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Mattoon Arts and Entertainment


A variety of interesting art sites and entertaining theaters and festivals are provided to residents throughout every season. Ten miles to the east is the city of Charleston, home to the Tarble Arts Center, City Art on the Square and Murals Around the Square. Only 13 miles to the west in Sullivan is the Little Theatre on the Square, an entertainment venue offering live theatre. Looking to catch a new movie? The AMC Movie Theater is situated within the city.

Located within Peterson Park is the new Rotary Band Shell. This acoustically designed facility was a local Rotary gift to the City of Mattoon.

The historical Time Theater is located in Mattoon. While the theater opened its doors in 1911 as the K Theater, it was brought down by a fire in 1937. After being rebuilt in late-Art Deco style it was renamed the Time Theater and currently serves as a venue for concerts and a variety of special events.

Mattoon Arts

Several festivals and events are put on annually in the Mattoon community. A number of duathlons, marathons and triathlons, located at Lake Mattoon, are available for both beginners and advanced athletes. The city is well-known for hosting numerous baseball and softball tournaments, bringing in thousands of visitors to the city. Recognized as the “Baseball Capital of the United States,” the city has been host to the Babe Ruth World Series, as well as the Cal Ripken World Series.

Bagelfest, perhaps the most popular festival in Mattoon, has been a significant aspect of the city for more than 25 years. The popular event began in 1985 as a simple breakfast, introducing Mattoon residents to the new production of bagels at the then Kraft Foods plant. Upon the success of the breakfast, more and more activities and attractions were added to the festival each year.

Held during the latter part of July, and attracting tens of thousands of people from all over the world, guests enjoy contests, carnival rides, food and craft vendors and live entertainment. Don’t forget to check out the Bagelfest Parade, Bagel Bow Wow, Run for the Bagel race and the Free Bagel Breakfast, as well!

Here’s a fun fact—the Lender’s Bagels factory located in the community created the “Berry Biggest Blueberry Bagel” on July 23, 1998. The bagel weighed in at 714 pounds and stood at 13.75 inches high and 59 inches in diameter, with a 15-inch diameter hole. Lender’s Bagels continues to hold the record for the Biggest Blueberry Bagel in the “Guinness Book of World Records”.

In the winter season, get ready for the holidays with the Mattoon Lightworks Festival, a static and animated light display, which runs from Thanksgiving through the Christmas holiday. Attracting nearly 15,000 cars annually, and approximately 379 cars per day, the beautiful scene within Mattoon’s Peterson Park is complete with over 200 light displays featuring snowball fights, reindeer and Santa Claus.

On top of that, the community is home to the Silver Star Roller Skate Rink, comprised of thousands of feet of skate space and modern sound and light systems, and Mattoon Bowl.

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