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Thursday, June 2, 2005 09:01 pm

Summer Guide 2005

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Welcome to the 22nd edition of the Illinois Times Summer Guide, highlighting hundreds of events and activities in Springfield and around the region.

Our summer calendar lists hardy perennials, including area county fairs, outdoor theatrical performances, municipal-band concerts, art fairs, tractor pulls, cheese-eating competitions, lawn-mower racing, and cow-chip-throwing contests.

We cast a pretty wide net, from Chicago to Metropolis, with an emphasis on central Illinois and hometown favorites. Phone numbers and Web addresses are provided whenever possible to direct you to additional sources of information.

For those who itch to hit the road but don’t want to go too far, we also feature some interesting destinations in our “Summer Excursions” section. This year, we’ve skipped the big cities. (In case you’re wondering, here’s the skinny: Downtown Chicago has a big new silver bean, and downtown St. Louis has a big old silver arch.)

Of course, sometimes the best destination is your own back yard. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit some of Springfield’s attractions, tap the heels of your ruby slippers together three times and repeat after me: “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home. There’s. . . . ”

In our “Summer Entertainment” section, we look at what’s playing at the multiplexes this summer and what’s being staged at area theaters. We offer some tips from a few grillmasters, and we identify a few books worth grabbing on your way to the beach at Lake Springfield.

Enjoy this summer.

— Roland Klose, editor

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