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First of the First: We only get one shot each year at celebrating a First Friday on a First Friday of the First Month of the New Year … so why not carry on the party spirit that began earlier this week into the weekend, beginning with January's FF observance, which convenes at 5 p.m. and continues through 8 p.m., or thereabouts, at participating downtown Bloomington merchants, eateries, galleries, bars and more, where extended hours and special activities will be awaiting you. For more details go to

World Championship I.C.E. Racing; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3, U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St., Bloomington; pro and amateur cycle and outlaw quad races on ice; $10-$24; 800-745-3000.

Central Illinois

Christmas with the Lincolns; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 2, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield; Abraham Lincoln home decorated for mid-1800s Christmas; 217-391-3221.

Fly like an … : Peoria's Wildlife Prairie Park is winging it into '15 with a special weekend event, Bald Eagle Day, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, in praise of the symbol of American freedom and other fine-feathered matters. Throughout the day, there will be related high-flying activities, programs and special events. Admission is the regular park rate, $5 to $7. Call 309-676-0993 for more details.

Mid-America Antiques Show; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Jan. 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 4, Exposition Gardens, 1601 W. Northmoore Road, Peoria; $6; 309-691-6332.

Family Nature Exploration Day; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 3, Sugar Grove Nature Center, Funks Grove; guided hike, animal feeding, craft activities, more; free; 309-874-2174. 

Court duty: What would a new year be without the traditional full court press from the Harlem Globetrotters? This year's close encounters will occur twice, first at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Peoria Civic Center Arena ($21-$87 at 309-673-3200) and, secondly, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield ($23-$90 at 217-788-8800). This year's pass, dubbed the "2014 Washington Generals Revenge Tour," will featuring the Globetrotters facing down the team that “their historic last victory over the Globetrotters nearly a half-century ago.”


Central Illinois

Harlem Globetrotters; 7 p.m. Jan. 7, Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield; comedy basketball troupe; $23-$90; 217-788-8800.



Central Illinois

Down Home Country Opry; 6 p.m. Jan. 3, Heyworth VFW, 203 E. Main St., Heyworth; country music shows with Terry Lynn & Down Home Country Opry Band and guests the Ed Herschberger Family; $10, under 10 free; 217-949-5311.




Open Mic Night with Matt Casali; 7 p.m. Jan. 1, Treehouse Lounge; variety; no cover.

DJ Dix; 7 p.m. Jan. 1-3, Six Strings; variety; no cover.

Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Jan. 1 and 4, Shooters Lounge; 9 p.m. Jan. 2-3, Kegler's Pub; 9 p.m. Jan. 3, Bonker's Place; no cover.

Dexter Oneal; 8 p.m. Jan. 2, Winners; R&B; no cover.

Dipsomania; 8 p.m. Jan. 2, Bonker's Place; rock; no cover.

J.B. and Tim Barnes; 5:30 p.m. Jan. 2 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 3 (Barnes only), Shooters Lounge; DJs; no cover.

Bloodroot, 99 Proof Devils and Through the Eyes of Tomorrow; 9 p.m. Jan. 3, Treehouse Lounge; metal; no cover.

Michael Layne Band; 9 p.m. Jan. 3, Winners; rock; no cover.

Open Mic Night; 8 p.m. Jan. 4, Bonker's Place; variety; no cover.

Central Illinois

Silver Foxes; 6:30 p.m. Jan. 1, American Legion, Heyworth; country; no cover.

Put on your Big Pants: “Picture the precocious love child of Jonathan Winters and Ethel Merman and you have some idea of Kevin Meaney's act” wrote Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales once upon a time. The love child is alive and well and riffing on his trademark Big Pants People topic and other matters from his near-30-year-career, which includes stints in “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with David Letterman,” as well as a regular role on the sitcom version of “Uncle Buck.” He headlines two shows, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at Mason City Limits in downtown Mason City, with tickets $15 at 217-482-5233.



At Home on the Patio Band/Open Mic; 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Six Strings; variety; no cover.

Karaoke; 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Shooters Lounge; 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Kegler’s Pub; no cover.

Open Mic; 7 p.m. Jan. 7, Six Strings; variety; no cover.

Tim Barnes; 8:30 p.m. Jan. 7, Shooters Lounge; DJ; no cover.




Children's Discovery Museum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu., 1-5 p.m. Sun.; 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; exhibit gallery, paint wall, two-story climber, AgMazing exhibit, educational programs, more; $7, under 2 free; 309-433-3444.

'Frozen' at the BCPA; 7 p.m. Jan. 2, 1 and 7 p.m. Jan. 3, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; special BCPA showings of animated Disney movie; $1-$3 (cash only); 866-686-9541.



ISU University Galleries; noon-4 p.m. Mon., 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 11 Uptown Circle, Normal; rotating exhibits in three galleries; free; 309-438-8321.

IWU Merwin and Wakeley Galleries; noon-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 7-9 p.m. Tue.; 302 E. Graham St., Bloomington; rotating exhibits; free; 309-556-3391.

IWU Quad Outdoor Sculpture Walk; through May 31, 2015; IWU quad; six large-scale sculptures in outdoor setting by Hans Van de Bovenkamp and Boaz Vaadia; free

Fernando Cornejo; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-noon Sat., through Jan. 5, IAA Credit Union lobby, 808 IAA Drive, Bloomington; paintings; free.

McLean County Arts Center; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat.; 601 N. East St., Bloomington; rotating exhibits, sales, rentals, art classes and lectures; free; 309-829-0011.

Holiday Treasures Exhibition and Sale; through Jan. 3, McLean County Arts Center, see above; affordable works and seasonal items by more than 70 local and national artists.

Somatic; through Jan. 3, McLean County Arts Center, see above; ceramics by Jeremy Brooks, Tyler Lotz and Tammie Rubin.

McLean County Museum of History; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. (until 9 p.m. Tue.), 200 N. Main St., Bloomington; permanent and rotating exhibits; adults $5, seniors $4, students, children under 12 and members free; 309-827-0428.

The Asian Indian Experience in McLean County; through May 31, McLean County Museum of History, see above; installation on experiences of Asian Indian immigrants.

Fiesta! A Celebration of Mexican Popular Culture; through Jan. 16, McLean County Museum of History, see above; more than 150 pieces of Mexican folk art, hands-on kids’ activities, more.

Prairie Aviation Museum; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., 2929 E. Empire St., Bloomington; permanent and rotating exhibits and displays with aerial history themes; adults $5, ages 6-11 $2, 5 and under free; 309-663-7632.

Central Illinois

U of I Krannert Art Museum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. (until 9 p.m. Thu. during fall and spring semesters), 2-5 p.m. Sun., 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign; paintings, porcelain, historical artifacts, traveling art exhibits; $3 donation suggested; 217-333-1861.

With the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Postwar Years; through July 26, Krannert Art Museum, see above; works by Japanese artists and foreign artists working in Japan.

Eureka College Burgess Hall Art Gallery; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and by apt. on weekends, third floor of Burgess Hall, Eureka College, Eureka; rotating exhibits; free; 309-467-6866.

Simpkins Military History Museum; 1-5 p.m. Tue., Thu., Sat., or by appointment; 605 E. Cole St., Heyworth; permanent and rotating military history exhibits; free (donations accepted); 309-473-3989.

Dickson Mounds Museum; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 10956 N. Dickson Mounds Road, Lewistown; displays, special exhibits; free; 309-547-3721.

Lincoln Heritage Museum; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 1-4 p.m. Sat., Lincoln Center at Lincoln College, 300 Keokuk St., Lincoln; Lincoln-era items, audio-visual displays, tours, exhibits, more; adults $5, children/seniors $3;

Contemporary Art Center of Peoria; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., Riverfront Arts Center, 305 S.W. Water, Peoria; rotating exhibits in two galleries; free; 309-674-6822.

Peoria Art Guild; Foster Arts Center, Harrison and Washington streets, Peoria; rotating exhibits, gift shop; free; 309-637-2787.

Peoria Riverfront Museum; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed. and Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sun., downtown riverfront Peoria; permanent and rotating exhibits, planetarium shows, Giant Screen Theater and events; $8-$11; 309-686-7000.

Pontiac Community Art Center; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 103 W. Madison St., Pontiac; rotating exhibits; 815-844-5831.

GISHWHES; Jan. 4-30, Pontiac Community Art Center, see above; photos and items by Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen winning artist team.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sun, 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield; Lincoln-themed exhibits, historical displays, special events, more; adults $12, seniors and students $9, ages 5-15 $5, under 5 free; 217-558-8844.

Illinois State Museum; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; Spring and Edwards streets, Springfield; free; 217-782-7387.


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