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.
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.
Enjoy a weekend of music in Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Lake Superior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This free Fox Cities jazz festival is in Jefferson Park, on the shores of Lake Winnebago.
The festival in this southern suburb of Chicago features more than 300 artisans, music, a carnival and a parade Sunday.
Musicians and storytellers perform on eight stages at this festival in Island Park on the Fox River.
Sister Bay, WI
In this Door County village, there will be a vintage boat show, craft fair, kids' carnival, music and Saturday fireworks.
Along a 30-mile loop, ride car-free on Lake Shore Drive, with a post-ride festival in Grant Park.
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.
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.
This northeast Illinois fair, held since 1888, features exhibits, entertainment and music plus harness racing, tractor pulls and demolition derbies.
Praise the Loud at this ticketed rock-music fest at the Basilica of St. Mary on the edge of downtown.
Grand Rapids, MN
This inaugural music festival downtown features Trampled by Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Brothers Burn Mountain and Charlie Parr.
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.
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.
There's an arts and crafts show, flower market, music, wine tasting and sampling of food from local restaurants.
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.
In Whiteside Park, there's an arts fair plus music, an old-time medicine show and pony rides and a petting zoo for kids.
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.
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.
Alphornists, Scandinavian dancers and Anishinaabe drum and dance corps perform in this town on the shores of Leech Lake. There's also a parade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Celebrate the whooping-crane migration with voyageur canoe trips, a marketplace, crane trivia, children's activities and bird walks.
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.
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.
St. Peter, MN
This free, easygoing festival is in this Minnesota River town's Minnesota Square Park.
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.
St. Paul, MN
Ride a 15-, 30- or 45-mile route along the Mississippi, lakes Como and Phalen and St. Paul parkways, starting and ending at the University of St. Thomas and punctuated by food and live music.
South Elgin, IL
This festival in Vasa Park, along the Fox River, features music, dancing, food and crafts from the Nordic countries.
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.
They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 1,000 acts perform on 12 stages along Lake Michigan.
Chippewa Falls, WI
Meet the Narren, enter a sauerkraut-eating contest, listen to polka and zydeco and watch the daily parade.
Grand Marais, MN
The harbor-side North House Folk School celebrates with storytelling, traditional workshops, a fish boil and concerts by songwriter/musicians.
St. Paul, MN
Listen to jazz in Mears Park, in St. Paul's Lowertown.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
There's a juried arts and crafts show, a flea maraket, a street carnival and a parade Sunday.
Des Moines, IA
In downtown's East Village, eat at more than 50 cultural cafes for $5 or less (or taste for $1), shop at the world marketplace or listen to musicians strolling the streets or on stage.
This year, the festival has been altered; check for events.
Carlos Creek Winery hosts this festival, which features music on two stages, an art fair, grape stomps and "I Love Lucy'' look-alike contests.
This Douglas Park music festival also features a circus sideshow revue and carnival.
This town just north of Madison celebrates with a craft-beer tasting, bike tour, music and lots of contests: frau carrying, yodeling, beer keg race, dachshund dash and Limburger cheese and sauerkraut eating.
This festival between Madison and Milwaukee is named for the German word for a cozy and congenial atmosphere. It includes sauerkraut-eating, nail-driving, facial hair and costume contests, a vintage car show, music and a parade at noon Sunday.
In this town southwest of Des Moines, there are balloon races and night glows, a parade with marching-band contest, an arts and crafts fair and a flea market.
This festival on the bayfront features stein-holding, barrel-rolling and pretzel-tossing contests, a kids' zone and a dachshund derby on Sunday, plus German food and music. Admission is $20, $10 up to week of event, free for youths 15 and under.
The festival in this town next to big Horicon Marsh features bed races, a car show, craft fair, bag tournament and music.
The parade begins in Hancock and ends in Houghton at Dee Stadium, where there's a festival with music, dancing and food from around the world.
On the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail, sample local treats, listen to music, visit the National Trout Center, take wagon rides and play games.
See early fall color around this town in Nicolet National Forest. There's pumpkin-chucking, pumpkin and scarecrow contests, a craft fair, car show, hay rides and free chili and deep-fried pickles.
Racine's biggest street festival features stages of entertainment and a car show, art walk, carnival rides and zones for kids and sports.
Sturgeon Bay, WI
This street party includes a car show, cornhole and chalk-art contests, music and artisans and winds up with the auction of 25 artist-created cherries.
Smithsonian magazine and participating museums in every state offer free admission for two people. Tickets are available for download on the website.
Along the Midtown Greenway bike route in south Minneapolis, enjoy live music, art installations and theatrical performances from 4 to 10 p.m.
Granite Falls, MN
The inaugural festival in this Minnesota River Valley town features a 10:30 a.m. parade, a disc golf tournament, street performance, kids' activities, art and live music all day. There's also a Ribfest.
There's a pumpkin regatta — yes, people paddling hollowed-out pumpkins across Cedar Creek — at the fest in this historic mill town just north of Milwaukee. There's also a scarecrow contest, grape stomp, hay rides, juried arts fair and lots of food.
This festival in northwest Illinois features live music and wine-tasting from 25 Illinois vineyards.
Midway Village Museum hosts one of the largest World War II battle re-enactments in the nation, with more than 1,200 uniformed re-enactors and more than 60 vintage tanks and other armored vehicles.
River Falls, WI
There will be pig races, a pig-calling contest, pig crafts, an amateur bacon cook-off and many bacon dishes, including ice cream.
On the shore of Lake Minnetonka, Art on the Lake combines with Apple Day, with an art fair, apple pie-eating contest, music and a street dance.
This family-oriented festival in Prairie Island Park, on the Mississippi River, features disc golf and paddling as well as music. A weekend pass includes camping and canoeing, and kids under 16 are free with an adult ticket. Buy tickets early to save money.
New Glarus, WI
There will be music, wagon rides, chainsaw carving, children's activities and, of course, beer from New Glarus Brewing.
Lakefront Brewery hosts this free, family-friendly festival at Franksville Craft Beer Garden, featuring stein-hoisting and nail-driving contests, yard games, a pig roast, live music, bounce houses for the kids and two dozen craft beers on tap.
There will be music, dancing, children's games and lock and dam tours in this antebellum town on the Mississippi River.
In the colorful northwest Wisconsin woods, there'll be hay rides, corn maze, a chili cook-off, fish boil, arts and crafts and fireworks.
This Mennonite community just southwest of Iowa City, famous for its quilts, offers pony rides, a pumpkin-carving contest, demonstrations of Old World artisanry, music and homemade potato chips, apple fritters, ice cream and chicken, biscuits and gravy.
Des Moines, IA
Take polka-dancing lessons, enter the Bier Maiden or stein-holding contests and win costume prizes at this outdoor fest under tents downtown.
This large downtown festival is more general civic celebration than German festival, with an arts and crafts show, car show and music on five stages.
More than 40 of Chicago's marquee attractions, including the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera and Second City will provide free, outdoors non-stop entertainment at Navy Pier to celebrate the return of live performance to Chicago.
On Saturday night, there will be a fireworks display to end the festival.
Mineral Point, WI
In the old lead-mining district in southwest Wisconsin, play shove ha'penny in the Kiddleywink Pub, eat figgyhobbin and pasties, listen to tommyknocker tales and tour Cornish miners' cottages.
Gays Mills, WI
There'll be arts and crafts and music in this southwest Wisconsin village. The big parade is Sunday.
At this huge festival in west-central Wisconsin, there'll be marsh tours, pie-eating contests and more than 1,000 booths selling antiques, produce and arts and crafts.
There will be dachshund racing, stein-hoisting and brat-eating competitions as well as music and dancing at the War Memorial on the lakefront.
At this Ojibwe community just north of Bayfield, there will be a mini-powwow, sailboat rides, canoe races, traditional games, music, fireworks and sky lanterns.
West Allis, WI
This free festival at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds features lumberjack shows, pumpkin bowling, scarecrow-making, kids' rides and entertainment on three stages.
There's an arts and crafts fair, children's games, contests and live music downtown.
On the Root River State Trail, sample local food, listen to music, tour a museum and visit the International Owl Center.
In this northern Wisconsin lake-resort town, there's a Rump Roast Run, beef-eating contest and Parade of Beef.
Crystal Lake, IL
In this northwest suburb of Chicago, there's pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin train and petting zoo, apple contests, music and a craft fair.
Across the state, IA
It's the Iowa Barn Foundation's annual free, self-guided tour of restored historic barns.
Music, food and a juried art show along the St. Croix River, in Lakefront Park.
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.
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 will be demos, tastings, music, art, dance and Scandinavian cow calling.
It's at Witwen Park & Campground, between Plain and Prairie du Sac.
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.
Des Moines, IA
This festival at Western Gateway Park features Latino music, dancing, arts, cultural booths, children's activities and a corn-eating contest.
La Crosse, WI
At this big riverfront festival, there's food, music and carnival rides, plus the opening Torchlight Parade and the Maple Leaf Parade on Saturday morning.