WESTVILLE – Like a lot of children, as a girl I devoured pioneer novels.
As I grew older my taste in books changed. Still, I was entranced when I first saw the Pioneer Homestead at Forest Glen County Preserve near Westville, my hometown.
Rustic and charming, it's a reproduction of an Illinois frontier log cabin, barn, herb garden and outbuilding.
Only staff members or people like frontier re-enactors can use the homestead for public programs. But I gained permission from Ken Konsis, director of the Vermilion County Conservation District, to spend a couple of nights there as long as I write about the experience.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Conservation District Foundation would like to serve up some cheeseburgers with a slice of tomato – Duke Tumatoe, that is.
"Cheeseburgers & Tumatoe" is scheduled for Saturday. This is the third year for the cheeseburger event sponsored by the foundation board. Members cook the burgers.
The pop musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is often billed as family-friendly, with universal themes and catchy music covering myriad genres.
It's a dependable mainstay of musical theater groups, particularly when producers cast a star as Joseph, as the Champaign Urbana Theatre Company has done with its upcoming production, opening Thursday at the Virginia Theatre.
Cara Day of Mahomet has a cinema resume that's mostly local productions.
When she signed up to be an extra in something called "Rory's Last Kiss," she didn't know that she was signed up for "The Dark Knight" and that she would be a few feet from co-star Gary Oldman.
CLINTON – A Women in the Outdoors event is planned for Aug. 16 at a farm east of Clinton.
The event will be held at the Don and Susie Hulvey's farm east of Clinton and hosted by the Dewitt County Longbeards, the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Cara Maurizi's daughter Elin is almost 7 with a serious book habit, multiple volumes of cat and dog books on every trip to the library.
Since Maurizi left the steady paycheck of teaching to become an actress, the Urbana mother has been spending less time in book stores and more in libraries. Usually it's the Urbana Free Library, but the family also enjoys Champaign's spanking-new facility, and that's where they were Friday.
Celebration focus is on diversity, practical topics
RANTOUL – The fourth annual Rantoul Harvest Festival featuring public education, workshops and multicultural presentations will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Wabash Park.
HUME – The Hume Festival will be held Aug. 22-23.
On Friday evening the festival will kick off at 4:40 p.m. with a Smoked Pig Dinner sponsored by the Hume United Methodist Church. Other events scheduled for that evening are a Kiddy Pedal Tractor Pull at 6 p.m. and "Dress Up Dana" event at 6:30 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN – Nickelodeon and Broadway Across America will bring its new, national touring production of "The Backyardigans Live! Tale of the Mighty Knights" to the University of Illinois Assembly Hall on Oct. 7 and 8.
Tickets range from $18 to $34 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Aug. 11 at the Assembly Hall Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets and online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by telephoning 333-5000. Fans may visit online www.nickjr.com for additional local market tour dates and to find a link to purchase tickets.
GEORGETOWN – The home ec buildings have been hosed down by the fire department, volunteers are setting up the animal pens, tents are going up and the entertainment is scheduled. The 70th annual Georgetown Fair begins Saturday.
Eight full days of livestock shows, seven grandstand shows and loads of free entertainment await anyone willing to pay the $2 gate fee for adults and $1 for children, ages 6 through 12. It's even got free admission Saturday and Sunday.