News Releases   May 16, 2018

John Deere Historic Site Kicks Off Season of Special Events

Music & Crafting Through Time Festival hosted Sunday, June 24

Children entering The Historic Site

GRAND DETOUR, Illinois (May 16, 2018) – The John Deere Historic Site kicks off its season of special events with its annual Music & Crafting Through Time Festival on Sunday, June 24. Formerly known as the June Jam, this event pairs the entertainment of local musicians with a variety of pioneer-era crafters demonstrating and selling their wares. Attendees will learn about basket weaving, woodcarving, tatting, quilting, flint napping, and beekeeping among other crafts. Children of all ages can also participate in a variety of old-fashioned games like hoop rolling, graces, and potato sack races.

"Our Music & Crafting Through Time Festival is a great opportunity to hear talented local musicians while being surrounded by the beautiful grounds of the John Deere Historic Site," said Kristen Veto, manager for the John Deere Historic Site. "In addition to enjoying a relaxing day of listening to music and learning about pioneering crafts, guests can also experience all that the Historic Site has to offer including demonstrations by our blacksmith and guided tours of John Deere's home."

The performance schedule for the day includes rock and blues musician, Robbie Leblanc from 11:00am–1:00pm and easy rock band, Flying Fish from 2:00pm–4:00pm.

Several food trucks will be on site for the day but attendees should know that alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the grounds. Other special events at the Historic Site this season include:

Hammer In, August 4–5 — This unique biennial event brings together dozens of blacksmiths from around the Midwest to demonstrate and celebrate their time-tested trade.

Grand Detour Art Festival, September 9 — One of the largest juried art shows in the region, artists come from around the Midwest to display and sell their wares.

Fall Festival, October 13 — A celebration of the harvest season where kids can decorate pumpkins, bob for apples, ride in a covered wagon or visit with farm animals.

John Deere Historic Site is a free attraction and is open seasonally, March through December. Located in Grand Detour, the site is the original Illinois homestead of John Deere and is the location where he built his first successful "self-scouring" steel plow. It was recently named one of Illinois' top historic sites by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Gates open daily, from 9:00am–5:00pm, Monday–Saturday, Noon–4:00pm Sunday. Admission is always free.

For more information about the Music & Crafting Through Time Festival or the John Deere Historic Site, go to, call 815-652-4551 or email

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Wendy Artman
Ph: 920-819-8968