MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest
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June 2021  July 2021 August 2021
Sun
4
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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.

 

Thu
1

Canada Day

Thunder Bay, ON

On Canada Day at Fort William Historical Park, the continent's largest reconstructed fur post, admission is free to the first 500 visitors. There's also free corn on the cob, an inflatable obstacle course, axe-throwing, paintball, canoe rides, dance performances and bannock-making, log-sawing and lacrosse contests.

Sun
4
-
Thu
1

National Women's Music Festival

Middleton, WI

In addition to concerts, this musical and cultural festival at the Marriott Madison West features comedy, theater, film and writers' workshops.

Catfish River Music Festival

Stoughton, WI

More than 20 bands perform in Rotary Park during this free festival, which includes artisans, food, beer, wine and fireworks on the Fourth and on Sunday.

Sat
3
-
Fri
2

Iowa City Jazz Festival

Iowa City, IA

This downtown festival features a Culinary Row, Fun Zone for kids and  fireworks in addition to music.

Sun
4
-
Fri
2

Riverfront Rendezvous

Stevens Point, WI

There's a noon parade on the Fourth plus lumberjack and magic shows, bands and, on Saturday, kids' games, a lighted boat parade and fireworks.

Sat
10
-
Sat
3

National Cherry Festival

Traverse City, MI

This town on Lake Michigan attracts half a million people to events that include air shows, an arts fair, music, races, the big Cherry Royale Parade and many contests, including pie-eating and pit-spitting.

Sun
4

Sub Fest

Manitowoc, WI

The fest at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, home of the USS Cobia, is combined with Fourth on the Shore this year and features music, a parade and fireworks.

Fire Over the Fox

Green Bay, WI

Green Bay hosts the largest fireworks show north of Milwaukee, plus a water-ski show, carnival rides and music and family entertainment on five stages plus the Neville Public Museum. It's in Leicht Memorial Park.

Sun
11
-
Wed
7

Karl Oskar Days

Lindstrom, MN

The festival in this Swedish town just north of the Twin Cities features fireworks, a car show and a parade.

Sat
10
-
Thu
8

Heart of the North Rodeo

Spooner, WI

Look for the four R's in this western Wisconsin town: roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing. A parade is on Saturday.

Iola Old Car Show

Iola, WI

This show and swap meet brings up to 130,000 people to this village east of Stevens Point.

Sun
11
-
Thu
8

Hodag Country Festival

Rhinelander, WI

This year, performers at this big fest include Neal McCoy, Travis Tritt and Darius Rucker. There's a band contest, too.

Riverfest

Monticello, MN

This Mississippi River town, known for its trumpeter swans in winter, celebrates summer with a car show, pie-eating contest, Friday fireworks and noon parade on Sunday.

Sat
10
-
Fri
9

Bigfoot Days

Remer, MN

This town in Chippewa National Forest, between Walker and Grand Rapids, calls itself the Home of Bigfoot. There will be a Bigfoot Olympics, a Bigfoot-calling contest, Bigfoot storytelling, a scavenger hunt and a petting zoo.

Sun
11
-
Fri
9

Wild Rice Festival

Deer River, MN

This northern town near Grand Rapids offers a powwow Friday, wild-rice lunch, bike rodeo, sawdust scramble, singing competition and fireworks Saturday and a parade Sunday.

Taste and Glow Balloon Fest

Wausau, WI

This first-year festival will feature hot-air balloons and also music, kids' activities, a tractor pull and a flea market.

Sun
18
-
Fri
9

Northwest Water Carnival

Detroit Lakes, MN

This big festival celebrates its 85th year with a sand-castle contest, water fights, ship-building (in less than 30 minutes), beer tasting, watermelon feed, bike tour and more. On the last day, there's a big parade at 1 p.m.

Sat
10

Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration

Baraboo, WI

In the downtown square, there will be circus-themed performances, walking tours, music, children's activities and a Big Top parade.

Sun
11
-
Sat
10

Phelps Mill Festival

Phelps, MN

There's a juried arts and crafts fair, children's activities and music in this bucolic, tucked-away park along the Otter Tail River, next to an 1889 brick and clapboard mill that's open for tours.

The hamlet of Phelps is just west of Otter Tail Lake and north of Underwood.

Grand Marais Arts Festival

Grand Marais, MN

This juried art show along the Lake Superior harbor includes children's activities, art demonstrations, a pie social and live music.

Fiesta Days

McHenry, IL

There's a Music Fest, carnival and car and motorcycle show in Petersen Park the first weekend. The second weekend, there's an art and street fair Saturday and a Sunday walk-by parade on Main Street.

Sun
18
-
Wed
14

Sinclair Lewis Days

Sauk Centre, MN

The hometown of the Nobel Prize-winning author celebrates with turtle races, bicycle stunts, Friday fireworks, a craft fair, music and a parade Saturday.

Mon
19
-
Wed
14

Water Days

New London, MN

In this lakes town near Sibley State Park, there's a water-ski show, parade, kids' fishing derby and fireworks.

Sat
17
-
Thu
15

Rock Fest

Cadott, WI

This year's outdoor festival near Chippewa Falls features Limp Bizkit, Korn and Disturbed.

Country Jam

Eau Claire, WI

Morgan Wallen, Chris Young and Jon Pardi are  among the headliners of this fest. There's camping on-site.

Sun
18
-
Thu
15

Bavarian Blast

New Ulm, MN

In addition to German music, food and beer, this festival at the Brown County Fair Grounds features stein-holding, barrel-rolling and sauerkraut-eating contests, plus a Sunday parade.

Paperfest

Kimberly, WI

This Fox Cities town celebrates its heritage with toilet-paper tosses, lawn games, concerts, human foosball and a firefighter tug of war.

Sat
17
-
Fri
16

Lowertown Blues & Funk Festival

St. Paul, MN

This free, all-ages festival is in Mears Park.

Sun
18
-
Fri
16

Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival

Marquette, MI

This folk-music festival in Tourist Park also features a juried arts and crafts show and camping on-site.

Honor the Earth Pow-wow

Hayward, WI

The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa hold one of the largest powwows in North America, with dancing, singing and crafts plus a cooking contest, run/walk and softball tournament.

Wannigan Days

St. Croix Falls, WI

St. Croix Falls and its cross-river neighbor, Taylors Falls, pay tribute to lumberjacks and river pigs with rock and country music, an arts and crafts fair, a Saturday parade and fireworks.

Rivertown Days

Hastings, MN

In this river town south of St. Paul, there will be 25 bands on four stages, plus a carnival, arts & crafts fair and classic-car show.

Sat
17

Stockholm Art Fair

Stockholm, WI

This hamlet on Lake Pepin, a favorite day trip destination for Twin Citians, becomes a shopping mecca during this big fair.

Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival

Duluth, MN

Listen to island music on the shore of Lake Superior.

Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games

Eagan, MN

This fest south of St. Paul features Celtic music, a British car show, a harp competition and heavy games, such as hammer throwing, sheaf tossing, caber turning and the stone put.

Sun
18
-
Sat
17

Agate Days

Moose Lake, MN

See the beautiful stones on display, then dig for them at 3 p.m. Saturday during the Agate Stampede, when a load of rocks seeded with 400 pounds agates, $400 in quarters and $100 in 50-cent pieces is dumped downtown.

There's also music and an art fair.

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

Davenport, IA

In LeClaire Park on the river, blues musicians celebrate the music that traveled up the Mississippi. 

Chinatown Summer Fair

Chicago, IL

There's a Lion Dance, Chinese classical dance and music, demonstrations of martial arts and displays of ancient art forms and disciplines plus a petting zoo and pony rides.

Civil War Encampment and Battle

Menomonee Falls, WI

This event at Old Falls Village features Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, storytelling and a soldier encampment with medical and cooking demonstration. General Grant narrates the Battle of Cedar Run, 2 p.m. both days.

Sat
24
-
Sat
17

Charlevoix Venetian Festival

Charlevoix, MI

A week of music and games winds up with an 11 a.m. street parade and, at dusk, a lighted boat parade followed by fireworks.

Sun
18

Woodstock Folk Festival

Woodstock, IL

Listen to music on the square in this town just over the Wisconsin border from Lake Geneva.

Sat
24
-
Wed
21

Aquatennial

Minneapolis, MN

The City of Lakes holds a Wednesday Torchlight Parade, water-ski shows and Saturday fireworks.

Sat
24
-
Thu
22

Nordic Fest

Decorah, IA

This friendly, authentic and very large festival of Scandinavian culture features a Viking encampment, kids' games, artisan demonstrations, lutefisk-eating and Nordic rock-throwing contests and a big parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sun
25
-
Thu
22

Sweet Corn Days

Elkader, IA

In addition to free sweet corn, there will be Friday fireworks, a doughnut-hole eating contest, a kiddie tractor pull, carnival rides and a parade Saturday.

Great Folle Avoine Fur Trade Rendezvous

Danbury, WI

At this rendezvous at a rebuilt post on the banks of the Yellow River, visit with costumed traders and voyageurs from the fur-trade era and see demonstrations of tomahawk-throwing, black-powder shooting, candlemaking and other skills. There will also be a candy cannon, bead pile and ladies' and kids' games. 

The village occupies the site of an Ojibwe village where the North West and XY Company posts operated between 1802 and 1804.

Sat
24
-
Fri
23

Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant

Walnut Grove, MN

The festival in this western Minnesota town revolves around the book "On the Banks of Plum Creek.'' 

La Crosse Storytelling Festival

La Crosse, WI

Listen to local, regional and national storytellers spin tales at the Pump House. There will also be music and arts and crafts.

Muskie Days

Nevis, MN

The festival in this lake town on the Heartland State Trail features an inflatable obstacle course, hula-hoop instruction, a casting contest, music on three stages, kids' games, an ice cream-eating contest and a parade  Saturday.

Sun
25
-
Fri
23

Waterama

Glenwood, MN

This festival on the shores of Lake Minnewaska is famous for its lighted pontoon parade on Saturday, followed by fireworks. On Sunday, there's a parade on land, followed by a water-ski show.

Pierogi Fest

Whiting, IN

This suburb of Chicago exalts the plump Eastern European dumplings, filled with cheese, mashed potatoes or sauerkraut, with pierogi-eating and -tossing contests, a Mr. Pierogi songfest and a Polka Parade.

 

Minnesota Horse Expo

St. Paul, MN

There's a parade of breeds daily at noon, free horse, pony and carriage rides and a rodeo Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Sat
24

ArtBike + ArtCar Parade

Minneapolis, MN

Decorated bikes, cars and one Couchmobile will circle Lake Harriet at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to bring a decorated conveyance and join the parade; meet at 5 p.m. at the Rose Garden.

Native American Festival

St. Ignace, MI

This family-friendly festival at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture features drumming, dancing, singing, Ojibwa games, artisan workshops and Sunday mass in Ojibwa.

It's rescheduled from Memorial Day weekend.

Sun
25
-
Sat
24

Wenonga Days

Battle Lake, MN

The festival in this lake-resort town near Glendalough State Park features walking tours, human foosball, turtle races, Civil War reenactors, a water-ski show and a parade at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by a street dance and fireworks.

 

 

Sun
1
-
Mon
26

EAA AirVenture

Oshkosh, WI

This huge Experimental Aircraft Association festival includes air shows, fireworks, big-name concerts, children's activities, workshops, exhibits and rides in historic aircraft.

Reserve lodgings early; it fills rooms within a 60-mile radius.

Sat
31
-
Thu
29

Lumberjack World Championships

Hayward, WI

You can't see this kind of thing just anywhere: cut-throat log rolling, boom running, springboard chopping and speed climbing.

Sun
1
-
Thu
29

Lollapalooza

Chicago, IL

This big music festival features dozens of bands and, unlike other Grant Park festivals, is not free. Reserve rooms far in advance.

Fri
30

Blueberry Festival

Marquette, MI

Eat blueberry pizza and drink blueberry beer while listening to live music and watching dancers and medieval armored combat. There are also pony rides and games for kids.

Sat
31
-
Fri
30

Prairie Dog Blues Festival

Prairie du Chien, WI

This Mississippi River festival on historic St. Feriole Island features 12 bands on two stages, with onsite camping.

Riverboat Days

Wabasha, MN

This Mississippi River town celebrates with a pedal tractor pull, duck derby, firemen's water fight and parade.

Grant Park Music Festival

Chicago, IL

Professional musicians, many of them world-famous, offer free classical concerts in Millennium Park's beautiful Pritzker Pavilion.

This year, seating is at 25 percent capacity and still is free but must be reserved. Tickets will be available at 10 a.m. Mondays before the event.

Soul & Blues Festival

Iowa City, IA

This music festival is held downtown. 

Sun
1
-
Fri
30

Festa Italia

Fitchburg, WI

The heritage festival at McKee Farms Park in this Madison suburb features such things as folk dancing, a puppet show, a pasta-eating contest and vintage baseball as well as bocce ball.

Festa Italiana

Naperville, IL

This festival at the Naper Settlement is a showcase for Italian culture, food, music and artisans and has two entertainment stages.

Sat
7
-
Fri
30

National Balloon Classic

Indianola, IA

This giant hot-air balloon festival includes daily flights, rides for the public, music, night glows and closing fireworks.

Sun
8
-
Fri
30

Coast Guard Festival

Grand Haven, MI

There's nightly entertainment on the waterfront, a downtown carnival, tours of Coast Guard cutters, a Grand Parade and fireworks.