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Heading Downstate

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It's a week and a half to visit Downstate, starting today.

I at least plan to make Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair next week.


This is from a family visit a couple years ago while watching a demonstration by Trina Whitener at Conservation World, on the northwest corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The fair runs through next Sunday, Aug. 17.

And there's the ATA Grand American at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta through next Saturday, Aug. 16.


I haven't been to WSRC since it opened two years ago, and really should get down next week, if only to see how the WSRC has progressed. A lot more things have opened there since I first visited.

The general press release on the Grand American is posted here.

Below is more on Conservation World.

Conservation World has the usual family stuff--fishing and casting for kids, youth archery and shooting skills ranges, Voyager canoe rides, bird shows (Saturdays and Sundays), Scheer's Lumberjack Show (noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. daily), and the Wild West Show (12:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m. daily) Smokey Bear (1 and 5 p.m. daily), field dog demonstrations (Saturday, Sunday, and again Aug. 15-17 at 4 p.m.)

And some fringier stuff like professionals from the Illinois Green Industry Association, glassblowers, chainsaw artists Wendy and Mike Rhodes, candle making and lots of somewhat outdoor-related food things like hohoney and homemade root beer.

And, naturally, displays of natural resources and other outdoors-related information.

I time our visit to Conservation World around meal time because a couple years ago the world famous barbeque from the 17th Street Bar & Grill was added.

Conservation World, free with fair entrance, is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. The complete press release is posted below.

For Immediate Release July 31, 2008


Scheer's Lumberjacks, Fishing, Hunting Activities Featured

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Scheer's Lumberjack Show, kids fishing and casting activities, youth archery and shooting skills ranges, Voyager canoe rides, bird shows, and a popular Wild West Show are among the family-oriented activities at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 8-17, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Sam Flood announced today.

"The Illinois State Fair theme of 'A Family Tradition' is a perfect complement for all we have to offer at Conservation World during the fair," Flood said. "From our fishing and hunting clinics and displays to the fun performances of the Scheer's Lumberjacks and the Wildlife Prairie State Park bird shows, families and other state fair visitors can get close to nature without leaving the fairgrounds."

Conservation World is a 30-acre park located on the northwest corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. During the 10 days of the fair, Conservation World is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily - and is easily accessible through pedestrian gates just north of the Junior Livestock Center, near the IDNR Headquarters building, and via a state fair tram stop.

"Kids always have a great time visiting Conservation World, and adults will enjoy the displays and activities, too," Flood added. "Our comfortable park benches, shade trees, ponds, and accessible pathways make Conservation World a great place to visit - or just sit and relax."

Among the entertainment highlights at Conservation World:

The renowned Scheer's Lumberjacks perform three shows daily at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. The shows include competitions in log-rolling, chainsaw and cross-cut sawing, pole climbing and ax throwing. Fred Scheer's lumberjack shows have been entertaining crowds throughout North America for more than 20 years.
The Conservation World "Wild West Show" features whip cracking champion Chris Camp, gun spinner/trick shooter Garrett Popek, and the Dan Barth Medicine and Magic Show daily at 12:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m., and 5:45 p.m.
The Bass Tub show will appeal to anglers and fish enthusiasts of all ages, with tips on catching popular sport fish in Illinois. The programs are at 10:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily.
Wildlife Prairie State Park naturalists will present bird shows both Saturdays and Sundays during the fair at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. at Conservation World's Illinois Green Industry Association Amphitheater.
Fair visitors will enjoy visiting with professionals from the Illinois Green Industry Association at the gazebo near the amphitheater. They can answer questions about home lawns and gardens, house and garden plants, garden design, and other horticultural issues.

Conservation World will also welcome expert glassblowing exhibitions from the glass artisans at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. SIU glassblower demonstrations are planned throughout the day from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Conservation World visitors can also enjoy a number of other popular activities:

Chainsaw artists Wendy and Mike Rhodes conduct demonstrations on their unique wood work. Candle making demonstrations can be found in the Conservation World log cabin.
Fishing clinics for youngsters - which include catch-and-release fishing - are at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the fishing pond near the Conservation World main gate.
Smokey Bear visits with youngsters each day at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Forest Resources Tent.
Voyager canoe rides in the 20-passenger canoe on the main lake at Conservation World are provided each day of the fair from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Local and state sporting organizations host a free 3-D Archery Range and a BB Gun Range open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day of the fair, providing youngsters an opportunity to test their shooting sports skills. Volunteers from Illinois sporting organizations help youngsters improve their skills.
Field dog demonstrations will be conducted near the Conservation World lake on Aug. 8-10 and Aug. 15-17 at 4 p.m.
In the IDNR Director's Tent at Conservation World, visitors will find displays highlighting the state's natural resources, OutdoorIllinois magazine, the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, FOID application/photo information, permit and license information.

Hands-on activities and informative displays on outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources stewardship in Illinois are located throughout Conservation World. Illinois Conservation Police officers and IDNR wildlife, fisheries, and habitat restoration biologists will be on hand to answer questions about rules, regulations, and hunting and fishing issues.

Displays and information on state parks, education programs for youngsters and free materials for school teachers, mining and oil production, forestry management and tree farming, and protection of threatened and endangered species are also featured.

The Illinois Department of Human Services will be on site at Conservation World with the "Baby Café" - an air-conditioned mobile nursery for nursing babies or changing diapers. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency hosts children's games focusing on clean air, water and other environmental efforts.

Conservation World is one of the featured venues for special events and activities on Park District Conservation Day at the state fair on Sat., Aug. 16.

Food vendors in Conservation World include southern Illinois' famed 17th Street Barbeque. Their menu features world champion barbeque, ribs, chicken, and sandwiches. Other vendors will have old-fashioned root beer, kettle corn, pork rinds, honey, jams and jellies, and shaved ice.

Illinois State Fair admission includes free admission to Conservation World - open daily from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. throughout the fair.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 8, 2008 6:13 AM.

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