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Looking Toward 2020: ILLINOISouth in the New Year!

What’s on the Horizon in 2020?

With the end of 2019 comes not only a new year, but a new decade! And what better way to celebrate a new era than with a new and unique adventure in ILLINOISouth? 2020 is bringing a slew of exciting experiences to the region — from new attractions and shopping stops to ground-breaking events and one-of-a-kind opportunities.

Here’s what we’re looking forward to in ILLINOISouth this New Year:

Mad Dog Murals | Olney, IL

This coming Spring, Olney will welcome international mural artists to ILLINOISouth for a 4-day mural painting extravaganza! Over the course of 4 days, these famed mural artists will set to work on 15 different murals throughout Downtown Olney.

What’s that mean for you? It means 4 full days of sun, fun, art and entertainment! Mad Dog 2020 will also feature food, vendors, kids activities and more for visitors to enjoy as they watch Olney’s murals come to life.

Mark your calendars for Mad Dog 2020 from June 17-21 in Olney, IL. For more information and a list of mural titles, visit olneywalldogs.com.

Fort de Chartres 300th Anniversary | Prairie du Rocher, IL

In 2020, Randolph County’s wooden Fort de Chartres plans to celebrate its 300th anniversary! Built in 1720, the fort became the seat of government and military for the region at that time.

Since then, the French colonial fort has been rebuilt atop its original stone foundation. Check out the renovations, and enjoy a day of history at Fort de Chartre’s 300th anniversary celebration.

Gary Gaetti Sports Academy | Centralia, IL

2020 will see the grand opening of the Gary Gaetti Sports Academy in Centralia, the country’s only sports training center to offer curriculum by four World Series ring-holders.

The upcoming Gary Gaetti Sports Academy will also feature indoor training spaces for softball as well as real-time analytics, training camps and recreation opportunities, batting cages and state-of-the-art technology.

Located alongside the Gaetti Sports Academy at Castle Ridge will also be a putting green, kayak water course, family event setting and banquet center.

Keep an eye out for the opening of the Gary Gaetti Sports Academy in Centralia!

Witness Distillery | Vandalia, IL

Soon to be located in historic Downtown Vandalia, Witness Distillery plans to open in an hotel, dry goods store and furniture store built back in 1870. Witness Distillery’s mission? To relive Illinois’ little known history of being the largest producer of distilled spirits in the pre-Prohibition era!

In every step of the distilling process, Witness Distiller promises to keep it local and natural. They source their non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated water from a spring 25 miles north, and they use a combination of locally-sourced corn/wheat grown and delivered by long-time friends in the area. They grind the corn and wheat in-house, then feed a friend’s cows with the spent mash!

This spirit of locally-sourced and recycled material extends to the building’s decor and distillery operations themselves. In fact, the hand-hewn beams that support the distillery’s Edison bulbs came from a log barn near Hoyleton, and they use the heat created during the distilling process to warm the building in the winter.

One of the distillery’s most unique features, a wooden floor reinforced with I-beams and iron tubing to support the immense weight of the still, mash tun, and fermenters, make Witness Distillery unlike any other distillery in the state.

Keep an eye on Witness Distillery’s Facebook page for information on their grand opening in Spring 2020!

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway | Madison, IL

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway’s impressive 2020 lineup is sure to make your next racing adventure in ILLINOISouth a blast! This 340-acre complex is home to NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Mark your calendars for these exciting racing events:

  • April 17-19 – Midwest SuperStar Series and JEGS Super Quick Series
  • May 8-9 – Mother Road Rendezvous
  • June 10 – Hot Rod Power Tour
  • June 12-14 – Midwest SuperStar Series Finale Weekend
  • August 21 – NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series iHeartRadio 200 presented by CK Power
  • October 8-11 – NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Regional Finals
  • And more!

Bella Vista Winery | Maryville, IL

Bella Vista Winery is settling in on Main Street in Maryville this New Year, and will offer dining and event space options — just in time for your ILLINOISouth adventure. They prepare fresh, handmade food and pair them with delicious local wines.

The winery’s own wines are influenced by the German heritage of Illinois farming families. They’re produced with locally grown fruit and bottled in the winery’s cellar.

Take an afternoon to wine and dine with friends at Bella Vista Winery in the upcoming year. They have everything to make your visit memorable, including locally produced wines, a tasting menu and an elegant venue.

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