MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Summer festivals 2019

May

  • (May 19 – 26)Duluth Dylan Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The town in which Bob Dylan was born celebrates the singer's 77th birthday with a Blood on the Tracks train ride, a singer-songwriter contest, a bus tour, films, music and a trivia contest.

     

     

     


  • (May 23 – 27)North Iowa Band Festival

    Mason City, IA

    There's a carnival, craft show and car cruise, but don't miss the 10 a.m. Saturday band parade in this northern Iowa town, which Meredith Willson made famous in "The Music Man.''


  • (May 24 – 27)ChocolateFest

    Burlington, WI

    This big festival in southeast Wisconsin features a battle of the chefs, the Project Yum-way candy-wrapper design contest and chocolate-eating contests, plus a crafts fair and carnival.


  • (May 24 – 26)World's Largest Brat Fest

    Madison, WI

    There's music on four stages, plus kids' games, a sports zone, carnival rides and Sunday fireworks. Headliners include Smash Mouth. Admission is free. Outside the Alliant Energy Center.


  • (May 24 – 26)Festival of Nature

    Baileys Harbor, WI

    Ridges Sanctuary hosts this annual festival, with programs and field trips on wildflowers, birds, trees and insects held around Door County.


  • (May 24 – 25)CelebrAsian Asian Heritage Festival

    Des Moines, IA

    This festival at Western Gateway Park features martial arts, lion dancers, chopstick races and a fashion show.


  • (May 24 – 27)Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Festival

    Oak Forest, IL

    In this south Chicago suburb, there's music on five stages, plus a petting zoo, hurling, theater, Irish dog and pony exhibits and red hair, freckle and bonnie baby contests.


  • (May 24 – 27)River Valley Festival

    Boone, IA

    In this town north of Des Moines, there will be walking tours of the Iowa Arboretum, guided hikes, a bags tourney, an art fair with music, a garage-art car show and a family ride on the High Trestle Trail. On Saturday, Grand Funk Railroad and the Blue Oyster Cult perform.


  • (May 25 – 27)Fort Michilimackinac Pageant

    Mackinaw City, MI

    This free pageant at Colonial Michilimackinac features a cast of more than 400, re-enacting events that took place between the French, British and Indian tribes on June 2, 1763.

    There are also 18th-century fashion shows, voyageur contests, kids' games, a Saturday parade and fireworks.


  • (May 25 – 26)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.


  • (May 26)BobFest

    Spring Green, WI

    The Spring Green General Store in this artistic town on the Wisconsin River celebrates Bob Dylan's 78th birthday with free outdoor music.


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)Buffalo Days

    Luverne, MN

    This festival in the southwest corner of Minnesota features a cow-chip throwing contest, fire-truck ladder rides, duck races, an arts show and a big parade on Saturday.

     


  • (May 31 – Jun 1)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.


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)Milk Days

    Harvard, IL

    The festival in this small town just south of Lake Geneva, Wis., is the longest running in the state. There are milk-drinking contests, milking demonstrations, cow-chip lotto, bed races and a parade Saturday.


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

    Little Chute, WI

    This Fox Cities festival includes cheese-curd eating, cheese-carving and cheesecake contests and a 10:30 a.m. Saturday cheese parade.


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)Edina Art Fair

    Edina, MN

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


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)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.


  • (May 31 – Jun 2)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.


  • (May 31 – Jun 1)Gospel Festival

    Chicago, IL

    This free music festival is in Millennium Park and across the street at the Cultural Center.


  • (May 31 – Jun 9)Aquafest

    Rice Lake, WI

    The festival in this northwest Wisconsin lakes town includes a carnival, art fair, kids' fishing derby, car show, live bands and, on the last day, a parade followed by a water-ski show.


  • (May 31 – Jun 1)Sun Drop Dayz

    Shawano, WI

    This northwoods town offers music, kids' activities, a car show, flea market, magic show and craft fair, plus samples of the locally made Sun Drops soda.


June

  • (Jun 1)Rhubarb Festival

    Lanesboro, MN

    There’s a Rhubarb Olympics, featuring the Rhubarb Stalk Throw and Green Eggs and Rhubarb, and a Rhubarb Rant Speakers Corner for opinionated folks. The Rhubarb Sisters entertain. It's 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sylvan Park.


  • (Jun 1)Milwaukee Highland Games

    Wauwatosa, WI

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


  • (Jun 1 – 2)Wisconsin state-parks open house

    All state parks, WI

    Visit a Wisconsin state park without paying the daily vehicle fee, $8-$10 for residents and $11-$13 for non-residents.


  • (Jun 1 – 2)Outta Sight Kite Flight

    Kenosha, WI

    Fly kites along Lake Michigan in Kennedy Park.


  • (Jun 2)Ride the Drive

    Madison, WI

    Ride, walk or skate a car-free, four-mile route along Lake Monona to stops in three parks, with activities, food and music.


  • (Jun 2)Model A Day

    Sharon, WI

    In this hamlet near Lake Geneva, on the Illinois border, Model A's from the 1920s and '30s line main street, and people dressed as gangsters and flappers promenade in front of historic buildings.


  • (Jun 6 – 9)Butterfest

    Sparta, WI

    There's an arts and crafts show, flea market and carnival but also a milking contest, firemen's water fight and a parade Sunday.


  • (Jun 6 – 9)Mount Horeb Summer Frolic

    Mount Horeb, WI

    Just west of Madison, this town celebrates with a bean-bag toss, dog show, volleyball, craft-beer tent, Saturday fireworks and Sunday parade. 

     


  • (Jun 7 – 9)Blues Festival

    Chicago, IL

    The largest of Chicago's free music festivals draws 750,000 people to Millennium Park. 


  • (Jun 7 – 16)Lilac Festival

    Mackinac Island, MI

    Most of the events of this festival charge a fee, except for the closing-day grand parade, but the island really is gorgeous when its lilacs are blooming.


  • (Jun 7 – 8)Stamman Scandinavian Folk Festival

    Nisswa, MN

    This festival in the Brainerd Lakes area features visiting musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway as well as many North American folk musicians.


  • (Jun 7 – 9)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 7 – 9)Lighthouse Festival

    Door County, WI

    The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay offers tours of the peninsula's 10 lighthouses by foot, boat, trolley and minibus. Tickets go on sale to the public in early April; some tours sell out quickly.


  • (Jun 7 – 9)2 Rivers Wine & Jazz Festival

    Ottawa, IL

    The festival in this town on the Fox and Illinois rivers features wine from 25 Illinois vineyards and jazz and blues in Washington Park.


  • (Jun 7 – 9)Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival

    Worthington, MN

    This breezy town in southwest Minnesota hosts windsurfing races on Lake Okabena and a free music festival, with headliner Neal McCoy. There will also be children's activities, a bike ride and a fun run.

    This year, it's hosting the national championships.


  • (Jun 7 – 9)Walleye Weekend

    Fond du Lac, WI

    In addition to a fishing tournament, this free family fest features live music on four stages, a Friday parade and strongman, volleyball and cornhole competitions, plus a Familyland for small children and a Teen Village with a climbing wall, giant obstacle course and henna tattoo parlor.


  • (Jun 8 – 9)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 8)Wine & Food Festival

    Leland, MI

    Sample local wines and listen to music at this festival on the Leelanau Peninsula.


  • (Jun 8 – 9)Waterfront Festival

    Madison, WI

    This festival in Yahara Place Park on Lake Monona features music on two stages, children's games and the popular Fools Flotilla canoe tour.


  • (Jun 12 – 16)Steamboat Days

    Winona, MN

    The main event is the 12:31 p.m. Sunday parade, one of the region's largest. There's also a carnival, craft show, power-boat races and car show.


  • (Jun 12 – 16)Perham Turtle Fest

    Perham, MN

    This town in the northwest Minnesota lakes region features turtle races, a rodeo, music, trolley rides, inflatable games and a parade Friday.


  • (Jun 13 – 16)Steel Bridge SongFest

    Sturgeon Bay, WI

    More than 150 musicians and songwriters perform in more than 15 venues around town to benefit the historic Michigan Avenue canal bridge.


  • (Jun 13 – 16)Bridgefest

    Houghton/Hancock, MI

    There will be helicopter rides, a water-ski show, a Friday parade and Saturday fireworks. The two towns are linked by the Keweenaw Peninsula's massive Portage Lift Bridge.


  • (Jun 13 – 16)Rose Festival

    State Center, IA

    This town east of Ames calls itself Iowa's rose capital, and it celebrates with garden tours, children's games, a truck and tractor pull, music, fireworks and a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.


  • (Jun 13 – 16)Jaycee Water Carnival

    Hutchinson, MN

    This town just west of Minneapolis, on the Crow River, celebrates with a boat parade, fireworks, human foosball tournament, canoe races, water-ski show, car show and parade Sunday.


  • (Jun 14 – 16)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.


  • (Jun 14 – 15)More on 34

    Aurora to Galesburg, IL

    A 131-mile yard sale along U.S. 34 from Aurora to Galesburg, with events in many towns.


  • (Jun 14 – 16)Ribfest Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    This street festival in the Northcenter neighborhood, on Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Warner Avenue, features barbecue plus indie, roots, rock and alt country music.

    There's a Kids Square with games and a rib-eating contest Friday with professional eaters.


  • (Jun 14 – 15)Northern Spark

    Minneapolis, MN

    The nighttime arts festival is on two nights, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with venues in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The theme is "We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal and Regeneration."


  • (Jun 14 – 16)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 14 – 15)Harborfest

    South Haven, MI

    There will be a wooden boat show, dragon-boat racing, kids' activities, music and a craft fair.


  • (Jun 14 – 15)Monroe Balloon Rally

    Monroe, WI

    There will be balloon glows and flights, weather permitting, as well as blues bands, a car show and an arts and crafts fair.


  • (Jun 15)Fyr Bal Festival

    Ephraim, WI

    It's the 55th annual Scandinavian midsummer festival in this Door County village. There's a regatta, historic walking tours, artisan market, trolley rides, Fur Ball pet parade, cake walk and ice-cream and cherry-pie eating contests.


  • (Jun 15 – 16)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 18 – 23)Swedish Days Festival

    Geneva, IL

    This Fox River town on the western edge of Chicago offers music, a carnival, a Swedish cottage walk and a big parade Sunday. 


  • (Jun 20 – 22)Twin Cities Jazz Festival

    St. Paul, MN

    Listen to jazz in Mears Park, in St. Paul's Lowertown.


  • (Jun 21 – 23)Great Galena Balloon Race

    Galena, IL

    Eagle Ridge Resort hosts two balloon races, two night glows and rides for the public. 


  • (Jun 21 – 23)Musky Fest

    Hayward, WI

    There will be a carnival, crafts, watermelon- and ice cream-eating contests and lots of festivities downtown, capped by the 1 p.m. Sunday parade.


  • (Jun 21 – 23)Wooden Boat Show and Summer Solstice Festival

    Grand Marais, MN

    The harbor-side North House Folk School on Lake Superior kicks off summer with a boat parade, dancing, craft demonstrations, mini-courses and a solstice parade.


  • (Jun 21 – 22)Midwest Viking/Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival

    Moorhead, MN

    This festival at the Hjemkomst Center includes demonstrations, performances and goods that tell about society and culture in Viking-age Scandinavia and beyond.


  • (Jun 22 – 23)Strawberry Festival

    Cedarburg, WI

    During this popular event in an old mill town north of Milwaukee, there's music, kids' games, a rubber-duck race, shortcake-eating and bubblegum-blowing contests and strawberries in everything — brats, wine, slush. 


  • (Jun 22)Midsummer Fest

    Coon Valley, WI

    This family festival at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, in the coulees near La Crosse, features the best of Scandinavian culture: food, music and crafts. For children, there will be a visit from the trolls by the bridge, fjord horses and a scavenger hunt.


  • (Jun 22 – 23)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.

     


  • (Jun 22 – 23)Spring Iowa Barn Tour

    Western, IA

    This tour of historic barns concentrates on barns in western Iowa, each with a story.

    There's also a picnic on Saturday.


  • (Jun 28 – 30)Water Ski Days

    Lake City, MN

    There's music, an arts and crafts fair and, on Sunday, a parade followed by a water-ski show on Lake Pepin, where water-skiing was invented.


  • (Jun 28 – 30)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 28)Engineers Day

    Sault Ste. Marie, MI

    It's the biggest day of the year for boat nerds at the Soo Locks. People can walk across the locks, and there's also an arts, crafts and family fun fair.


  • (Jun 29 – Jul 6)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.


  • (Jun 29)Shake the Lake

    Madison, WI

    This pre-Fourth festival on the shores of Lake Monona includes live bands, a human cannonball, a roller-derby exhibition, kids' activities and fireworks.


  • (Jun 29)International Bridge Walk

    Sault Ste. Marie, MI

    Walk across the St. Mary's River to Canada at 9:30 a.m. or ride a bike there and back between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.

    Walkers can take a bus back from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for $5 and must bring a passport. Otherwise, the event is free.


July

  • (Jul 2 – 7)Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

    They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 800 acts perform on 11 stages along Lake Michigan.


  • (Jul 3 – 7)Petunia Festival

    Dixon, IL

    This festival in the Hometown of Ronald Reagan features music, a carnival, fireworks and a parade.


  • (Jul 3 – 6)Riverfest

    La Crosse, WI

    This riverfront festival includes music, a strongman contest, clowns, magicians, a hypnotist and a water-ski show.


  • (Jul 3 – 6)Ribfest

    Naperville, IL

    Headliners include Billy Idol and Brantley Gilbert in Knoch Park, where there's also magic shows, kids' games, food and fireworks on the last evening.


  • (Jul 4 – 6)Eyes to the Skies Festival

    Lisle, IL

    This large festival on the west edge of Chicago features daily hot-air balloon launches, glows and fireworks shows, plus children's activities and a craft fair.


  • (Jul 4)Red White and Boom

    Minneapolis, MN

    There's a half-marathon, relay and 5K in the morning, and music and family activities from 6 to 10 p.m., followed by fireworks.

    Festivities are along the riverfront across from downtown.

     


  • (Jul 5 – 7)Blues Festival

    Thunder Bay, ON

    This festival has a scenic location in Marina Park, on the Lake Superior waterfront.


  • (Jul 5 – 6)Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

    Davenport, IA

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


  • (Jul 5 – 6)Iowa City Jazz Festival

    Iowa City, IA

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


  • (Jul 5 – 6)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.


  • (Jul 10 – 14)Taste of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    The big free festival in Grant Park offers lots of food and music.


  • (Jul 11 – 14)Winnipeg Folk Festival

    Winnipeg, MB

    This easy-going, family-friendly festival features more than 70 performers from eight countries, food and hand-made art from around the world plus a fun play area for children. 

    Many people camp on-site at Birds Hill Provincial Park. Tickets are cheapest when bought in advance.


  • (Jul 11 – 14)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 11 – 14)Bastille Days

    Milwaukee, WI

    Look for minstrels, cancan dancers, French lessons, a Mardi Gras parade and a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower in Cathedral Square Park.


  • (Jul 11 – 13)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.


  • (Jul 11 – 14)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 11 – 13)Iola Old Car Show

    Iola, WI

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


  • (Jul 11 – 14)Balloon Rally/Ribfest/Chalkfest

    Wausau, WI

    At the airport, the Balloon and Rib Fest features hot-air balloons, kite-flying, a petting zoo, music and fireworks. 

    On Saturday and Sunday, artists decorate downtown during Chalkfest. There's a shuttle bus from downtown.


  • (Jul 11 – 21)Fiesta Days

    McHenry, IL

    There's a Music Fest, carnival and car and motorcycle show in Petersen Park the first weekend and a children's ice cream social, arts and crafts fair and Sunday parade the second weekend in Veteran's Memorial Park.


  • (Jul 12 – 13)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 12 – 21)Northwest Water Carnival

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    This big festival celebrates its 84th 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.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)Blissfest

    Cross Village, MI

    This family-friendly folk and roots festival on a farm includes reggae, country, zydeco, jazz and Celtic music on three stages and four workshop areas. There's also a juried arts and crafts fair. Rustic camping is available.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)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.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)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.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)Windmill City Festival

    Batavia, IL

    There's a carnival, pet parade, ice-cream eating contest and live bands in the town on the Fox River.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival

    Clear Lake, IA

    There are professional races plus a tour, blues music and craft beer at this festival based in City Park.


  • (Jul 12 – 14)Sub Fest

    Manitowoc, WI

    This fest at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, home of the USS Cobia, features a sub-eating contest, music, movies, a parade of boats and fireworks on Saturday and a water-ski show on Sunday.


  • (Jul 13 – 14)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 and $400 in quarters is dumped downtown.

    There's also music and an art fair.


  • (Jul 13 – 14)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 14)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, pony rides and cutest baby and a "hot legs" contest for men.


  • (Jul 16 – 21)St. Croix RiverFest

    Hudson, WI

    This town on the St. Croix River celebrates with a concert, hike, cruise, kids' fishing derby, Native American celebration and Civil War encampment and ice cream social at the Octagon House.


  • (Jul 17 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 18 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 18 – 21)Tall Ship Celebration

    Bay City, MI

    Ten schooners, barques and brigs will arrive Thursday, part of the Tall Ships Challenge.

    From Friday to Sunday, a festival includes on-board tours, day sail excursions, an art fair and many children's activities. In the evenings, maritime musicians play at Ballads and Brews.

    The ships will leave Monday morning. They include the Picton Castle, the Pride of Baltimore II, the U.S. Brig Niagara, the St. Lawrence II, the Bluenose II and the 15th-century replica Santa Maria from Spain.



  • (Jul 19 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 19 – 21)Highland Fest

    St. Paul, MN

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


  • (Jul 19 – 21)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 19 – 20)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 -- hammer throwing, sheaf tossing, caber turning and the stone put.


  • (Jul 19 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 19 – 21)Lumberjack Days

    Stillwater, MN

    This music festival along the St. Croix River also features lumberjack shows and such attractions as a downhill derby, hammerschlagen, helicopter rides and a parade at 1 p.m. Sunday. 


  • (Jul 19 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 19 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 20)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.


  • (Jul 20)Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

    Listen to island music on the shore of Lake Superior.


  • (Jul 20 – 27)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.


  • (Jul 20)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.


  • (Jul 20)Port Fish Day

    Port Washington, WI

    The world's largest one-day outdoor fish fry also includes classic car and arts and crafts shows, soccer water fights, a smoked-fish eating contest, music on three stages, a parade and fireworks.


  • (Jul 20 – 21)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.


  • (Jul 21)Woodstock Folk Festival

    Woodstock, IL

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


  • (Jul 22 – 28)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.


  • (Jul 24 – 27)Aquatennial

    Minneapolis, MN

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


  • (Jul 25 – 27)Nordic Fest

    Decorah, IA

    It's the 53rd year of this friendly, authentic and very large festival of Scandinavian culture. It 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 25 – 28)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.


  • (Jul 25 – 28)Tall Ships Green Bay

    Green Bay, WI

    Nine schooners and brigs will arrive at Leicht Memorial Park on Thursday, part of the Tall Ships Challenge.

    From Friday to Sunday, a festival includes on-board tours, day sail excursions, maritime entertainment, kids' activities, music, world's largest rubber duck and, on Friday, fireworks. Tickets go on sail March 15.

    The ships will leave Monday morning. They include the Picton Castle, the Pride of Baltimore II, the U.S. Brig Niagara and the 15th-century replica Santa Maria from Spain.

     


  • (Jul 26 – 28)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.


  • (Jul 26 – 28)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.


  • (Jul 26 – Aug 3)National Balloon Classic

    Indianola, IA

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


  • (Jul 26 – 28)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 26 – 28)Taste of Wisconsin

    Kenosha, WI

    This free harborfront festival features locally produced specialties as well as cooking demonstrations, gardening workshops and music on three stages.


  • (Jul 26 – Aug 4)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.


  • (Jul 26 – 27)Riverboat Days

    Wabasha, MN

    There's a pedal tractor pull, duck derby, firemen's water fight and parade.


  • (Jul 26)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.


  • (Jul 26 – 27)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.


  • (Jul 27 – 28)Air and Water Show

    Milwaukee, WI

    This show, between Bradford and McKinley beaches on the lakefront, features many aerobatics and features the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and, on the water, the Badgerland Ski Team.


  • (Jul 27)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.


  • (Jul 27)Cardboard Cup Regatta

    Crystal Lake, IL

    Watch or enter the cardboard-boat races on Main Beach, where prizes are awarded in many categories.


  • (Jul 27 – 28)Rendezvous at the Sault

    Sault Ste. Marie, MI

    Reenactors, musicians and artisans bring back the fur-trade era with cannon-firing, puppet shows, storytelling and games.


  • (Jul 27 – 28)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.

     

     


  • (Jul 29 – 30)Tall Ships Salute

    Sturgeon Bay, WI

    Nine ships will gather off Sherwood Point between 4 and 5 p.m., then enter the harbor as a fleet and dock overnight. 

    The ships will come from Green Bay and in the morning will sail to Algoma, from which they will race to Kenosha.


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 4)Mississippi Valley Fair

    Davenport, IA

    There are chainsaw artists and alligator shows as well as a carnival and grandstand acts that include national country musicians. Headliners include Brooks & Dunn, Jake Owen, Nickelback and Brad Paisley.


  • (Jul 31 – Aug 4)Fisherman's Picnic

    Grand Marais, MN

    There's a lot going on at the North Shore's biggest festival, including loon-calling, log-rolling, herring-eating and rock-skipping contests; Saturday fireworks; and the grand parade on Sunday.


August

  • (Aug. 1 – 3)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.


  • (Aug. 1 – 11)Wisconsin State Fair

    West Allis, WI

    The fair in this Milwaukee suburb features big-name musicians, a sea-lion show, a daily parade and lots of contests, including hog-calling, cookie-stacking and cream puff-eating.


  • (Aug. 1 – 3)Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

    Davenport, IA

    Since 1972, fans of this Jazz Age cornetist and composer have held this festival in his hometown on the Mississippi.


  • (Aug. 1 – 4)Riverfest

    Ottawa, IL

    At the confluence of the Fox River with the Illinois, there's a carnival, paddleboat races, Art in the Park, Taste of Ottawa, live bands and a parade on the last day.


  • (Aug. 1 – 4)Mile of Music

    Appleton, WI

    More than 180 singer-songwriters perform at more than 40 venues along College Avenue downtown.


  • (Aug. 1 – 4)Tall Ships Kenosha

    Kenosha, WI

    Seven schooners, barques and brigs will arrive Thursday as part of the Tall Ships Challenge and gather outside the harbor for a Parade of Sail, led by Kenosha's own Red Witch.

    From Friday to Sunday, a festival includes on-board tours, day sail excursions, maritime entertainment, kids' activities and music.

    The ships will leave Monday morning. They include the Picton Castle, the Pride of Baltimore II, the U.S. Brig Niagara and Bluenose II.



  • (Aug. 2)Pie Day

    Braham, MN

    Minnesota's official Pie Capital near Cambridge holds pie-eating contests, a pie trivia contest and performances of the Pie-Alleuia Chorus.


  • (Aug. 2 – 4)River City Days

    Red Wing, MN

    In this Mississippi River town, there's music, food and games in Bay Point Park and an arts show in Levee Park. The parade is at 1 p.m. Sunday.


  • (Aug. 2 – 3)Brat Days

    Sheboygan, WI

    This town on Lake Michigan is sausage central. There's music, a carnival, beer and, of course, a brat-eating contest. The parade is Saturday.


  • (Aug. 2 – 4)Buffalo Bill Days

    Lanesboro, MN

    Ride the Root River State Trail, then enjoy music, kids' games, sports tournaments, fireworks and a parade on Sunday.


  • (Aug. 2 – 4)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. 2 – 4)Tall Timber Days

    Grand Rapids, MN

    In this longtime logging town, there will be lumberjack shows, chainsaw carving, music and a parade Sunday.


  • (Aug. 3 – 4)Powderhorn Art Fair

    Minneapolis, MN

    This juried art festival in Powderhorn Park, in south Minneapolis, attracts more than 200 artists and is not far from the big Uptown Art Fair, on the same weekend.


  • (Aug. 4 – 17)Folklorama

    Winnipeg, MB

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


  • (Aug. 8 – 18)Iowa State Fair

    Des Moines, IA

    See a diaper derby, outhouse races and mullet contest, and don't miss the butter sculptures.


  • (Aug. 8 – 11)Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

    Richmond, MN

    This 39th annual family-friendly festival includes music on five stages and workshops at El Rancho Mañana Campground, 20 miles west of St. Cloud. Headliners include Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.


  • (Aug. 8 – 10)Tug Fest

    LeClaire and Port Byron, IAIL

    The two towns stretch a 680-pound, 2,400-foot rope across the Mississippi River for the ultimate tug of war. There's also a parade, fireworks, children's games, concerts and carnival rides. Score so far: Illinois 21, Iowa 11.


  • (Aug. 8 – 11)National Blueberry Festival

    South Haven, MI

    Eat until you're blue in the face during the festival in this Lake Michigan beach town. There's a pie-eating contest, riverfront concerts, an arts fair and a big parade on Saturday.


  • (Aug. 8 – 11)Sweet Corn Festival

    Mendota, IL

    The festival in this town between Rochelle and La Salle features nearly 50 tons of free buttered corn, live music, a flea market, a carnival and a parade.


  • (Aug. 8 – 10)Ashley for the Arts music festival

    Arcadia, WI

    This nonprofit festival is in the southwest Wisconsin bluffs, half an hour north of Winona, Minn.

    Headliners include Billy Ray Cyrus, Mat Kearney, 3 Doors Down and Lady Antebellum. Tickets for all three days are $15. In addition to music, there will be a hot-air balloon launch, circus acts, car show, arts, children's activities and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)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. 9 – 11)Bayfront Blues Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The 31st annual music fest on the Lake Superior harbor showcases national and regional acts on three stages.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)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. 9 – 10)Cache Ba$h

    West Bend, WI

    This town north of Milwaukee calls itself the Geocache Capital of the Midwest. For the festival, it hides 50 new caches and gives away $1,000 in cash prizes.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)Twin Cities Polish Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    This celebration of Polish culture is on the St. Anthony Main riverfront across from downtown, with music, art, food and free polka lessons.


  • (Aug. 9 – 11)Ship & Shore Festival

    New Buffalo, MI

    In this Lake Michigan beach town, there's live music, children's activities, arts and crafts, a lighted boat parade and fireworks.


  • (Aug. 9 – 10)Burger Fest

    Seymour, WI

    This town west of Green Bay calls itself Home of the Hamburger, based on a local 15-year-old who put ground-beef patties in a bun, called them hamburgers and sold them at the Seymour Fair in 1885.

    The festival features a ketchup slide, burger-eating contest and parade, plus music, a car show and a hot-air balloon rally.


  • (Aug. 10)Pure Water Days

    Chippewa Falls, WI

    There's a big parade downtown, followed by Riverfest in Allen Park.


  • (Aug. 10)IndiaFest

    St. Paul, MN

    On the State Capitol grounds, watch Bollywood dance and a parade of cultures, eat East Indian food, get your hands painted with henna and learn the principles of cricket and yoga.


  • (Aug. 11 – 13)Festival of Sail

    Duluth, MN

    This port city is holding its own tall-ship festival, apart from the non-profit Tall Ships Challenge being held on the other Great Lakes, with entertainment, tours and day sails.

    Featured ships include the U.S. Brig Niagara from Erie, Pa., the Appledore V from Bay City, Mich., and the Denis Sullivan from Milwaukee.

    The Parade of Sail will be Sunday morning, and ships will be open for on-board tours after that.


  • (Aug. 14 – 18)Venetian Festival

    Lake Geneva, WI

    In this southeast Wisconsin vacation area, the festival includes a carnival, arts and crafts fair, firefighter water fight and, on Sunday, a water-ski show followed by a lighted boat parade and fireworks.


  • (Aug. 15 – 18)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. 15 – 18)Ki-Chi-Saga Days

    Chisago City, MN

    The fest in this town just north of St. Paul features an Old World market, sandcastle and skateboard contests, Swedish dancers, a horn hunt, fireworks Saturday and a parade on Sunday.


  • (Aug. 16 – 18)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. 16 – 17)Big Bull Falls Blues Fest

    Wausau, WI

    Enjoy national and local blues musicians in Fern Island Park. There's a beer garden, of course.


  • (Aug. 16 – 18)Festival on the Bay

    Petoskey, MI

    In this Lake Michigan town, there will be kayak and canoe rides, a petting zoo, art fair, live music, cardboard-boat race, cornhole tournament and firefighter water-ball competition.


  • (Aug. 17 – 18)Air & Water Show

    Chicago, IL

    The 60th annual free show features aerobatics, extreme flying and parachuting off North Avenue Beach.


  • (Aug. 17)Soar on the Shore

    Algoma, WI

    Learn about kite-flying from professionals on Lake Michigan's Crescent Beach.


  • (Aug. 17)PastyFest

    Calumet, MI

    The humble miner's lunch — meat and rutabagas in a pocket of pie crust — has inspired this Keweenaw Peninsula festival, which includes such events as a PastyWalk, PastyPoetry contest and, of course, a PastyCook-Off.

    Toivo the walking and talking pasty will appear, and there will be games, such as a PastyPull, Rutabaga Shotput, Onion Pass and Egg Toss. The PastyParade is at 2 p.m.


  • (Aug. 22 – Sep 2)Minnesota State Fair

    St. Paul, MN

    Try flights at the Craft Beer Hall, eat food on a stick, listen to free concerts and watch the 2 p.m. daily parade.


  • (Aug. 23 – Sep 1)Chicago Jazz Festival

    Chicago, IL

    This free festival features music at the Chicago Cultural Center and  Millennium Park.


  • (Aug. 23 – 25)Artstreet

    Green Bay, WI

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


  • (Aug. 23 – 24)Potato Days

    Barnesville, MN

    This goofy central-Minnesota festival features mashed-potato wrestling, a golden potato hunt, potato car races, peeling and eating contests and a Saturday parade.


  • (Aug. 23 – 25)Porcupine Mountains Music Festival

    Silver City, MI

    Few settings are more beautiful than Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on Lake Superior; 25 national and regional blues, folk and bluegrass acts perform.


  • (Aug. 23 – 25)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.


  • (Aug. 23 – 24)Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

    Superior, WI

    The festival on Barker's Island begins Friday with a parade of teams, fireworks and a concert and continues Saturday with races in the harbor and family entertainment.


  • (Aug. 23 – 25)Great River Folk Festival

    La Crosse, WI

    This festival in Riverside Park includes children's activities, a traditional arts and crafts fair and music performances and workshops.


  • (Aug. 24)Vinton Boomtown

    Vinton, IA

    Fireworks provided by the Iowa Pyrotechnic Association are the centerpiece for this fest, which includes arts & crafts, food and kids' activities.


  • (Aug. 29 – Sep 2)Midwest Old Threshers Reunion

    Mount Pleasant, IA

    This gathering of steam engines and antique cars, trucks and tractors also features a horse pull, concerts, square dancing and a parade.


  • (Aug. 30 – Sep 2)Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion

    Rollag, MN

    Revel in the past during this show of antique machinery, which includes rides on trains and a carousel, square dancing, roving musicians and nightly jamborees.

     


  • (Aug. 30 – Sep 1)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.


  • (Aug. 30 – 31)Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw

    Prairie du Sac, WI

    There's chip-chucking contests in this Wisconsin River town, but also music, kids' games and an arts and crafts fair. The Tournament of Chips parade is at noon Saturday.


  • (Aug. 30 – Sep 1)Wisconsin Highland Games

    Waukesha, WI

    In addition to heavy athletics — throwing weights, hammers, logs and sacks of hay — there will be piping, drumming, dancing, longbow competitions, dog demonstrations and traditional Scottish food.


  • (Aug. 31 – Sep 1)Taste of Madison

    Madison, WI

    This free benefit festival on Capitol Square includes 200 menu items from more than 80 restaurants, all priced at $1-$4. There's also music on three stages.

     


  • (Aug. 31 – Sep 2)Frankfort Fall Festival

    Frankfort, IL

    The festival in this southern suburb of Chicago features more than 300 artisans, music, a carnival and a parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.


  • (Aug. 31 – Sep 1)Kites Over Lake Michigan

    Two Rivers, WI

    On Neshotah Beach, watch giant kites, precision stunt teams, a release of sky lanterns and fireworks. There will be live music Saturday night and free kite-making for kids on Saturday.


  • (Aug. 31 – Sep 2)Marina Fest

    Sister Bay, WI

    In this Door County village, there will be a vintage boat show, craft fair, cornhole tournament, dinghy poker run, carnival, music and Saturday fireworks.


September

  • (Sep. 1 – 2)Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival

    Geneva, IL

    Musicians and storytellers perform on eight stages at this festival in Island Park on the Fox River.


  • (Sep. 1)Team of Dreams

    Dyersville, IA

    At the "Field of Dreams'' movie site, Ghost Players emerge from the corn to entertain and play in a celebrity softball game. Afterward, the movie is shown in the outfield where it was filmed.


  • (Sep. 2)Mackinac Bridge Walk

    Mackinaw City, MI

    Once a year, on Labor Day, people can walk across the five-mile span, the third-longest suspension bridge in the world.