MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Arts festivals 2018

January

  • (Jan. 20 – 21)Art Shanty Projects

    Minneapolis, MN

    This year, frozen Lake Harriet hosts two dozen artist-designed ice houses and lots of fun art antics. Check for scheduled events and ice conditions.

     

     


March

  • (Mar. 3 – 4)Artigras

    Green Bay, WI

    This fine arts festival in Shopko Hall includes artist demonstrations, children's activities, dance, jazz and classical music.


April

  • (Apr. 5 – 12)Wisconsin Film Festival

    Madison, WI

    See 150 independent films from Wisconsin and around the world in seven theaters in and around State Street.


  • (Apr. 27 – 29)Bluff Country Studio Art Tour

    Northeast IA/Southeast, MN

    Take a spring drive through southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa and visit artists in and around Winona, Lanesboro, Spring Grove and Harmony in Minnesota and Decorah in Iowa.


  • (Apr. 27 – 29)Art Attack

    Harbor Country, MI

    The eight Lake Michigan towns between the Indiana border and Warren Dunes State Park offer gallery receptions, artist demonstrations, theater, music and wine tasting.


  • (Apr. 27 – 29)Behind the Arts Studio Tour

    Racine and Kenosha, WI

    Visit more than 85 artists at 45 studios, in Racine on Saturday and in Kenosha on Sunday. On Friday evening, there's a Preview Party.


  • (Apr. 27 – 29)St. Paul Art Crawl

    St. Paul, MN

    Tour the studios of more than 300 artists in 17 buildings in the Lowertown and downtown neighborhoods.


May

  • (May 4 – 6)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.


  • (May 18 – 20)Art-A-Whirl Studio and Gallery Tour

    Minneapolis, MN

    More than 500 artists take part in this tour of 60 locations in the northeast Minneapolis arts district.

     


  • (May 18 – 20)DubuqueFest

    Dubuque, IA

    This downtown arts festival includes dance, music on two stages, storytelling, food and children's activities.


June

  • (Jun 1 – 2)Street Faire at the Lakes

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    This western-Minnesota lake town hosts a juried arts show with music, fair food and a beer garden.


  • (Jun 1 – 3)Fresh Art Spring Tour

    Lake Pepin, WI

    Artists' studios and gardens will be open along the Mississippi and in the bluffs between Maiden Rock and Pepin in western Wisconsin.


  • (Jun 1 – 3)Edina Art Fair

    Edina, MN

    The juried show in this posh southern Minneapolis suburb draws 375 exhibitors and 60,000 people.


  • (Jun 1 – 3)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.


  • (Jun 1 – 3)Iowa Arts Festival

    Iowa City, IA

    This free downtown festival features an art show, a Global Village, a Culinary Row and music and dance. Sunday is Children's Day, with 10 booths of hands-on activities.


  • (Jun 9 – 10)Wells Street/Old Town art fairs

    Chicago, IL

    Together, the Wells Street Art Festival and nearby Old Town Art Fair two fairs have more than 500 exhibitors and draw 110,000 visitors.


  • (Jun 15 – 16)Northern Spark

    Minneapolis, MN

    This year, the nighttime arts festival expands to two nights, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with venues in downtown Minneapolis. 


  • (Jun 15 – 17)Stone Arch Bridge Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    On the banks of the Mississippi, 250 artists show their wares around St. Anthony Main. There are also concerts, art for kids and a car show.


  • (Jun 16 – 17)Custer Fair

    Evanston, IL

    This big fair in the Custer Avenue-Main Street shopping district features 250 artists, 50 variety performers, a medicine show, powwow dancing, children's activities and music on two stages.


  • (Jun 22 – 24)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.


  • (Jun 23 – 24)Afton Strawberry Festival

    Afton, MN

    This village on the St. Croix River offers an art fair, music, games, raptor demos and a strawberry shortcake-eating contest.

     


July

  • (Jul 14 – 15)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.


  • (Jul 14 – 15)Art Fair On/Off the Square

    Madison, WI

    Nearly 500 artists from around the nation will be selling on Capitol Square and 140 Wisconsin artists around Monona Terrace, attracting more than 200,000 people.


  • (Jul 14 – 15)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.


  • (Jul 20 – 22)Highland Fest

    St. Paul, MN

    This street fair in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood includes an arts fair, music, carnival rides, an all-Ford car and truck show and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Jul 21)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.


August

  • (Aug. 3 – 5)Uptown Art Fair

    Minneapolis, MN

    This large juried art fair in the Uptown neighborhood draws crowds. Use a Nice Ride bike or download a free bus/train pass to avoid congestion.


  • (Aug. 4 – 5)Powderhorn Art Fair

    Minneapolis, MN

    This smaller art festival in Powderhorn Park, in south Minneapolis, is not far from the big Uptown Art Fair.


  • (Aug. 17 – 19)Oronoco Gold Rush

    Oronoco, MN

    The antiques show and flea market in this friendly little village just north of Rochester off U.S. 52 includes more than 400 vendors and 1,200 booths. There's also pancakes for breakfast, homemade pie and music.


  • (Aug. 24 – 26)Artstreet

    Green Bay, WI

    Artists, performers and craft and food stands fill streets downtown near the Fox River.


September

October

  • (Oct. 6 – 7)Rivertown Fall Art Festival

    Stillwater, MN

    This juried arts festival along the banks of the St. Croix River includes music and food vendors.


  • (Oct. 12 – 14)Northeast Iowa Artists' Studio Tour

    Decorah area, IA

    Drive through bluff country to see 56 artists at 43 sites around Decorah, Burr Oak, St. Lucas, Waukon, West Union, Cresco, New Albin, Lansing, Elgin and Clermont.


  • (Oct. 19 – 21)Southwest Wisconsin Fall Art Tour

    Southwest, WI

    This popular studio tour includes artists at studios between Mineral Point, Spring Green, Dodgeville and Baraboo.


  • (Oct. 27 – 28)Earth Wood & Fire Artist Tour

    Lake Mills, WI

    Visit artists in their studios in and around Lake Mills, Cambridge and Fort Atkinson, between Madison and Milwaukee.


November

  • (Nov. 17 – 18)Art & Gift Fair

    Madison, WI

    This event at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Overture Center features fine art, music, treats and the Rediscovered Art & Treasures Sale.