When the governor threatened to close Lowden State Park and
Castle Rock State Park to shave the state budget deficit, the small
community of Oregon responded in a huge way to save them and its
Now the community of 4,000 is throwing open its doors for a new
family festival, Oregon Trail Days, that not only celebrates the
community's artist culture and the area's rich Native American and
Western history, but also will help restore the historic 48-foot
statue of Chief Black Hawk overlooking the Rock River.
Oregon, Ill. has all the trappings of the
trail it's named for.
"We wanted to do something that would bring more people to the
community and to our state parks, to let the state know that they
need to stay open and that they are contributing to our local and
state economy," says Amy Trimble, a festival committee member.
Expect to see cowboy performers and Native American dancers and
drummers, plus Western-themed food, vendors with American-made
products and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained.
Saturday is the best day to visit for families, Trimble says.
Better yet, make a weekend of it by renting an overnight in one
of the 14-foot tepees being placed in Lowden State Park for the
festival ($100 per night).
"I think people will be quite pleasantly surprised with how
beautiful our area is," Trimble says.
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