MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Spring festivals 2022

March

  • (Mar. 5)Bock Fest

    New Ulm, MN

    There's a parade of mythical Germanic characters, a hunt for billy-goat heads on the Schell Brewery grounds and beyond and a big party afterward with beer, live music and a bonfire.


  • (Mar. 11 – 13)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. 


  • (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. 12)St. Patrick's Day Parade

    Chicago, IL

    In Chicago, they really do dye the river green. Watch the dye job at 9 a.m. from the Michigan Avenue or Columbus Drive bridges, then watch the noon parade through Grant Park.


  • (Mar. 12)St. Urho's Day

    Finland, MN

    This North Shore village near Tettegouche State Park celebrates the Finnish saint with a tug-of-war over the Baptism River and a parade, craft fair, music and children's games.


  • (Mar. 17)St. Patrick's Day Parade

    St. Paul, MN

    In this traditionally Irish city, the St. Pat's Day parade starts at noon in Mears Park in Lowertown and is followed by a 1:30 p.m. party in CHS Field, with live music and food.

     


  • (Mar. 17)Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day Parade

    Columbia Heights, MN

    This year, the parade again moves to this northern suburb and will be a drive-by parade at 6 p.m.


  • (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.


  • (Mar. 19)St. Patrick's Day celebrations

    Around the region

    St. Patrick's Day parades and celebrations are back, but check for last-minute changes.  

     


  • (Mar. 19)St. Patrick's Day Parade & Celebration

    Crosslake, MN

    This Brainerd Lakes town celebrates with a parade and party.


  • (Mar. 31 – Apr 14)Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    More than 250 films from more than 70 countries will be shown, based at the five screens of St. Anthony Main, across the river from downtown.


April

  • (Apr. 2)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. 7 – 14)Wisconsin Film Festival

    Madison, WI

    See 150 independent films from Wisconsin and around the world.


  • (Apr. 7 – 9)Mission Creek Festival

    Iowa City, IA

    Dozens of musicians, artists and writers perform and read at downtown venues. On Friday evening, there's a literature crawl. 


  • (Apr. 14 – 16)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. 16)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. 20 – 24)Julien Dubuque Film Festival

    Dubuque, IA

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


  • (Apr. 21 – May 5)Milwaukee Film Festival

    Milwaukee, WI

    Watch more than 200 films from around the globe, based at the 1927 Oriental Theatre on the East Side. Virtual passes also are available for home screening.


  • (Apr. 22 – 24)Spring Outdoor Adventure Expo

    Minneapolis, MN

    A spring kickoff for outdoor enthusiasts, with presentations on outdoor adventures and destinations and a gear sale and auction of used canoes and kayaks.


  • (Apr. 22 – 24)Midwest Horse Fair

    Madison, WI

    There's a Friday-night rodeo, blacksmith championships, stagecoach rides, Texas trick riders, music and performances, including the Wisconsin Mounted Police Team. At Alliant Energy Center.


  • (Apr. 22 – 24)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. 22 – 24)Bluegrass, Bourbon & Brews Festival

    River Falls, WI

    Hear music at half a dozen venues in the downtown of this western Wisconsin college town.


  • (Apr. 23)Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine and Cheese Festival

    La Crosse, WI

    Sample cheese and more than 200 beers and 45 wines at the Oktoberfest grounds.

     


  • (Apr. 29 – 30)Midwest Music Fest

    Winona, MN

    Dozens of musical groups in all genres play in museums, galleries, cafes and arts centers across town. There are arts workshops for children, too.


  • (Apr. 30)Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival

    Kenosha, WI

    There's cheese and beer from around the state plus live music at the Brat Stop.


  • (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.


  • (Apr. 30)Taylor County Maple Fest

    Medford, WI

    This festival at the fairgrounds features maple syrup in a breakfast, a baking contest, a cooking demonstration and crafts plus music, children's activities and door prizes.


May

  • (May 1 – 8)Homegrown Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

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

     


  • (May 5 – 8)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 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 6 – 8)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 6 – 8)Horicon Marsh Bird Festival

    Horicon, WI

    This large festival in east-central Wisconsin is around a large marsh often called the Everglades of the North. There are bird hikes, bird-banding demonstrations, pontoon-boat tours, canoe and kayak tours, bus tours and a round-the-clock Big Sit, in which participants try to identify as many birds as possible. Register early for field trips.

     


  • (May 6 – 8)Mushroom Festival

    Mesick, MI

    This northwest Michigan town is morel central in May, celebrating the spring hunt with a carnival, carriage rides, flea market, duck races and a parade at noon Saturday.


  • (May 6 – 8)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 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 13 – 15)Art-A-Whirl Studio Tour

    Minneapolis, MN

    Up to 1,000 artists are taking part in this tour of studios in the northeast Minneapolis arts district.


  • (May 14)Morel Mushroom Festival

    Muscoda, WI

    This town along the Wisconsin River calls itself the Morel Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin. There's a 3 p.m. parade and fireworks plus a flea market, arts fair and pedal-tractor pull.


  • (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 19 – 21)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 20 – 21)Trout Days

    Preston, MN

    This town on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail celebrates spring with a car show, kids' pedal pull, live music, fireworks and a parade on Saturday.


  • (May 20 – 22)Civil War Living History Festival

    Milton, WI

    In this town near Janesville, this free festival is at the Milton House Museum, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. It features an encampment of soldiers, military drills, cannon firing and an historic walking tour. Sign up in advance for living-history tours of the hotel, where guests will go back to 1861 and meet a freedom-seeker hidden in the cellar.


  • (May 22)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.


August

  • (Aug. 6 – 7)DubuqueFest

    Dubuque, IA

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