MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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April 2021  May 2021 June 2021
Sun
2
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Sat
1

Kettle River Paddle Festival

Sandstone, MN

Watch a kayak whitewater rodeo, take a paddling clinic, make your own paddle or join a group float. There's hiking and rock-climbing, too. In Sandstone's Robinson Park and Banning State Park.

 

Maifest

Amana, IA

There's a lot going on in this former communal society in eastern Iowa — a 10 a.m. Saturday parade, polka music, keg-tapping, food-sampling, artisan demonstrations and pony rides.

Sun
9
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Sat
1

Tulip Time

Holland, MI

More than 6 million tulips bloom during this festival, which this year features a Dutch market, walking tours, tall-ship tours and a carnival.

Sat
8
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Sun
2

Virtual Wordplay Book Festival

Minneapolis, MN

The Loft Literary Center hosts this family-friendly festival, featuring dozens of authors.

 

Sun
9
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Sun
2

Virtual Homegrown Music Festival

Duluth, MN

More than 100 musical acts perform in venues around the Twin Ports, and there also will be film, visual arts and craft beer.

It's online again this year.

Sat
8
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Thu
6

Pella Tulip Time

Pella, IA

This big Dutch heritage fest features daily historical tours, a craft market and afternoon and evening parades.

Sun
9
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Thu
6

100-Mile Garage Sale

Lake Pepin

This big garage sale is a good excuse to make the scenic, 70-mile drive around this wide spot in the Mississippi, in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Thu
20
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Thu
6

Virtual Milwaukee Film Festival

Milwaukee, WI

Stream more than 200 films from around the globe.

Sun
9
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Fri
7

Spring Festival & Folk Fest

Gays Mills, WI

This Kickapoo Valley village in southwest Wisconsin offers a rodeo, tractor pull, Maypole dancing and a Saturday-night folk concert.

Horicon Marsh Bird Festival

Horicon, WI

This large festival in east-central Wisconsin is around a large marsh often called the Everglades of the North. Normally, there are bird hikes, bird-banding demonstrations, pontoon-boat tours, canoe and kayak tours, bus tours and a round-the-clock Big Sit, in which participants try to identify as many birds as possible. Register early for field trips.

In 2021, some activities will be altered.

Mushroom Festival

Mesick, MI

This northwest Michigan town is morel central in May, celebrating the spring hunt with a carnival, carriage rides, flea market, duck races and a parade at noon Saturday.

Earth Arts Spring Art Tour

Upper St. Croix Valley, WI

Visit artists at 28 studios and sites in and around St. Croix Falls, Osceola and Amery.

Sat
15
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Thu
13

Tulip Festival

Orange City, IA

The popular festival in this Dutch town in northwest Iowa celebrates its 81st anniversary with dance, music, street scrubbing and parades at 2:15 and 6 p.m. daily.

Thu
20
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Thu
13

Wisconsin Film Festival

Madison, WI

See 150 independent films from Wisconsin and around the world.

Sun
23
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Thu
13

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival

Minneapolis, MN

More than 180 films from around the world are streamed and/or shown live outdoors.

Sat
15
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Fri
14

Trout Days

Preston, MN

This town on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail celebrates spring with a car show, kids' pedal pull, live music, fireworks and a parade at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Rummage Along the River

Southwest Wisconsin, WI

Seventy miles of garage sales will line the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River from Stoddard, just south of La Crosse, and Lynxville.

Sun
16
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Fri
14

Syttende Mai

Stoughton, WI

The festival in this town south of Madison, which celebrates Norwegian constitution day, is the largest in North America and probably the world. It features Norwegian dancing, Viking games, fjord horses, a canoe race, an arts fair and a big parade at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Syttende Mai

Spring Grove, MN

In Minnesota, Norwegians settled first in this town in bluff country. There's Norwegian food, music and dance, and a big parade at noon Saturday.

Art-A-Whirl Studio Tour

Minneapolis, MN

Up to 800 artists are taking part in this tour of studios in the northeast Minneapolis arts district.

Some studios are opening for in-person visits and others online only. Check for updates.

 

National Morel Mushroom Festival

Boyne City, MI

This town on the east end of Lake Charlevoix is all about morels in May, with a guided mushroom hunt, a competition with prizes, drawings for free morels and The Taste of Morels, with morsels provided by local restaurants.

Sat
15

Morel Mushroom Festival

Muscoda, WI

This town along the Wisconsin River calls itself the Morel Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin. There's a 3 p.m. parade and fireworks plus a flea market, arts fair and pedal-tractor pull.

Stand Still Parade

Whalan, MN

In this village on the Root River State Trail, just east of Lanesboro, it's the spectators who do the parading. There's music, food and games.

Syttende Mai

Westby, WI

This Norwegian town, southeast of La Crosse, holds a bicycle tour, troll hunt, rommegrot-eating contest, old-time music, children's tractor pull and a big parade.

Sun
16
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Sat
15

Doors Open Minneapolis

Minneapolis, MN

Get a free, behind-the-scenes look at 115 historic theaters, hotels, courthouses and mansions as well as new buildings and venues, including Target Field, Surly Brewing, the Prospect Park water tower and the Pillsbury A Mill. On-site docents lead tours or answer questions.

Sat
22
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Thu
20

Festival of Birds

Detroit Lakes, MN

This festival in northwest Minnesota is near the convergence of prairie with northern pine forest and eastern hardwood forest. Space in field trips to local refuges fills quickly.

Sun
23
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Fri
21

Civil War Living History Festival

Milton, WI

In this town near Janesville, this free festival is at the Milton House Museum, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. It features an encampment of soldiers, military drills, cannon firing and an historic walking tour. Sign up in advance for living-history tours of the hotel, where guests will go back to 1861 and meet a freedom-seeker hidden in the cellar.

In 2021, some events may be virtual.

Sun
23
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Sat
22

World War I Encampment

Rockford, IL

At Midway Village, more than 225 re-enactors portray soldiers and civilians from the United States and Europe and stage narrated battles.

Reserve your place in advance.

Sun
30
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Sat
22

Duluth Dylan Festival

Duluth, MN

The town in which Bob Dylan was born celebrates the singer's 80th birthday with a Blood on the Tracks train ride, a singer-songwriter contest, a bus tour, films, music and a trivia contest.

 

Mon
31
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Thu
27

North Iowa Band Festival

Mason City, IA

There's a carnival, craft show and car cruise, but don't miss the 10 a.m. Saturday band parade in this northern Iowa town, which Meredith Willson made famous in "The Music Man.''

Sun
30
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Fri
28

River Valley Festival

Boone, IA

In this town north of Des Moines, normally there are walking tours of the Iowa Arboretum, guided hikes, a bags tourney, an art fair with music, a garage-art car show and a family ride on the High Trestle Trail. 

In 2021, some events may be altered.

Mon
31
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Sat
29

Fort Michilimackinac Pageant

Mackinaw City, MI

This free pageant at Colonial Michilimackinac features a cast of more than 400, re-enacting events that took place between the French, British and Indian tribes on June 2, 1763.

There are also 18th-century fashion shows, voyageur contests, kids' games, a Saturday parade and fireworks.