MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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May 2021  June 2021 July 2021
Sun
6
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Thu
3

Milk Days

Harvard, IL

The festival in this small town just south of Lake Geneva, Wis., is the longest running in the state. There are milk-drinking contests, milking demonstrations, cow-chip lotto, bed races and a parade Saturday.

Sat
5
-
Fri
4

Sun Drop Dayz

Shawano, WI

This northwoods town offers music, kids' activities, a car show, flea market, magic show and craft fair, plus samples of the locally made Sun Drops soda.

Sun
6
-
Fri
4

Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

Little Chute, WI

This Fox Cities festival includes cheese-curd eating, cheese-carving and cheesecake contests and a 10:30 a.m. Saturday cheese parade.

Spring Art Tour

Mount Horeb, WI

Artists open their studios in Mount Horeb and other towns in the Wisconsin River valley: Mazomanie, Black Earth, Cross Plains, Blue Mounds and Verona.

Sun
13
-
Fri
4

Lilac Festival

Mackinac Island, MI

There are concerts, lilac walking tours, a dog and pony show, a family fun area and, on the last day, a big parade.

Sat
5

Rhubarb Festival

Lanesboro, MN

There’s a Rhubarb Olympics, featuring the Rhubarb Stalk Throw and Green Eggs and Rhubarb, and a Rhubarb Rant Speakers Corner for opinionated folks. The Rhubarb Sisters entertain. 

Reggae Fest

Trempealeau, WI

The Trempealeau Hotel hosts this easygoing festival on the banks of the Mississippi. 

Tickets are limited.

Sun
6
-
Sat
5

Wisconsin state-parks open house

All state parks, WI

Visit a Wisconsin state park without paying the daily vehicle fee, $8-$13 for residents and $11-$16 for non-residents.

 

Outta Sight Kite Flight

Kenosha, WI

See giant show kites and stunt-flying demonstrations along Lake Michigan in Kennedy Park. There will be kite-making workshops and kite-flying lessons and contests, and the first 100 kids will receive free kites.

Sun
6

Ride the Drive

Madison, WI

This year, the car-free routes are spread out between Marlborough, Wingra, Kennedy and Warner parks, with stops for activities, food and music. You can ride, walk or skate.

Model A Day

Sharon, WI

In this hamlet near Lake Geneva, on the Illinois border, Model A's from the 1920s and '30s line main street, and people dressed as gangsters and flappers promenade in front of historic buildings.

Sat
12
-
Thu
10

Aquafest

Rice Lake, WI

The festival in this northwest Wisconsin lakes town includes a carnival, art fair, kids' fishing derby, car show, live bands and, on the last day, a parade followed by a water-ski show.

Sun
13
-
Thu
10

Butterfest

Sparta, WI

There's an arts and crafts show, flea market and carnival but also a milking contest, firemen's water fight and a parade Sunday.

Mount Horeb Summer Frolic

Mount Horeb, WI

Just west of Madison, this town celebrates with a bean-bag toss, dog show, volleyball, craft-beer tent, Saturday fireworks and Sunday parade. 

 

Sat
12
-
Fri
11

Stamman Scandinavian Folk Festival

Nisswa, MN

This festival in the Brainerd Lakes area features visiting musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway as well as many North American folk musicians.

Sun
13
-
Fri
11

Spring Lighthouse Festival

Door County, WI

The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay offers tours of the peninsula's 11 lighthouses by foot, boat, trolley, minibus and airplane. Tickets go on sale to the public in March; some tours sell out quickly.

Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival

Worthington, MN

This breezy town in southwest Minnesota hosts windsurfing races on Lake Okabena and a free music festival. There will also be children's activities, a bike ride and a fun run.

Walleye Weekend

Fond du Lac, WI

In addition to a fishing tournament, this free family fest features live music on four stages, a Friday parade and strongman, volleyball and cornhole competitions, plus a Familyland for small children and a Teen Village with a climbing wall, giant obstacle course and henna tattoo parlor.

Country Thunder Iowa Music Festival

Forest City, IA

The country-music festival in this town near Clear Lake features Lynyrd Skynrd, Morgan Wallan and Old Dominion. There's camping (and glamping) onsite.

Lower Sioux Wacipi

Morton, MN

This Lower Sioux Indian Community wacipi, or powwow, includes dancing, drumming, singing and food. Grand Entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Everyone is welcome.

Sat
12

Wine & Food Festival

Leland, MI

Sample local wines and listen to music at this festival on the Leelanau Peninsula.

PorchFest

Mount Morris, IL

During this afternoon music festival, 19 bands perform for 45 minutes each on porches around town. There will be food vendors, too.

Free Entrance Day to all Minnesota state parks

All state parks, MN

Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas is free today.

Sun
13
-
Sat
12

Old Town Art Fair

Chicago, IL

In the Old Town neighborhood, there will be more than 200 juried fine artists, a garden walk, live music and children's activities.

Sun
20
-
Mon
14

Jaycee Water Carnival

Hutchinson, MN

This town just west of Minneapolis, on the Crow River, celebrates with a boat parade, fireworks, human foosball tournament, canoe races, duck races, a car show and parade Sunday.

Sat
19
-
Wed
16

Ice Cream Days

Le Mars, IA

The festival in this northwest Iowa town, home of Blue Bunny ice cream, includes an art fair, old-fashioned children's games, architectural tours, a polo match, airplane and helicopter stunts and a parade at 9 a.m. Saturday. And the ice cream is free.

Sun
20
-
Wed
16

Steamboat Days

Winona, MN

The main event is the 12:31 p.m. Sunday parade, one of the region's largest. There's also a carnival, craft show, power-boat races and car show.

Perham Turtle Fest

Perham, MN

This town in the northwest Minnesota lakes region features turtle races, a rodeo, music, trolley rides, inflatable games and a parade Friday.

 

Sun
20
-
Thu
17

Rose Festival

State Center, IA

This town east of Ames calls itself Iowa's rose capital, and it celebrates with garden tours, children's games, a truck and tractor pull, music, fireworks and a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Sat
19
-
Fri
18

More on 34

Aurora to Galesburg, IL

A 131-mile yard sale along U.S. 34 from Aurora to Galesburg, with events in many towns.

 

Winstock Country Festival

Winsted, MN

Luke Combs and Darius Rucker headline this festival just west of Minneapolis.

Northwoods Blues Festival

Chippewa Falls, WI

The blues festival is at Riverfront Park. 

Sun
20
-
Fri
18

Great Galena Balloon Race

Galena, IL

Eagle Ridge Resort hosts two balloon races, two night glows and rides for the public. 

Sat
19

Midsummer Fest

Coon Valley, WI

This family festival at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, in the coulees near La Crosse, features the best of Scandinavian culture: food, music and crafts. For children, there will be a visit from the trolls by the bridge, fjord horses and a scavenger hunt.

Wurst Festival

Amana, IA

Besides sausage sampling, there will be music, a dachshund derby, a beer-stein holding contest and hotdog games.

Sun
20
-
Sat
19

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

Minneapolis, MN

On the banks of the Mississippi, 200 artists show their wares. There will also be music, art for kids and a car show.

This year, the fair is not on the Stone Arch Bridge but on the west side of the river between Portland and North Fourth Avenue.

 

Sun
27
-
Tue
22

Swedish Days Festival

Geneva, IL

This Fox River town on the western edge of Chicago offers music, a carnival, a Swedish cottage walk and a big parade Sunday. 

Sat
26
-
Thu
24

Country Fest

Cadott, WI

This year's big outdoor festival near Chippewa Falls features Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley and Kane Brown.

Lakes Jam

Brainerd, MN

Brothers Osborne, Jon Pardi and Ratt are among the headliners at this music-and-camping festival at Brainerd International Raceway.

Fri
25

Soo Locks Engineers Day

Sault Ste. Marie, MI

It's the biggest day of the year for boat nerds at the Soo Locks. 

This year, people will not be allowed to walk across the locks, and Portage Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic, for an arts, crafts and family fun fair.

Sun
27
-
Fri
25

Musky Fest

Hayward, WI

There will be a carnival, crafts, watermelon- and ice cream-eating contests and lots of festivities downtown, capped by the 1 p.m. Sunday parade.

Water Ski Days

Lake City, MN

There's music, an arts and crafts fair and, on Sunday, a parade followed by a water-ski show on Lake Pepin, where water-skiing was invented.

Des Moines Arts Festival

Des Moines, IA

This big, juried arts fair at Western Gateway Park downtown includes street theater, live music and a film festival.

Cedar Basin Jazz Festival

Cedar Falls, IA

There will be 42 hours of free entertainment in Sturgis Park, including a Sunday morning gospel set and a jazz brunch.

Sun
27
-
Sat
26

Strawberry Festival

Cedarburg, WI

During this popular event in an old mill town north of Milwaukee, there's music, kids' games, a rubber-duck race, shortcake-eating and bubblegum-blowing contests and strawberries in everything — brats, wine, slush. 

Spring Iowa Barn Tour

Anamosa, IA

This tour of historic barns concentrates on barns in the rolling Grant Wood country of eastern Iowa, including the Anamosa State Penitentiary barns.

Sun
4
-
Wed
30

Riverfest

La Crosse, WI

This riverfront festival includes music, magicians, dance, a water-ski show and fireworks by the La Crosse Skyrockers. Headliners include Randy Houser, Troy Cartwright and Chris Kroeze.