BN Life

What’s Happening in Bloomington-Normal this September

September is packed full of events for every type of person! Our events calendar for the month has live music, artistic events, sports, theatre, shopping events, and much more!

Here are the top events planned in September that you won’t want to miss:

Festivals & Fairs

Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday | Downtown Bloomington | 7:00am

Admission: Free

The Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market is a producer-only market offering a wide array of farm products — including vegetables, fruits, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants, herbs, and more grown and produced by the individual selling these items!

The Farmstead Fair

Saturday, September 4th & Sunday, September 5th | Rader Family Farms | 10:00am

Admission: $5

Come shop boutiques, hand-crafted items, jewelry, art & more! The pumpkin barn will be open (sorry fall activities not open yet).

Make Music Normal

Friday, September 10th & Saturday, September 11th | Uptown Normal | 5:00pm-10:00pm (Friday) 1:00pm-10:00pm (Saturday)

Make Music Normal is an all-ages, free-to-attend festival taking place annually in Uptown Normal. Featuring some of the region’s best musical acts spanning all genres, the festival also focuses on participation, giving attendees of all-ages the chance to learn some choreography, play an instrument, sing with a group, and so much more.

Live Music & Performances

Sounds of Connie Link Amphitheatre

September 2nd, 16th, 18th, 23rd, 26th, & 30th | Connie Link Amphitheatre | 6:00pm

Admission: Free

Feel free to bring your own snacks or drinks (no alcohol permitted). As always, bring your own chairs or blankets for the performances.

Loungebaout the Roundabout

September 4th, 8th, & 15th  | Uptown Circle | 5:30pm

Admission: Free

Local performers are taking the Uptown Roundabout stage playing different genres of music.

Saturdays on the Square FREE Concert – Kalu & the Electric Joint

Saturday, September 4th  | Downtown Bloomington | 6:00pm

Admission: Free

The event starts at 6 PM with music beginning at 7 PM. This event is FREE to the public and all ages are welcome.

Forever Young

Wednesday, September 8th | Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts | 7:30pm

Admission: $22/$28/$34/$49

FOREVER YOUNG takes you back to the music of your youth. Back to the moment you discovered what it meant to set the record down, push play and tune in! Packed full of pop, rock, and country classics.

Escape to Margaritaville

Wednesday, September 29th  | Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts | 7:30pm

Admission: $91/ $76/ $70/ $64

Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all—and stay to find something they never expected. With a book by Emmy Award® winner Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl,” “Raising Hope”) and Emmy Award® nominee Mike O’Malley (“Survivors Remorse,” “Shameless”) ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE is the musical comedy featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and many more. USA Today calls it “A little slice of paradise!” and Entertainment Weekly raves, “It will knock your flip-flops off!” So don’t let the party start without you

Arts, Culture, & History


Oh Honey – Let’s Paint the Town Gold – First Friday

Friday, September 3rd | Downtown Bloomington | 5:00pm

Admission: Free

September is National Honey Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and so, #DowntownBLM is celebrating the best way we know how – with First Friday! Join downtown restaurants, retailers, and galleries, as they offer up Bee & Honey, themed wares, and goodies! Businesses are also partnering up with the Central Illinois Beekeepers to have an expert on hand to help educate on all things beekeeping! Throughout the district, you will find beekeepers and representatives from St. Jude, raising awareness and having a great time!

Castle Home & Garden Tour

Saturday, September 4th | Castle Gardens | 10:00am

Admission: $25

With professional ease and enthusiasm, the Wrights take you on a tour that gives a glimpse of Victorian culture and shares the history of their family home, the Castle.

Pop Into IAS

Saturday, September 11th | Illinois Art Station | 10:00am

Admission: Free

You’re invited to POP Into IAS on September 4th where you can celebrate the opening of our brand new building. Bring your family to enjoy music, food, and of course tons of art making. This event is free and open to the entire Bloomington-Normal community.


ISU Volleyball vs Ohio

Friday, September 3rd | Redbird Arena | 4:30pm

Admission: $5-$10

Raise the Redbirds championship banner with them pre-match!

ISU Volleyball vs UIC

Saturday, September 4th | Redbird Arena | 11:00am

Admission: $5-$10

Cheer on the Redbirds with a pom-pom Giveaway!

ISU Football vs Butler

Saturday, September 4th | Hancock Stadium | 6:30pm

Admission: $10 & up

Get back to Normal and attend Redbird Football’s home opener featuring a special halftime fireworks show with the Big Red Marching Machine. This game is also Reggie’s Kids Club Day. Kids 12 and under may receive a free game ticket by reserving one in advance of gameday. Each kid must be a member of the free Reggie’s Kids Club. Contact the Redbird Athletics Ticket Office to register and reserve the free ticket.

ISU Volleyball vs Marquette

Sunday, September 5th | Redbird Arena | 1:00pm

Admission: $5-$10

Replica Championship Pennant Giveaway! (First 500 fans)


Thursday, September 9th | Children’s Discovery Museum | 7:00pm

Admission: $100

An opportunity for community members and professionals to experience the power of play through weird science, technology, engineering and art while socializing with mixology/cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvers, silent disco and entertainment to support the future of the Children’s Discovery Museum and our ability to “inspire the love of learning through the power of play” for generations to come!

“To the Max” 2K Obstacle Challenge

Sunday, September 12th | Maxwell Park | 1:00pm

Cost: $32

The “To the Max” Obstacle Challenge is a youth and family 2K course, highlighted by approximately 15 obstacles! It is managed by the Town
of Normal Parks and Recreation Department. This event is for ages 5+. We provide a large spectator area for this chip-timed event.
All race participants will receive a t-shirt and participation medal. Trophies to top-3 competitors by gender in each competitive age group.

ISU Volleyball vs North Texas

Friday, September 17th | Redbird Arena | 10:00am

Admission: $5-$10

Redbird Classic

Redbird Men’s & Women’s Cross Country – Redbird Invite

Friday, September 17th | Weibring Golf Club | 5:00pm

Admission: FREE

Catch the Redbird cross country teams in action at home!

Hill of a Race Obstacle Run – Sponsored by MetroNet

Saturday, September 18th | Ewing Park II | 9:00am

Admission: $35

This ages 7+ race is the ultimate outdoor fitness challenge with a course set up for recreational enthusiasts as well as competitive racers. The obstacle run will include running, lifting, carrying, climbing, crawling, and tests of agility and balance.

Day of Play

Saturday, September 25th | Uptown Normal| 10:00am

Admission: Free

Beaufort and North Streets will be turned into a festival full of playful free activities including tons of booths, performances on two stages, bounce houses, a climbing wall, Touch-a-Truck, Bike Rodeo, and Kids Make & Sell. Day of Play transforms Uptown Normal into a giant playground. More than 60 community partners will feature interactive, engaging, and exciting PLAY activities. The CDM Education staff will feature a host of STEAM experiences! Attendees will also enjoy stage performances, a bike rodeo, and touch-a-truck area as well as $4 admission to the Children’s Discovery Museum!


Check out our Events Calendar for the full list of events! Events Calendar

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