Fifth Mudpuppy Festival

MONTICELLO - All ages are invited to join the Land Conservation Foundation to celebrate the Sangamon River’s coolest creature at the fifth annual Mudpuppy Festival at the Monarch Events Center in Monticello on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 1 to 4 pm.

This family event features kids’ crafts, games, a face painter, and small animals from Macon County Conservation District.

All past Festivals have been a huge success with 300 people attending. A donation is recommended.

Learn about the Sangamon River and its wildlife, including mussels, birds, pollinators, and the state threatened mudpuppy, a footlong aquatic salamander, unique for its purple external gills. Children will have an opportunity to complete mudpuppy crafts and a scavenger hunt, have their wildlife passports stamped, to “fish” for prizes, and have their face painted.

Last month, Monticello Mayor Larry Stoner approved a proclamation naming Feb. 4 as Mudpuppy Day in Monticello.

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“Whereas the Sangamon River is on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, honored for its rich variety of aquatic resources; and Whereas the mudpuppy, a state threatened species, is found in the waters of the Sangamon River near Monticello; and Whereas the presence of the mudpuppy is a sign of a healthy river; and Whereas the mudpuppy is active in the winter and is unique in its aquatic lifestyle and colorful external gills; and Whereas the Land Conservation Foundation and the City of Monticello share an interest in the health of the mudpuppy and the Sangamon River; and Whereas the Land Conservation Foundation’s annual Mudpuppy Festival invites the community to celebrate this remarkable creature and the waters where it lives. Now therefore I, Larry Stoner, Mayor of the City of Monticello, do proclaim Sunday, Feb. 4, 2023 as Mudpuppy Day in the City of Monticello. And urge all citizens to understand, enjoy, and protect the unique natural resources in and along the Sangamon River in Piatt County,” the Mayor said in his proclamation.

Local businesses and individuals sponsor the festival. Food will be available for purchase from Monticello’s Holly’s Country Kitchen and drinks (for kids & adults) from the Dirt Pour Traveling Bar.

For more information, go to LCFs website: or call Executive Director Deanna Glosser, 217-725-5886.

The Land Conservation Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to preserving local natural areas for wildlife…for people…forever. LCF currently owns properties in Champaign, Piatt, DeWitt, and Vemilion counties.