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Clara Irwin’s Strawberry Party: An Old-Fashioned Independence Day
July 4 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Elijah Iles House will host its annual “Clara Irwin’s Strawberry Party” on the lawn of the Iles House. The event is open to the public and all are invited to attend. Clara Irwin, the spouse of the house’s second owner, was known for her promotion of the horticultural arts in central Illinois, and was renown for the quality of her strawberries — and her strawberry parties — in the 1840s and ‘50s. Yum!
A wide variety of strawberry concoctions will be sold at family-friendly prices: Strawberry shortcake, strawberry sundaes, strawberry slushies, and strawberry daiquiris will all be available. In addition, guests can purchase barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, cole slaw and potato salad, also reasonably priced.
There will be a variety of games and activities that would have been played by adults and children in the early 1800s, a group reading of the Declaration of Independence, and, new this year, a series of toasts that were proposed at Springfield’s 1838 Independence Day celebration. Guests are also invited to tour the interior of the Iles House and learn about the families that lived there during the House’s 180 years of existence.
For the second year in a row, the popular Burr Oak String Band of Champaign-Urbana will provide the music for this event.