Celebrate Illinois: Learn it! Try it! Street Party

Programs Learn It Try It Street Party

Free hands-on family friendly outdoor learning event!

Celebrate Illinois: Learn it! Try it! Street Party

Sun, May 6, 1-4 pm

Washington Street in front of the Museum

Celebrate Illinois hands-on with Central Illinois building and construction trades experts and apprentices! This special family friendly event encourages visitors of all ages to try bricklaying, bending sheet metal - even driving heavy machinery and more!

Museum, Washington Street
Among the many activities, visitors will be able to try out a jackhammer, survey equipment, virtual reality goggles, and other tools of the trade, as well as using materials - hammer, bend, and form sheet metal into various shapes, lay bricks and more!

Operating Engineers Local 649 will be hosting a Mobile Training Unit with special heavy equipment experience where visitors can learn to operate actual contraction equipment and talk to current Operating Engineer Apprentices.

Examine projects that have been fabricated by our members over the years and talk with experts.

Trades represented

  • Plasterers & Cement Masons
  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • Sheet Metal
  • Heavy Machinery Operators
  • Electricians
  • Laborers
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters
  • Painters

Sponsored by The Better Built® Network and our Peoria area building and construction trades.


Join us for Special Illinois Lecture Series event!

Panel Discussion: History of Labor in Illinois

Sun, May 6, 2 p.m., Giant Screen Theater

Illinois was an important contributor to the Labor Movement. Learn about the key events in Illinois history that led to safer working conditions and the growth of the labor unions. View AFL-CIO director Reuben Soderstrom's gavels in the "Celebrate Illinois" bicentennial exhibition and learn more about Illinois labor. Reception with coffee and light refreshments to follow.


  • Dr. Carl Soderstorm, grandson of labor leader Reuben Soderstorm who served 40 years as president of the AFL-CIO
  • Chris Stevens, reporter for The Labor Paper 
  • Mike Matejka, labor scholar and Legislative Affairs Director for the Great Plains Laborers District Council

Lecture free for members & with general admission.