Illinois Amish Country
Illinois Amish Country has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to this unique, peaceful, and serene part of America, offering cozy accommodations, Amish dining, entertainment, great shopping, and getaways to unique area attractions. Central States Trailways is now sponsoring tours to Illinois Amish Country. Enjoy a hands-on experience of yesteryear in and around quaint villages like Arthur and Arcola, and visit acres of rock and floral gardens at beautiful Rockome Gardens. Amish Country is ideal for your next fun and memorable outing!
A Brief History of the Amish
The Amish have their origin in the Anabaptist movement, which developed in 1527 from the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland. They believed that baptism and church membership should be reserved for adults, which brought them into conflict with the state churches of the day. They were bitterly persecuted, often having to flee their homes, thousands of them being imprisoned and executed for their faith, as they spread throughout Europe.
An early leader among the Anabaptists was Menno Simons of Holland. Because of his influence, they came to be known as "Mennonites," well-known for their commitment to simple living and church discipline. In 1693, Jacob Amman, a Mennonite minister, led a conservative separation from the Mennonites, forming the group that came to be called "Amish." For religious freedom the Amish joined many other Europeans in immigrating to Pennsylvania during the early 1700s.
In 1865, three Amish families moved from Pennsylvania to the West Prairie west of Arcola, Illinois. This community now consists of around 4,300 Old Order Amish organized into 26 church districts. Though farmers by tradition, the Amish now engage in a variety of businesses, such as woodworking, quilts, and crafts.
(Note: Dates are scheduled a year in advance and are subject to change.
Call 1-800-722-6474 or 217-543-2242 to verify events in advance or arrange a tour.
All Amish shops are closed on Sundays, Old Christmas, Good Friday, and Ascension Day.)
Arthur, Illinois -- Located in the heart of Illinois Amish Country, Arthur offers its visitors a true Amish experience. The Arthur Amish continue to farm with horse-drawn implements and operate small businesses without the aid of modern conveniences. The simple lifestyle of a century ago still exists with modern progression.
- There are many activities to experience in Arthur, including the Amish Country Spring Festival, one of Central Illinois' most anticipated events. Families from all over the world come to experience Arthur's craft and collectible shops, furniture stores, antique shops, restaurants, festivals, nearby Amish shops, and other accommodations.
- The annual Arthur Quit Show is held in April. A competitive event for quilt enthusiasts, the quality of quilts in this show is outstanding! There is a small admission charge.
- The annual Moultrie/Douglas County Fair takes place in July and features junior livestock shows, tractor pulls, demolition derby, horse and pony shows, horse penning, exhibits of all kinds, and carnival rides. For more information, call 1-800-722-6474.
- Arthur hosts the annual Mennonite Relief Sale in August at the Otto Center 1/2 mile south of Arthur, featuring craft and food booths, auctions, games, and children's activities.
- The annual Amish Country Cheese Festival takes place in early September, featuring the National Cheese Curling Contest, sidewalk sales, entertainment, kids' games and carnival rides, Kiddie Tractor Pull, and food and craft vendors. Cheese sliced from huge wheels with crackers provides a great free snack sandwich.
- The Great Pumpkin Patch at the Condill Farm south of Arthur is a mini-Halloween theme park on a working private farm from September 15th through October 31st. Meet Wanda the Witch and The Werewolf, enjoy some Halloween excitement, pick your own pumpkins, visit the Wall O' Squash, and learn the A to Z of pumpkins, gourds, and squash.
- Arthur hosts an annual Haiti Benefit Auction at Otto Center in October. This is a two-day bake sale, Amish quilt sale, and furniture auction.
For additional information regarding
the Arthur Amish Country, please visit
the Illinois Amish Country website.
For more information regarding Arcola,
please visit the Arcola, Illinois website.
|Arcola, Illinois -- Arcola's countryside is the home to Illinois' first and largest Old Order Amish settlement. The rural area is lined with Amish homes, businesses, schools, and horse-drawn buggies.
- Arcola celebrates its heritage as the "Broom Corn Capital of the World" with the renowned annual Broom Corn Festival. Visitors see broom activities, arts/crafts, free entertainment, great food, and a gigantic parade with the famous Lawn Rangers.
- The annual Raggedy Ann Festival draws collectors from all over the world to the Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum (Johnny Gruelle, the creator of the beloved doll, was born in Arcola).
- The World's only Hippie Memorial, created by Arcola artist Bob Moomaw, is located just north of the Arcola Depot.
- Arcola offers a patchwork of unique shops with Amish-crafted furniture and quilts, crafts, antiques and clothing.
- The Amish Interpretive Center in downtown Arcola presents the heritage of the Amish through exhibits and artifacts. The museum is the first of its kind in Illinois. The Interpretive Center also provides guided tours of the Amish community and will arrange meals in an Amish home on Friday and Saturday evenings. Enjoy a variety of restaurants, including Amish style. A potpourri of bed and breakfast inns and motels offer cozy accommodations.
|Rockome Gardens -- Many things have changed at Rockome since its purchase in 2005. No longer an Amish village, Rockome is now set as a 1940s village providing visitors a "step back to a simpler time." Rockome offers something for everyone. Dining, shopping, and other great activities await every tour. Make sure to visit Rockome's new 1940s-themed restaurant, Days Gone By, where delicious food, entertainment, and great service are always provided. If shopping peaks your interest, visit our Five and Dime and Harvest Time stores for specialty gifts and furniture, natural and organic items, and locally-made wine and food products. Rockome
also provides many
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- Rockome Gardens is Amish Country's most popular tourist attraction offering just the right mix of activities and relaxation. Enjoy the unique blend of rock formations and floral gardens that span about five acres. Annuals and perennials dot the landscape from early spring to frost.
- Old-Fashioned Quilt Auction will have over 100 items for auction in April, August, and September.
- The annual Farm Toy and Tractor Expo on August 6 gives collectors the opportunity to buy models at auction; and youngsters can participate in the Illinois Kiddie Tractor Pull contest.
- Enjoy sampling the different wine and cheeses Illinois has to offer at Rockome's Illinois Wine and Cheese Festival to be held September 30 and October 1. The event will also include artists, musical entertainment, demonstrations, and much more.
- Participate in the fun and vibrant atmosphere of Rockome's Chili Cookoff September 16-17. Create a team and compete to win for best chili, or bring family and friends and enjoy a day of tasting chili and entertainment.
- Amish Farm Market Days, the annual summer Amish Market on September 2, offer fresh produce, homemade jams and jellies, quilted items, and fresh baked goods. Guests will also enjoy Taste of the Country August 4-6 and Remember When September 2-4.
- Experience authentic bluegrass music at the Bluegrass in the Gardens Festival in August. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the music!
- Musicians in the Old-Time Fiddlers Association contest present fine entertainment while competing for the Illinois State Fiddle Championship on September 3rd.
- Coryville Station and Model Railroader Magazine invite you to attend the annual model railroad show in September. Makin' Tracks Model Railroad Show & Swap Meet, held twice this year on April 22-23 and September 23-24, provides train enthusiasts the opportunity for selling, buying, and swapping supplies, memorabilia, and model trains of all gauges.
- Christmas in the Country Craft & Gift Show features folk art, dolls, pottery, bears, quilts, candies, ceramics, furniture, holiday items, wearables, and much, much more. This popular alternative to overcrowded malls and stores runs November - December (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day).
For additional information
regarding events at Rockome Gardens,
Special Events Coordinator
Visit our show room gemtransportation.com
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