IT's picks for what to do this week
After retiring the Springfield-based Lincoln Fest, festival promoter Fred Puglia searched for a new location for a community festival. Our neighbor to the east took up the offer, and the Decatur Celebration was born. Considered Illinois' largest free family street festival, the event — with the theme "Dancing in the Streets — hosts 11 show stages, 100 arts-and-crafts vendors, and 79 food vendors across 22 city blocks. The celebration's main event, a schedule of high-profile musical acts, features Chicago punk-pop outfit the Plain White T's, "Frankenstein" rocker Edgar Winter, Jr. Walker's All Stars, and Otis Day and Knights, made famous in the film Animal House. Other bands on the roster include the Smithereens, Caedmon's Call, and the Bay City Rollers.
Fri.-Sun. Aug. 1-3
5-11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun.
Ya got trouble
Professor Harold Hill is a swindler. In the classic musical The Music Man, Hill bounces from town to town, convincing the townspeople that he is on the verge of breaking the next big band in music, only to rip them off. When his train halts in River City, Iowa, its' business as usual — except for the skeptical librarian Marian, who doesn't trust the newcomer. Hill has a thing for Marian, and despite her better judgment she falls for the slick stranger. Kelsey Coker plays Marian in the current Springfield Muni production, and Flynn Hanners portrays Hill. Jim Seay directs.
Fri.-Sun. Aug. 1-3
(Through Aug. 10)
The Music Man
Springfield Muni, 815 E. Lake Dr.
$8 & $12; discounts for seniors & kids
Go toe to claw with the wild things at Henson Robinson Zoo's spin on the summer Olympics. Without leaving the capital city, you can compete in a series of events, dubbed the Zoolympics, in which visitors are challenged to imitate members of the animal kingdom. Henson Robinson is home to more than 300 creatures representing 90 species. The after-hours event is designed for individuals of all ages.
Saturday Aug. 2
Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Dr.
Zoo admission $4; kids $2.25
If dogs and cats had opposable thumbs, they'd give two thumbs up to Benld Adopt-a-Pet, a no-kill animal shelter in Benld, Ill., in celebration of its 25th anniversary. With more than 150 animals, Benld Adopt-a-Pet has grown from working out of a residence to a facility that includes a surgery room, an office, fencing, and a storage barn. The shelter encourages pet owners to bring stories about and photos of their beloved critters to share. Cake and drinks will be served, and there'll be a surprise presentation at 2 p.m. Donations for the shelter's pets will be accepted but are not required for attendance.
Sunday Aug 3
Benld Adopt-a-Pet 25th Anniversary
Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center, E. St. Joseph