Take in this year's Grande Leve

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

During the period that Vandalia served as Illinois capital, Abraham Lincoln and others who walked these streets couldnt just buy a quilt or a basket. They had to make them.

The people of Vandalia, back in the 1830s, didnt have a radio or television for entertainment. They had only bands that performed the popular music of that period.

Illinois earliest residents didnt have restaurants that served fast food or family meals. They had to cook their meals over a fire.

Indeed, the living wasnt easy when Vandalia was the home of Illinois government. But we can see this weekend, in an enjoyable setting, just what it was like to live in Vandalia in the early 1800s.

The Grande Leve is being celebrated from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon at the Vandalia Statehouse, the building that served as Illinois capital from 1836 to 1839. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the special event.

Its an pleasant way to enjoy period crafts, entertainment and food of our ancestors.

If youve never been to a Grande Leve, we encourage you to visit the Statehouse grounds this weekend. If you have, we probably dont need to encourage you; were sure that theres something that will draw to back.