Always be prepared for the unexpected experience in the village of Antioch.
The Antioch area we know and love today was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Native Americans until 1832, when they migrated elsewhere. Arrowheads and other remnants from the Potawatomi can still be found today in Antioch.
Present-day Highway 173 was once an Indian trail, and Highway 83 was the Mukwonago Trail.
The first permanent residents of Antioch were Darius and Thomas Gage, who built houses along Sequiot Creek in 1837. Two years later Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill on the creek in 1839, which was the first major business in the village.
Feels good to get the W!! 1st place Mutiny Bass Anglers Fox Chain event. What close weights, us 15.38. Big congrats to 2nd, 15.09 Eric Rasmussen & John FrugoJr, & 3rd, 15.04 Steve Mui & Alex Peric. #chainrats Phoenix Boats, Xcite Baits, Dobyns Rods, Abu Garcia. And big thanks to the mutiny pirates and Kenny for putting on the tournament.
The early residents were devout followers of the Protestant sect. The sect is known today as the Disciples of Christ and they initiated the idea of naming the village Antioch. After some time of donning the name, Antioch became an incorporated village in 1892.
Much of Antioch’s economy was in tourism, as it became a popular vacation location for Chicagoans. The Windy City dwellers were enticed by Antioch’s hunting, gambling, boating and well, dancing. Even notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone called Antioch home during the Prohibition era. Capone owned a house on Bluff Lake which he frequented during the summertime.
One of the village’s oldest establishments is the Pickard China Company. This fine china company, outlet store and antique museum moved its headquarters in 1937 from Chicago to Antioch and has been a prominent business to this day.
Besides Capone, the Gage Brothers, Buttrick and the Pickard family, notable residents of Antioch include Dale Barnstable (two-time NCAA Champ at the University of Kentucky in the 1940s), retired PGA Tour Golfer Fred Hawkins, current St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Paul DeJong, pro skateboarder Jon Dickson and 2013 winner of HGTV Design Star and television personality Tiffany Brooks.
The late “dabble in a little bit of everything” Jim McMillen was also was a resident of Antioch. McMillen owned a cement product business, was a field engineer for the Illinois Department of Conservation, a firefighter, a bank director and a member of the Lake County Farm Bureau. He also was a US Navy lieutenant commander in WWII, a farmer, Vice President for the Chicago Bears, a former Chicago Bears offensive lineman and the Mayor of Antioch for six years.
From delicious eats to fantastic fests and events, to the charming downtown area and the excellent live entertainment that graces the village’s stages, your overall experience in Antioch will be an enjoyable one.
Here is your guide to the village of Antioch.
Charming Antioch boasts more than 100 eclectic shops and restaurants. Enjoy browsing and shopping throughout the Historic Downtown District. Discover unexpected treasures in quaint clothing boutiques, art galleries, antique shops and more. Sample the upscale eateries, charming pubs, downtown diners, and tempting chocolate shops the village has to offer. Antioch is the gateway to the famous Chain O’Lakes, comprising 11-interconnecting lakes that are home to national fishing tournaments, Thunder on the Chain, Blarney Island and so much more.
Antioch Chamber of Commerce, 882 Main St., Antioch.
Antioch Fine Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire artists of the community, open the door to learning, promote local art and provides the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. The AFAF hosts a plethora of demos, performances and camps.
Antioch Fine Arts Foundation, 41380 Route 83, Antioch.
Eats & Libations
Shopping for produce at a farmers market is not only an excellent way to support Lake County, but it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful summer weather with the family in Antioch. Antioch’s farmers market offers locally-grown produce, prepared eats, spices, meats, pastries, bread and so much more.
June-September. Antioch’s Farmers Market, 845 Main St., Municipal Parking Lot, Antioch.
Blarney Island is the premier summer party located a mile offshore on the Chain O’Lakes. The unique Antioch bar hosts events, fests, live entertainment, Thunder on the Chain and many others. Take the Blarney shuttle boat out from Port of Blarney, and in just a few minutes you will be living on island time. Blarney Island is open from May-September. Here are some of the annual events featured at Blarney Island
- Blarney Island Opening Weekend (late May)
- Huge Memorial Weekend of Music (late May)
- Thunder on the Chain (June-August)
- Key West Fest (late June)
- Fourth of July Festival (4th of July weekend)
- Blarney Gras (mid-July)
- Fantasy Fest Weekend (late August)
Blarney Island, W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.
This Antioch eatery is the ideal restaurant to celebrate special occasions or have a casual bite to eat. This superb steakhouse specializes in steaks, seafood, pasta, burgers and more. Johnny’s is also open for brunch on Sundays. Video Poker will soon be available at the chophouse.
Johnny’s Chophouse, 1500 Main St., Antioch.
Port of Blarney is a family-friendly, full-service restaurant, banquet hall, marina, RV park and public boat launch facility. During the summertime, Port of Blarney offers patio dining along the waterfront. Their menu features salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizza. The Antioch eatery also serves brunch on Saturdays. Some of the area’s best musicians perform live every night. Port of Blarney provides the shuttle boat service that takes visitors to Blarney Island. The port’s banquet hall can accommodate parties for up to 175 people.
Port of Blarney, W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.
Our first weekend of Oliver! wraps today but many great seats left for next two weekends! http://ow.ly/ruLW302yhkH
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Palette (symbol of the artist), Masque (symbol of the artist), Lyre (symbol of the musician) otherwise known as the PM&L Theatre has entertained audiences for 56 years. The theatre is a non-profit, community-based volunteer organization located in the heart of downtown Antioch. Six shows a year grace this stage ranging in the style of musicals, comedy and drama. The theatre was originally constructed circa 1914 originally called the Crystal Theatre.
PM&L Theatre, 877 Main St., Antioch.
Vigneto del Bino Winery is a boutique winery with a 10-acre property surrounded by 2,300 grapevines. The vino haven first opened in 2009 by daughter-father duet Debra and Jim Trombino. The Antioch winery specializes in utilizing Illinois vines to produce unique wines. Vigneto del Bino’s building contains a tasting room and gift shop. The facility features the manufacturing area of the wine, a tasting room and a gift shop. Their hours are Thursday-Saturday; Thurs & Sun 12-5 p.m., Fri & Sat 12-7 p.m. Visitors are invited to schedule a special event or winter reservation in the winery’s tasting room.
Vigneto del Bino Winery, 42150 Crawford Rd., Antioch.
Annual Events & Fests
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The Antioch event is one of the oldest continuous winter festivals in Illinois. The derby and festival are headquartered on Channel Lake of the chain. Visitors can enter for hourly prizes for smallest and biggest fish in 10 different categories. The most common fishes caught in the derby are catfish, long northern pike or chubby bass. There is also an ice shanty contest as well as an auction for children and adults.
Early February. Channel Lake, 42273 N. Woodbine Ave., Antioch.
Attendees have the opportunity to speak with vendors about earth-friendly products, native plants and animals, gardening, alternative energy and more. The Antioch Eco-Fair also provides educational activities for the kids including building bird feeders, planting seeds, learning about beehives and creating recycled art.
Mid-April. Antioch Elementary School Gym, 817 N. Main St., Antioch.
Don’t forget your Easter bonnet for the parade! The parade kicks off the Easter festivities. Immediately following the procession, the Easter Egg hunt commences on the Williams Park baseball field for children ages 1-10. Children will receive ten eggs each and have a chance to win three exclusive Easter Baskets per age group.
The Saturday before Easter. March or April depending on the year.
Bathe in the expression of art as Downtown Antioch hosts its 11th Annual Art Crawl. Browse through the talent of Antioch students’ work on display complemented by live entertainment. School District no. 34, Antioch Fine Arts Foundation, the Village of Antioch and the Antioch Chamber sponsor the art crawl event. Be sure to stop by the band shell for live entertainment.
Early May; 8 a.m. Downtown Antioch, Main Street.
When spring arrives in Lake County, so does the Antioch Civic Club Annual Spring Carnival. This affair is a nostalgic and old-fashioned event where all of our favorite foods and rides are at our disposal. Unlimited daily wristbands are available for all of the thrilling festivities in this downtown Antioch party. The carnival is located in the municipal lot off Toft Avenue.
Mid-May. Downtown Antioch, 460 Orchard St., Antioch.
The Chain O’Lakes are far from placid on Thursday nights during the summer. Thunder on the Chain features the unique world of drag boat racing from June-September hosted by Blarney Island on Grass Lake. If you have the need for speed on a ‘school night,’ witness these fearless racers competing in nine different classes from the Northern Illinois Drag Boat Association as they sprint for the gold. Thunder on the Chain fields races from June-August.
June-August. Blarney Island, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.
“Wine is bottled poetry,” stated by “Treasure Island” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” author Robert Louis Stevenson. Take a stroll through beautiful downtown Antioch for their Summer Wine Walk. While sampling on different vino flavors, visit the unique stores and restaurants Antioch has to offer. The event admission includes a commemorative wine glass, event menu, divine eats, a bottle of wine and entrance to a free drawing.
Winter: Late January Summer: Early June, Fall: Late September. Downtown Antioch, Main Street, Antioch.
The Antioch Summer Arts and Crafts Faire features artisans from around the country. Over 140 brilliant maestros display their unique works of art. There is also plenty of children’s activities including face painting, balloon art and more!
Mid-June. Downtown Antioch, Main Street and Orchard Street, Antioch.
Is wizard chess your game or is it Quidditch? This magical weekend running alongside Antioch’s Summer Arts & Craft Faire provides a slew of enchanting activities including costume contests, games, a scavenger hunt and other Harry Potter-themed happenings. Wizards and muggles of all ages will enjoy this free admission event! The Antioch Chamber urges attendees to dress as the character whom most closely relates to you. Some of the events hosted in the downtown Antioch festival require advance registration.
Mid-June. Downtown Antioch, Main Street and Orchard Street, Antioch.
Enjoy an evening in the park after a day in downtown and experience the live tunes coming from Brook Bandshell in Antioch’s It’s Thursday Concerts series.
June-August. Brook Bandshell, 900 Skidmore Dr., Antioch.
How about a little fun in the sun in Antioch? The Taste of Summer Festival in Antioch features carnivals rides for the family, deliciously prepared eats from the village’s top restaurants, splendid merchandise from the area’s sidewalk sale and exceptional live acts in the Brook Bandshell. Some of the bands gracing the bandshell stage include the Neverly Brothers, American English, 7th Heaven and more.
Mid-late July. Downtown Antioch.
Find numerous treasures from some of the country’s finest artisans. The faire features over 85 booths with a beautiful array of arts and crafts, activities for children and delicious fare. Attendees can take home wonderful seasonal crafts for the upcoming holidays. Halloween lovers will enjoy the monster bash while the kids can fill their sweet tooth void during the treat the streets portion. You don’t want to miss the exciting wiener dog races!
Mid-October, Downtown Antioch, Main Street, Antioch.
This spooky, four-day fest features four days of a Halloween carnival, costume contests, a pumpkin totem pole contest and so much more.
Late October. William E. Brook Entertainment Center, 902 Skidmore Dr., Antioch.
Sample beer and BBQ while enjoying Antioch’s quaint Downtown. Besides enjoying the tastes of suds and fare, attendees also receive a keepsake beer mug, a coupon for a complimentary six-pack of beer and a bag to carry any extra munchies. The Antioch Chamber of Commerce also holds a raffle.
Late October. Downtown Antioch, Main Street, Antioch.
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. Experience this public art exhibit while strolling among the delightful streets of Antioch. Enjoy the charm of Dickens from the many boutiques, gift shops and eateries. Also, enjoy special Saturday Dickens activities.
November-December. Downtown Antioch, Main Street, Antioch.
Enjoy browsing among dozens of oversized shadow boxes, depicting the fun and joy of Christmas at Kringle’s Christmas Village Tour. Visit Dickens Holiday Village during your Kringle Tour featured in tandem till Christmas.
For more information about the guide to the village of Antioch, click here.