SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Bicentennial will be on full display this weekend - for free. The Illinois State Museum will participate in the Illinois Office of Tourism's Doors Open Illinois program. Admission will be free on Aug. 11-12 for the new exhibition "Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection."
The exhibit celebrates the Prairie State's 200th birthday and features rare and rarely seen artifacts from the museum's collection of more than 13 million items.
Artifacts include 400 million-year-old fossils, a World War I soldier's helmet, a trunk brought by German immigrants in 1852 and a wedding dress made from a father's parachute.
Doors Open Illinois features different sections of the state each weekend. This weekend, it's central Illinois. Western Illinois will be featured Aug. 18-19. On Aug. 25-26, it's northeastern Illinois' turn.