MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

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  • Defeat of Jesse James Days

    Northfield, MN

    In this college town south of the Twin Cities, there's a fine-arts festival, tractor pulls, a bike tour, reenactments of the famous bank raid and a Sunday parade.


  • Sandwich Fair

    Sandwich, IL

    This northeast Illinois fair, held since 1888, features exhibits, entertainment and music plus harness racing, tractor pulls and demolition derbies.


  • Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

    They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 1,000 acts perform on 12 stages along Lake Michigan. 


  • James J. Hill Days

    Wayzata, MN

    This Minneapolis suburb features a street market and carnival; dachshund races, a craft-beer fest, logrolling and fireworks on Saturday; and a parade on Sunday.


  • Villa Louis Carriage Classic

    Prairie du Chien, WI

    The Victorian estate on the Mississippi River hosts horses, restored carriages and drivers in period dress for competitive arena and cross-country sport driving, a passion of the frontier aristocrats who built it.


  • Festival of the Vine

    Geneva, IL

    There's an arts and crafts show, flower market, music, wine tasting and sampling of food from local restaurants.


  • Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival

    Paw Paw, MI

    This big festival in southwest Michigan wine country features music on three stages, Friday fireworks, an art fair, motorcycle and bicycle tours, grape stomps and a Sunday parade.


  • Basilica Block Party

    Minneapolis, MN

    Praise the Loud at this ticketed rock-music fest at the Basilica of St. Mary on the edge of downtown. 


  • Harvest Moon Festival

    Ely, MN

    In Whiteside Park, there's an arts fair plus music, an old-time medicine show and pony rides and a petting zoo for kids.


  • Classic Boat & Schooner Rendezvous

    Bayfield, WI

    Schooners and sloops will gather in this Lake Superior town. There will be activities for children, an open house at the Coast Guard station and a Saturday boat parade.


  • Grand Rapids Riverfest

    Grand Rapids, MN

    This inaugural music festival downtown features Trampled by Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Brothers Burn Mountain and Charlie Parr.


  • Rock Bend Folk Festival

    St. Peter, MN

    This free, easygoing festival is in this Minnesota River town's Minnesota Square Park.


  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Days

    Pepin, WI

    The famous author's birthplace celebrates this year with a scaled-down festival this year at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, including traditional music and crafts, pie-eating and fiddling. 


  • Ethnic Fest

    Walker, MN

    Alphornists, Scandinavian dancers and Anishinaabe drum and dance corps perform in this town on the shores of Leech Lake. There's also a parade.


  • Washington County Bluegrass Festival

    Lake Elmo, MN

    Bluegrass bands will play at this family festival at Lake Elmo Park Reserve at the eastern edge of the Twin Cities, free with $7 vehicle permit. There also will be camping and food vendors.


  • Taste of the Trail

    Lanesboro, MN

    In Lanesboro, Whalan and Peterson on the Root River State Trail, enjoy music, wagon rides and free samples from local restaurants and growers. 

    Events are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


  • Mural Fest

    Ashland, WI

    Go on guided tours of Ashland's famous murals, meet the artists and go on a mural scavenger hunt. There's also food, music, crafts and a car show.


  • Sputnikfest

    Manitowoc, WI

    Help celebrate the 1962 crash landing of a 20-pound piece of Russia's Sputnik on a street in Manitowoc. There's a wacky costume contest, a Miss Space Debris pageant, a pet costume contest, a space-themed movie and music.


  • Whooping Crane Festival

    Princeton, WI

    Celebrate the whooping-crane migration with voyageur canoe trips, a marketplace, crane trivia, children's activities and bird walks.


  • Radio Waves Music Festival

    Grand Marais, MN

    WTIP, North Shore Community Radio, hosts this outdoor fest of more than 25 local and regional music acts next to the municipal campground.


  • Monarch Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    This festival at Lake Nokomis celebrates the monarch migration from Minnesota to Mexico and includes a costume parade, music, dance, art activities and monarch games.


  • Little Falls Arts & Crafts Fair

    Little Falls, MN

    This large fair, with nearly 600 artists, includes a car show and an antiques and collectibles section as well as a Man Cave.