Sandburg Days Festival Kicks Off April 22

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

GALESBURG-- The Sandburg Days festival for the mind will begin on Thursday, April 22, and run through Sunday, April 25, with activities honoring Galesburg-born, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer, Carl Sandburg. Come celebrate with the community through educational and recreational activities that range from an art walk to a poetry slam to presentations about Illinois history.

Activities scheduled for the festival include:

April 22

Earth Day Activities

10 a.m.-1 p.m., Carl Sandburg College, Building B, 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd., Galesburg

CSC’s Student Environmental Awareness Club (SEAC) will have Earth Day activities set up in the Student Center with a stream table, hands-on activities showing water properties, posters and brochures.

Carl Sandburg 21st Annual Poetry Awards Ceremony

6:30 p.m., Carl Sandburg College, Building B, 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd., Galesburg

Carl Sandburg College will honor the winners of the 21st annual Carl Sandburg Poetry Contest. Carl Sandburg College district residents were invited to enter their original poems which are judged by CSC English professors. There are three levels of competition: elementary (grades1-5), intermediate (grades 6-12), and adult. The category winners are invited to the awards ceremony to read their winning poems and accept their certificates and prizes donated by Carl Sandburg College. All winning poems will be published in a booklet that will be distributed at the ceremony. Sponsored by the CSC Humanities Department.

Festival Kickoff Reception to feature the film “A Visit with Carl Sandburg”

7 p.m., Carl Sandburg Historic Site Barn, 313 E. Third St., Galesburg

The Kickoff reception this year will feature the 21st century premiere of a recently discovered and restored 1954 broadcast interview with Carl Sandburg. This interview pertains more to his Galesburg years.  Sandburg’s book “Always the Young Strangers” had just been published not long before this interview. “A Visit with Carl Sandburg” is directed by Martin Hoade, and hosted by NBC public affairs director Edward Stanley. Refreshments will be served.

Between 1952 and 1956, NBC embarked on a wonderful series of interviews with aging giants of the art world, called “Conversations with Elder Wise Men.” In this film, the animated, 75-year-old poet, Carl Sandburg, waxes profoundly on Galesburg, Republicans and hangings, discusses his arrest for riding the rails, reads from “Phizzog,” “A Couple” and “Sliphorn Jazz,” plays guitar and sings “The State of El-a-noy” and “Before I'd Be a Slave.” His sincerest passion, however, is for Abraham Lincoln, as he discusses his life and the joys of writing the biography of his beloved president.

Knox College Jazz Combo Performance

8-12 p.m., McGillacuddy’s, 58 S Cherry St. Galesburg

The Knox College Jazz Combo directed by Dave Hoffman will perform. This event is free and open to the public.

April 23

Photography Contest & Awards Reception

4-5 p.m., Galesburg Public Library, 40 E. Simmons St., Galesburg

Amateur photographers are invited to enter the Sandburg Days 2010 Photography Contest, sponsored by The Frame Works, Foley Photo Studio, the Galesburg Public Library, Q's Cafe, and the Galesburg Register-Mail. The judge will be David Zalaznik, Peoria Journal Star photographer and author. An awards reception, catered by Q's Cafe, will be held at the Galesburg Public Library's Sanderson Room on Friday, April 23, at 4 p.m. 

A $25 cash prize will be awarded to the Best of Show. A $20 gift certificate from the Frame Works will be awarded for first place in three categories: Landscape and Nature; People and/or Pets; and Architecture. All photos (8 X 10 maximum print size) must have been created within the last year. A limit of three photographs per person, one per category will be accepted. There is no fee to enter. Prints in a matte are preferred, but prints not in a matt are also acceptable. Each submission must have a secure wire on the back so it is ready to hang on a display board. Professional photographers are welcome to enter, but will not be eligible for prizes. Please identify yourself as a professional on your entry.

Entries can be submitted, with the photographer's name, photo title, category, e-mail, postal address and phone number on the back, to the Galesburg Public Library, 40 E. Simmons St., Galesburg, IL 61401. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 21, at 8 p.m. Conventional and digital prints are acceptable. A selection of photographs entered will be exhibited at the Galesburg Public Library until May 9. Not all submissions will be exhibited. The decisions of the judge will be final. For more information, please contact Tom Foley, Foley Photo Studio, 113 S. Cherry St., (309) 342-9411 or tom@foleyphotostudio.

April 24

Photography Seminar

10 a.m.-12 p.m., Galesburg Public Library, 40 E. Simmons St., Galesburg

A two-hour seminar will be held at the Galesburg Public Library. For more information contact Tom Foley at (309) 342-9411 or There is no fee to attend the seminar. The seminar is sponsored by the Galesburg Camera Club.

Laughing Corn Art Walk               

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Downtown (Main Street) Galesburg

The name of the Art Walk is inspired by the Carl Sandburg poem “Laughing Corn.” The Laughing Corn Art Walk is not a juried art fair, but a more relaxed whimsical event to celebrate local art and artisans. “Laughing Corn” was part of Sandburg’s second collection of poetry, “Cornhuskers,” published by Henry Holt & Co. in 1918. That book won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Children’s Earth Day Activities

10 a.m.-1 p.m., Discovery Depot Children's Museum, 128 S. Chambers, Galesburg

Come join the hands-on, interactive fun and educational Earth Day activities at Discovery Depot. Learn about recycling and how to plant flowers. Admission is free.

Knox College Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony

1 p.m., Carl Sandburg Historic Site Barn, 313 E. Third St., Galesburg

Entries are now being accepted for the annual Knox College Sandburg Days Poetry competition. The contest is open to all Knox County students in grades five through eight. Winners will read their works and receive cash prizes from Knox College and gifts from the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site at the awards ceremony.

Contest details: Division 1 for students in 5th and 6th grades; Division 2 for students in 7th and 8th grades; prizes include $50 for first place and $25 for second place in each division; cash prizes are provided by Knox College. The judges are students and faculty in the Knox College English Department. Deadline for entries is April 15. Mail entries to: Barbara Tannert-Smith, Campus Box K-17, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401. For more information contact Barbara Tannert-Smith at (309) 341-7428.

Children’s Activities

2-3 p.m., Carl Sandburg Historic Site, 313 E. Third St., Galesburg

Join the fun at the Carl Sandburg Historic Site as a variety of traditional children’s games will be played, including the Swedish game of Kubb, a yard game of skill. Kids of all ages are welcome.

Blues Performance by Joe & Vicki Price

7-9 p.m., Sandburg Historic Site & Visitors Center, 313 E. Third St., Galesburg

The Historic Site’s Songbag Concert Series will feature Joe and Vicki Price for a blue’s performance. For more information contact John Heasly

4th Annual Rootabaga Poetry Slam by Marc Smith

9 p.m., Slam begins; doors open at 8 p.m., Vintages Tasting Room, 215 E. Main St., Galesburg

Slampapi Marc Smith, founder/creator of the International Poetry Slam movement will be leading the slam again for the 4th annual Poetry Slam, a unique form of performance poetry competition that is popular in college towns across the country. Top “slammers” from across the midwest are expected to come and compete for cash prizes. Those interested in competing can contact Marc at Visit Marc Smith’s web site at There is no entry fee to compete. This year, the Slam is free, both to attend and to participate. Thank you to the following sponsors for bringing the Poetry Slam to Galesburg: Alcorn Karlin LLC, Bondi Building Corp., Bullis and Sundberg Insurance Services, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg Lincoln Mercury Nissan Sales and Service; Knox College Department of English & the John & Elaine Fellows Fund, Packinghouse Dining Co., and Vintages Tasting Room.

April 25

“Omer N. Custer: A Small Town Political Boss” talk by Lowell Peterson

7 p.m., Sandburg Historic Site & Visitors Center, 313 E. Third St., Galesburg

Omer N. Custer was a political boss with clout to rival anyone's. He moved to Galesburg penniless and amassed a fortune during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. At one time, his local empire included Galesburg's daily newspaper, its only radio station, its largest bank, the telephone company, the brick yards and more. Besides controlling the news, communication, finance and patronage jobs locally, he was a major influence in Republican politics statewide, serving two terms as State Treasurer from 1925-27 and 1929-32. He ran a very competitive, but unsuccessful, campaign for Illinois governor during 1932. O.N. Custer parlayed his first Galesburg job as a grocery clerk to Knox County treasurer and eventually publisher of the Galesburg Register-Mail. His other unsuccessful attempt at politics was a run at becoming sheriff of Knox County. He also donated the beach at Lake Storey and land for the O. N. Custer Park and H.T. Custer Park.

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