in this issue: April/May 2024


Playing Hooky
Start a project and make something. Go on a new adventure. Take a class. Or just lay in the grass for an afternoon nap. It’s all up to you. In this issue, we take a break from the ordinary and go exploring in central Illinois. Who knows? We just might learn something.

Cover Illustration by Shani Goss.

Spotlight on Thinkwell Makerspace
Whether you’re starting from scratch or already an expert, there are opportunities for every skill level and background at a Makerspace. Join the ranks of these early adopters and pave the way for a creative revolution in Decatur.

Sangamon Riverbank Tours
Find out how to combine adventure with hands-on experiences during these multi-day adult field trips designed to enlighten and entertain.

 A Hunter’s Guide To Morels
Our seasoned mushroom foragers go on their annual quest for this coveted fungi as they comb woodlands, ridges and ravines. We offer tips and recipes.

Cooking Class
If you are into food and want to be taught how to cook by the experts, investigate the innovative learning labs at the RCC Culinary Arts Institute.



Poet, Printer, Professor…
And the list goes on. Dr. Stephen Frech takes a ride on the downtown trolley for a conversation with Zach Shields, offering his views on Decatur’s literary scene, work culture and persistent drive to reinvent itself.

Market Season
As days grow warmer, we yearn to be outdoors…and go shopping! Luckily, this time of year heralds the start of market season, as folks come together to search for treasures in and around Decatur.

arts & entertainment

Boat Races Are Back!
After a 20-year hiatus, power boat racing on Lake Decatur is back this summer with Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake on June 8 and 9.

Sounds of Music Camp
Summer is an ideal season for heading off to camp. In Decatur, that means giving students the chance to practice, perform and foster a lifelong love and appreciation of the arts.

travel & leisure

The Traveling Umpire
Over the past 10 years, the number of licensed baseball umpires has decreased by 31% nationwide, with causes attributed to retirement, time restrictions and unruly fans. Yet even after 28 years, umpire John Jaggi is still calling games and loving it.

Only in Decatur: The Return of Nip & Tuck
For a generation of children who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s in Decatur, a pair of restored dolphins represent memories of play, growing up, and visiting downtown’s thriving commercial center.


Meet the writers, photographers and artists who bring you the best of Decatur in each issue.

Party Pix
Charity fundraisers are in full swing with Mardi Gras celebrations and even a jump in the lake. We have pictures.

Cure Cabin Fever
Browse our handy event calendar by category to plan your entertainment during April and May. Spring has arrived.

Buyers Guide
Local companies want you as a customer. Find out where to request information about products and services and place your order with trusted business owners in the Decatur area.