DavidDavis MansionA beloved annual celebration in Bloomington will reach a lofty milestone in July. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site will be celebrating the 25th year of its Glorious Garden Festival on July 16-17.

First hosted in 1997, the Glorious Garden Festival brings local residents and tourists to the Bloomington-Normal community to take part in garden-themed events and to share gardening knowledge.

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Allerton Park and Retreat Center 48765753422Located in Monticello in the heart of Illinois, Allerton Park and Retreat Center contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a 10-acre meadow, sculpture gardens, hiking trails and a historic mansion. Originally built as a private residence by artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900, the park was donated by Allerton to the University of Illinois in 1946.

Robert Allerton was born in Chicago on March 20, 1873. As a young man, he decided to forego entering his father’s business in farming and banking, instead opting to dedicate his life to the pursuit of art. Eventually, he took over the management of some of his father’s holdings in Monticello, naming the area “The Farms.”

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la pride 2019 billboard 1548 1584127332 1024x677Happy Pride Month! June is a month-long celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture and their contributions throughout history. Illinois has a notable history of celebrating pride, particularly in Chicago.

A year after the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, inspired by what occurred there, activists in Chicago put on the first ever major pride event in the city. A lot of Pride events, including the ones in Chicago, initially started out as protests with LGBTQIA+ people fighting for equality. The pride events in Chicago have grown over the years, going from hundreds of attendees to hundreds of thousands of attendees.

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Sierra ByrdSophia Byrd, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Byrd had the opportunity to sing in a professional oratorio as a college freshman and is now studying lyric theatre. She was one of six vocalists who performed in “Place,” a 2018 work that explores the effects of gentrification in a Brooklyn neighborhood. “Place” is nominated for best chamber music/small ensemble performance and best contemporary classical composition.

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route 66 868967 1280The most famous road in America, traveled on by generations, is a symbol of unlimited mobility and freedom of the road. Route 66 is iconic for America’s highway culture – and it starts right here in Illinois.

It was created in 1926 as part of the numbered highway network and became the preferred road west.  It quickly gained fame as the shortest route between the Midwest and the west coast as it passed through the American Southwest.

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