Festivals in Bloomington

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Since 1987, Craft Productions, Inc?has been promoting handcrafted arts-and-crafts shows in the Chicago area.?Although the shows may be held indoors or out or have nearly 200 booths or only 30, they all feature the work of local artisans and craftsmen. Their wares include handmade jewelry, home decorations, apparel, art, woodwork, and bath and body items that are perfect as gifts for friends, family, or even your enemy so they'll know how good you are at gift giving.

1606 West Jefferson Street
Ottawa,
IL
US

Days at Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival end around the campfire. As flames flicker, they spill light over a group of like-minded individuals: yogis, musicians, activists, and anyone else who has found his or her way to the annual celebration of mind, body, and spirit. According to event organizers, Sukhava Bodhe means "joyful awakening." That's what attendees hope to experience when they emerge from their tents each morning and start a journey into new areas, both physically and spiritually.

Vibrant flowers blanket the festival's venue, the 37-acre Stonehouse Farm. Walking paths meander around the grounds and lead to different events, passing by a tranquil pond and a limestone farm house from the nineteenth century. Across these grounds, experts lecture and lead classes in areas such as yoga, massage, and even organic farming. Live performers score the day with international music that ranges from American Folk to Kirtan, a form of call and response. Dancing often breaks out during these shows, which allows everyone in attendance to become part of the performance and show off their well-oiled Macarena moves.

3719 Suydam Rd.
Earlville,
IL
US

It was love at first sight between antique dealer Chuck Springob and a bench he found at the Third Sunday Market in Bloomington. But as the Daily Herald reports, it also turned out to be love at first sight between Chuck and the bench’s owner, Mary. Now married, the Springobs furnish their five-bedroom two-story home with antiques from their combined eight storage units; the remaining stock fills their backyard barn.

Along with fellow enthusiast Maureen Little, the couple shares its passion for antiques with Sunday at Sandwich Antiques, held at the Sandwich Fairgrounds. From May to October, dealers from four states gather one Sunday each month to sell their collectibles and crafts at an all-day festival with food and free parking.

1401 Suydam Road
Sandwich,
IL
US

Voted "Best Pumpkin Fest" by viewers of Fox News Chicago, Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm captivates visitors with the autumn-themed fun of four new attractions, pig races, a 3-acre corn maze fit for all ages, and the Kids Village complete with a jail and a fire station. Swine speed toward the finish line 10 times daily, spurred on by the cheers of bleacher-seated audiences, and human competitors race playmates or sentient scarecrows through the giant Crazy Corn Maizey's swaying stalks. The Pumpkin Chucker launches gourds skyward, and pint-size patrons mirror mid-air trajectories on kiddy rides such as the new 90-foot Mega Fun Slide and Flying Frogs (free through October 30, excluding pony rides). Ghoulish chefs and mad scientists cook up screams in the Haunted Barn before sending the spooked off to enjoy the soothing effects and bleated lullabies of goats, zebras, kangaroos, and other critters at the petting zoo.

13341 West 151st Street
Homer Glen,
IL
US

Hershey Theatre

The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.

19100 S Ridgeland Ave.
Tinley Park,
IL
US

A celebration of all things ink, Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival brings together celebrities, sideshow entertainers, tattoo artists, and connoisseurs of the horror movie genre for a weekend of macabre camaraderie. The roster of celebrities hews toward the horror film genre?on hand will be George Wilbur of the Halloween films, Ari Lehman from Friday the 13th, and John Carl Buechler, the writer, director, and actor known for his work on Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Halloween. The rest of the guest list includes tattoo supermodel Heather Moss and enough tattoo artists to honor every MOM in North America.

But there's plenty more to ogle at than just celebrities. Human suspension performers, for instance, challenge viewers' concepts of pain and endurance by piercing their flesh with large hooks and suspending themselves from above. Further impossibilities are on display during the Captain's Sideshow, a performance with beds of nails, mouse traps, and just about anything else that can make you cover your eyes and then peek between your fingers. But at Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival, the show easily crosses the threshold of the stage and into the crowd. Expect to see everybody in their brightest inks, their sharpest piercings, and their most gothic duds, especially during the costume contest and the Ms. Tattoo Pageant.

18451 Convention Center Drive
Tinley Park,
IL
US