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Entertainment Guide


Rodney Atkins

Fashion in the Garden

USTA Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic The area’s handiest Events Calendar


Aug 2011

is a FREE, monthly entertainment guide featuring the handiest events calendar for the Decatur, IL area. THRIVE IS ALSO ... a state of Being. To THRIVE is to Flourish. It’s Prosperity. It’s Success. It’s Positivity at all cost. It’s finding the Fun in all you do. It isn’t always easy, but to persevere against those who would have you believe “there’s nothing to do here” is to THRIVE. THRIVE is a publication of Showcard Studio PO Box 6195 • Decatur, IL 62524 • 217.791.5653 Publisher: Katrina Smalley Managing Editor: Jennifer Hendricks The Eventor: Stephanie Zimmerman Senior Writer: Joli Hohenstein Contributors: T. F. Dude Kate Eagler Ruthie Gergeni Todd Hauser Tim Haworth Troy Hayes Elissa McGlaughlin John Schirle Photographer: Alida Duff Sullivan Illustrator: Sean Thornton Layout Design: Showcard Studio Printing: Wood Printing Special thanks to the Macon Resources CAPS Program (Community Awareness, Possibilities & Supports) for all your help with THRIVE deliveries! Disclaimer: The contents of this magazine are covered by copyright. Reproduction in-part or in-full is forbidden, without the express permission of the publisher. It is not our intention to print any matter that discriminates on the grounds of race, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability. Every effort has been made to present all information accurately, however no liability is accepted for any inclusions or omissions from the publication.

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AND CAN BE FOUND AT ALL OF THESE LOCATIONS! ADM • Aloha • America’s Best Value Inn • An Affair to Remember • Applebee’s • Architectural Expressions • Attitudes Salon • Baker Law Office • Baymont Inn & Suites • Bellasara • Bliss Salon • Blue Connection • Blue Eggs & Ham • Bourbon Barrel • Brinkoetter & Associates • C&K Custom Signs • Carlos O’Kelly’s • Cartridge World • Casey’s General Store - Maroa • Casey’s General Store - West Mound • Caterpillar • Cedar Lake Gardens and Gifts • Children’s Museum • Central Illinois Title Company • Citizens Barnes Building • Clayton Sales • Clockwork Pizza • Coffee Connection • Cohn Furniture • Collect Them • Coney McKanes • Corona’s • Coziahr Harley Davidson • Curly’s Bar • Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy • Days Inn • Debbie’s Diner • Decatur Animal Clinic • Decatur Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau • Decatur Athletic Club • Decatur Beach House • Decatur Civic Center • Decatur Conference Center • Decatur Dental Care • Decatur Jewelry & Pawn • Decatur Mutual Insurance • Decatur Professional Plaza • Decatur Public Library • DECU - North • Del’s Express • Diane’s Mane Strategy • Different by Design • DMH Express Care - Fairview • Doherty’s Pub & Pins • Donnies Homespun Pizza • Dragon Buffet • Dreamers Diner • Dynagraphics/FastImpressions • Earthen Pottery • El Matador • Endless Summer Tanning • Exsalonce Studio & Day Spa • Famous Liquors • Filippo’s Pizza • Firewater Cafe • First Wok • Fox & Hounds • Freedom Gas - Maroa • Fringe Salon • Fuji • Garcia’s Pizza • Gerber State Bank Argenta • Gerber State Bank - Oreana • Giggles • Good Naber Specialty Foods • Goodfellas • Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce • Greater Decatur Y • Guadalajara • Gyro King • Haines & Essick Co. • Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham • Holiday Inn Express • Homeward Bound Pet Shelter • IHOP • It’s a Girl Thing • It’s Just a Little Prick • Jan’s East End Grille • Jimmy Ryan’s • Katz on Merchant • KC Hall • Krekels - Mt. Zion • Krekels - Oakland • Krekels North • Kroger • La Gondola • La Petite Salon • Lana’s Cakewalk • Land of Lincoln CU - Mound • Land of Lincoln CU - Oakland • Leo H. Berger Insurance • Linda’s Music • Lock Stock & Barrel • Love at First Sight • Lyle Campbell & Sons Realty • Macon County Farm Bureau • Madden Arts Center • Main Hangar • Main Street Cafe - Maroa • Mari Mann Herbs Co. • Mary Belle’s • Maustell’s Pizza • McGorray’s Golf & Grille • Merle Norman • Merry Maids • Mi Pueblito • Mike’s Hairstyling • Miles Chevrolet • Millenium Tan • Millie & Bo’s Barkery • Millikin University/ Kirkland • Monical’s • Monical’s - Mt. Zion Rd. • Mt. Zion Chamber of Commerce • Mystic Tan • Neil Tire & Auto Service • Neuhoff Media • Nissan • Nola’s Hair Salon • Northgate Pet Clinic • Nova Framing / Gallery 510 • Old Book Barn • One Main Place • Oreana Public Library • Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Specialists of Central IL • P&G Quickstop - Blue Mound • Paco’s Sol Bistro • Pastabilities • Petals • Pizza Hut • PlaMor Lanes • Play it Again Sports • Pop’s Place • Porter’s on Merchant • Priceless Smiles/Styles & Smiles • Pride Coin Laundry • Pride Coin Laundry • Pride Coin Laundry • Ramada Limited • Regions - Downtown • Renew Total Wellness • Richland Community College • Richland Extension Office • Robbies Outlet • Rock Springs Nature Center • RUSH Wireless • Russ Proesel DDS • Salon 402 • Salon Zen • Shear Learning • Shop on Main • Signature Salon • Sleep Inn • Sloan’s Calzones • Solar Tan • Sound Check Music Center • Soy Capital • Soy Capital • Soy Capital - Forsyth • Soy Capital - Pershing • Spa Villa • Spare Time Lanes • Speed Lube • Speed Lube Total Care • Star Silkscreen • Studio 7 Salon & Day Spa • Subway, West End • Sun & Fun • Swartz Properties • Tasty’s Chicago Grille - West Eldo • Texas Roadhouse • The Chili Bowl • The Decanter • The Decatur Club • The Fox’s Den • The Secret Garden • The Teacher’s Lounge • The Wharf • The Winery • Timbuktu • Tom’s Grill • Tournesol • Triple Dog Dare Ya • Tropix Salon and Spa • Unique Boutique • University Dogs • Up N’ Runnin’ • Veolia Environmental Services • Victory Pharmacy • Wabash Crossing Antiques • Whitestar Home Healthcare Services • Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe • Yoga Hound • Zips Florist by the Gates


in this issue

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14 on the cover An original illustration portraying Icon For Hire in an even more iconic, comichero stature. Learn what’s in a name, and what’s in their name in this feature article.



Out and About


SPOTLIGHT: Fashion in the Garden


cover illustration: Sean Thornton

The Food Dude: Ro To Go


The Locker Room: Ursula Beck Tennis


Decatur Celebration Stage Schedule


August Events Calendar


Guide to Tent Camping


Spot the Difference (answers p.35)


THRIVE 3Way: Three Ways to Make Music Work for You



30 Rodney Atkins Concert Beau Hanger shares some insight into what it takes to bring a country star to Decatur during the Farm Progress Show.

issue #27 | august 2011 |


is created and printed locally, in Decatur, IL.


Do You? Hand THRIVE to a friend or put it out in your bin!

august 2011 | 03



Oh August! It’s my most favorite month out of the whole year. Yes, it is the sad ending of summer and the kids will soon be heading back to school, but it’s also HOT, HOT, HOT! Some of you will probably think I am super crazy, but I absolutely dig the heat and humidity. It’s my thing, really! I am generally a very cold person… and believe it or not…80 degrees is actually on the chilly side for me. Yes, I am one of “those” people who wears a sweater or sweatshirt to work and even has a little space heater under my desk. Nothing beats the feeling of being out in the heat, sweating profusely, then walking into an air conditioned place and feeling the blast of cool air on your face! For me, winter does not have the same effect because when your toes are frozen and you can’t speak because your mouth is so cold, a blast of heat does nothing for the body! It takes awhile to get warmed up! Enjoy the rest of the summer and enjoy the heat and humidity! It will soon be over!

Editor 04 | august 2011

Out & About A look back at last month’s happenings

Ribbon Ride photos: Danny Menghini

2011 Ribbon Ride

More than 400 Riders lined up at Coziahr Harley Davidson for their shot to sucker punch cancer at the Ribbon Ride. Stops included Da Burg in Warrensburg, Buzzards Roost in Mt. Auburn, Bart’s Place in Tovey, Thunderbird Lounge in Hewittville, The Lumberyard in Findlay and the Timbuktu afterparty (above). -Kat Smalley

Relay for Life

Relay photos: Elissa McGlaughlin

Decatur’s Relay for Life was walked by more than 900 community members all willing to lose sleep in their fight against cancer. This over night event, held at Richland Community College, nearly doubled in participation, with extreme growth in new teams, and finishing the night with more than $190 thousand in accounted for donations. -Elissa McGlaughlin

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Out & About

A look back at last month’s happenings

Lakeside Fun The Lakeside Music and Arts Festival graced Decatur with a seventh year of lakeside entertainment on July 2nd & 3rd at its new location; the intersection of Nelson Park Boulevard and Cantrell Street. Craft beer and barbecue tasting were big draws and the golf barge challenge was a must-try for anyone with a competitive spirit. Kids painted scales (below) for a dragon to be constructed by local sculptor Peter Smith-Phillips for the Children’s Museum of Illinois. -Kat Smalley

Richie Hammel Fore on the Floor Car Show This new addition to the Lakeside Festival benefitted the Decatur Chapter of First Tee Golf. The Saturday attraction had a great mix of models including this fun-mobile below.

Lakeside photos: Stephanie Zimmerman

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Triathlon photos: Elissa McGlaughlin

Rodney T. Miller Lakeside Triathlon In it’s fourth year, this triathlon saw several changes. For the first time both the youth and adult events were held in a single day on Sunday, July 10th. In addition to becoming a single day event, the youth event rejoined the adults at Nelson Park and included options for a youth biathlon and a lake swim youth triathlon. This year, also included a new race director, experienced triathlete, Gene Mueller, who serves as the Sports Director for the Decatur Family YMCA. -Elissa McGlaughlin

The Decanter Celebrates!

photo: submitted by The Decanter

photo: Stephanie Zimmerman

After hitting the 5 year mark, The Decanter celebrated on July 9 with a full day of wine tasting, door prizes, discounts, appetizers and a great time with friends. -Kat Smalley

Oakwood Festival

Afternoon Moon cranked out some progressive jams at the Oakwood Street Festival on July 2nd. They were the first band of the day to catch some shade on the Oakland Street stage. Mark your calendar now for the next festival: Aug. 27. -KS

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Style, Sculpture and Shiraz At Fashion in the Garden Fridays

Heads up for an ongoing series of events bringing together three of my all-time favorite things: gardening, wine and fashion! Here’s the scoop: The last Friday of each month, Earthen Pottery and Shop on Main throw a Fashion in the Garden event featuring wine from The Decanter. “We wanted to have an event that would draw people to downtown Decatur,” says Tammy Griffin, who co-owns Earthen Pottery with her husband Mike. “After all, that’s why we’re here. Cindy Deadrick-Wolfer [owner of Shop on Main] and I were talking and came up with the idea for Fashion in the Garden.” Each event, held at Earthen Pottery’s downtown Decatur location at 201 N. Main St., features an informal fashion show where Shop on Main models showcase the latest trends in women’s clothing and accessories. “We’re seeing a lot of big pieces in gardens, either as a piece of art or a large pot to showcase flowers,” says Tammy. “Spheres and big pots can be used as focal points, not just to plant. The big color this year has been blue, including aquas, and also coppers and rustics are popular.”

by Joli Hohenstein

Fashion in the Garden gives you the chance to bring trends like these into your wardrobe, home and garden. “I’ve just been in Atlanta at Market, and we’re seeing lots of scarves, little shawls, jewelry is still huge, and animal prints,” says Cindy. “And we’re seeing lots of hats, bridal veils and the fascinators like Kate Middleton wears, which works out well because we have a lady who makes custom hats for us.” See the newest pots and planters from six countries, Mango Wood sculptures from Thailand, blown glass, garden art, candles and Life Is Good selections, plus the hottest runway styles including clothing and accessories by brands like Multiples, UBU, Ann Trinity, Haji, Clutch for Cures, Treska and more. While you’re there, take advantage of special deals on Earthen Pottery items and enjoy music and refreshments including a featured wine from The Decanter. “We try to choose an easy drinking wine for tasting,” says The Decanter Co-Owner Mike Delaney. Plus register to win free gifts! “Previously we’ve given away a glass bowl and candle from Earthen Pottery and a wine carrier bag by Shop on Main,” says Tammy. “It’s just a lot of a fun and a great way for women to take a break and get away in downtown Decatur.” Take your chance to get away! The shops often add a Thursday evening Fashion in the Garden event with a formal runway show to kick off the Friday lunch dates, as they will September 22 and 23. Thursday events are 5-7 pm; Fridays from 11 am-1 pm. Upcoming Fashionable Fridays: Aug. 26, Sept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 25, Dec. 30

For more information: Photo submitted by: Tammy Griffin

Joli Hohenstein is a senior contributor to THRIVE. Though she is an award-winning freelance writer, marketer, and editor she is still addicted to pots at Earthen Pottery. Get more Joli at 08 | august 2011

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by T. F. DUDE

Ro To Go

Gourmet Sandwiches With summer in full swing, food cart season is officially here. While Decatur is home to numerous roaming restaurateurs, there’s one in particular that you shouldn’t miss. Right in the heart of downtown Decatur, Rochelle Lambrick offers up light, healthy gourmet sandwiches. Plus, she sets up her shop right in Central Park on the west side near the stage. You can grab a quick sandwich and find a relaxing place for your lunch under a tree or even near the fountain. Anytime you’re setting up shop with only a cart, you have to stick to basics in some regard. Rochelle’s “bread and butter”, is her chicken sausages. Specials come and go but you’ll find that specialty chicken sausages are at the core of her business. Here’s where it gets interesting. I did mention gourmet, right? My inaugural sandwich at Rochelle’s Ro To Go was a “Mediterranean Night”. Again, nothing too complicated, but it was a great pairing of a specially blended chicken sausage and light, refreshing toppings. The rich flavor is rooted in the chicken sausage that has mozzarella and roasted garlic incorporated. The counter balance was the fresh tomato salad / bruschetta topping and Feta cheese. Since it was wrapped all up in a wheat roll, it was easy to carry and eat on the go. Just another plus to grabbing one for lunch on a busy day. I had a chance to sample one of the more basic menu items. The all beef hot dog wasn’t your regular store bought skinny-dog. Now that I’ve tried a classic hotdog with just mustard and ketchup to make sure the flavors are there, I’m excited to try the Sweet Chili Slaw Dog. The pasta salad side is also on the lineup for my next Central Park lunch.

I’ve already scoped out what my next specialty sandwich is going to be too. It’s called the “S.O.B.” or, “South of the Border”. Its base is a chicken sausage again, but this one’s seasoned with raspberry chipotle and jack cheese. On top comes salsa fresca (much like pico de gallo), cilantro and queso fresca (fresh Mexican cheese). The real kicker, other than potentially the heat in the “S.O.B.”, is that all of the sandwiches are $5 or less. Throw in $1.50 if you want a pop and you’re set. Flavors are always important, but I’m a big fan of overall experience as I’m sure you’ve figured out. So what’s the reason (other than food) that I’ll go back to see Rochelle at the Ro To Go? I’m excited to learn more about why she loves running her business. Upon meeting for the first time, I learned that she’s been fortunate enough to learn from fantastic chefs all around the world. Sounds like she’s had an interesting journey and I can’t wait to pick her brain a bit! When you’re ready to give the downtown Ro To Go a try, the trick isn’t where to find it, it’s when. She’s not always downtown when the weather is crazy hot or cold, or maybe when there’s a fundraiser already occupying the park. Check on facebook to be sure you can catch Rochelle!

Search facebook for: “Ro To Go Movin Groovin Good Food” or type: h t t p : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / R o -To - G o - M o v i n - G r o o v i n - G o o d Food/109372905754811

Agree? Disagree? Join the discussion at: The Food Dude is not a professional critic. He just really, really likes food. 10 | august 2011

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USTA Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic The USTA Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic has featured some pretty good players in its 13 years of existence. Recently, fans have seen Bjorn Phau, who has reached 59th in the ATP world rankings. They’ve seen Dmitry Tursonov, now ranked 47th in the world. And they’ve seen former Illini great Kevin Anderson, currently ranked 35th, make a couple of appearances at the Fairview Park tennis complex as he climbed the ATP ladder. “We’ve had some pretty good ones come through,” said tournament director Chuck Kuhle. “It’s neat to watch how they progress.” This year the tournament, which begins with more than 100 players from 20 different countries grinding it out for eight spots in the 32-man main draw, runs Aug. 1 through Aug. 7 and features a new addition: a wheelchair tennis exhibition.

by Troy Hayes

“They’re out there trying to make it and this is a gateway,” Kuhle said. “But at the same time, I always tell players if I see you two or three years in a row, it’s time to get a job.” The new addition to the event is the Heckman Health Care Wheelchair Tennis Exhibition. It will pit wheelchair bound players against each other as well as an “up-down” event which has ablebodied players playing doubles with wheelchairbound athletes. That happens Aug. 6 between the two semifinal matches. There is also the Falk Family Kids Day at 10 a.m. Aug. 5 and the Eagle Ridge Pro-Am Aug. 1. All of that has Kuhle running on fumes. He wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m always happy when tourney time rolls around,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but once things get started, it’s a lot of fun.” Matches run continuously Aug. 1-2-3 and then at designated times as the field thins out.

The Ursula Beck pits players ranging from unranked to as high as the mid-400s vying for their share of $10,000 in prize money. And with the proximity of the highly-touted University of Illinois program, the tourney draws some pretty good amateurs as well. “I’m really excited to see Dennis Novello, who is the Illini’s No.1,” Kuhle said. “He won our wild card tournament and will be in the main draw.” The $1,200 first-place money is nice, but what the guys are really scratching and clawing for are the ATP points. With 18 points to the winner, a player can bounce 100 spots or more in the world rankings, and the higher your ranking, the more prestigious the tournaments you can enter. The Decatur event is a measuring stick of sorts for players.

Ryler DeHeart, 2010 USTA Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic champion Photo submitted by: Chuck Khule

For the latest news from the Tournament Desk, schedules, maps and information on past champions go to:

TROY HAYES is a former sportswriter at the Herald & Review and currently is a co-host of “The Aric Lee Show,” heard each weekday from 3-6 p.m. on ESPNDecatur 1050 AM “The Fan” (WDZ). Troy enjoys cheesecake on a stick, Night Ranger and mullets. 12 | august 2011

Remember When... “We came from a small town, so we thought Decatur had everything,” says Jim Oettl. Oettl and his wife Judy have lived in Decatur since 1966.. Some of their favorite attractions included taking their children to “Ducky Pond” (Fairview Park) as far back as visiting the bears, and also being active in the Audubon Club. “We banded hummingbirds just the other day,” says Judy Oettl. “They were stunned, and I got to hold one. It just sat in my hand, and I wondered ‘is it ok,’ and then PSST, it was gone.”

Today... The Oettls also look to Decatur’s future. Judy is the president of the Dulcimer Club that meets at Rock Springs, and they are excited more people see Rock Springs as a resource. “I’m really excited about the improvements to downtown too,” says Jim, “I like they way they are rerouting truck routes and creating new and open spaces.

Share your story with us! Send an email to: august 2011 | 13

ICON FOR HIRE: UnScripted Success article by Joli Hohenstein illustration by Sean Thornton

With pink hair and punk flair, Icon for Hire cuts a rock hard swath through festivals, stages and fans’ hearts. A sound that crosses genres and a deal from one of the hottest indie labels doesn’t hurt either. But make no mistake, it’s all about the music, but it’s not all about the music. As hard rock bands go, Icon for Hire may be the most softhearted. “We strive to set ourselves apart by how we live,” says lead singer Ariel. “We want to give you a show you’ll never forget; we put our heart and soul into it. We’re very conscientious about what we put out there, both lyrics and sound.” From their start playing Wake the Dead on Eldo (Ariel, drummer Adam Kronshagen and guitarist Shawn Jump all hail from Decatur), the band kept their conscience close by. They’ve fought tooth and nail for their success (and signed appropriately with Tooth & Nail Records), but they don’t dwell on the leaner days, and they hope to inspire their fans to do the same.

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and people will put you in a box if you don’t define who you are. The name is a satirical point of view of the music industry and the fact that you should not be able to hire an icon. It should be about morals and ethics, not the That, and rock some great music while name. We’re making fun of the system they’re at it. we work in.” “We try to tell our listeners to get over the past and not let it hold them back,” says Ariel. “We want listeners to walk away empowered no matter what happened in their lives.”

Sounding off

The band, which collectively counts among its influences Linkin Park, Motley Crue and a host of metal, pop and even country artists, has a hard time putting a label on its own sound. Adam: “Our sound changes—what we sounded like two years ago and today are totally different. It’s a blend of rock and pop that hasn’t been diluted. There are not a lot of femalefronted bands with a rap and hip hop influence. We play around with programs and synth to incorporate different sounds. It has a lot to do with our environment.”

On the name

Adam: “We live in a culture of labels,

Road warriors

The band, who famously vowed to play 300 dates in the first year after their album release (their debut, Scripted, comes out August 23), stays on the road pretty much constantly these days. At presstime they were booked out through September, and they’re loving every minute of it. Adam: “We just did our first video in Houston, and we rode in the van with no air conditioning through Texas. We left a show one night and drove overnight. Shot video for four days 12-16 hours a day and then made a 16 hour drive to Kentucky for another show.” continued on p.16 august 2011 | 15

continued from p.15

On the road glamour

Ariel: “It’s awesome. We sleep in the van and the equipment trailer, with half equipment and half living space.” Adam: “There’s nothing glamorous about what we do—that’s a huge misconception. We don’t stay in hotels. If we do, it’s because someone else paid for it. Shawn is huge into camping, so he sets us up. We put food in coolers, and if there’s no shower take what we call a hillbilly bath with a washrag in a tub.”

Side business

Make no mistake, money is tight on the road, but the band welcomes it as part of the experience. As part of the

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budget crunching, Ariel makes all of her own clothes. Hit the promo table at any of their shows, and you might catch the seamstress at work. Ariel: “I set up my grandmother’s sewing machine next to the stage. I sew tutus and sell those. I’ve always made my own clothes; in the beginning it was some bad stuff. I can’t believe my parents let me out of the house, like wearing curtains around my waist.”

Favorite places to play

Adam: “First and foremost, Decatur, at Wake the Dead where we got started. Other than that, it changes all the

time. The Underground in Cincinnati really takes care of us, and it’s a great venue.”

Nobody does it for you

Ariel: “We started out young and passionate. We’re trying to maintain Hair apparent Looking for Icon for Hire at a festival? that. We just went around to stages Just watch for a shock of hot pink hair [at this festival] telling them if a band cancels, we’ll play. I just found out rocking the house. Ariel’s signature 10 minutes ago that we play again locks make a mark of their own. The promo pic shows pink. Is it always that tonight.” color? Ariel: “It’s pink with purple on top right now. I stay in the pink, purple and blue Want to know more about Icon family. All of my wardrobe has pink in for Hire? Check out it; our merchandise is pink, and we’re kind of known for it. It’s a way for fans to identify us. It’s all do-it-yourself. I’ve been doing this for 10 years.”

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August Events EVERY MONDAY Decatur Municipal Band Central Park, 7p

Family Golf Night/Pro Tips (through 8.10) Just for parents, grandparents and their children and grandchildren, EVERY TUESDAY Family Night provides a low-key Farmer’s Market instructional environment for golfers Parking Lot, Hickory Point Mall. 1-6p of all skill levels. Park District pros; plus all the range balls you can hit! Park Runs (through 8.9) $9 per adult/child combo. Red Tail Come by yourself or bring the entire Run Learning Center (520 W Grove), family! Weekly event includes 422.2211. 6-8p half-mile Tot Trot, one-mile fun run, or runs of various distances up to 7 Billy Galt on the Patio miles, for all ages and skill levels, (except 8.17) prize drawings. $1, Fairview Park Lock Stock & Barrel, 7-9:30p Pavilion #1 (1455 W Fairview Park Dr). Registration 5:30p, Runs 6p Mobile Soundz Karaoke AIW Hall (2882 N Dineen St), 8p Chess Club, Open Mic Night Doherty’s Pub & Pins (242 E William Charles Stobaugh/ Tom Johnson. St), 6p Donnie’s Homespun Pizza (126 S Oakland Ave), 9p-2a Knit Nite $3, Madden Arts Center (125 N EVERY WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY Water), 423.3189, 7-9p Docta LD DJ/Karaoke Curly’s Bar & Pizza (2683 N Water), DJ Stevie Ray Kelton 875.9800, 9p-2a Jabroni’s, 9p EVERY THURSDAY EVERY WEDNESDAY Bike Nite Coffee Break with Rick Ackerly Stop in at Coziahr H-D® (150 (beginning 8.17) W Marion, Forsyth) to pick up a Join author, parent, grandparent, schedule of Bike Nite locations. 6-8p and educator Rick Ackerly in an open discussion on the home-school DJ Stevie Ray Kelton partnership. Wildflour Artisan Bakery Timbuktu (5843 E State Rt 36), 9p & Cafe (256 W Main St), 10a DJ David Lee Lock Stock & Barrel (129 S Oakland), 429.7411,, 10p-2a

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EVERY FRIDAY & SATURDAY Wine Tastings The Decanter Fine Wines (215 N Main St), 422.9463. Fr 4-7p, Sa 1-6p EVERY FRIDAY Toddler Time at Fairview Pool (through 8.12) Toddlers (aged 5 and under) and their parents can enjoy the zerodepth beach entry and splash pad during this private swim time just for children. Fairview Family Aquatic Center, Fairview Park, $4 (children aged 2 and younger free), 421.7431. 9:30-11:30a EVERY SATURDAY Fresh Produce Market Richland Community College (One College Park), 8a-12p Farmers Market (except 8.6) Farm fresh produce grown by local farmers, Downtown Decatur (Central Park). 8a-12p Manley Mallard: Classical Guitar Live on the Patio, Donnie’s Homespun Pizza. 7-9:30p 7.29-8.7 USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic Watch the world’s top tennis players at the Fairview Park Tennis Complex! The USTA Men’s $10,000 Futures event brings in players from more

To view even more events go to:

8.1-8.4 MidState Summer Soccer Camp MidState Soccer Club’s exciting summer camp will focus on age7.31-8.4 appropriate skills development, Rev it Up: Full Throttle good sportsmanship and fun! for God - VBS MidState Director Colin Bonner will Ages 4 - 6th Grade. Riverside Baptist be joined by MU Head Soccer Coach Church (1250 Mound Rd), 875.7272, Chad Jones, as well as other area 6:30-8:30p college coaches, giving campers excellent instruction and exposure 7.31-8.5 to soccer experts across Central SonSurf VBS Illinois. Decatur Soccer Complex (1 Mound Chapel Church of God (109 Educational Park Dr). $85, 429.3472. E Manchester) invites children from 5:15-6:30p (ages 5-8); 6:30-7:45p Preschool through 6th Grade to come (ages 9-11); 7:45-9p (ages 12-18) to our Vacation Bible School, SonSurf Beach Bash. Great time singing 8.1-9.5 songs, watching skits, creating Brenda Ware crafts and playing games. 877.3130, Photography Show 6:30-8:30p Brenda was born and raised in Central Illinois and is happiest when 8.1-8.2 surrounded by nature. Working in TEAM Soy Decatur Junior color and black and white, her style Open Golf Championship is raw, natural and full of passion. Golfers aged 4-21 showcase their Her photography has been featured skills in this annual championship at in several local establishments and Scovill (3909 W Main) and Hickory on the Birds and Blooms Website. Point (727 Weaver Rd) golf courses. She also has two books published, Players will enjoy 3 rounds of golf, “The Beauty of Central Illinois” and banquet meals, and tournament “Birds and Critters of Central Illinois.” gifts. Spectators are free; Players Rock Springs Nature Center (3939 $40 (ages 4-11), $70 (ages 12-21), Nearing Ln) 429.6243 Tuesday, 2 Decatur Park Singers Monroe Park, 6p than twenty countries. Fairview Park, Tennis Complex (1455 W Fairview Park Dr). 421.7432. Times Vary Based on Matches

Wednesday, 3 Chamber Business Breakfast Keynote Speaker: Matt Jungmann, National Events Manager, Farm Progress Companies. The Decatur Club (158 Prairie),$10 preregistration, $15 at the door. 7-8a Books Between Bites Millikin University associate professor of theatre Denise Myers will discuss how to listen to and appreciate a play. Decatur Public Library, Madden Auditorium, 12:15p 75th Anniversary Lantern Parade Celebrate 75 years of summer fun at the annual Lantern Parade and Yellow Hat Reunion! Enjoy a picnic in the park, parade, children’s activities, and a Park Singers Concert. Dreamland Lake, Fairview Park. 422.5911, 5-9p Blue Connection After 5 Live Blue Connection features ceramics by their Summer Artist-in-Residence Kari Thornton. Complimentary refreshments from Lock Stock & Barrel. Free and open to the public. Blue Connection-Downtown (117 N Water), 428.0112, blueconnection@, 5-7p

Did you know? Listing your event with THRIVE is absolutely FREE! Send your info by the 15th to:

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August Events Pastel Perspectives Opening Reception This exhibit showcases the amazing range of color and style used by regional pastel artists Kathryn Fehlig, Katherine Irish Henry, Rick Hines and Colette Odya Smith. Madden Arts Center (125 N. Water St), 5-7p Lantern Making Workshop Fairview Park, 422.5911. 5-6p 8.3-8.30 Pastels Perspectives This exhibit showcases the amazing range of color and style used by regional pastel artists Kathryn Fehlig, Katherine Irish Henry, Rick Hines and Colette Odya Smith. Madden Arts Center (125 N. Water St), 8:30-4:30 (Mo-Fr), 10a-2p (Sa)

21 Film Project at the Decatur Celebration Catch the 4th annual Film Contest Award show and screening at the AVON Theater, downtown. Official red carpet ceremony begins at 6:15 with special guests 501st Legion and 80’s Pop Star Tiffany (exclusive performance at the awards show). Tickets are free. Call 875.3823

Reservations required. Rock Springs Nature Center, 10-11a

Autumn Zero Adam’s Apple & Barb’s Place, 8p

Chris Corkery Donnie’s Homespun Pizza, 10-11p

The Sugar Prophets Keep the “Celebration” going after the streets close...come get your blues on! Paco’s Sol Bistro, 9:30p

8.6-8.7 Decatur City Adult Tennis Tournament Decatur area adults can experience tournament play in the Decatur City Adult Tennis Tournament at the Saturday, 6 Fairview Park Tennis Complex. Singles Decatur Celebration and doubles divisions are available Thursday, 4 Family Fun Run/Walk for both men and women. Deadline Game Night Before you enjoy the parade, food, to enter 8.2, 8p at the Fairview Park with Decatur Gamers drinks, and entertainment, join us for Tennis Complex. Contact Rod Saffer Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Cafe, 5-7p the Obesity Prevention Coalition & at 520.6084 or FPTC at 421.7432 for Decatur Celebration’s 1st annual fun, more information. Decatur Youth Park Singers non-competitive 1 mile run or walk. Hickory Point Christian Village $10 individual, $25 for family rate Sunday, 7 (Forsyth), 6p (up to 6 people). 423.6988 x1114, Car & Bike Show Downtown Decatur, 9a Timbuktu Saloon, 1-5p 8.4-8.6 DJ Philbilly Razzle Dazzle An Unfortunate Affair: Sliderz Bar & Grille, 9p Goodtimes Parade The Battle of Stillman’s Run Downtown Decatur, 10a Local historian Lee Slider will portray 8.4-8.7 a veteran of the Black Hawk War Decatur Celebration Preschool Peepers: remembering the encounter with See p18 for details. More at: Celebrate Nature the Indians at Old Man’s Creek. The Let’s have a party for Mother battle was later known as Stillman’s Nature! Share the wonder of the Run which took place in 1832 near Friday, 5 natural world with your little one Rockford, IL. Homestead Prairie Farm Straight to Sunset as we celebrate nature through a Stage, 2-3p Donnie’s Homespun Pizza, 3-4p craft and short hike. Ages 3-5, $1.

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The Hitmen Keep the “Celebration” going after the streets close...head into Paco’s for cold air, cold beer and hot tunes. Paco’s Sol Bistro, 10-1a

Dulcimer Club Rock Springs Nature Center, 10a

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Balistic Pop’s Place, 3-6p Little Theatre on the Square in Nelson Park Join the Decatur Park District and Sullivan’s Little Theatre on the Square as they present a free performance of the award-winning musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 7:30p Monday, 8 Decatur Youth Park Singers First Christian Church - 6p

fun-filled evening with snacks, pop and pizza, a DJ, and unlimited mini golf and batting cages. Pauls Puttin’ Place & Dunn’s Dugout (Nelson Park), $5, 422.2316. 6:30-8:30p Wednesday, 10 Mt Zion Chamber Luncheon Mt Zion High School, Speaker Travis Roundcount, $8, 11:30a Decatur Youth Park Singers Fairhaven Christian Home, 6p

Thursday, 11 6th Annual Community 8.8-8.12 Steak Fry Mission to M.A.R.S - VBS Fletcher Park, $25 includes ribeye Join us for a fantastic journey on dinner & 2 drink tickets. Rock of a quest to M.A.R.S. (Meet a Risen Ages. 864.2526, Doors open 5p, Savior)! It is free, 3-12 years old. First Serving begins at 5:30p Church of the Nazarene (Decatur), 875.0616, 6p The Still Miller Lite Bike Night, Bourbon Tuesday, 9 Barrel, 429.7506. 6p Jackie Spinner Presents New Book Retrospect Decatur-native, journalist and Doherty’s Pub & Pins, 7:30p author Jackie Spinner will present “After the Arab Spring: Notes from Friday, 12 the Arabian Peninsula.” Jackie will Sand Creek, Fort Daniel and have a limited number of copies of Friends Creek Conservation her books available for purchase. A Areas Grand Tour book signing will take place after the Summer time is a great time to program. Free, Open to the Public. have some fun in the sun! We will Decatur Public Library, Madden be visiting natural and historic Auditorium, 6p areas owned by the Macon County Conservation District. Our tour will Paul’s & Dunn’s Teen Night start at Sand Creek Conservation Students in grades 6-8 will enjoy a Area; then we will scoot down the

road to Fort Daniel Conservation Area. Our journey will finish with a picnic lunch and tour of Bethel School House at Friends Creek Conservation Area. All you need to bring is yourself! Space is limited, RSVP by 8.8. Meet in Rock Springs Nature Center Parking Lot, 10a-2p “Free Music Fridays” on the Patio: Billy Galt There’s no place you’d rather be than the patio at Jimmy Ryan’s. Join us every Friday for free music, great food & drinks and an atmosphere that can’t be beat. www.jimmyryans. com for more details. 6:30-8:30p Benefit for Doug Quintez The Still & 2 Other Bands, Sliderz Bar & Grille, 7p Coco Loco Unplugged Lock Stock & Barrel, 8:30-11:30p Andrew Goetter Live Donnie’s Homespun Pizza, 9p-12a 8.12-8.14, 8.19-8.21 James and the Giant Peach Discovery Theatre - Richland Community College, 6:30p (Fr & Sa), 3p (Su)

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August Events Saturday, 13 Celestial Tiles Explore outer space by designing clay tiles with contour and color to create a solar system wall hanging. Pieces will be kiln fired and available for pick up two weeks later. Decatur Area Arts Council, 423.3189, Grades K-6, $20. 9-10:45a

Buddy Love & The Can’t Hardly Playboys Long Creek Vineyards, $5, 4-8p

Sunday, 14 Bluegrass Music Jams Rock Springs Nature Center, 1-4p

Soul Creek Bourbon Barrel, 429.7506, 4p

Free Family Carnival Fun-filled evening for local families including inflatables, carnival games and free food. Elona Mound Road Christian Church, 875.0721, 6-8p

Fan Appreciation Night/Kids Club Macon Speedway, 764.3220,

Kid Fest & The Y Backpack Attack Join the fun at Kid Fest 2011. Cruisin Nights at Eldo Inflatables, giveaways, dunk tank, For Info, 972.9049. 6p carnival games, healthy chef contest, music by Day 40. GLAD Social and Potluck Dinner 2nd Saturday Book Sale Gather for conversation, dinner, and 2nd Floor of the library. Take the program activity. Bring a covered elevator in the lobby and follow dish to share. GLAD socials are held the signs. Decatur Public Library, in a safe, accepting environment 9:30a-12:30p. Decatur Family YMCA, for all people. For more info, 9a-3p Gather at 6:30p, dinner at 7p Steve “The Harp” Free harmonica workshop featuring Haunted Decatur Tour harmonica master Steve “The Harp.” A The Terrifying Tour of Decatur’s free harmonica will be given to Spirits, Scandals and Sins, based on every student 17 or younger.  Prethe books by Troy Taylor! $30, www. registration is required for this free, Depart from event. To register 424.2900 x7 or Avon Theatre, 7p, Decatur Public Library, 1p Soul Purpose South Side Country Club, 7:15p-11p Prairie, Prairie? Where is the Prairie? Riverbottom Nightmare Band Learn about the prairie with the Sliderz Bar & Grille, 9p-1a guidance of a naturalist. Meet at Rock Springs Nature Center. We will take 8.13-8.14 a hike and discover more about this Gun Show amazing ecosystem that is home to Decatur Civic Center voles, killdeer and quail. 2-3p

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Monday, 15 Wildflour Book Hour The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lachs by Rebecca Skloot, 5:30p Wednesday, 17 Gamer’s Club The Decatur Club, 5p Decatur History Club Staley Room, Decatur Public Library, 6p Caleb Cook On the Patio - Lock Stock & Barrel, 7-9:30p Thursday, 18 DPL Book Club “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons” by Lorna Landvic, Decatur Public Library, Board Room, 1p Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang Summer Blues in Central Park. Vendors open at 6p. Band from 7-10p Throttle Junkies (Bike Night) - Doherty’s Pub & Pins, 7:30p

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Crosstown Blues in the Park is hot, and so are the tunes flowing out of Paco’s, stop in and cool down with an ice cold beverage and more blues music. Paco’s Sol Bistro, 8p-12a Tommy G Acoustic Rock N Roll Classics on the Patio, Sliderz Bar & Grille, 8p 8.18-8.21 Pony Express Days Mt Zion, 864.3100 Friday, 19 “Free Music Fridays” on the Patio: Eric Burgett Band There’s no place you’d rather be than the patio at Jimmy Ryan’s. Join us every Friday for free music, great food & drinks and an atmosphere that can’t be beat. www.jimmyryans. com for more details. 6:30-8:30p POWRi Midget Car Series Macon Speedway, 764.3220, Chris Bradley Lock Stock & Barrel, 8:30p-12:30a 8.19-8.20 United Way Day of Action, 422.8537 DJ Philbilly Sliderz Bar & Grille, 9p

8.19-8.21 USTA/Men’s Midwest Hardcourt Tennis Championships This USTA tournament draws players from all over the Midwest. Men’s divisions begin at 35 and over all the way through 80 and over. Entry cost is $49 for singles and $26 per player for doubles. TennisLink Registration only through 421.7432, Entry deadline 8.16 at 11:59p Saturday, 20 Police/Fire Poker Run

Alphabeer The Decatur Club is partnering with McGorray’s Pub to bring a beer tasting of 26 different beers and will feature appetizers from both the Decatur Club and McGorray’s Pub. $50, The Decatur Club, 6p Boomer Donnie’s Homespun Pizza, 6-7p Driver Autographs & Fireworks Macon Speedway, 764.3220, Riverbottom Nightmare Band Pony Express Days, Mt Zion. 8p-12a

Dulcimer Club Rock Springs Nature Center, 10a

Shay “The Piano Man” Thiele Lock Stock & Barrel, 9p-12a

Family Fun - Alien Invaders Did you know aliens can be found in Macon County? These aliens are not from outer space, but are plants and animals that have come from other places. Join the naturalist at Rock Springs Nature Center to learn about these invaders and search for non-native life forms lurking on our trails. 2-3p

Stone & Biscuit Band Pop’s Place, 9p-1a 8.20-8.21 Darryl Stock /LSB 2 Player Event Hickory Point Golf Course & Scovill Golf Course

Rosetta Stone Long Creek Vineyards, 4-8p Street Party Saturdays Robbie’s, Katz and the Lincoln Lounge are takin’ it outside with live music, great food, and cold beverages. Merchant Street, 423.0448. 5p-12a

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August Events Sunday, 21 The Fighting 41st Join Military Historian and Teacher Kip Johnson for a look at the 41st Illinois Infantry Regiment who fought in the Civil War battles of Shiloh, Corinth and Vicksburg. Among the men who served were Emanuel Good who lived at Homestead Prairie Farm for over 30 years and General Isaac C. Pugh from Decatur. Rock Springs Nature Center, 2-3p Third Sunday Blues Matthew Curry & The Blues Fury. Long Creek Vineyards, 2-5p

Straight to Sunset Doherty’s Pub & Pins, 7:30p LHP Acoustic on the Patio, Sliderz Bar & Grille, 8-11p Friday, 26 Fashion in the Garden Join Earthen Pottery & Shop on Main for an informal fashion show featuring modeling, specials and refreshments. Earthen Pottery (201 N. Main St), 422.2674, 11a-1p

“Free Music Fridays” on the Patio: Ashley Riley Decatur Audubon Society There’s no place you’d rather be than Meetings Potluck Picnic the patio at Jimmy Ryan’s. Join us Presenters: Macon County every Friday for free music, great Conservation District Summer Camp food & drinks and an atmosphere and Raptor Center Youth Participants. that can’t be beat. www. Fort Daniel Conservation Area, 4:30p for more details. 6:30-8:30p Tuesday, 23 Non Fiction Book Club Blues Deacons “Truman” by David McCollough, Lock Stock & Barrel, 9p-12a Decatur Public Library, Board Room, 1p The Veggies Paco’s Sol Bistro, 9p-1a Thursday, 25 Bar Bingo On the Patio Velveeta Revolver With 30% bingo and 70% trivia, it’s Retro 80’s Hairband Show, Sliderz bingo like you’ve never played before!  Bar & Grille, 9p Win great prizes from Jimmy Ryan’s and Central Illinois’ Fox & CW TV.  Saturday, 27 All winners will be entered to win Follow the Flag Ride an iPad2 which will be given away Coziahr H-D. at the end of the bar bingo series.  www.jimmyryan’ for more Feed the Birds details or to vote on our themes! Sculpt a birdfeeder from clay in 6:30-8:30p the shape of a sunflower platter with Instructor Regina Rhodes.  Finish with a wire mesh center and

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hanging cord and paint the same day. Pieces will be kiln fired and available for pick up two weeks later. Decatur Area Arts Council Studio. $20, Grades K-6. 423.3189, 9-10:45a Dog Days of Summer Hike Did you know the name “dog days” came from the belief that Sirius, the Dog Star, was responsible for the heat during summer because it was too close to the sun? Meet at the nature center and experience a hike during the heat of the summer as a naturalist guides you through prairie and forest. Rock Springs Nature Center, 10-11a Live Music Project Pat, Lookin Good Good Lookin, GRIM, Dead Tooth, The Diagnosis, Signum A.D. Cornerstone Tavern, 1p Mad Hatter Tea Party Come celebrate your un-birthday at an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party! Members $5 (Child), $10 (Adult). Non-members $7 (Child), $15 (Adult). The Decatur Club, 2-4p Rick Ackerly:  Bringing Out the Best in Children Rick Ackerly is a nationally recognized educator and speaker with 44 years of experience working in and for schools. Rick is the author of “The Genius in Children:  Bringing Out the Best in Your Child.”  Teachers and parents will not want to miss this free program. Decatur Public Library, Madden Auditorium, 2p

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Dog Days of Summer Wine tasting, specialty beers, food, silent auction, live music by Soul Purpose (4-7pm) $10 per person; must be 21 or older to attend. Proceeds benefit Homeward Bound Pet Shelter, a no-kill pet facility and job training program for people with disabilities, Long Creek Vineyards, 3-8p Oakwood Street Festival Live Music & Great Food. Lock Stock & Barrel, 3-10p Joe Dubree Memorial Ride, After 4p Zoo-Rific Evening at Scovill Zoo Features animal encounters, specialty drinks and hors d’oeuvres, an auction of animal artwork, fabulous music, and a chance to bid on spectacular prizes. Stroll the grounds and get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo’s exciting inhabitants. All proceeds benefit upcoming penguin and otter exhibits. $65, 422.5911, Scovill Zoo. 5p Shrine 50 Macon Speedway, 764.3220, New RR3 Pop’s Place, 8p-12a Sekular Saint Cornerstone Tavern, 8p

Rock Kandy Sliderz Bar & Grille, 9p

GRIM Cornerstone Tavern, 8p

8.27-8.28 Train Fair Gather up the family and head down to the Civic Center to join in on the exciting world of model trains. Dozens of magnificent displays will be demonstrated as well as vendors for any of you local model train collectors! Get started on a great new hobby or even parent/child project with supplies being sold at various booths throughout the arena! Decatur Civic Center. 10a-4p (Sa), 11a-4p (Su)

8.30-9.1 Farm Progress Show $12 adults, Children Under 12 free. 8a-5p (Tu & We), 8a-4p (Th)

Sunday, 28 Nature Scavenger Hunt Join a naturalist at Rock Springs Nature Center as we uncover clues about nature hidden in rhymes. “I am a nut that squirrels like to eat; with my little cap on I just can’t be beat.” Can you guess what this rhyme is explaining? 2-3p

Farmer Food Drive United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois, 422.8537 Wednesday, 31 Student Involvement Fair Showcasing student organizations, local Decatur businesses/ organizations, and ways for Millikin students to get involved and acclimated to the Millikin/Decatur community. Miller Quad, Millikin University. 424.6335, 4-7p Rodney Atkins Richland Community College - Farm Progress Show. $15 in advance - $25 at the door, 6p

Lovers of Jazz Indoor Picnic Mini Jazz Festival All Stars Plus The Kevin Turner Trio. $35 (includes dinner). Fountain Hall, Decatur Conference Center (4191 W US Hwy 36), 2-7p Tuesday, 30 Gamer’s Club Godfather’s Pizza, 5p

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august 2011 | 27

GUIDE TO TENT CAMPING By John Schirle | Image by Alida Duff Sullivan

Although we have had some incredibly hot days recently, there are still great camping days left through late summer and into fall. If the only thing holding you back from a camping trip is the fact that you’ve never done it, take a look at these essential items and get out there. There are so many great outdoor adventures awaiting you and some are as close as Cisco (Friends Creek Conservation Area) or Clinton (Weldon Springs State Park). You’ll be glad you went! Here are my top picks for tent camping. If you’ve got these, you should be just fine.

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1) A good tent. Tall enough that I can stand up in it, easy to set up. I have camped before in tiny little tents with no room to stretch out or stand up, and it’s not fun. Especially if you’re stuck in it for a spell during a rain shower. 2) A GOOD air mattress and COMFORTABLE sleeping bag. I’ve been through several matresses, of all sorts. I finally found a Coleman I really like that is bigger than I need, but that’s OK. I love to sleep outdoors, but don’t find sleeping on the ground comfortable. And with it I have a batteryoperated inflator/deflator from the same manufacturer as the mattress to guarantee they fit together. In a tent, temperatures heat up and cool down quickly. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good quality sleeping bag! 3) A propane cook stove, a teakettle, and tea/ coffee bags. The stove can be simple, and for a short trip I don’t need elaborate cookware. I want to eat well when camping, but don’t want to wash dishes any more than necessary. With advance preparation you can make some decent things with just hot water, and I love sitting around the campfire in the evening with a cup of hot tea, or in the morning with coffee. 4) Good hiking boots and a variety of clothes. One of the reasons I go camping is to explore the outdoors. You’ll be glad you took the time to find the right pair of boots to stay comfortable and if you have clothes for various weather situations you’ll be ready for camping in central Illinois weather. 5) Flashlights/lamps. Headlamps are especially good, because they free your hands for whatever task is at hand. 6) Something for lighting a fire. Part of the camping experience is staying warm by the campfire. Don’t miss out! 7) My personal copy of “Best in Tent Camping: Illinois.” Even though I researched and wrote it, and have visited all the places in it, I don’t have memorized all the details about driving directions, trails, best campsites, etc. (Or whatever other printouts/guidebooks/trail guides/maps I might need for where I’m going. I like to be prepared!)

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Man on a Tractor

Richand Community College and Farm Progress bring Country Artist Rodney Atkins to town. Article by Ruthie Gergeni Hopefully by now you have heard that 2011 is an awesome year because the Farm Progress Show will be back in Decatur. This event draws more than 200,000 people from all areas of the globe. One special aspect of the Farm Progress Show is the highlyanticipated concert. This year’s concert will feature country music star Rodney Atkins.       How do we get to this point? How does an actual celebrity find their way to little old Decatur, Illinois?    

Friends in Low Places

This point has been reached a little differently each year the Farm Progress Show has been in Decatur. In 2007, Farm Progress Companies hosted the first concert (Tracy Byrd and Tracy Lawrence). In 2009, Richland Community College hosted Darryl Worley, while this year Richland is collaborating with Farm Progress Companies to host the show and select the talent.

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Don’t Rock the Jukebox

So far, the concert has always featured a country music star. When asked if there would be a Farmer’s Revolt if someone like Justin Bieber was the star, Beau Hanger, Director of Outdoor Exposition and Special Events at Richland Community College, revealed that he personally would be stoked, but wasn’t sure how everyone else would react. “To be honest I am not sure. I know I’d be pumped if The Biebster came to town but I think our clientele would be a little different. Less 40 year old farmers and more screaming 13 year olds. At the end of the day it is our hope that all visitors to Decatur feel welcome.”     

Daydreams About Night Things

Planning for this event actually began about one year ago, and by January 2011, discussions were in the process with CAA and William Morris Talent Agency. The committee worked with the presenting sponsor Massey Ferguson Tractors to invite country music star, Rodney Atkins. Massey Ferguson is the official tractor of Rodney Atkins, who received the Academy of Country Music’s top New Male Vocalist Award in 2006.

This year, Richland Community College/Brush College LLC is responsible for most of the hands on logistics of the event. Not only does this mean meeting all the needs of the artist, but Richland Community College/Brush College LLC will book food vendors, beverage distributors (Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch products), and sell tickets.  

The Closer You Get

Certainly, promotion of the concert is critical. The concert is promoted in all Farm Progress Companies magazines, the Farm Progess Show Program, www.farmprogressshow. com, as well as community resources such as radio, television, and print media. All material is produced inhouse for the concert.    According to Hanger, keeping the secret for so long was really hard, especially when people were anxious to know the performer back in February. He also noted that it’s been very exciting to check the ticket count daily to see how many people are attending and from which areas.   

Peace in the Valley

It’s a good idea to take steps to make sure traffic flows smoothly in and out of the concert venue.   “It is one of our highest priorities to make sure that everyone is able to come and go easily,” explained Hanger. “We work with the City of Decatur, Macon County Highway Department, Decatur Police Department, Macon County Sheriff’s Department and Illinois State Police to assist with traffic flow at the event. We also will work with both DPD and MCSD to assist in security for the event.” Continued on p.32

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From p.31

These are My People

It is important to note that you don’t have to attend the entire show in order to attend the concert. They are two separate events with separate tickets.   “We see the concert as our opportunity to give something back to the community who may never attend the Farm Progress Show,” explained Hanger. “We would love to see everyone from the area come to the Farm Progress Show at least once to experience such an event but we are incredibly pleased if someone simply comes out for a great concert.”

Tickets on Sale

Tickets for the concert are $15 in advance or $25 cash at the gate.

(Ticket provider does charge a convenience fee).

Visit,, or to purchase your Rodney Atkins tickets today.


LLCU 21 FILM PROJECT AWARDS SHOW, AUGUST 5th See the top 20 films at the AVON Theatre during the Decatur Celebration & vote for the People’s Choice Award! We’ll see you on the Red Carpet at 6:15pm with special guests: the 501st Legion.


Auto loan rates as low as 2.2%APR. No payments for 90 days. Get an Auto Loan in June or July of 2011 and you’re automatically entered to win* 42” Plasma Television • Blu-Ray DVD Player • Home Theater System

Disclaimer: Auto loan rates based on 2.20% Annual Percentage Rate. Sample monthly payment on a $10,000 loan for 36 months would be $287.00. Call or visit for details on other rates. Rates are subject to change without notice. Subject to credit approval. Membership required. If refinancing a vehicle loan, APR does not apply to current LLCU vehicle loans. LLCU is a member of the NCUA and an Equal Housing Lender. Drawing for prizes for the LLCU “21 Film Project” Promotion will occur in August 2011. Winners of this sweepstakes will be notified by telephone. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Employees of LLCU are not eligible to enter. Must be 18 years or older to win. Other rules and restrictions may apply. For an official entry form or official rules for the “21 Film Project”, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Land of Lincoln Credit Union, ATTN: Marketing Department, 3130 Mound Road, Decatur, IL 62526.

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Contenders at the Lakeside Music and Arts Festival Golf Barge Challenge

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August 2011 issue of THRIVE Entertainment Guide  
August 2011 issue of THRIVE Entertainment Guide  

Thrive Entertainment Guide is a free, monthly guide to things to do in the Decatur, Illinois area.