LISLE, Ill. (June 24, 2014) — This 4th of July weekend, celebrate the U.S.A. with traditional music, food and entertainment during The Morton Arboretum’s Travel America festival. The first of three new cultural festivals at the Arboretum this year, Travel America will highlight current and past American traditions including performances by Native American dancers, rollicking music ranging from blues to bluegrass and food showcasing our country’s culinary history.
Taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 5-6, the festival will feature time-honored games like sack races, a bean bag toss, three-legged race and a pie eating contest, along with a roster of live entertainment. Additionally, festival-goers can board the Arboretum’s Acorn Express Tram to learn all about trees native to America, from Arboretum docents.
“America is not only home to a great variety of cultural traditions, but also to a wide variety of trees that make our country beautiful, including the iconic and endangered oak tree,” said Jenelle Hardtke, Special Events Manager at The Morton Arboretum. “With storytelling and games, music native to the American experience and food from all corners of the country, Travel America will take visitors on a virtual road trip, while showcasing the trees that are so integral to our country’s history and beauty.”
Four performance areas will showcase a range of musical acts. Show times for July 5 and July 6.
- 10 a.m. A trio of Chicago musicians, Lucky 3 Blues Band, delivers original music and well-known blues tunes with a twist.
- 10:30 a.m. In its 34th year, White Saddle Band knocks out American hits from greats like Elvis, Hank Williams and Bob Seeger.
- 11 a.m. Trio Guadalajara’s authentic Southwestern style mariachi includes influences of Mexican and South American music.
- Noon The acoustic folk music of Trillium features banjo and fiddle as well as lesser-known instruments like the hammered Dulcimer.
- 12:30 p.m. 60s tribute band Shindig! transports audiences back in time with beloved songs from The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys, and more.
- 12:30 p.m. The Midway Ramblers Cajun Band’s zydeco and Louisiana blue has rung out from stages at The House of Blues and Schuba’s.
- 2 p.m. Performer Rick Pickren has a storied history with country and bluegrass music. A descendent of Buffalo Bill Cody, the singer-songwriter has shared the stage with country stars Dolly Parton and George Strait.
- 2:30 p.m. Returning to the legendary days of the 70s, 1976 rocks out with songs from Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Regulars on the blues festival circuit and at Buddy Guy’s Legends, the highly-acclaimed Rockin’ Johnny Blues Band will take its vintage Chicago blues sound to the stage at 2 p.m. July 5 and 3:30 p.m. July 6.
Travel America will also feature several dances and demonstrations that represent the many faces of the United States and spotlight distinctively American customs and experiences. These include:
- Bringing children’s literature to life, storyteller Chris Fascione’s one-man show entertains crowds of all ages at 10 and 11 a.m. July 5-6.
- Clad in ceremonial dress, Native Pride’s high-energy performance blends contemporary and traditional Native American dancing at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. July 5-6.
- Entertainer Cowboy Randy brings the origins of cowboy culture and folklore together with yodeling and rope tricks at 1 p.m. July 5-6.
- Line dancing is made easy with friendly instruction from Dance with Janet Line Dancers at 1 p.m. July 5.
- Performing group The Silver Bogs will lead vintage square dancing and other barn dances at 3:30 p.m. July 5 and 2 p.m. July 6.
- Storyteller Swiftdeer-Paige presents an immersive look at Native American life, emphasizing its respect for and connection to the natural world at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. July 6.
- The Cadillac Ranch Dance Team will teach line dancing moves at 3:30 p.m. July 6.
Husky Hog BBQ, Toasty Cheese, Chicago Pizza Boss, Taquero Fusion and Fasano Pie Company food trucks will offer festival-goers an abundance of casual dining choices and the Arboretum’s Gingko Grill will serve up July 4th staples like burgers and hot dogs.
Travel America is one of three new cultural festivals on the Arboretum’s exciting roster of TREE-mendous Summer events. For more information, go to mortonarb.org/events/TREE-mendous-summer.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, the Fall Color Festival, Illumination and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes 885,000 visitors annually and receives support from 38,600 member households. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission. Members receive free general admission all year long.