MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Summer festivals 2021

May

  • (May 14 – 15)Rummage Along the River

    Southwest Wisconsin, WI

    Seventy miles of garage sales will line the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River from Stoddard, just south of La Crosse, and Lynxville.


  • (May 22 – 30)Duluth Dylan Festival

    Duluth, MN

    The town in which Bob Dylan was born celebrates the singer's 80th birthday with a Blood on the Tracks train ride, a singer-songwriter contest, a bus tour, films, music and a trivia contest.

     


  • (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 27 – 31)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 28 – 31)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 29 – 31)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.


June

  • (Jun 3 – 6)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 4 – 6)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 4 – 13)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 4 – 6)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 4 – 6)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 4 – 6)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 4 – 6)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 4 – 5)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 5)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 5)Milwaukee Highland Games

    Wauwatosa, WI

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


  • (Jun 5 – 6)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 5 – 6)Outta Sight Kite Flight

    Kenosha, WI

    See giant show kites and stunt-flying demonstrations along Lake Michigan in Kennedy Park. There will be kite-making workshops and kite-flying lessons and contests, and the first 100 kids will receive free kites.


  • (Jun 6)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 6)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 10 – 13)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 10 – 12)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.


  • (Jun 11 – 12)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 11 – 13)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 11 – 13)Spring Lighthouse Festival

    Door County, WI

    The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay offers tours of the peninsula's 11 lighthouses by foot, boat, trolley, minibus and airplane. Tickets go on sale to the public in March; some tours sell out quickly.


  • (Jun 11 – 13)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 11 – 13)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 11 – 13)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 12 – 13)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 12)Wine & Food Festival

    Leland, MI

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


  • (Jun 12 – 13)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)Free Entrance Day to all Minnesota state parks

    All state parks, MN

    Entrance to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas is free today.


  • (Jun 14 – 20)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 16 – 20)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 16 – 20)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 – 20)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 17 – 20)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 18 – 20)Great Galena Balloon Race

    Galena, IL

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


  • (Jun 18 – 19)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 18 – 19)Harborfest

    South Haven, MI

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


  • (Jun 19)Fyr Bal Festival

    Ephraim, WI

    It's the 57th 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 19 – 20)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 22 – 27)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)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 25 – 27)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 25)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 26 – 27)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. 


July

  • (Jul 1 – 4)Ribfest

    Romeoville, IL

    In addition to the headliners in this southwest Chicago suburb, there will be magic shows, kids' games, food and fireworks on the last evening.


  • (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 – 3)Iowa City Jazz Festival

    Iowa City, IA

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


  • (Jul 2 – 4)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 3 – 10)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 8 – 11)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 8 – 10)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 8 – 10)Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

    They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 1,000 acts perform on 12 stages along Lake Michigan. 


  • (Jul 8 – 10)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 8 – 11)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 8 – 11)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 9 – 10)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 9 – 18)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 9 – 10)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 – 11)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 10 – 11)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 10)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 14 – 19)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 14 – 18)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 15 – 18)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 16 – 18)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 16 – 18)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 17)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 17)Bayfront Reggae & World Music Festival

    Duluth, MN

    Listen to island music on the shore of Lake Superior.


  • (Jul 17 – 24)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 17)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 17)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 17 – 18)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 and pony rides.


  • (Jul 17 – 18)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 18)Woodstock Folk Festival

    Woodstock, IL

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


  • (Jul 21 – 24)Aquatennial

    Minneapolis, MN

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


  • (Jul 22 – 24)Nordic Fest

    Decorah, IA

    This friendly, authentic and very large festival of Scandinavian culture features a Viking encampment, kids' games, artisan demonstrations, lutefisk-eating and Nordic rock-throwing contests and a big parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.


  • (Jul 22 – 25)Great Folle Avoine Fur Trade Rendezvous

    Danbury, WI

    At this rendezvous at a rebuilt post on the banks of the Yellow River, visit with costumed traders and voyageurs from the fur-trade era and see demonstrations of tomahawk-throwing, black-powder shooting, candlemaking and other skills. There will also be a candy cannon, bead pile and ladies' and kids' games. 

    The village occupies the site of an Ojibwe village where the North West and XY Company posts operated between 1802 and 1804.


  • (Jul 23 – 25)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 23 – 25)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 23 – 25)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 23 – 25)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 – 25)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 26 – Aug 1)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 29 – 31)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 7)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 30 – Aug 8)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 30)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 30 – Aug 1)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 – 14)Folklorama

    Winnipeg, MB

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


  • (Aug. 3 – 8)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. 4 – 7)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.


  • (Aug. 5 – 15)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. 5 – 8)Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

    Richmond, MN

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


  • (Aug. 5 – 8)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.

     


  • (Aug. 5 – 7)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. 5 – 8)Mile of Music

    Appleton, WI

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


  • (Aug. 6)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. 6 – 8)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. 6 – 7)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. 6 – 8)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. 6 – 8)Tall Timber Days

    Grand Rapids, MN

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


  • (Aug. 7 – 8)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. 12 – 22)Iowa State Fair

    Des Moines, IA

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


  • (Aug. 12 – 15)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. 12 – 15)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. 12 – 14)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 Jefferson Starship, Foreigner, Toby Keith, Switchfood and Little Big Town. Thursday admission is free, and Friday-Saturday tickets are $20-$30. In addition to music, there will be an arts fair, children's activities and Saturday fireworks.


  • (Aug. 13 – 15)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. 13 – 15)Bayfront Blues Festival

    Duluth, MN

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


  • (Aug. 13 – 15)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. 13 – 14)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.


  • (Aug. 13 – 14)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. 13 – 14)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. 14)Pure Water Days

    Chippewa Falls, WI

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


  • (Aug. 19 – 22)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. 20 – 22)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. 26 – Sep 6)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. 27 – 28)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. 27 – 29)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.

     


September

  • (Sep. 2 – 6)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. 3 – 6)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. 3 – 5)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)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. 6)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.