MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Summer festivals 2020

May

  • (May 5 – Jun 14)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 16 – 24)Duluth Dylan Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The town in which Bob Dylan was born celebrates the singer's 78th birthday with a Blood on the Tracks train ride, a singer-songwriter contest, a bus tour, films, music and a trivia contest.


  • (May 21 – 25)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 22 – 25)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 22 – 24)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 22 – 24)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 22 – 23)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 22 – 23)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 22 – 25)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, Night Ranger, Skid Row and Great White perform.


  • (May 23 – 25)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 24)BobFest

    Spring Green, WI

    The Spring Green General Store in this artistic town on the Wisconsin River celebrates Bob Dylan's 79th birthday with free outdoor music.


  • (May 26 – 30)Gospel Festival

    Chicago, IL

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


  • (May 29 – 30)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 29 – 31)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.


June

  • (Jun 5 – 7)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.

     


  • (Jun 5 – 7)Blues Festival

    Chicago, IL

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


  • (Jun 5 – 14)Lilac Festival

    Mackinac Island, MI

    There are concerts, lilac walking tours, a dog and pony show, a family fun area and, on the last day, a big parade.


  • (Jun 5 – 7)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 5 – 7)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.


  • (Jun 5 – 7)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.


  • (Jun 5 – 7)Edina Art Fair

    Edina, MN

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


  • (Jun 5 – 7)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 5 – 7)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 5 – 6)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.


  • (Jun 6)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. 


  • (Jun 6)Milwaukee Highland Games

    Wauwatosa, WI

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


  • (Jun 6 – 7)Wisconsin state-parks open house

    All state parks, WI

    Visit a Wisconsin state park without paying the daily vehicle fee, $8-$13 for residents and $11-$16 for non-residents.


  • (Jun 6 – 7)Outta Sight Kite Flight

    Kenosha, WI

    Fly kites along Lake Michigan in Kennedy Park.


  • (Jun 7)Grand Old Day

    St. Paul, MN

    This popular Grand Avenue street party has four zones: entertainment, family fun, local artisans and sports and wellness. A parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at Dale Street.


  • (Jun 7)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 11 – 14)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 11 – 14)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 12 – 13)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 12 – 13)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 12 – 14)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 12 – 14)Spring 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 March 23; some tours sell out quickly.


  • (Jun 12 – 14)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 12 – 14)Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival

    Worthington, MN

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

     


  • (Jun 12 – 14)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 13 – 14)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 13)Wine & Food Festival

    Leland, MI

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


  • (Jun 13 – 14)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 13)Free Entrance Day to all Minnesota state parks

    All state parks, MN

    Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks is free today and also Nov. 27.


  • (Jun 17 – 21)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 17 – 21)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 17 – 21)Ice Cream Days

    Le Mars, IA

    The festival in this northwest Iowa town, home of Blue Bunny ice cream, includes an art fair, old-fashioned children's games, architectural tours, a polo match, airplane and helicopter stunts and a parade at 9 a.m. Saturday. And the ice cream is free.


  • (Jun 18 – 21)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 18 – 21)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, duck races, a car show and parade Sunday.


  • (Jun 19 – 21)Great Galena Balloon Race

    Galena, IL

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


  • (Jun 19 – 21)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 19 – 20)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 19 – 21)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 19 – 20)Harborfest

    South Haven, MI

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


  • (Jun 19 – 20)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 20)Fyr Bal Festival

    Ephraim, WI

    It's the 56th 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 23 – 28)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 25 – 27)Twin Cities Jazz Festival

    St. Paul, MN

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


  • (Jun 26 – 28)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 26 – 28)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 26 – 28)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 26 – 27)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 26)Soo Locks 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 27 – 28)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 27 – 28)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 27)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.


  • (Jun 30 – Jul 5)Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

    They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 800 acts perform on 11 stages along Lake Michigan. Headliners include the Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Justin Bieber and Chris Stapleton.


July

  • (Jul 1 – 4)Riverfest

    La Crosse, WI

    This riverfront festival includes music, magicians, a hypnotist, a pole-vaulting competition, kids' races, a water-ski show and fireworks by the La Crosse Skyrockers.


  • (Jul 1)Canada Day

    Thunder Bay, ON

    On Canada Day at Fort William Historical Park, the continent's largest reconstructed fur post, admission is free to the first 500 visitors. There's also free corn on the cob, an inflatable obstacle course, axe-throwing, paintball, canoe rides, dance performances and bannock-making, log-sawing and lacrosse contests.


  • (Jul 2 – 4)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 2 – 5)Ribfest

    Romeoville, IL

    Headliners in this southwest Chicago suburb include REO Speedwagon and Styx in Knoch Park, where there's also magic shows, kids' games, food and fireworks on the last evening.


  • (Jul 3 – 5)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 3 – 5)Riverfront Rendezvous

    Stevens Point, WI

    There's a noon parade on the Fourth plus lumberjack and magic shows, bands and, on Saturday, kids' games, a lighted boat parade and fireworks.


  • (Jul 4 – 11)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.


  • (Jul 4)Sub Fest

    Manitowoc, WI

    The fest at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, home of the USS Cobia, is combined with Fourth on the Shore this year and features music, a parade and fireworks.


  • (Jul 4)Fire Over the Fox

    Green Bay, WI

    Green Bay hosts the largest fireworks show north of Milwaukee, plus a water-ski show, carnival rides and music and family entertainment on five stages plus the Neville Public Museum. It's in Leicht Memorial Park.


  • (Jul 8 – 12)Taste of Chicago

    Chicago, IL

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


  • (Jul 8 – 12)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 9 – 12)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 9 – 12)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 9 – 11)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 9 – 11)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 9 – 12)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 9 – 19)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 9 – 12)Riverfest

    Monticello, MN

    This Mississippi River town, known for its trumpeter swans in winter, celebrates summer with a car show, pie-eating contest, Friday fireworks and noon parade on Sunday.


  • (Jul 10 – 19)Northwest Water Carnival

    Detroit Lakes, MN

    This big festival celebrates its 85th 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 10 – 12)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 10 – 12)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 10 – 11)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 11 – 12)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 – 12)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 – 12)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 16 – 19)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 16 – 19)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 17 – 19)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 17 – 19)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 17 – 19)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 17 – 19)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 17 – 19)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 18)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 18 – 19)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, $400 in quarters and $100 in 50-cent pieces is dumped downtown.

    There's also music and an art fair.


  • (Jul 18)Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

    Listen to island music on the shore of Lake Superior.


  • (Jul 18 – 25)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 18)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 at 11 a.m.


  • (Jul 18)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, such as hammer throwing, sheaf tossing, caber turning and the stone put.


  • (Jul 18)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 18 – 19)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 18 – 19)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 19)Woodstock Folk Festival

    Woodstock, IL

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


  • (Jul 20 – 26)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 22 – 25)Aquatennial

    Minneapolis, MN

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


  • (Jul 23 – 25)Nordic Fest

    Decorah, IA

    It's the 54th 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 24 – 26)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 24 – 25)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 24 – Aug 1)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 24 – 26)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 24 – 26)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 24 – Aug 2)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 24 – 25)Riverboat Days

    Wabasha, MN

    This Mississippi River town celebrates with a pedal tractor pull, duck derby, firemen's water fight and parade.


  • (Jul 24 – 25)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 25 – 26)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 25)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 25 – 26)Rendezvous in 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 25 – 26)Midwest Fire Fest

    Cambridge, WI

    This pottery town east of Madison celebrates the arts fueled by fire, including clay, glass and metal. It includes fire dancing, music from seven bands, demonstrations and food, including wood-fired pizza. Fest-goers can design their own tiles to be created during a hot-iron pour Saturday.


  • (Jul 29 – Aug 1)Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival

    Bemidji, MN

    In addition to boat races, there will be kids' activities, cultural performances, music and a parade of teams.


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 1)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 30 – Aug 2)Buffalo Bill Days

    Lanesboro, MN

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


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 2)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.


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 1)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.


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 2)Mile of Music

    Appleton, WI

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


  • (Jul 31 – Aug 2)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.


  • (Jul 31 – Aug 1)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.


  • (Jul 31)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 31 – Aug 2)Tall Timber Days

    Grand Rapids, MN

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


  • (Jul 31 – Aug 2)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.


August

  • (Aug. 1 – 2)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. 2 – 15)Folklorama

    Winnipeg, MB

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


  • (Aug. 4 – 9)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 Locash, Keith Urban, Old Dominion and Pitbull.


  • (Aug. 6 – 16)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. 6 – 9)Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

    Richmond, MN

    This 41st annual family-friendly festival includes music on five stages and workshops at El Rancho Mañana Campground, 20 miles west of St. Cloud. 


  • (Aug. 6 – 9)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. 6 – 9)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. 6 – 8)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 Sawyer Brown, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Switchfoot. Tickets for all three days are $15 when bought online. In addition to music, there will be a hot-air balloon launch, circus acts, car show, arts, children's activities and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Aug. 7)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. 7 – 9)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. 7 – 9)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. 7 – 9)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. 7 – 8)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. 7 – 9)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. 8)Pure Water Days

    Chippewa Falls, WI

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


  • (Aug. 8)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. 13 – 23)Iowa State Fair

    Des Moines, IA

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


  • (Aug. 13 – 15)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 22, Iowa 11.


  • (Aug. 13 – 16)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. 13)White Sox vs. Yankees at the Field of Dreams

    Dyersville, IA

    The Yankees will play the White Sox at the Field of Dreams movie site in a cornfield near Dubuque.


  • (Aug. 14 – 16)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. 14 – 16)Bayfront Blues Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The 32nd annual music fest on the Lake Superior harbor showcases national and regional acts on three stages.


  • (Aug. 14 – 16)Winnie The Pooh Festival

    White River, ON

    The hometown of the famous children's-book bear celebrates with a block party, bounce houses, parades and fireworks.

    White River is on the east side of Lake Superior, on the Trans-Canada Highway between Marathon and Wawa.


  • (Aug. 15 – 16)Air & Water Show

    Chicago, IL

    The 61st annual free show features aerobatics, extreme flying and parachuting off North Avenue Beach.


  • (Aug. 15)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. There's also a PastyParade.


  • (Aug. 15)Porchfest

    Superior, WI

    Forty musical acts will play on 10 historic porches, including Fairlawn, from noon to 6 p.m. There will also be storytellers, dance, theater, an art fair and food trucks.


  • (Aug. 19 – 23)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. 20 – 23)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. 20 – 23)Sweet Corn Festival

    Sun Prairie, WI

    A Thursday-night parade kicks off this festival just north of Madison, and there's also a craft fair, car show, tractor pull, music, carnival rides and, on Saturday and Sunday, literally tons of steamed sweet corn.


  • (Aug. 21 – 23)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. 21 – 22)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. 21 – 22)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. 22)Soar on the Shore

    Algoma, WI

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


  • (Aug. 27 – Sep 7)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. 28 – 30)Artstreet

    Green Bay, WI

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


  • (Aug. 28 – 29)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. 28 – 30)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. 28 – 30)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. 29 – Sep 6)Chicago Jazz Festival

    Chicago, IL

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


  • (Aug. 29)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.


September

  • (Sep. 3 – 7)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.


  • (Sep. 4 – 7)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.

     


  • (Sep. 4 – 6)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. 4 – 5)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.


  • (Sep. 4 – 6)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.


  • (Sep. 5 – 6)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.

     


  • (Sep. 5 – 7)Frankfort Fall Festival

    Frankfort, IL

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


  • (Sep. 5 – 6)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.


  • (Sep. 5 – 7)Marina Fest

    Sister Bay, WI

    In this Door County village, there will be a vintage boat show, craft fair,  kids' carnival, music and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Sep. 7)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.