The popular period celebration that looks back into the time when Vandalia was the home of Illinois government returns this weekend after a three-year break.
The Grande Levée will be held on the grounds of the Vandalia Statehouse this weekend, kicking off on Friday evening with the traditional ham and beans dinner, and bluegrass music, and continuing through Saturday with period crafts, music and popular performances from past years.
Friday, June 16
• 5 p.m.-7 p.m. – Ham and beans dinner provided by the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance. Meet and Greet with “Lincoln” (Randy Duncan).
• 5 p.m.-8 p.m. – Tours of the Vandalia Statehouse.
• 6 p.m.-8 p.m. – Salt Creek String Band.
Saturday, June 17
• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Period craft demonstrations and selling of wares; and children’s activities.
• 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Rural Rights Revival (bluegrass music).
• 11 a.m.-4 p.m. – Food vendors .
• 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Kahok Dancers.
• 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – World Bird Sanctuary (Four-bird display with the Bald Eagle).
• 1 p.m. – A speech by Randy Duncan as Abraham Lincoln in the House of Representatives of the Vandalia Statehouse.
• 3 p.m. – Vandalia Historical Society drawing for the Clint Simpson State Farm Bike held by the Madonna of the Trail.
• The Vandalia Statehouse (9 a.m.-4 p.m.), Little Brick House (9 a.m.-noon), Fayette County Museum (9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.), National Road Interpretive Center (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) will all be open for tours.
• Vandalia Old Capitals Vintage Baseball team will be hosting the Perfectos from St. Louis at 11 am. The matches will take place at Lincoln Field on West Fletcher, and they will be playing by 1860 rules. Pictures with the team before the game at the Vandalia Statehouse.
• Visitors can also tour the Old State Burial Ground, located three blocks south of the Statehouse, to view the rehabilitation work done on grave markers in a cemetery in which some Civil War veterans and key people in the early days of Illinois are buried.
The Grande Levée is sponsored by the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency, Old Capitol Foundation and Vandalia Historical Society.