(SPRINGFIELD) Although it begins in Kansas and detours to the Emerald City, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written in Chicago and now heads the list of Top Illinois Books chosen by voters in the Illinois Top 200 project. Rounding out the top five books on the list is “The Jungle” and “The Devil in the White City” which take readers from Chicago slaughterhouses to a small-town cemetery, followed by the “Spoon River Anthology” and “Native Son” which explore the mind of a serial killer and depict the rage of a poor African-American man. Rounding out the top ten books on the voters’ list is “Dandelion Wine”, “Boss : Richard J. Daley of Chicago”, “The House on Mango Street”, “From Here to Eternity”, and “The Good War”. Voting in the next category, Top Authors, is now underway at www.IllinoisTop200.com. The Top 200 project lets Illinoisans vote every two weeks on various categories leading to the state’s 200th birthday celebration on December 3, 2018, whereas voters will have chosen 10 favorites in 20 different categories.
(SPRINGFIELD) After the successful first year of the Rising Star Stage in 2017, Illinois State Fair officials have announced it is returning to the Fairgrounds this summer. The free stage features a different up and coming music act each night of the State Fair from 7:00 to 8:00. The Rising Star Stage is located on Central Avenue, just east of the Shed on the Fairgrounds. Various acts are included on the scheduled list of performances. For more information, check out the State Fair’s website available online. The 2018 Illinois State Fair will run from Thursday, August 9, through Sunday, August 19, on the Fairgrounds in Springfield.