incentives, entertainment, and more! Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for children and all proceeds benefit LSI. More information call 312-542-0006 or email Create your team and register online today.

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

Jun 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 a.m. - 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 at

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

June 13, 2:00 pm: Civil War Saturday: Peace at last! The end of the Civil War
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
Soldiers encampment and mustering out. 

Jun 18 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
For more information, call 345-6897

Jun 25 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

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

Jun 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, give-aways, snacks and beverages on the course, "Beat the Mayor" contest, Par 3 poker, dinner and prizes. Foursomes and individuals are welcomed! Registration form available on (217) 345-7041

Jun 28 - Red, White, and Blue Days Bingo
North Pavilion, Morton Park, Division and Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (217) 345-7691


Jul 1– 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. (217) 345-7691
July 3rd, Friday
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, Saturday
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
*Non Profit vendors will be available all day. Foam pit and Inflatables end at 2 pm

Jul 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

Jul 9 – Community Band Concert
Kiwanis Park Amphitheater

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

Jul 12  Independence Day Festivities
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

July 19 Civil War Saturday-Encore presentation of A Question of Loyalty, a play by Earl Halbe.
Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site
2:00 p.m.

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 visiting


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.
(217) 348-0430

Sept 26 – 18th St Fall Festival
18th St in Charleston
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
(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.

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  24 Torchlight Halloween Hike, Pumplin 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 interpretational programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hotdogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire.

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.


Nov TBD  Yuletide Tunes & Treats ~ Dessert Buffet, Silent Auction & Music
Charleston Moose Lodge, 615 7th St
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, auction ends at 7:40 pm
(217) 348-0430

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 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.

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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