Apparently, Illinois has chosen to embrace the cicada madness this summer instead of just b*%#$ing about it.

Cicadapocalypse 2024 Begins in Illinois

We can't deny or avoid it any longer. Cicada Brood X , a delightful 17-year party of buzzing, flying, exoskeletal nightmares, has begun its long-awaited (or dreaded) emergence from the underground in Illinois.

Just look at this video taken in Springfield, IL on May 15...

Holy crap!

As Illinoisans, we have tried to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of noise, mountains of shells, and streams of cicada pee that will be our reality for the next couple months, but seeing a video like that made me realize I am still not ready for this.

Embracing Cicadas in Illinois

What's that old saying? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em? Well, it looks like that is exactly what the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is encouraging us to do this summer.


Thankfully, the IDNR's idea of embracing cicada craziness has nothing to do with eating them, but is all about channeling our feelings about these noisy visitors into a unique piece of art.

Cicada Art Show in Illinois

First off, to compete in this Cicada Art Contest you do NOT need to make art out of cicada shells or dead insects, (in fact, please don't). What you NEED to do is take a pen, pencil, crayon, marker or paint brush to a piece a paper and create a unique picture featuring cicadas. (No AI-generated art will be accepted)

Here are the official rules from the IDNR website;


Acceptable materials and mediums: Paper only. Charcoal, pencil, colored pencil, markers, alcohol markers, ink, acrylic paint, oil paint, oil pastels, or watercolor paint. Photography also accepted.

Size: No larger than 18 x 24 inches. Anything larger will be disqualified.

Quantity: One entry per person. If entering for more than one artist, please complete and submit separate forms.

The deadline to submit artwork is Sunday, June 16, 2024, and prizes will be awarded in different categories. (find out how to submit pieces, here).

What are the prizes you could you win? No idea, but hopefully they involve ear plugs. Just sayin...

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Gallery Credit: Martha Sandoval

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