Loading Events

« All Events

Prairieland Chautauqua 2024

September 6 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

On August 21, 1912, the first Chautauqua took place at Nichols Park. The big tent went up, music played, speeches and lectures took place on a wooden stage. For a whole week, hundreds of people came to see and experience the show while camping on the grounds. We are bringing back tradition. On September 6 & 7 2024 the big event returns to Nichols Park Pavilion. The theme this year is “Community…. A Look at Ourselves.”

Friday, September 6th: 

  • 6 pm Wild Columbine – 17th-19th Century parlor, Civil War, & traditional music. Performed by Emily Wheeler on Mandolin, Megan Thornberry on violin, Sally McDaniel Smith on flute, and William Furry on guitar.
  • 7 pm Dr. Britney Yancy: Freedom Redefined: Freedom-Seeking Across Illinois’ Freedom Corridor

Saturday, September 7th: Children’s Show

  • 10:00 AM Tater Tots: The duo Kristi Lecocq and Micah Walk make up the Tater Tots, a Springfield-based kids’ music group. Bring your kids and rock out to the…
  • 11:00 AM Joe Nitro: Love science? It’s a Gas! Children and adults will be amazed by the impressive science experiments in this show. He will show the power of science by dazzling the audience and keeping them talking for days.
  • 1:00 PM It’s Polka Time: Heidelberg German Band. The band, dressed in their signature lederhosen and matching Tyrolean garb, is celebrating their 50th year. Come join the band in singing some of the more well-known German songs, including “In Heaven There is no Beer,” “The Beer-Barrel Polka,” and “Lichtsteiner Polka.”
  • 2:00 PM Mike Anderson: Jacksonville’s folk musician combines music, storytelling, and humor, making Mike Anderson one of the most sought-after performers.
  • 3:00 PM David J. Langum, Sr. presents: The Protestant Portuguese Community in Antebellum Illinois
  • 4:00 PM Broken Brogue is a four-piece Irish band based in Decatur, Illinois, that plays a variety of Celtic music rooted in the time-honored artistic traditions of Ireland and Scotland. Noted for their relaxed and warm-hearted performing style, the band’s performances are informed by the diverse musical backgrounds of the members: Thomas Hagan on strings, Neal Smith on pipes, Jeff Elvin on Bodhran, and Tara Ulis on fiddle.
  • 5:00 PM Dinner Break: Enjoy a food truck or bring your own.
  • 6:00 PM Connie Martin presents: Hidden Messages in Negro Spirituals on the Underground Railroad.
  • 7:00 PM: Chadwick Boehlke presents “Grand Colored Army of the Republic: A Look at Jacksonville’s Governor Yates Post 687.


This is a free event that is open to everyone, with family-oriented entertainment for all ages. Fun for the whole family will be provided. As we take a glimpse into the history of the Jacksonville Chautauqua and our host, Nichols Park.


September 6
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Tags:


Nichols Park
110 Holkenbrink Drive
Jacksonville, IL 62650 United States
+ Google Map