Enjoy Champaign’s 150th Celebration Grand Opening Weekend!

Looking for a new and unique way to enjoy spring break? Rather than a stroll on the beach, perhaps this is the year to experience A Walk Through Time: An Historical Tribute, the first of Champaign’s signature events to celebrate 150 years.

Popcorn, balloons, an old fashioned candy counter and a family-friendly feel will greet those visiting this once-in-a-lifetime historical exhibit’s grand opening on Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, at CityView in the Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave. Acclaimed historical storyteller Camille Born will tell tales from the 1860 Champaign prairie as “Prairie Woman” from 11:00 – 11:30 AM on Saturday and each Saturday and Monday for the three weeks to follow.

An hourly raffle to include specially-designed150th totes will occur during the grand opening public hours Friday from 4 PM-8 PM and Saturday from10 AM to 5 PM.

March 19 through April 7, the exhibit is open each day. It may be visited weekdays from 4-8; Saturdays from 10 AM -5 PM; and Sundays from 1-5. Group tours may be arranged for Mondays-Fridays mornings.

T.J. Blakeman, chair of the Champaign 150th Historical Committee, shared sneak peeks of what one would find during a visit to the exhibit. Included in his favorites are a ball and chain from the original jail; a carefully preserved registry from the first horse-drawn rail line between Champaign and Urbana; and period clothing from each era. These, along with never before seen photographs and memorabilia, are displayed in 30 year segments in a setting on the fourth floor overlooking Champaign as it is today. The views inside and outside can enhance and inspire all to appreciate Champaign’s journey through time. “Anyone desiring to experience the history of Champaign will enjoy the treasures in this exhibit,” said Blakeman.

Visitors might expect to spend an hour. Much more time is needed for the true history buff. For further details regarding the exhibit and other 150th events, click on champaign150.com or call 217.403.8710.