MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Heritage festivals 2022

March

  • (Mar. 12)St. Patrick's Day parade

    Milwaukee, WI

    The big parade starts at noon, starting at Third and Wisconsin downtown and followed by music, dancing and pipes and drums at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center.


  • (Mar. 18 – 19)St. Patrick's Day Festival

    Emmetsburg, IA

    In northwest Iowa, this is the state's Irish capital, and it celebrates with many festivities, including a parade at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.


  • (Mar. 19)Celtic Fest

    Moorhead, MN

    This free festival at the Hjemkomst Center includes two entertainment stages, heritage programs, arts and crafts, interactive booths and Celtic food and treats.


April

  • (Apr. 30 – May 1)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.


May

  • (May 5 – 7)Pella Tulip Time

    Pella, IA

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


  • (May 7 – 15)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.


  • (May 13 – 15)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.


  • (May 13 – 15)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.


  • (May 19 – 21)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.


  • (May 28)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 mass in Ojibwa.


June

  • (Jun 3 – 5)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.


  • (Jun 4)Milwaukee Highland Games

    Wauwatosa, WI

    Listen to bagpipe bands, eat Scottish food and watch sheepdogs, Highland dancers and athletes.


  • (Jun 10 – 12)Polish Fest

    Milwaukee, WI

    This big festival on the lakefront features lots of hearty food, a piano contest, storytelling, vodka-tasting, folk arts and polka dancing.


July

  • (Jul 8 – 9)Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant

    Walnut Grove, MN

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


  • (Jul 22 – 24)Festa Italiana

    Milwaukee, WI

    At the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park, there's cannoli-eating and pizza-making contests, celebrity chefs, a bocce ball tournament, parades at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, nightly fireworks and music and dance on five stages and an opera tent.


  • (Jul 28 – 30)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.


  • (Jul 28 – 30)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.


  • (Jul 29 – 31)German Fest

    Milwaukee, WI

    Look for dachshunds, dirndls and lots of oompah music at this big party at Henry Maier Festival Park on Lake Michigan.

     


  • (Jul 31 – Aug 13)Folklorama

    Winnipeg, MB

    This Manitoba prairie town celebrates its heritage with pavilions representing 44 nationalities, offering music, dance and food at many venues.


August

  • (Aug. 5 – 7)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.


  • (Aug. 12 – 14)Grand Portage Powwow & Rendezvous

    Grand Portage, MN

    Re-enactors from across the continent gather at Grand Portage National Monument for the annual fur-trade rendezvous; next door, the  Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa holds a powwow. Reserve lodgings far in advance.


  • (Aug. 12 – 14)Irish Fair

    St. Paul, MN

    This big heritage fest on the banks of the Mississippi includes Irish Got Talent and best legs in a kilt contests, hurling demonstrations, dancing and lots of music.

     


  • (Aug. 18 – 21)Irish Fest

    Milwaukee, WI

    The nation's largest Irish festival features 100 acts on 16 stages, plus children's activities, red hair and freckle contests and demonstrations by Irish dog breeds. In Henry Maier Festival Park.


  • (Aug. 26 – 28)Mexican Fiesta

    Milwaukee, WI

    Enjoy the best of Mexican culture at the Henry Maier Festival Park: mariachi, arts and crafts, spicy foods and contests: dance, costume, jalapeno-eating and el grito, or shouting.


September

  • (Sep. 2 – 4)Wilhelm Tell Festival

    New Glarus, WI

    This Swiss town near Madison has been putting on an outdoor William Tell pageant since 1938. Festivities include a children's lantern parade, yodeling, an arts show and ethnic fashions.


  • (Sep. 11)Scandinavian Day

    South Elgin, IL

    This festival in Vasa Park, along the Fox River, features music, dancing, food and crafts from the Nordic countries.