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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

  • Heres Friday and Saturday events in Bureau County - from peanut brittle to a parade - check out the fun!! December 2nd, 2016
    Princeton Library
    The Princeton Public Library will have several holiday music events in December, starting with live piano concerts featuring many Christmas tunes. They will be playing from 4 to 6 p.m. in the main area of the library. Entertaining this year will be Gayle Little and Pat James (Dec. 2), Cheryl Bebej (Dec. 9), and Kathy Allen and her piano students (Dec. 16). There will also be two Tuesday night programs — Dec. 6, the Covered Bridge Chorus will perform, and on Dec. 13, the Madrigal Singers will perform. Both programs begin at 6:30 p.m.

    Christmas Program
    Princeton Christian Academy’s all-school Christmas program will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the auditorium. The highlight of the evening will be the musical, “All About That Baby,” directed by Vickie Holmes and Kathey Cook. In addition the school band will perform with a flute solo by Ellie Geldean, and the Academy Singers, the eighth-grade a cappella group, will perform two selections. The program will be preceded by a school open house beginning at 6 p.m. The public is invited to this special evening. Refreshments will be served in the gym following the performance.

    December 2nd, 2016 -- December 4th, 2016 Children's Musical
    “A Winterhaven Christmas,” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Prairie Arts Center in Princeton.

    December 3rd, 2016 -- December 4th, 2016
    The Christmas Mini-Tree Festival, a fundraiser for the Prairie Arts Center, will be held Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 19 through Dec. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. A silent auction for the trees and wreaths is being held until Dec. 4. Phone bids are welcome by calling the PAC at 815 875-2787.

    December 3rd, 2016 Cookie Walk
    Bureau County HCE (Home and Community Education) will hold its annual cookie sale at the Prouty Building, 435 S. Main St., Princeton, from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and from 9 a.m. noon, or until the cookies sell out, on Saturday, Dec. 3.

    December 3rd, 2016 Craft & Vendor Fair
    Bureau County Fair will hold a Craft and Vendor Fair with a Flea Market featuring toys for Christmas on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    December 3rd, 2016 Breakfast with Santa
    St. Bede Academy will again hold a Breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Academy. The cost this year is $12 per person, which will include breakfast, meeting with Santa, make and take crafts, movies, readers and a ride on the Starved Rock Christmas Trolley. For an additional $6, pictures with Santa will be available. Tickets can be purchased by calling 815-223-3140.

    December 3rd, 2016 Cookie Walk
    The United Church of Christ (Congregational) in Spring Valley will have its traditional cookie walk from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the church, located at Erie and Powers streets. A variety of holiday cookies and candies will be offered in a “select your own” style Homemade peanut brittle will be sold for $7 per bag. For more information, call the church office at 815-663-1951.

    St. Louis Catholic Church in Princeton will hold its annual CCW Cookie Walk from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. They will again sell homemade Christmas cookies by the pound.

    December 3rd, 2016 Christmas Parade
    Princeton Christmas parade. The parade will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, starting from Maria’s Pizza and continuing down Main Street to Soldiers and Sailors Park. Santa Claus will be in the parade. The theme for this year’s parade is “Ringing in Christmas.” Santa’s helpers will collect food items for the food pantry along the parade route. Any paper products, personal items, dried or canned goods would be appreciated.
    December 2nd, 2016
  • Here's Sunday, Dec. 4th events in Bureau County. You can start with breakfast and shop all day. December 4th, 2016

    December 4th, 2016 Pancake Breakfast
    The Sheffield Lions Club pancake and sausage breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at St. Patrick’s Church Hall in Sheffield. Ticket are $6 for adults, $3 for ages 6 to 12 and free ages 5 and under.

    Christmas Open House
    Walnut Shear Delight Christmas Open House Sunday 11-2 – crafts and more

    December 4th, 2016 Senior Citizen Dinner
    The Princeton Moose Lodge will host its 36th annual senior citizens Christmas dinner at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec 4, at the lodge, 1339 N. Euclid Ave. in Princeton. Doors will open at noon. This dinner is free for seniors. For reservations, call lodge at 815-879-5261.

    December 4th, 2016 Tour of Homes
    The Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will host its Tour of Homes from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. All tours begin and end at the Bureau County Metro Center in Princeton. Tour guests will be transported by Bureau Putnam Area Rural Transit (BPART) to six decorated Princeton homes showcasing the unique, personal décor of the homeowner and their family. Before and/or after the tour, participants are welcome to enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies in Shoemake Hall at the Metro Center and browse the vendor fair featuring local artisans and their one-of-a-kind handmade items. Some vendors will also be selling their products from nationally known companies.

    Tickets are on sale at the following Princeton locations: Central Bank, Centrue Bank, Princeton Chamber of Commerce and Heartland Bank and Trust (downtown office). Tickets are $25 per person.

    December 4th, 2016 Craft & Vendor Fair
    The Wyanet Community Club will have a craft vendor show and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Bureau Valley Wyanet Grade School. Admission is a non-perishable food item for the local pantry or an unwrapped toy. More than 20 businesses will participate in the event.
    December 2nd, 2016
  • Don't stay home alone - there are two free Thanksgiving dinners Thursday in Bureau County that you would be welcomed at.
    12 noon, Free Thanksgiving Meal at Walnut Community Bible Church
    The 16th annual free Thanksgiving dinner will be served from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 24 N. Main St. in Princeton. No RSVPs are needed. For transportation, delivery or carry-outs, call Marianne at 815-875-2124. The dinner is sponsored by the Evangelical Covenant Church, New Hope Church of the Nazarene and St. Louis Catholic Church.
    Start your Thanksgiving with a community Thanksgiving service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the Hampshire Colony Congregational Church in Princeton. The service will have a community choir, a congregational choir and congregational singing. After the service, a time of fellowship will include cider, doughnuts and refreshments.
    November 23rd, 2016
  • Holiday happenings in Bureau County beginning November 16th, with a Turkey Dinner and going through Friday. Check out our Bureau County Tourism site for lots of fun things to do.
    A turkey dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Tiskilwa Community Church. The menu will be turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable, salads, rolls, pie and drinks. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for ages under 12.

    November 17th, 2016
    The LaMoille Lions Club will hold a family style chicken dinner from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov.17, at the Lions Club, 308 Howard St. in LaMoille. The dinner will include chicken, fries, pasta, salad, bread and butter, and dessert. Tickets are $9 for adults, $4.50 for ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.

    November 18th, 2016 Christmas Open House
    Princeton's Christmas Open House - Silver Bells - It's Christmas Time in the City Each year the weekend before Thanksgiving, Princeton's beautiful Main Street is transformed into a magical holiday treasure.

    Friday -
    5:30PM Santa arrives on a fire truck for the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Veterans Park across from City Hall
    6-8PM - Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides North & South End
    6-8PM - Warm up with hot chocolate at the Cocoa Cottage (Frontier Lawn)

    November 18th, 2016 Mini Xmas Tree Festival
    The Prairie Arts Council will presents its seventh annual Christmas Mini-Tree Festival at the Prairie Arts Center in Princeton. An opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. Featured during the event are individually designed and uniquely decorated Christmas trees and wreaths by local creative artists. Christmas music by Charlie Gebeck on the keyboard will be enjoyed along with refreshments. In addition, some cast members from the children’s play, “A Winterhaven Christmas,” will perform. The Christmas Mini-Tree Festival, a fundraiser for Prairie Arts Center, will be held Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 19 through Dec. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. A silent auction for the decorations is until Dec. 4. Phone bids to PAC (815-875-2787) are welcome.

    New this year, anyone who wishes to make an ornament to be displayed at the Christmas Mini-Tree Festival and returned should call the PAC. Music by the Praise and Shine Quartet will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Performances of “A Winterhaven Christmas” will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec 4.

    November 18th, 2016
    The Wyanet Historical Society will host its seventh annual chili and soup supper from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The supper also includes a beverage and dessert. Tickets are $7.50 for adults, with children 5 years and below free. There will also be a bake sale and the historical museum will be open during supper.

    November 18th, 2016 Candy Cane Hunt
    3rd Annual Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce Candy Cane Hunt at Soldiers & Sailors Park! Complimentary Flashlights - All ages 12 and under - Prizes Awarded! Friday at 7 PM - 7:30 PM

    November 18th, 2016 Bluegrass Jam
    A bluegrass, gospel and country music jam will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the First Lutheran Church in Princeton. Jams will continue the third Friday of each month. Players and listeners are welcome. Snacks and soft drinks are available. For more information, call 815-875-2057.
    Visit Bureau County, IllinoisLocated between the Quad Cities and Chicago, nestled in the middle of North Central Illinois heartla...November 16th, 2016
  • Here's Sunday, Nov. 6th events in Bureau County.
    Pancake Breakfast
    The Cherry Booster Club will host a pancake and sausage breakfast and bake sale from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 6, at the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Cherry. Also during those hours, Jack Rooney will be the featured guest at the Cherry Library, speaking on the 107th anniversary of the Cherry Mine Disaster.

    November 6th, 2016 Smorgasbord
    The annual smorgasbord and bake sale sponsored by St. Patrick Church Parish in Arlington will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, in Bishop Franz Hall. The menu will be turkey and dressing, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, salads, dessert and beverage. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children under 12, with preschool free. A raffle drawing for a homemade quilt and other items will be at 1 p.m. Dinner tickets and raffle tickets will be available at the door.
    November 4th, 2016
  • Pumpkin races SatKenny 27th, 2016
  • 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

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