Prairie Fire: Episode 12 - May 2024


On our final episode of season one, join us on a morel mushroom hunt and take a look behind-the-scenes in the creation of museum exhibits at Taylor Studios in Rantoul, IL. We also visit an old-school gaming paradise called Arcadia in central Illinois. Plus, Charles Dickens shares his thoughts on the Illinois prairie and the Mississippi River.


Rouley & Ruey: Morel Mushroom Hunt

Morel mushrooms are big, beautiful and expensive culinary delights that only grow above ground for four to six weeks every year in specific places across the US. Fortunately, Illinois is morel mushroom headquarters, of sorts. But hunters keep their hunting spots top secret, and finding one takes patience and practice. Join us on a morel mushroom hunt in an undisclosed location with amateur enthusiasts and best friends Angie Rouley and Ruey Sandusky. They'll tell us what to look for to find a good hunting spot, how to cook them and some do's and don'ts of a good hunt.


Taylor Studios

Have you ever wandered through a museum and wondered how an exhibit actually gets made? We visit Taylor Studios in Rantoul, a leading exhibit design and fabrication firm right here in Central Illinois.

For more than 30 years, the artists, designers, and project managers at Taylor Studios have been creating engaging displays inspired by storytelling and immersive experiences. We meet with members of the staff, and they invite us into the studio to see how pieces begin on the shop floor and transform into final museum displays, like the woolly mammoth statue on the UIUC campus.


Arcadia: America's Playable Arcade Museum

We introduce you to John Yates, the owner and creator of the Arcadia, America’s Playable Arcade Museum. He’ll tell us how he combined his love of arcade and pinball machines with his obsession with fixing things into a museum and a playground for children and adults alike.


Charles Dickens Visits Illinois

Charles Dickens is --without question -- one of the greatest authors who ever lived. But boy was he grumpy about the Midwest when he came here in 1842. Mister Dickens will regale us with his less than flattering thoughts about the Prairie.


Charles Dickens Thoughts on the Mississippi River

Well, we know Charles Dickens didn't like the Illinois prairie, but what did he think of the Mississippi River?


Prairie Fire airs on the third Thursday of each month on WILL-TV.  You can also stream it on Youtube or the PBS App, where you can also find past episodes! Catch up on all past Prairie Fire stories below.