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 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 – 30)River Valley Festival

    Boone, IA

    In this town north of Des Moines, normally there are 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. 

    In 2021, some events may be altered.


  • (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 – 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)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 – 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 – 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)Ride the Drive

    Madison, WI

    This year, the car-free routes are spread out between Marlborough, Wingra, Kennedy and Warner parks, with stops for activities, food and music. You can ride, walk or skate.


  • (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 10 – 13)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 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)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)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 11 – 13)Lower Sioux Wacipi

    Morton, MN

    This Lower Sioux Indian Community wacipi, or powwow, includes dancing, drumming, singing and food. Grand Entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Everyone is welcome.


  • (Jun 12)Wine & Food Festival

    Leland, MI

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


  • (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 12 – 13)Old Town Art Fair

    Chicago, IL

    In the Old Town neighborhood, there will be more than 200 juried fine artists, a garden walk, live music and children's activities.


  • (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 16 – 19)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 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 19)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 19 – 20)Stone Arch Bridge Festival

    Minneapolis, MN

    On the banks of the Mississippi, 200 artists show their wares. There will also be music, art for kids and a car show.

    This year, the fair is not on the Stone Arch Bridge but on the west side of the river between Portland and North Fourth Avenue.

     


  • (Jun 19)Wurst Festival

    Amana, IA

    Besides sausage sampling, there will be music, a dachshund derby, a beer-stein holding contest and hotdog games.


  • (Jun 22 – 27)Swedish Days Festival

    Geneva, IL

    This Fox River town on the western edge of Chicago offers music and a carnival, car show, chocolate craw and Swedish cottage walk. 


  • (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)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 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. 

    This year, people will not be allowed to walk across the locks, and Portage Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic, for an arts, crafts and family fun fair.


  • (Jun 26 – 27)Spring Iowa Barn Tour

    Anamosa, IA

    This tour of historic barns concentrates on barns in the rolling Grant Wood country of eastern Iowa, including the Anamosa State Penitentiary barns.


  • (Jun 30 – Jul 4)Riverfest

    La Crosse, WI

    This riverfront festival includes music, magicians, dance, a water-ski show and fireworks by the La Crosse Skyrockers. Headliners include Randy Houser, Troy Cartwright and Chris Kroeze.

     


July

  • (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 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 7 – 11)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 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)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)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 – 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 – 11)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 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 9 – 11)Taste and Glow Balloon Fest

    Wausau, WI

    This first-year festival will feature hot-air balloons and also music, kids' activities, a tractor pull and a flea market.


  • (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)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 10 – 11)Fiesta Days

    McHenry, IL

    There's a Music Fest, carnival and car and motorcycle show in Petersen Park the first weekend. The second weekend, there's an art and street fair Saturday and a Sunday walk-by parade on Main Street.


  • (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)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 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 16 – 18)Rivertown Days

    Hastings, MN

    In this river town south of St. Paul, there will be 25 bands on four stages, plus a carnival, arts & crafts fair and classic-car show.


  • (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 – 18)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 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 – 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)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 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 – 24)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 23 – 24)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 24)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 24)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.

    It's rescheduled from Memorial Day weekend.


  • (Jul 24 – 25)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 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 – 31)Riverboat Days

    Wabasha, MN

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


  • (Jul 30 – Aug 1)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.


  • (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. 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 – 8)Pufferbilly Days

    Boone, IA

    This festival in central Iowa, just west of Ames, is named for a steam engine and features a spike-driving contest, mud volleyball and rides on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad. A parade is Saturday.


  • (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)Tall Timber Days

    Grand Rapids, MN

    In this longtime logging town, there will be lumberjack shows, chainsaw carving, music and a parade 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 – 14)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. 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. 12)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. 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 – 15)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.


  • (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. 14)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. 18 – 22)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. 19 – 22)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. 19 – 22)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. 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. 20 – 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 – 21)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. 20 – 22)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. 21)Soar on the Shore

    Algoma, WI

    Learn about kite-flying from professionals on Lake Michigan's Crescent Beach. There will be giant-kite and stunt shows and crafts and a candy drop for kids. 


  • (Aug. 21)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. 21)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. 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. 26 – 29)Orton-Front Festival

    Madison, WI

    The Marquette Waterfront and Orton Park festivals combine this year, with aerial dance and family entertainment in Orton Park and, in Yahara Place Park on Lake Monona, music on two stages and children's games.


  • (Aug. 27 – 29)Artstreet

    Green Bay, WI

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


  • (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)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. 27 – 29)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. 27 – 28)HarborFest

    Marquette, MI

    This Lake Superior town celebrates with rock and blues music, a classic car and motorcycle show, a luge run and inflatables for kids.


  • (Aug. 28)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. 28 – 29)Oneida Pow-Wow

    Oneida, WI

    This free family festival near Green Bay features dancing, singing, drumming, indigenous foods and crafts and lacrosse exhibitions.

    In nearby De Pere, learn more about the band at the Oneida Nation Museum.


  • (Aug. 28 – 29)Grant's Home Front Reenactment

    Galena, IL

    In Ulysses S. Grant's hometown, living-history reenacters hold an encampment along the river and stage Civil War battle reenactments at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.


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. 4)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. 


  • (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. 4 – 6)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. 4 – 6)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. 4)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. 4 – 6)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. 5)Bike the Drive

    Chicago, IL

    Along a 30-mile loop, ride car-free on Lake Shore Drive, with a post-ride festival in Grant Park.


  • (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.

     


  • (Sep. 16 – 18)Summerfest

    Milwaukee, WI

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


  • (Sep. 17 – 18)Twin Cities Jazz Festival

    St. Paul, MN

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


October

  • (Oct. 1 – 2)CelebrAsian Asian Heritage Festival

    Des Moines, IA

    This festival at Western Gateway Park features such activities as martial arts, lion dancers, chopstick races, a fashion show and, of course, food.