13653 Lodge Blvd., Grafton, IL, 62037 / Cake artist: Katherine Nelson
Just right off the river road is Illinois’ largest state park, at 8,050 acres. The park is named after Father (or Pere) Jacques Marquette, who led a 17th century exploration of the Mississippi River. The park was founded in 1931 as the Piasa Bluffs State Park, but was later renamed to its current name. Besides the lodge (which was built in the 1930s and has since expanded), there are some great parts of the park, including 12 miles of walking trails. Animals that are found at the park are several different species of birds, deer and many others. Bald eagles are often seen there as well. Events are usually held here throughout the year, including some at the winery as well as small festivals, and para sailing.
Cake placement date: February 26
Where is the cake now?: The cake continued to sit on the patio until late August 2017. It is now on private property.
Katherine Nelson, the cake’s artist, on painting the cake: ‘My landscape cake began as a black and white and texturing drawing which I first fashioned into a 3D maquette in order to scale and compose the line design so that the drawing wraps around the model’. You can read more on her website’s blog: http://www.katherinenelsonart.com/katherinenelsonart/