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Vandalia Grand Levee set for June 15 at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site

Courtesy: Illinois Tourism

SPRINGFIELD – The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will host the annual Grand Levee, an annual celebration of the grand receptions held during the 1800s to honor government dignitaries and important visitors, will take place Saturday, June 15.

The event, which features an entire day of activities and entertainment, is free and open to the public. The historic site is at 315 W. Gallatin St. in Vandalia.

Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. on the lawn of the Vandalia Statehouse with period arts and crafts demonstrations, including blacksmithing, pottery, wood and leather workers, wool spinning and more. Professor Farquar and Polecat Annie will present an Old Time Medicine Show. Stage times will be at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. There also will be roving entertainment between shows.

Inside the historic site, visitors can enjoy tours of the Vandalia Statehouse. Sweet Silhouette hand-cut portraits by Varin Acevedo will be available from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and visitors will receive a free silhouette cutting mounted on a 5-inch-by-7-inch board. Visitors will also find the Dulcimer Guy, Mike Anderson, providing music throughout the day, with his main performance at 2 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy a performance by a Lincoln presenter Randy Duncan on the front steps of the Statehouse at 10:45 a.m., followed by folk musician Chris Vallillo.

Fayette County Art Connection members will be on hand throughout the day with painting demonstrations. At 11 a.m., Crown Point Church will sell lunch, including ham and beans. Pokorney will be setup with kettle korn, pork rinds and lemon shakeups, and the Rotary Club will have funnel cakes to purchase.

Other activities include 1800s period games and a petting zoo at noon by Lucky R Mobile. Blacksmith Bryan Dale Headley, the Singing Blacksmith from Rural Heritage on RFD TV, will demonstrate the forging of an unfolded cross at 1 p.m., which will be given away to a member of the audience.

The Grande Levee is sponsored by Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Old Capital Foundation and the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. For a schedule of events and more information, visit the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site Facebook page or call the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site at 618-283-1161.

The Vandalia Statehouse is the oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois. It served as the capitol from 1836 to 1839 and is open to the public between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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