The 42nd Annual Grande Levee, a celebration of the grand receptions held during the 1800s to honor government dignitaries and important visitors, will be held Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24 at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site. The event is free and open to the public, and is cosponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Vandalia Tourism Commission, The Old Capitol Foundation, Friends of the Old State Capitol and Vandalia Leader Union newspaper. The event coincides with the Corn Day Festival being held September 24.
The festival will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 23 with the Illinois Society of 1812’s 20 flag program followed by musical performances from the Riverview Band at 4:30 p.m., playing old time and bluegrass music. George Portz & Friends of Bluegrass will continue at 6 and play until 8 p.m. An Old Fashioned Ham & Bean Dinner sponsored by the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance starts at 5 p.m., and funnel cakes and homemade ice cream will also be offered on the Statehouse lawn.
Events on Saturday, September 24 begin with a 5K run sponsored by the YMCA - call John Ashdown at (618) 283-1258 for more information. Period arts and crafts demonstrations and selling of wares will be held on the Statehouse lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including blacksmithing, basket weaving, pottery, tatting and lace making. There will also be an 1812 Encampment on the lawn. Home made root beer and many “Taste of Vandalia” food booths will offer local fare and old time favorites.
Several entertainers are scheduled to perform Saturday, including Dr. Balthasar’s Marvelous Miracle Medicine Show, DePriest Puppets, and Madame Rosa’s Museum of Natural Oddities. Lead Out will provide music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Grass Pack will play at 1 p.m. and the Salt Creek Band will perform from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The World Bird Sanctuary will present “Raptor Awareness” with live birds, including a bald eagle, at 1 p.m.