Category Archives: Events

Lincoln’s Birthday February 12 – Most State and County Governmental Offices in Illinois Closed


Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky. In 1861 he became the 16th President of the United states serving as President during the Civil War and is credited with saving the Union. Shortly after the war ended, he became the first U.S. President to be assassinated. He was shot and mortally wounded on Good Friday, April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre.

Aside from being a legal holiday in Illinois, it is a holiday in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Indiana.

Picture of Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois

Concert February 22 with Music of John Philip Sousa – “The March King”

John Philip Sousa IV (the March King’s great-grandson) will narrate a band concert at the Masonic Temple in Freeport. James Ripley, director of bands at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin will conduct this special night of music. An ensemble composed of Highland Community College Concert Band members, area band directors and their students will serve as performers.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate contributions to the cultural life in Northwest Illinois and to join together in Freeport at the Masonic Temple to cultivate further interest and commitment to Highland Community College and the Friends of the Fine Arts organization.

The concert will take place at 7:30 pm Saturday, February 22 at the Masonic Temple Auditorium in Freeport, Illinois.

All tickets are $10 for general admission seating and may be purchased by calling 815.599.3718 or visit

Photo of John Philip Sousa from Library of Congress c. 1900


Northwest Illinois Has Plenty of Snow – Lots of Good Winter Activities


Winter activities in the Freeport Parks include ice skating, ice hockey, sledding, and cross Country skiing. The ice skating and hockey are Read Park while the sledding is at Krape Park.
At Oakdale you can enjoy cross-country skiing, and if you don’t have skis (or snowshoes), you can rent them for the weekend at the Park District main office in Read Park. Go to the Park District website for details at and look under programs, winter activities.

And don’t forget snowmobiling –

There are over 300 miles of marked trails for snowmobiling in Northwest Illinois, including on the Jane Addams Trail between Freeport and Wisconsin. Detailed trail maps are available at the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center, 4596 US Highway 20 East, Freeport. Call 800.369.2955 for snowmobile conditions.

Annual Freeport High School Band Concert Tonight, January 22


The concert will be at 7:30 pm at the Jeannette Lloyd Theatre, 701 W. Empire Street, Freeport. The 101st annual formal band concert featuring the FHS Concert Band, under the direction of Mr. T.J. Mack, and the FHS Symphonic Band, under the baton of Mr. Bill Petersen, will include a variety of band music and some of the greatest music written for wind band including works by Gustav Holst and Ludwig Von Beethoven. The featured guest artist with the Symphonic Band will be Mr. Mark Baldin, Principal Trumpet with the Rockford and Elgin Symphonies as well as the Rockford Wind Ensemble. 815.990.1739

The Nation Celebrates Martin Luther King’s Birthday and Legacy on January 20

On November 2, 1983, former President Ronald Reagan signed into law House of Representatives Bill Number 3706 declaring January 15, the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a national holiday. His birthday is now observed on the third Monday of January.

In Freeport there will be a celebration of his birthday at the Boys and Girls Club at 511 S. Liberty Avenue, Freeport at 5 pm. The community is invited to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King through song, dance and praise. Praise and worship service from 5 to 6 pm, and the program begins at 6:15 pm with the theme “Strength to Love” with Rev. Dr. Kenneth Board, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Rockford as guest speaker. 815.233.1600

FHN Sponsors Special Showing of White Christmas

As Part of FHN’s Festival of Trees, don’t miss a special showing of White Christmas at the Lindo Theater in Freeport at 1 pm. and 7 pm on Wednesday, December 18.

FHN welcomes Alan Wenzel and Ed Finch to White Christmas! Wenzel and Finch, hosts of the popular Classic Movie Series at the Lindo Theatre, will welcome movie-goers at both shows with historical tidbits and movie trivia about the film, and will lead a brief discussion about this holiday classic following each showing. Admission is a free-will offering and/or a food drive donation (barrels available for food contributions and monetary contributions will also go to the food drive). Designed to offer movie-goers the experience of viewing time-honored American Film classics on the big screen, the Classic Movie Series is hosted every spring and fall by the Lindo Theatre in Freeport in partnership with the Stephenson County Historical Museum and Highland Community College.

Looks Like Another Cold and Snowy Weekend, But Here Are Some Good Events to Enjoy!


Freeport Community Luminaria Night – On Sunday, December 15 enjoy the beauty of Freeport’s Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard on Luminaria Night. Residents of the neighborhood around FHN Memorial Hospital decorate their sidewalks with luminaria to celebrate the season.

Community Festival of Trees – At the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas Street, Freeport. This event brings non-profit organizations together to decorate trees and compete for cash prizes. A panel of judges will award prizes in a number of categories, and you can vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice competition. The trees will be on display unit January 2.

William R. Bear Men’s Basketball Tournament – December 13 – 14 at Highland Community College Sports Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport. Friday: 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm; Saturday: 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, 9 pm. Eight team Junior College men’s basketball tournament including: Harper, Iowa Central, Black Hawk East, Malcolm X, Midwest Elite Prep, Olney, Sauk Valley. Admission $5 815.599.3465

McConnell Cookie Walk and Santa Visit – 12 – 4 pm on December 14 at the McConnell Area Historical Society, 202 E. Main Street, McConnell. Select from a large assortment of homemade holiday cookies and other baked goods for Christmas gift giving. Santa will be there from 2 pm to 4 pm. Browse the museum decorated for the season. 815.821.2428

Looks Like a Cold and Wintery Weekend – Some Events You Might Enjoy!

Hometown Christmas at Lena – Friday, December 6 from 5 to 8 pm.
Celebrate a hometown Christmas with a Christmas Lights Parade at 6 pm featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on a fire engine, followed by a lighted parade. Streets will be lit with luminaries and a tree-lighting ceremony will be held following the parade. Horse and buggy rides will be offered. Participating businesses will be open for shopping with special sales and refreshments. A map of decorated homes will be available. A Community Giving Tree will be on display at Engel’s Jewelry and Gifts, 136 Main and children will be able to take their letters to Santa to the Blown Away Framing Store, 130 Main. For more information call 815.369.5549 or go to

Breakfast with Santa December 7 – at the Lena Fire Station, 405 W. Railroad Street, Lena. 8 am to 10:30 am. Enjoy breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Play games in a kid friendly atmosphere and get your picture taken with Santa. Fun for everyone. Ages 7 and Above: $5; Ages 4 to 6: $2.50; Ages 3 and Under: Free. For information 815.369.4512

Community Festival of Trees – Sponsored by FHN at the Freeport Public Library,100 E. Douglas, FreeportNon-profit organizations decorate trees and compete for cash prizes. A panel of judges will award prizes in a number of categories, and you can vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice competition. The trees will be on display December 8 through January 2. Hours are: Sunday 1 to 4 pm, Monday thru Thursday 9 am to 8 pm, Friday 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.

A Tuna Christmas at Winneshiek Playhouse – December 7, 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm. See Good Day Illinois on December 3.

Northwest Illinois Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – December 7, Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport. Registration from 7 to 8 am, Walk/Run at 8:30 am. Enjoy this annual event which offers a competitive 5K run/walk with chip-timing, and a 1 mile Family Fun Walk that welcomes friendly dogs on leashes to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. One of the largest 5K’s in the region. Plus fun activities, family health expo and Santa. Adults: $35 (run/walk with chip) or $30 (run/walk with no chip); Youth 5 to 18: $20. For information call 815.971.6380.


Don’t Miss A Tuna Christmas at Winneshiek Playhouse, December 7, 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm


At the nation’s oldest continuous amateur theatre located at 228 W. Clark, Freeport, Illinois,
This is a sequel to Greater Tuna which is one of a trilogy of plays written about the fictional town of Tuna, Texas. It’s Christmas in the third smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including hot competition in the annual lawn display contest.

For more information go to