Elsah Festival August 27, The Look Factory hosts an art exhibition and live music

ELSAH — The Elsah Festival has returned since the pandemic postponed the village festival and the invitation to explore the historic town in recent years.

The Village of Elsah Festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 and will feature self-guided tours, artisans, entertainment, food and drink.

Farley Music Hall at 37 Mill St. built in 1885, and the Elsah School/Civic Center, 51 Mill St., built in 1857, will each house several local vendors.

The Look Factory at 43 Mill St. is hosting an art exhibit and music in its adjacent barn. The bo-ho chic European retailer will host paintings and artwork by Katie Chilman, Jen Dykeman, Andy Dykeman, Doug Raffety and Mark Register. Musical performances will be provided by Bill Buzan and Doug Raffety, both from local power pop trio Club Zero.

“Since our barn is currently vacant, we offered it to our friends Andy and Jen Dykeman to put on an art show because they’re both artists, so they really put everything together, and that’s during the Elsah festival, which has been delayed multiple times due to COVID,” said The Look Factory founder Julie Harper.

The Look Factory building was built in 1856. The retailer features unique handmade and European clothing, as well as vintage women’s clothing, accessories and footwear. The store is usually open on Saturdays or by appointment and by chance. For an appointment, send a message on the Facebook page of the Look Factory and via its website www.shopthelookfactory.com.

Another retailer open during the festival is Peace Works housed in an 1850s building at 7 Mill St. Peace Works is a mission-driven gift shop with fair trade products and creative artwork from local artisans . Loretta Bell’s handmade quilts will be on display and for sale during the festival.

The art will also be exhibited at the “Life In The Postcard” gallery, 20 LaSalle Street, built in the 1850s. The gallery features the work and projects of Jeff Depew Photography, including his black and white fine art photography. white and landscape of all his life and current. It features images of the river ecosystem of the upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers, and the historic town of Elsah, as well as his travels and workshops across the United States. The gallery is also home to Systir Studio, a working studio for Linda Drysdale, where she creates and exhibits her intricate botanical works in paper.

Live music is scheduled at the Riverview House, 2 Mississippi St., with Justin Young, from 1-3 p.m., and at the Gazebo, behind the Green Tree Inn, 15-17 Mill St., with Jay Sabo from 1-3 p.m. and Evan Ghislin, classically trained violinist from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Young is a world music percussion artist who plays drums and many different styles of music including Latin drums, punk, blues, jazz, rock, funk, reggae and linear beats. Author and recording artist, he has performed in the United States, Thailand and Canada. He is a certified teacher of Ishaya Ascension Meditation.

Sabo is a seasoned local guitarist, singer and performer who has played most of the venues in Riverbend that have live music. He is the driving force behind “The MadBaileys” and will be performing a solo set of his brand of music. Her performance spans various genres punctuated with a healthy dose of fun and a few songs to sing along to.

From 3:15 to 5 p.m., duo Dusty James and Abalone Pearl will perform folk and traditional music, playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer and harmonica. The duo was named top runner-up among 1,900 songwriters from 42 countries at the 2021 Great American Song Contest. They perform songs that speak to a simpler time showcasing America’s singular musical history.

Refreshments include hot dogs, chips, soda, water, baked goods, Lulu’s shaved ice, and Poputopia popcorn. Activities include tours, wetlands, art, photography, crafts, nature, imported goods, t-shirts, pottery, folk art, a garden of fairies, the Elsah Village Museum at 26 LaSalle Street open 1-4 p.m. and the TreeHouse Wildlife Center at Elsah School 1-3 p.m.

The Riverview House, built in 1847, is the oldest structure in Elsah and the first house you see when entering the village from the Great River Road. Prior to Elsah, which was founded in 1853, the building was known for years as the Riverside Hotel.

Another historic structure to visit during the festival is The Ice House at 2 Mill St., built in the 1850s, and one of five in Elsah.

The Elsah Built Wetlands and Trails Tour starts at 12 Mill Street. People can walk the trails and enjoy shaded seating along a stream. The trail starts either at the Gate House Bridge (where there is parking) or at the four-way stop (parking is half a block away on Maple Street). Pick up a self-guided tour flyer at any open business.

Explore targeted plantings along the newly installed Wetland Trail and in several areas of the village on the self-guided Pollinator Garden Tour. A brochure with map and photos is available at all Elsah points of sale. Parking is available nearby, near the Christian Science Church at 53, rue LaSalle. Visitors can submit a completed registration for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Elsah’s General Store, 22 LaSalle Street, built in 1877. The Christian Science Church offers free refreshments.

Elsah’s General Store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The storefront housed the local dry goods store in Elsah’s early days. Today it’s a working general store with groceries essentials, as well as old-fashioned candy, vintage bottled sodas, ice cream, baked goods, specialty foods, pottery , maps, books, collectibles and the “goodies table”.

The historical walking tour of the village will take place at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Elsah United Methodist Church, built in 1874 at LaSalle and Valley streets, will feature an exhibit of quilts.

The Maple Leaf Cottage Inn at 12 Selma Street will be offering a refreshing drink and homemade pastries. Visitors can enter to win a free night at the Maple Leaf. The hostel will also host local vendors.

Also that day, the Green Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast at 15-17 Mill St., in honor of its 10th anniversary, will have a 10% discount at its on-site antique shop. The “Green Tree Inn Cookbook and Memories Book” will be discounted to $10, which does not include sales tax.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Elsah was voted one of Illinois’ top scenic spots. Elsah’s preserved buildings and quiet surroundings give visitors a glimpse of the past, while providing a scenic and peaceful getaway. Nestled between limestone cliffs along the Great River Road, Elsah sits on the bank of the Mississippi River.

Visit www.escapetoelsah.com for more information.

About Ryan Headley

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