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Welcome to Bureau County Tourism

Located between the Quad Cities and Chicago, nestled in the middle of North Central Illinois heartland, Bureau County is a hidden treasure full of a cornucopia of simple pleasures. One never knows what they may find!

Between a summer full of exciting seasonal festivities, parkside Shakespeare plays, an assortment of unique and interesting shops and everything in between, we are positive you will discover so much to love about Bureau County, our beloved home, and share experience you can only find by taking a step off the beaten path.

So, take a moment to look around and discover Bureau County for yourself. We can't wait to see you! ..More Info

News & Announcements

  • Here's the events for Oct 21st to the 24th in Bureau County. Check out the movie at Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road Saturday night (for the non-squeamish),
    October 21st, 2016 -- October 22nd, 2016
    Team Hope, Relay for Life, will host a garage sale from 8 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 22, at 14059 Illinois Highway 26 South, Princeton. This will be donations only, with all proceeds going to Relay for Life.

    October 21st, 2016 -- October 23rd, 2016
    Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road Haunted attraction Friday & Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23, Bureau County Fairgrounds, 811 W Peru St, Princeton. From 7 to 9:30 p.m.(when the last ticket is sold), it’s your worst nightmare in the main haunt. Slaughterhouse Movie Friday night only at 7 and 9:30 pm. Get tickets to both the movie and the haunted attraction for $20. The event features live actors, animated props and the unexpected around every corner. Admission is $10 per person, but for those who don’t have time to kill, the Speed Pass is $12 and allows you to go to the front of the line. Returning this year is Dimension X, for those who wish to explore the terror of sensory deprivation. Those who dare will be blindfolded and guided through a different experience than the standard haunt. Don’t forget to fill up at Mummies Eatery, ride the hayracks, and get your blood warmed back up at the bonfire.

    October 21st, 2016
    Wine Walk
    The Princeton Art District's Annual Wine Walk 4- 8 p.m. Wine! Fun! Food! Entertainment! Stop by each business to sample fine wines and delicious hors d'oeuvres (and to shop of course) Wine tasting glasses are available at Beetz Me for $10 or use a previous years glass with a 2016 chrm from Annies Little Pots for $5

    October 22nd, 2016
    Fall Fest
    Freedom House will host a Fall Family Fun Fest at Soldiers and Sailors Park in Princeton. The event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. and will promote safe, happy and healthy families. The Fall Fest will offer a variety of family-friendly activities including carnival games, a scavenger hunt, face painting clown, a fortune teller booth, bake walk, photo booth and refreshments.

    October 22nd, 2016
    Princeton Coffeehouse
    Antje Duvekot has a brand new album called "Toward The Thunder", and she'll be singing some of the new songs this Saturday, October 22nd at The Princeton Coffeehouse. All seats are $15.00 and are general admission. Our location is at Open Prairie UCC, 25 E. Marion Street in downtown Princeton. Doors open at 7:00. Show time is 7:30. For future concert schedule information, visit our Facebook page or check our website at

    October 22nd, 2016
    The Covered Bridge Chorus will present its gospel show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Christ Community Church, located at 1719 S. Euclid Ave. in Princeton. The event will also include a guest quartet, as well as two or three chapter quartets.

    October 22nd, 2016 Author visit
    The Princeton Public Library is again planning an Author Fair on Oct. 22. Last year more than 30 local authors attended with books to sell, sign and discuss.

    October 23rd, 2016
    Crossroads High School presents a Country Breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, Oct 23rd at the Princeton Elks Lodge. Serving from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, potatoes, rolls, fruit, juice, coffee and milk. $10 per adults, $5 for kids 6-11 and 5 and under eat free.

    October 24th, 2016
    Author visit
    Annual Author Fair at the Princeton Public Library, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 698 E Peru St, Princeton IL 61356 815-875-1331 Meet over 30 local authors and buy their books.

    October 24th, 2016 Rips Fundraiser
    Monday, Oct. 24, at Rip’s Tavern in Ladd, with serving from 5 to 8 p.m. Carry-outs will also be available. The cost is $8 per order. The event will also include a bake sale and raffles. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life of Bureau County.
    - The Princeton CoffeehouseOctober 21st, 2016
  • Other weekend & upcoming events in Bureau County include October 15th, 2016 Puppet Show
    The Prairie Arts Council has announced the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Co. of West Liberty, Iowa, will perform at the Prairie Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 15. They will present “Freedom Star, Gerties’s Journey on the Underground Railroad”. Using nearly life-size hand-held puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets and hand-dyed scenery, The Company will tell a dramatic and moving story, based on local history, of a young girl who escapes from a farm in Missouri and makes her way through Iowa on her way to freedom. There will be two performances on Oct. 15 in the Prairie Arts Council Theater — one at 2 p.m. and one at 5 p.m. The Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Co. has also agreed to run two workshops demonstrating the art of puppetry that morning at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

    October 15th, 2016
    Saturday, Oct. 15, the Princeton Chamber will host a Down on Main Street Concert with an Oktoberfest theme. The popular event will feature Heidelberg German Band, which is a seven-member band from Quincy.

    The band will play on Main Street between Marion and Peru streets. There will also be food vendors serving Oktoberfest cuisine and beverages. The Kompany is the event’s beverage sponsor. Grandma Rosie’s will be serving ice cream and local restaurants will be serving up some of their favorite foods to customers, as well. The vendors will open at 4 p.m. with the music playing from 5 to 8 p.m. Attendees are reminded to bring a chair. Heidelberg German Band was the main show at Peoria’s Oktoberfest last month. This will be their first appearance in Princeton.

    October 16th, 2016
    Sunset Ridge Motorcross
    Sunset Ridge Motorcross Track 24558 1100 E St. Walnut, IL. 61376 D-17 Motocross (Bikes & Quads)

    October 17th, 2016
    Princeton High School will present its fall choral concert featuring the junior varsity choir and concert choir at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Sally Skinner Council Auditorium. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children. Children kindergarten and under and students with ID are free. Artwork from high school art students will be on display outside the auditorium for viewing.

    October 19th, 2016
    Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser -Hosted by Ladd Public Library District Wednesday, October 19 at 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM at Softails Bar and Grill $8 per ticket includes spaghetti, bread & salad. Dine in, carryout or delivery available. Tickets in advance purchase at Village Hall in Ladd or visit the Library during hours of operation. Tickets available at the door, as well. 50/50 available.

    Thursday, October 20th, 2016
    The First Congregational Church of Bureau will host its annual Fall Festival Bazaar and Supper on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Fellowship Hall of the church, which is handicapped accessible. The supper, bake sale and bazaar will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Bazaar items include dish cloths, knives, nuts, crafts and homemade rugs. There will also be a raffle with miscellaneous items. The menu includes chicken casserole, salads, rolls, homemade pies and desserts, and beverages. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-12, and children 5 and under are free. Carry-outs are available. Tickets are available at the door.
    October 14th, 2016
  • This is a unique event that you shouldn't miss - October 14th, 2016 -- October 15th, 2016 Cornpicker Reunion
    The Biannual Walnut Fall Antique Picker Show. This 2 day event brings out antique harvest equipment from all over the Midwest. Come to Walnut, and witness how the harvest was completed in the not so distant past. This very interesting event will be held at the John Bolz farm on the North East side of Walnut directly off of Rt. 92. Come see a big part of Midwest history. This show always promises to bring the most interesting people and equipment of yesteryear. There will be picking demonstrations in the field along the road going North out of Walnut. Indian Head will be busy with people at the show, as well as farmers brings crop to town. Be careful traveling this road later in the week. Walnut Rotary will be serving food both days, and will have the coffee ready early morning.
    October 13th, 2016
  • Friday, Oct 7th activities in Bureau County include wine tasting, art show and comedy show. Come and enjoy! October 7th, 2016
    First Friday
    Join the merchants of the Princeton Art District in Princeton, IL the first Friday of each month for a local night out on the town! Enjoy wine tasting, special treats from the bakery, sales and specials from local merchants, and more!

    Festival 56 presents Comedy Night at the Grace Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. The evening of stand-up comedy and improv features Chicago comedians Allison Dunne, Sohrab Forouzesh, Rob Johnson and Jordan Kulow. The show will be R-rated, due to language and sexual content. Admission for Comedy Night is $18 in advance and $20 at the door. All seating is reserved. Advance tickets may be purchased at 815-879-5656, ext. 11, or via email at

    The Prairie Arts Council is pleased to announce its October exhibit “Liquid Conversion,” featuring artist Linda Von Holten. The exhibit is set to run Oct. 7 through Oct. 30. Her current work is primarily in acrylics, traversing a range of surfaces, subjects and styles, including paintings generated as solo pieces, or as parts of a visual series. An opening night reception is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Prairie Arts Center. Those needing additional information should call the Prairie Arts Center at 815-875-2787. The center is located at 24 Park Ave. East in Princeton.
    Festival 56 - Small Town, Big Drama - Princeton IllinoisFestival 56 is a professional theatre festival located at the Grace Performing Arts Center in Prince...October 6th, 2016
  • October 8th, 2016 Fall Fest
    The First Annual Walnut Chamber of Commerce Fall Fest on Main will be held from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday, October 8th.


    1:00-3:00 p.m. - Walnut Fire Department Open House

    1:30-3:30 p.m. - Taste of Walnut BBQ Contest Judging

    2:00-4:00 p.m. - Live Music - Ron Eckberg Band

    2:00-6:00 p.m. - Kids Activities (Hayrack Rides, Face Painting, Pumpkin Painting, Games)

    2:00-6:00 p.m. - Vendor Fair

    2:00 p.m. - Tanner's Donut and Cider Giveaway

    3:00-8:00 p.m. - Food Vendor Opens

    4:00-4:30 p.m. - Taste of Walnut BBQ Contest Winners Announced

    5:00-6:30 p.m. - Live Music - Tyler Duckworth

    6:30-7:00 p.m. - Scarecrow Contest Winners Announced

    7:00-9:00 p.m. - Family Bingo at Community Building

    7:00-10:00 p.m. - Live Music - The Pigskin Revival

    Please join us for a day full of fun. All ages!
    October 6th, 2016
  • Last Farmers Market of the Season Today!
    Enjoy fresh apples, pumpkins & squash, baked goods and more.
    The holidays are coming. Be sure to stock up on your Favorite Classic Soda Flavors
    Bottled in Glass and Made With 100% Pure Cane Sugar.
    4-6 p.m.
    Heartland Bank Parking lot.
    100 E. Dakota Street. Spring Valley
    October 5th, 2016
  • You can watch runners or you can run from spooks this weekend in Bureau County. Check out all of the fun here!
    October 1st, 2016 -- October 2nd, 2016
    Hennepin 100 Ultra Marathon
    The Hennepin Hundred Ultra Marathon competitors run along the Hennepin Canal banks in a 50 mile race/100 mile race or a 100 mile 5 runner relay. They start in Sterling and run along the canal to Lock 17 by Wyanet where the 50 mile finish line is. 100 mile runners continue on to Colona, Illinois on the Hennepin Canal State Trail. Last year’s winner ran all 100 miles in less than 15 hours.

    The Hennepin Hundred is Illinois’ only point-to-point, all-trail ultramarathon, a true Illinois adventure from Sterling, Illinois on the Rock River to Colona, Illinois near the mighty Mississippi, along the historic and beautiful Hennepin Canal. Held on Oct 1-2, 2016. Flat and fast, the 50- and 100-mile courses follow the 104-mile Hennepin Canal State Trail, Illinois’ longest multi-use trail, across historic locks and lift bridges, past the autumn corn, picturesque farms and postcard towns of northwest Illinois.

    It’s a beautiful run, a perfect setting for a PR or first-time finish. Runners are cheered, encouraged and supported by 150 warm-hearted volunteers, many who are ultra runners themselves. At night, the stars above are magnificent.

    It’s a race that engages you in something larger. Running the Hennepin Hundred benefits Trails for Illinois, the tiny non-profit that works to improve the Hennepin Canal State Trail and other non-motorized trails statewide. You are running to benefit the Illinois trails we love. The 50 mile race ends at Lock 17, just outside of Wyanet IL. The 100 mile runners take off in Sterling IL and continue on to Colona, IL all along the Hennepin Canal State Trail.

    October 1st, 2016
    Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road
    Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road has again transformed the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton into your darkest nightmares Fridays and Saturdays starting Oct. 1 and running through Oct. 29. Plus Nightmare has added one Sunday on Oct. 23.

    From 7 to 9:30 p.m.(when the last ticket is sold), it’s your worst nightmare in the main haunt. The event features live actors, animated props and the unexpected around every corner. Admission is $10 per person, but for those who don’t have time to kill, the Speed Pass is $12 and allows you to go to the front of the line. Returning this year is Dimension X, for those who wish to explore the terror of sensory deprivation. Those who dare will be blindfolded and guided through a different experience than the standard haunt. Don’t forget to fill up at Mummies Eatery, ride the hayracks, and get your blood warmed back up at the bonfire.

    Nightmare is a production of the Bureau County Fair, Routes 6/34 West, 811 W. Peru St. in Princeton. For complete details, see

    October 2nd, 2016
    Pancake Breakfast
    The annual breakfast of the Ladd Fire Department will be serving a pancake and sausage breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon on Oct. 2 in the fire department building. Donations are adults $8, children ages 4-12 years are $5 and 3 years and under eat free. Come enjoy breakfast with your neighbors and help support your fire department, so they can protect your homes and your community. Your support is needed as equipment wears out and gets outdated; integral equipment needed to protect you and your community.

    October 4th, 2016
    Rips Fundraiser
    A fundraiser benefiting the Malden after-school program is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Rip’s in Ladd. Tickets are $8 at the door. There will also be raffles, a 50/50 and a bake sale.

    October 5th, 2016
    Chicken & Biscuit Dinner
    The annual Hampshire Colony Congregational Church chicken and biscuit dinner is set for 4:45 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Carry-outs begin at 4:30 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. Tickets at the door are $9 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Curbside pick-up is on Columbus Street at the north door of the church beginning at 4:30 p.m. Home delivery is available.

    The event is held at the Hampshire Colony Congregational Church, located at 604 S. Church St. There is handicap access from the south parking lot. For more information, call 815-875-2329.

    October 5th, 2016
    Geneaology Program
    The Bureau County Genealogy Society will sponsor a class for beginning level genealogy students at the genealogy society building, 629 S Main St. in Princeton. Classes will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. The classes will be instructed by Eva Blanco and BCGS staff. Advance registration of 30 is required. For information, call 815-879-3133.
    Nightmare On Fairgrounds Road Presented By Bureau County Fair - Princeton Illinois© 2016 Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road presented by Bureau County FairAll Rights Reserved | The Burea...September 30th, 2016
  • There is no way you can be hungry in Bureau County this weekend. Look at the following list of great fundraisers with the tasty treats from the amazing Bureau County cooks. From cupcakes to a German Buffet, you will find it all in Bureau County.
    September 23rd, 2016 Fish & Chicken Fry
    The Manlius Sportsmans Club Fish and Chicken Dinner (No BVHS football game that night) Serving 4:30 - 8:00p.m. $8.oo Donation (Carry outs available) A 50/50 RAFFLE will be held

    September 23rd, 2016 Moose Lodge Dance
    The Princeton Moose Lodge will host a dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Everyone is invited to attend and listen to the music of the Generics Goodies Band. People are also invited to dine before the dance, with dinner starting at 5:30 p.m.

    September 24th, 2016 Sheffield Lions Club
    The Sheffield Lions Club will celebrate 65 years of service to the community. To show their appreciation, members will be in front of Royal Super Mart from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, to hand out free cupcakes. They will also have a cookout to raise more money for their projects. They will sell brats, hot dogs, chips and drinks.

    September 24th, 2016 Lasagna Dinner
    The Walnut United Methodist Church will host a lasagna dinner from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in the dining room at the church, 111 E. Liberty St. The menu will be lasagna, homemade bread, tossed salad, desserts and ice cream. A freewill offering will be accepted. Carry-outs will be available by calling Betty Rollo at 815-379-2697. An elevator is located on the east side of the church.

    September 24th, 2016 Spaghetti Dinner
    St. Matthews' Saintly Spaghetti Supper will be Saturday, Sept. 24, with the proceeds to benefit Freedom House. This supper will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the St. Matthews Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. The meal is $7 per person and $5 for children age 12 and under. Children age 3 and under can eat for free. Carry-outs are available. St. Matthews is locatedat 416 E. Dover Road in Princeton.

    September 24th, 2016 Flea Market
    The Open Prairie United Church of Christ will hold a flea market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the church, 25 E. Marion St. in Princeton. Admission is $1.

    September 24th, 2016 Townwide Garage Sales
    Multiple yard sales will be held in Wyanet from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept 24. A list of yard sales can be found on the Facebook page “Informational Wyanet Page.”

    September 25th, 2016 German Buffet
    The Hollowayville United Church of Christ will hold its annual German buffet and country store on Sunday, Sept. 25. The menu will be a salad bar, pork and kraut, roast turkey in gravy, ham, German potato salad, red cabbage, mashed potatoes, corn and beans. Also included is dessert and beverage. Serving will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    September 25th, 2016 Mamm & Glam
    Perry Memorial Hospital is hosting a “Mamm & Glam” event on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Kompany Down Under in Princeton. Women of all ages are invited to spend an afternoon with PMH staff and enjoy a ladies day of prevention and laughter.

    Attendees will enjoy a lighthearted Mammo Cape Fashion Show featuring the not-so-glamorous mammogram capes worn by patients, decorated and modeled by Perry Memorial Hospital staff. Featured speaker, Kati Grimes, FNP from the Perry Memorial Family Health Clinic, will discuss women’s health screening guidelines. Perry Memorial Hospital radiology staff members Dawn Rudolph, RT (R)(M) and Danielle Molln, RT(R)(CT) will talk about “Mammograms: What to know before you go” and “Bone Health and Bone Density Testing.”

    Pre-registration for mammograms with special evening hours will be available for those needing their annual mammogram. Come enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine and register to win a Mall of America Family Package donated by Regional Media Radio in Kewanee. Additional door prizes will also be drawn. To register for this free event, please call 815-876-4454.

    September 25th, 2016 Car Show
    Grandma Rosie's Blood, Sweat and Gears Car Cruise In. Sunday, 4-7 p.m. with music by Generic Goodies Band 5-7 p.m. To benefit the Princeton American Legion/VFW/ AmVets.

    September 27th, 2016 Chicken Dinner
    The Holy Trinity Church Altar and Rosary Society will host a chicken dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Coal Company Restaurant in Cherry. The menu will be one-quarter chicken, fries and dessert. Tickets are $8 for dine-in or carry-out. Tickets are available at Cherry State Bank
    September 23rd, 2016

Featured Events Around Bureau County

Z-Tour Bike Ride

Z-Tour Bike Ride

This road ride provides you a chance to enjoy some of the best bike roads that northwest Illinois has to offer. The routes will feature loops that incorporate hills, rolling terrain, beautiful views of Bureau Creek with minimal traffic.

Visit Z-Tour Bike Ride
Festival 56

Festival 56

Festival 56 is a professional theatre festival located in Princeton, Illinois, offering a season of ten plays and musicals each year including free, outdoor Shakespeare in the Park.

Visit Festival 56
Homestead Festival

Homestead Festival

A city-wide celebration for everyone to enjoy with an ice cream social, street dance, book sale, window displays, horse wagon rides, flea market, arts and crafts show, pork bbq, local talent showcase, parade, and beer garden.

Visit Homestead Festival
Barn Quilts of Bureau County

Barn Quilts of Bureau County

Barn Quilts of Bureau County is designed to celebrate Bureau County's rich agricultural heritage, showcase our rural areas, and promote agritourism, the arts, and a sense of community pride.

Learn More About Our Quilts
Bureau County Fair

Bureau County Fair

Our Fair is one of Illinois' longest running fairs. Make your way to this exciting event each year to enjoy such thrilling attractions as carnival, concert, thrill shows, chain saw carvers, tractor pulls, and demolition derby

Visit Our Fair
Shadows of the Blue & Gray

Shadows of the Blue & Gray

The most authentic and spectacular Civil War reenactment in Illinois with period dance, crafts from the era by period artisans; talented storytellers and musicians; and a Barn Dance and Night Cannon Firing to bring the times alive!

Visit Shadows of the Blue & Gray