MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Spring festivals 2021

March

  • (Mar. 12 – 14)Virtual Canoecopia

    Madison, WI

    It's the world's largest paddlesports expo, according to host Rutabaga, with dozens of demonstrations, workshops and presentations plus discounts on boats and gear. 

    It's virtual this year.


  • (Mar. 18 – 21)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.


April

  • (Apr. 3)Outdoor Easter at the Castle

    Minneapolis, MN

    The American Swedish Institute hosts an Easter egg hunt in the 33-room Turnblad Mansion. There will also be crafts, storytelling and Easter tree-decorating. Register by March 22.


  • (Apr. 3)Eggstravaganza

    Racine, WI

    At the Racine Zoo, the all-day Eggstravaganza includes a candy hunt, bounce houses, an egg dig, a dance party, egg- and cookie-decorating, crafts and games. Included with admission.


  • (Apr. 10)Maple Syrup Fest

    Phelps, WI

    In the northeast corner of Wisconsin, tour the sugarbush, tap trees, make maple taffy in the snow and shop at an arts and crafts fair.


  • (Apr. 18 – 25)Julien Dubuque Film Festival

    Dubuque, IA

    See 70 films and a silent-film showcase. There's a red-carpet awards show Saturday.


  • (Apr. 23 – 25)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.


  • (Apr. 23 – 25)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. 24)Free Entrance Day at Minnesota state parks

    All state parks, MN

    Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas is free today and also on June 12 and Nov. 26.


May

  • (May 1 – 9)Tulip Time

    Holland, MI

    More than 6 million tulips bloom during this festival, which features a Dutch market, dancers, trolley tours, big-name performers and three parades, ending with the Muziekparade, with 40 bands and 40 floats.

     


  • (May 1 – 2)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 2 – 9)Homegrown Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

    More than 100 musical acts will perform in venues around the Twin Ports, and there also will be film, visual arts and craft beer.


  • (May 6 – 8)Pella Tulip Time

    Pella, IA

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


  • (May 7 – 9)100-Mile Garage Sale

    Lake Pepin

    This big garage sale is a good excuse to make the scenic, 70-mile drive around this wide spot in the Mississippi, in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.


  • (May 7 – 9)Spring Festival & Folk Fest

    Gays Mills, WI

    This Kickapoo Valley village in southwest Wisconsin offers a rodeo, tractor pull, Maypole dancing and a Saturday-night folk concert.


  • (May 7 – 9)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 13 – 15)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 14 – 16)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 14 – 16)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 14 – 15)Trout Days

    Preston, MN

    This town on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail celebrates spring with a car show, a petting zoo, bungee run and parade.


  • (May 15 – 16)Morel Mushroom Festival

    Muscoda, WI

    This town along the Wisconsin River calls itself the Morel Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin. There's a Sunday parade plus a car show, fireworks, helicopter rides, a chainsaw-carving show and microbrew tasting.


  • (May 15)Stand Still Parade

    Whalan, MN

    In this village on the Root River State Trail, just east of Lanesboro, it's the spectators who do the parading. There's music, food and games.


  • (May 15 – 16)Doors Open Minneapolis

    Minneapolis, MN

    Get a free, behind-the-scenes look at 115 historic theaters, hotels, courthouses and mansions as well as new buildings and venues, including Target Field, Surly Brewing, the Prospect Park water tower and the Pillsbury A Mill. On-site docents lead tours or answer questions.


  • (May 20 – 22)Festival of Birds

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    This festival in northwest Minnesota is near the convergence of prairie with northern pine forest and eastern hardwood forest. Space in field trips to local refuges fills quickly.


  • (May 23)Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

    Libertyville, IL

    This 18.5-mile race and tour through forest preserves to Mount Prospect is for families and first-timers as well as competitors. There's also a 5.25-mile Minithon, and boats can be rented.


June

  • (Jun 12)Blessing of the Fleet Festival

    Baileys Harbor, WI

    Tour fishing boats, meet local fishing legends and watch a boat parade. There will also be arts and crafts and a paddle race.