Starbucks Been There Ornament Illinois 2 mug

Been There Ornament – Illinois 2

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I was expecting the release of the Starbucks Been There Ornament Illinois 2 long time ago, since the bigger mug came out back in 2019. The updated version is finally here, and it seems that the only difference compared to the Illinois Ornament v1 is the dashes in the name of one of the State’s landmarks.

Discovered in 1739 by French explorer M. de Lery, “Cave-In-Rock” stands as an iconic point of interest in Illinois. Carved over eons by the relentless flow of water, this natural limestone cave embodies a tangible link to the region’s frontier past. From its early days as a sacred site revered by Native American tribes to its notorious reputation as a haven for river pirates and outlaws in the early 19th century, the cave has borne witness to a kaleidoscope of human narratives. Today, it remains a testament to the resilient spirit of exploration and settlement that has defined Illinois’s history. Its rugged cliffs and labyrinthine passages continue to beckon adventurers and history enthusiasts alike, inviting them to unravel the mysteries of this ancient geological wonder.

Here are some symbols of Illinois as seen on the ornament:

– State Bird: The vibrant red plumage of the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) serves as a striking emblem of Illinois, dotting its forests and parks with bursts of color. Known for its melodious song and year-round presence, the cardinal symbolizes resilience and vitality in the Illinois landscape, captivating both residents and visitors alike with its graceful presence.

– State Animal: Graceful and elusive, the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) roams the woodlands and prairies of Illinois, symbolizing the state’s rich wildlife heritage and untamed beauty. Admired for its agility and resilience, this iconic creature evokes a sense of connection to the natural world, inspiring reverence and awe among those who encounter it in its native habitat.

– Illinois is nicknamed “The Prairie State”. This nickname was given by the first settlers when they saw the vast expanses of prairie that characterized the state. The North American prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems on Earth, and Illinois prairies have become endangered due to urbanization and lack of prairie management. The nickname “The Prairie State” reflects the abundance of prairie grasses that once covered most of the state. Additionally, Illinois was also referred to as the “Garden of the West” due to its rolling prairies and cultivated fields, which made it one of the leading producers of corn and soybeans in the United States.

– Illinois is known for its significant pumpkin production, making it a major player in the pumpkin industry. Nearly 40% of the pumpkins grown in the United States come from Illinois, with production exceeding 650 million pounds in 2021. This makes Illinois the top pumpkin-producing state in the country. The towns of Morton and Princeville in Illinois are home to two of the largest pumpkin processing facilities in the state, where pumpkins are washed, peeled, heated, pureed, and canned. These facilities contribute to Illinois producing more than 90% of the processed pumpkins used in Thanksgiving pumpkin pies sold in the United States. The state’s pumpkin production is not limited to carving and ornamental pumpkins; most of the pumpkins grown in Illinois are used for canning and cooking purposes.

– The guitar on the back of the ornament is a reference to the State’s rich musical heritage and contributions to various genres. Illinois has been home to legendary musicians and bands who have shaped the course of music history, often wielding guitars as their instruments of choice. From the electric blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to the iconic rock sounds of bands like Chicago and Cheap Trick, Illinois has been a crucible for guitar-driven music that has resonated worldwide.

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