Traditionally, this is where Southern Illinois summers start, and they start right, in the Valley of the Arts. The Makanda Spring Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2 in downtown Makanda, with the old railroad town’s historic boardwalk and new-ish pavilion serving as the event’s epicenters. Patrons find arts-and-crafts displays and demonstrations, food, and an overwhelming array of music in an idyllic Giant City State Park surrounding. Local musicians usually play it traditional, from bluegrass and blues to hardcore country and jazz. Admission is free– the perfect price to pay for a taste of summer living in Southern Illinois, where the mood set by MakandaFest lasts all season long. For more information contact Janelle at 618.697.7929