Bicentennial celebration offers free events across the state
The Illinois Office of Tourism is offering programs and events across the state in celebration of the upcoming bicentennial.
“We’re incredibly excited to give visitors access to these historically significant sites,” Cory Jobe, director of Illinois Office of Tourism, said. “The Doors Open program is the perfect way to showcase Illinois’ unique history and highlight what makes our state an amazing place to visit for locals and visitors.”
Illinois Tourism is hosting the Illinois Bicentennial Passport program to encourage visitors to explore historical sites. Participants can fill their passports by visiting 56 historical sites and museums across the state by Nov. 30. Local passport sites include the Quad City Botanical Center and the Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House.
After Nov. 30, participants can mail in their passports to be eligible to win prizes. In addition to the passport program, Illinois Tourism is also offering Doors Open Illinois weekends in August, which will give free access to certain museums and historic areas.
The Western region will be featured Aug. 18-19 and Northeastern Illinois will participate Aug. 25-26. The Colonel Davenport House will offer free admission Aug. 18-19 as part of the Doors Open Illinois event.
Guided tours of the Davenport House will be available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
There will be various events through Dec. 3, which is the 200th anniversary of Illinois statehood. August will also feature a birthday cake celebration in seven cities on Aug. 26, Illinois Constitution Day.
“As an elementary student at George O. Barr in Silvis in 1976, I remember all the celebrations and excitement for the U.S. Bicentennial, and how cool that was since my parents were studying the Constitution to pass their citizenship test at that same time,” Lynn Hunt, Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau interim CEO, said. “I hope we can get a good crowd on Aug. 26, Illinois Constitution Day to join the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau in celebrating Illinois’ 200th.”
The Quad Cities celebration will be 1-3 p.m. with the official toast at 2 p.m. at Bass Street Landing with Pub 1848. Eli’s Cheesecake will provide cheesecakes for all seven parties. All events are open to the public.