Elsah Festival Aug. 27, The Look Factory hosting art show, live music

ELSAH — The Elsah Festival is back since the pandemic postponed the village’s celebration and invitation to explore the historic town over the last few years.

The Village of Elsah Festival will be 1-5 pm Saturday, Aug. 27 and will feature self-guided tours, artisans, entertainment, food and drinks.

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

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

“Since our barn is currently vacant we offered it to our friends Andy and Jen Dykeman to have an art show as they’re both artists, so they’re really putting it all together, and it’s during the Elsah Festival, which has been delayed several times due to COVID,” said The Look Factory founder Julie Harper.

The Look Factory’s building was built in 1856. The retailer showcases unique handmade and European clothing, as well as curated vintage women’s clothing, accessories and footwear. The store is typically open Saturdays or by appointment and chance. For an appointment, message the Look Factory’s Facebook page and through 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-oriented gift shop with Fair Trade goods and creative artwork by local artisans. Loretta Bell’s handmade quilts will be on display and for sale during the festival.

Art also will be on display at the “Life In The Postcard” Gallery, 20 LaSalle St., built in the 1850s. The gallery displays the work and projects of Jeff Depew Photography, including his lifelong and current fine art black-and-white and landscape photography. He presents images from the riverine ecosystem of the upper Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers, and the historic town of Elsah, as well as his travels and workshops throughout the US The gallery also is home to Systir Studio, a working studio for Linda Drysdale, where she creates and displays her intricate paper botanical artwork.

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

Young is a world music percussion artist who plays drums and many different styles of music, including Latin drumming, punk, blues, jazz, rock, funk, reggae and linear rhythms. An author and recording artist, he has performed in the US, Thailand and Canada. He is a certified teacher of Ishaya’s Ascension Meditation.

Sabo is a local seasoned guitarist, singer and performer who has played most of the Riverbend venues offering live music. He is the driving force behind the band “The MadBaileys” and will perform a solo set of his brand of music from him. His performance by him spans various genres punctuated with a healthy dollop of fun and a few sing-a-longs.

From 3:15-5 pm, duo Dusty James and Abalone Pearl will perform folk and traditional music, playing guitars, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer and harmonica. The pair was named the top finalist out of 1,900 songwriters from 42 countries in the 2021 Great American Song Contest. They perform songs that speak of a simpler era showcasing America’s unique 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 fairy garden, the Village of Elsah Museum at 26 LaSalle St. open 1-4 pm and the TreeHouse Wildlife Center at the Elsah School 1-3 pm

The Riverview House, built in 1847, is Elsah’s oldest structure and the first home you see as you enter the village from the Great River Road. Pre-dating Elsah, which was founded in 1853, the building was known for years as the Riverside Hotel.

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

Elsah’s constructed Wetlands and Trail Tour begins at 12 Mill St. People can walk the trails and enjoy shaded seating along a creek. The trail starts at either the Gate House Bridge (where there is parking) or at the four-way-stop (parking is a half block back on Maple Street). Pick up a self-guided tour flier from any open business.

Explore focused plantings along the newly installed Wetland Trail and in several areas throughout the village on the self-guided Pollinator Garden Tour. A pamphlet with map and pictures is available at all Elsah business locations. Parking is available nearby, near the Christian Science Church at 53 LaSalle St. Visitors can submit a completed entry for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate at the Elsah General Store, 22 LaSalle St., built in 1877. The Christian Science Church will offer free refreshments.

The Elsah General Store is open from 10 am-5 pm The storefront was home to the local dry goods store in Elsah’s early days. Today, it is a working general store with grocery essentials, as well as old fashion candy, vintage bottled soda, ice cream, bakery goods, specialty foods, pottery, cards, books, collectibles, and the “Goodies Table.”

The Village Walking History Tour will be at 1:30 and 3:30 pm

The Elsah United Methodist Church, built in 1874 at LaSalle and Valley streets, will feature a quilt display.

The Maple Leaf Cottage Inn, at 12 Selma St., will offer a cool refreshing beverage and homemade baked goods. Visitors can register to win a free night’s stay at the Maple Leaf. The inn will also host local vendors.

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

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Elsah has been voted among the top scenic spot’s in Illinois. Elsah’s preserved buildings and quiet surroundings give visitors a glimpse of the past, while offering a picturesque and peaceful get-away. Tucked between the limestone bluffs alongside the Great River Road, Elsah is on the bank of the Mississippi River.

Visit www.escapetoelsah.com for more information.

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