Parks and Recreation

Nick's Park plan endorsed by council

A refurbished Nick’s Park with added green space, treehouse and connection to local bicycle trails was officially endorsed by the Monticello city council on Monday.

Bluegrass concert heads to Allerton meadow

Allerton Park and Retreat Center will host their Bluegrass on the Prairie concert, presented by the U of I Community Credit Union, at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at the estate, 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello.

The concert will be the first one to be held on the rolling, 14-acre meadow behind the Allerton mansion.

Nick's Park upgrade desired, but will be costly

About 82 percent of those voting online between two Nick’s Park upgrade proposals have chosen option two, which would expand the green space of the park by eliminating the current parking lot and city storage shed on the north side of the popular recreational site.

"Annie Jr." opens Aug. 5

Sherrie Hildreth is fulfilling one of her childhood dreams vicariously through the kids she is directing in “Annie, Jr.,” a youth musical that debuts on the Monticello Theatre Association’s Phoenix Theatre stage on Aug. 5.

Allerton Barn Music Festival to return

After a one-year hiatus, the Allerton Music Barn Festival returns to Allerton Park near Monticello on Sept. 22-23, and will once again feature the classical Jupiter Quartet, along with jazz bassist Viktor Krauss, who performed in the barn in a standalone concert last fall.

City wants input on Nick's Park options

The City of Monticello is encouraging community members to vote on their preference of two proposed Nick’s Park upgrades. Votes can be cast online at, and results will be presented to the city council, possibly at a work session on Aug. 1.

Rusted Root to perform in Allerton meadow

Allerton Park & Retreat Center has announced that Rusted Root will be the headliner for their Allerton Festival, presented by the U of I Community Credit Union. The band, which has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide, will perform on Friday, September 16 at 7:30pm in the estate’s 14-acre Meadow at 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello.

Artisan village, coffee bar in plans at Allerton

An artisan’s village and re-establishment of a grand entrance to the Allerton Park & Retreat Center mansion could be next on the list as park organizers begin to check off items prioritized by a master plan that was adopted in 2015.

A coffee bar could also be in the offing for patrons of the park.

County Fair kicks off Thursday

Despite funding cuts that have shortened the length of the Piatt County Fair this year, organizers are trying to turn lemons into lemonade; or in more fair-friendly terms, lemons into lemonade

Inspiration for play attends local performance

At a rehearsal leading up to Monticello Theatre Association’s most recent presentation, “A Week at Mercy Falls,” a director encouraged actors to bring more energy to the stage.

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