MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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August 2020  September 2020 October 2020
Mon
7
-
Thu
27

Minnesota State Fair/Food Parade

St. Paul, MN

Try flights at the Craft Beer Hall, eat food on a stick, listen to free concerts and watch the 2 p.m. daily parade.

It's canceled in 2020, but a Food Parade will be held Aug. 20-23 and 27-30 and Sept. 3-7, $20 per vehicle.

Sun
6
-
Sat
29

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago, IL

This free festival features music at the Chicago Cultural Center and  Millennium Park.

Mon
7
-
Thu
3

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion

Mount Pleasant, IA

This gathering of steam engines and antique cars, trucks and tractors also features a horse pull, concerts, square dancing and a parade.

Sat
5
-
Fri
4

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw

Prairie du Sac, WI

There's chip-chucking contests in this Wisconsin River town, but also music, kids' games and an arts and crafts fair. The Tournament of Chips parade is at noon Saturday.

Sun
6
-
Fri
4

Marquette Area Blues Fest

Marquette, MI

Enjoy a weekend of music in Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Lake Superior.

Wilhelm Tell Festival

New Glarus, WI

This Swiss town near Madison has been putting on an outdoor William Tell pageant since 1938. Festivities include a children's lantern parade, yodeling, an arts show and ethnic fashions.

Wisconsin Highland Games

Waukesha, WI

In addition to heavy athletics — throwing weights, hammers, logs and sacks of hay — there will be piping, drumming, dancing, longbow competitions, dog demonstrations and traditional Scottish food.

Mon
7
-
Fri
4

Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion

Rollag, MN

Revel in the past during this show of antique machinery, which includes rides on trains and a carousel, square dancing, roving musicians and nightly jamborees.

 

Sat
5

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.

Sun
6
-
Sat
5

Taste of Madison

Madison, WI

This free benefit festival on Capitol Square includes 200 menu items from more than 80 restaurants, all priced at $1-$4. There's also music on three stages.

 

Kites Over Lake Michigan

Two Rivers, WI

On Neshotah Beach, watch giant kites, precision stunt teams, a release of sky lanterns and fireworks. There will be live music Saturday night and free kite-making for kids on Saturday.

Fox Jazz Festival

Menasha, WI

This free Fox Cities jazz festival is in Jefferson Park, on the shores of Lake Winnebago.

Mon
7
-
Sat
5

Frankfort Fall Festival

Frankfort, IL

The festival in this southern suburb of Chicago features more than 300 artisans, music, a carnival and a parade Sunday.

Marina Fest

Sister Bay, WI

In this Door County village, there will be a vintage boat show, craft fair,  kids' carnival, music and Saturday fireworks.

Sun
6

Virtual World Music Festival

Chicago, IL

The festival will be presented online 1-3 p.m. on Sundays in September.

Normally, there will be more than 80 artists performing at more than 30 venues across the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center. 

Mon
7

Mackinac Bridge Walk

Mackinaw City, MI

Once a year, on Labor Day, people can walk across the five-mile span, the third-longest suspension bridge in the world.

Canceled in 2020.

Sat
12

Virtual 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.

Sun
13
-
Sat
12

Virtual World Music Festival

Madison, WI

This free festival features music and dance from around the world on the Memorial Union Terrace and, on Saturday, at the Willy Street Fair.

It's virtual this year.

Sat
19
-
Wed
16

Pumpkin Festival

Morton, IL

This town near Peoria, home of the Libby's pumpkin-packing plant, calls itself the Pumpkin Capital of the World. The festival features pumpkin-boat races, pumpkin decorating, pie-eating contests, a craft fair, a pumpkin-pancake breakfast and a 10:30 a.m. Saturday parade.

This year, the parade is drive-through and some events are canceled.

Sat
19
-
Fri
18

Unplugged & Birch Bark Bash

Grand Marais, MN

The harbor-side North House Folk School celebrates with storytelling, traditional workshops, a fish boil and concerts by songwriter/musicians.

It's online this year.

Sun
20
-
Fri
18

Grape Stomp

Alexandria, MN

Carlos Creek Winery hosts this festival, which features music on two stages, an art fair, grape stomps and "I Love Lucy'' look-alike contests.

It's still on in 2020. Buy tickets in advance.

Sat
19

Apfelfest

Amana, IA

In Iowa's Amana Colonies, there's an Apple Sampling Stroll among businesses, a Vintner's Dinner and music at Millstream Brewery.

Sun
20
-
Sat
19

Vintage Illinois Wine Festival

Utica, IL

This festival in northwest Illinois features live music and wine-tasting from 25 Illinois vineyards.

This year, it's at Carey Memorial Park and is focused on tasting and shopping.

Sat
26
-
Fri
25

Blue Ox Music Festival: Campout in the Pines

Eau Claire, WI

This family-friendly acoustic festival is near Eau Claire and features Big Wu, Pistol Whippin Party Penguins, Lindsay Lou and Buffalo Gospel.

There's camping onsite.

Sat
26

Art and Artists Celebration

Taylors Falls, MN

The 43-acre Franconia Sculpture Park is holding its annual celebration, with bands, food trucks and sculpture tours, as well as the grand opening of its Franconia Commons Building, which includes an art gallery, gift shop and cafe with patio. 

It's at the intersection of U.S. 8 and Minnesota 95, between Shafer and Taylors Falls.

Greenway Glow Arts Festival

Minneapolis, MN

This festival along the 5-mile-long Midtown Greenway bicycle trail includes a puppet parade, live performances, art installations and craft beer. It's from 3 to 9 p.m.

Sun
27
-
Sat
26

All-State Barn Tour in Iowa

Across the state, IA

It's the Iowa Barn Foundation's annual free, self-guided tour of restored historic barns.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Chicago, IL

Listen to non-stop music during this free festival at venues in and around Midway Plaisance, near the Museum of Science and Industry and Lake Michigan.

This year, the festival is virtual on Saturday, but on Sunday there will be live music on mobile stages in Hyde Park.

Sun
4
-
Sat
26

Fermentation Fest

Sauk City, WI

This fest in the scenic hills of southwest Wisconsin is not only about pickles and sourdough bread but also cheese, chocolate, beer and wine. There are classes, tastings and the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour, punctuated by art installations.

This year, the self-guided Farm/Art DTour is still on. There will also be a Food Chain marketplace of food, art and ideas at Witwen Park & Campground, between Plain and Prairie du Sac.

Sun
11
-
Sat
26

Virtual Doors Open Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

More than 150 historic buildings — theaters, breweries, mansions, cathedrals, hotels, museums — are open to the public, and many offer free guided tours.

More than three dozen in-depth walking tours also are offered but sell out quickly.

This year, the event is virtual.