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Native American Indian Festival
August 19, 2017 - August 21, 2017

Little Grassy United Methodist Camp | 12:00 pm - 11:00 am
Little Grassy United Methodist Camp (LGC), 8 miles south of Carbondale, Illinois, is located very near the center line of the Total Solar Eclipse that will be over Southern Illinois August 21, 2017.  In celebration of this event, LGC is hosting a weekend-long Native American Indian Festival with ceremonies of both traditional and religious nature, some of which have been performed for centuries surrounding celestial events such as this eclipse.  There will be drums, flute players, storytellers, a spirit fire, free crafts for the kids, and a Native American craft fair.  At times there will be two different stages going at the same time with varying experiences.
The event takes place Saturday, August 19th, Noon to Dark, Sunday, August 20th, 9am to Dark, and Monday, August 21st, 8am to 11am.  Single day tickets for adults are $20; children ages 5-10 are $10, children under 5 are Free.  Weekend passes are $45 for adults and $20 for children.  Those purchasing Monday tickets and weekend passes will be given free eclipse viewing glasses.  Limited tent camping is available for those purchasing weekend passes on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The festival will take place on the northside of our camp, 189 Campground Road, Makanda, IL 62958.
To purchase tickets for the festival, go to or go to and follow the links. To make arrangements for tent camping, call the camp office at 618-457-6030 between 9:30am & Noon, Monday-Friday.
If you are not interested in the festival but still want to come and observe the eclipse, space is available on the southside of camp.  There will be plenty of space to set up chairs or spread out a blanket.  Registration to view the eclipse is required by August 7, 2017.  The $15 fee includes parking, a box lunch, and viewing glasses. To sign-up for this option, again go to
Illinois Great Rivers Conference pastors who are involved in the planning of the festival itself include Rev. Danira Para, pastor of Dayspring UMC in Peoria, retired pastors Rev. Ken Hayden, Rev. Danny Lybarger, and Rev. Gary Billiot.
189 Camp Ground Road- Makanda, IL 62958
618-525-4278 or 619-457-6030


The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017
August 21, 2017

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge | 08:00 am
The entire Refuge will fall under the path of totality for the eclipse, providing opportunities for viewing, weather permitting.  The Refuge is not planning any organized public events; however visitors may view the eclipse from several recreation areas on the refuge on their own.  A list of all the best viewing areas on the Refuge is available now.  Pick your spot today!  Due to the influx of eclipse viewers during the already-busy season, the refuge may need to close certain areas for visitor safety.
Things you should know while you are on the Refuge:
- All entrance and boat launching fees will be waived on August 21st, 2017.
- Camping is only permitted in designated campgrounds.
- Please do not litter.  Take trash (including pet waste) with you and dispose of it properly.
- Fires are allowed only in designated areas where controlled structures are provided.
- Motorized vehicle are prohibited on grassy lawn areas adjacent to the parking lots.
- All pets must be on a leash.
- Commercial photography, videography, and other special uses will require a special permit. Please apply for these early to allow time to process them prior to the event.
- As a courtesy to other visitors please do not set up viewing equipment or chairs in the parking lots.
8588 Route 148- Marion, IL 62959


Kayaking the Refuge Course
September 02, 2017

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge | 09:00 am
Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR's lakes with us!  Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers.  Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space.  Ages 15 and up only.  First program begins at 9am.  Second begins at 1pm.
8588 Route 148- Marion, IL 62959


Butterfly Round-Up
September 09, 2017

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monarch Butterflies travel through our area each year on their way to spend the cold months of winter in Mexico.  Visitors are invited to help catch and tag these butterflies as they feed and rest at Crab Orchard NWR.
8588 Route 148- Marion, IL 62959


Birding Tour
September 10, 2017

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge | 08:15 am
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Volunteers.  Experienced birders will lead the tour.  Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor center for check-out.  Reservations are required.
8588 Route 148- Marion, IL 62959