Illinois officially celebrates our bicentennial on December 3rd, but the birthday cake celebrations take place on August 26th in 7 Illinois cities including Rockford.

In honor of Illinois’ 200th anniversary, the Illinois Office of Tourism and local convention and visitors’ bureaus are hosting Bicentennial Birthday Cake Celebrations on Aug. 26, Constitution Day, in seven cities statewide.

Chicago-based Eli’s Cheesecake will provide cheesecake slices for guests at each of the seven parties, revealing a massive custom-designed, Bicentennial-themed cake in Springfield. Each location will serve slices of cheesecake to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. All events are free to the public.

Marc Schulman, president of Eli’s Cheesecake:

My father, Eli Schulman, the founder of Eli’s Cheesecake, was a member of the 1968 Illinois Sesquicentennial Commission, that, plus the importance of our Chicago and Illinois roots, make it is a true honor for Eli’s to make the birthday cheesecakes for the statewide celebration.

If you're interested in digging into some of our state's official birthday (cheese) cake, head over to the Burpee Museum of Natural History on August 26th between the hours of 10am and 5pm. This free event will serve slices of cheesecake on a first-come first-served basis.

Other statewide Illinois birthday cake celebration locations include:

Alton/Collinsville: Venue: Cahokia Mounds/1-3pm

Champaign: Venue: Champaign County History Museum/1-5pm

Peoria: Venue: Peoria Riverfront Park/Noon-2pm

Quad Cities: Venue: Pub 1848/1-3pm

Southern Illinois: Venue: DuQuoin State Fair/1-3pm

Springfield: Venue: Bicentennial Plaza/3:30-5pm