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Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival.
Festival of the Vine
Geneva restaurants create an array of specialties under an outdoor tent at the “Flavor Fare” partnered with wine and live musical entertainment. The Fall Harvest Market offers food and floral demos, unique displays plus Kid’s Patch activities. An arts and crafts show, flower market, horse-drawn carriage rides and several exceptional wine tasting and dinner events also take place around the historic downtown.
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
There's even more color, fragrance and roll-up-your-sleeves, good ideas at the next Chicago Flower & Garden Show presented by Mariano's, March 14-22, 2015 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist destination in Illinois. More than 20 feature gardens from top designers bring visitors the first joys of spring and exciting ways to "Do Green. Do Good." The Marketplace's 100 exhibitors is a shopper's paradise; the Kids Activity Garden is so much fun, kids don't realize how much they're learning about greening our world. Garden Gourmet features top chefs with cooking demos. Experts present seminars on the best tricks and tips of gardening; Tablescapes show the most gorgeous, dreamy decor for indoor or outdoor dining, and the "Art of Floral,” features interpretive floral designs. For more information and tickets, including group tour rates, visit www.chicagoflower.com/
Long Grove's Annual Strawberry Festival
The pleasures of summer are celebrated with “berry” wonderful strawberry-inspired treats. Strawberry lovers of all ages flock to Long Grove’s renown fest to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, fruit smoothies, and other strawberry drinks, ice creams, strawberry donuts, baked goods and, of course, the farm-fresh berries themselves. There is free live entertainment all three days at venues all over town and most of Long Grove’s many shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants offer variations of strawberry-themed foods, drinks, and merchandise. Fun for All Ages Strawberry Fest features plenty of activities and fun for children, including a variety of kiddie rides, face painting and outdoor activities and tents full of family and education-oriented products.
CITY: Long Grove
Long Grove's Annual Apple Festival
The distinctive Long Grove shops and restaurants help celebrate the Apple Festival with unique seasonal gifts and foods, including cider donuts, caramel apples and the Long Grove Apple Haus’ famous brown bag apple pie. Live toe-tapping music, carriage rides, hayrides and children’s activities round out the fest.
CITY: Long Grove
Cobden Peach Festival
Celebrate the local peach harvest, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club. Join us for fresh peaches from local orchards, carnival rides and games, crowning of ‘Miss Peach Queen’, homemade food and peach cobbler & pie with a 5K run/walk and parade on Saturday. Free admission.
12th Annual Spores N More Mushroom Festival
Come and enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the elusive morel mushroom or come and bid at the auction. Friday night kicks off the event with a welcome dinner, reception and speaker in Windsor. Saturday morning, come and join the hunt for a fee. If you like morels but not the hunt, come to the auction and bid for your winning batch. The 2015 hunt and auction will be based out of Shelbyville's Forest Park.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Murphysboro Apple Festival
The Murphysboro Apple Festival is the oldest and largest, alcohol-free festival in Southern Illinois. Over 45,000 people attend the festival each year. During the five days of the Apple Festival, there are numerous activities drawing large crowds such as evening stage shows, carnival/concessions, Queen Contest, Prince and Princess Contest, contests from apple pie eating to apple core throwing, firefighters' water fights, marching band competition, car shows, Appletime 5K Walk/Run and much more. In addition, the festival's Grand Parade is one of the largest parade in Southern Illinois. The parade features an average of about 160 total units, 25 of those marching bands, and a variety of groups and organizations.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available first come first serve on weekends. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-800-258-6645.
Pope County Deer Festival
The Pope County Deer Festival is a local tradition, held during the 1st shotgun deer season in Golconda, the 'Deer Capital' of Illinois. Held Thursday thru Saturday featuring vendors, food & music. A Deer Queen coronation on Friday night, a parade on Saturday at 2pm. On Sunday morning, a community breakfast and town sweep are held.
Country Corner Farm Market & Pumpkin Patch
Farm, Fresh, Fun! Explore acres of pumpkins, a giant interactive adventure corn maze, farm-fresh produce, a petting zoo, craft barn, tree house and playground. Hayrack and pony rides, Mine for gems, ride the famous cow train. Special event weekends and concessions are also offered.U-pick pumpkins, interactive adventure corn maze and flashlight maze available in month of October. Ample parking and a nominal charge for activities. May through September 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Month of October Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and S
Long Grove's Chocolate Festival
Enjoy the sweet life! Back by popular demand, Long Grove invites you to enjoy the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest, held every May. Families can fill a day – or a weekend – with chocolaty treats, live music, great food and distinctive shopping in charming Long Grove. Enjoy chocolate demonstrations and workshops, wine parings, live music all over town and plenty of children's activities. Long Grove combines the best of trendy shopping and dining with the ambiance of yesteryear. You will discover beautiful gardens, trendy shops, art galleries and one-of-a-kind restaurants.
CITY: Long Grove
Vernon Hills Summer Celebration 2015
Join us for 4 days of food, fun, carnival rides and free entertainment and a huge beer tent. There will also be children's activities, bingo, live bands every night and fireworks on Thursday. Friday night enjoy Modern Day Romeos and Mike & Joe. Saturday Bella Cain and headliner Lonestar will perform along with a car show from 9am-2pm. Sunday enjoy a bags tourny and the music of Kaleidoscope Eyes. Please visit the website for updated entertainment schedule. Bring a blanket but leave the coolers home; no alcohol can be brought into the park.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Festival of Lights
Smile, laugh, be de-lighted at the East Peoria Festival of Lights! The festival features the fantastic Folepi's Winter Wonderland lighted drive-through display, open from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, and many other events during December including a competitive run, gift show, theatrical productions and more. The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers three miles of Washington Street starting on one side of the city and ending just past downtown. The parade features floats shaped entirely from lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle float illuminated with LED lights, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 LED light bulbs, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
CITY: East Peoria
Big Bang at Hidden Lake Winery
Dueling piano's. Meal prepared by Winery Chef.
The Christkindlmarket Oakbrook is an outdoor holiday market featuring vendors from around the world who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. Visit the new Village Green area near Crate&Barrel for a special selection of the German-American Holiday Market you have come to know and love. Open November 28-December 14 from Thursday-Sunday and December 18-24 every day.
CITY: Oak Brook
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
CITY: St. Charles
Stephenson County Fair
Old fashioned county fair, with food, carnival rides, animals, entertainment, tractor pulls, Home Ec displays, animals, youth night, musical entertainment, commercial exhibits, 4-H and more.
Celebrate the pepper harvest from 11am to 5pm, A favorite gathering for all chile heads and hot pepper fans. Walk the pepper field and see many varieties of hot peppers in bloom, meet the vendors and see who makes the best hot/spicy food, visit the Pepper Farm Store and select your favorite salsa, jellies, spices and pepper products, relax, visit with friends, enjoy great local music and soak in great southern Illinois pepper heat. 618-893-1443. www.darnhotpeppers.com
87th Annual Lake County Fair
Come out and enjoy 5 days of fun at the 87th Annual Lake County Fair. Events at the fair include live entertainment, food vendors, carnival rides and games, live animals, motor crossing, banana derby, demolition derby, flower show, expo hall and so much more. Please visit the website for updated information.
Mid America Morel Mushroom Fest & Hunt
Learn all about the morel in the heart of prime & proven morel habitat. Participate in the hunt, see cooking demonstrations, exchange recipes, come to buy or sell in the mushroom auction, and enter your best morel dish in the morel cook-off. Fun for the whole family, and trophies in many categories.
Woodstock Groundhog Days
In 1992, something astonishing happened in the historic city of Woodstock, Illinois. People came to town and roped off the picturesque city square, moved all sorts of equipment into the park and started playing the Pennsylvania Polka, over and over and over again. They were filming a movie that has become a favorite of young and old for more than 20 years, and the city gathers each year to remember the fun and celebrate the special community that Woodstock has always been. There are events for everyone during this celebration: Groundhog trivia, free viewing of "Groundhog Day" at the movie theater, walking tours of the film sites, a Chili cook-off, a dinner and dance, bowling, and pancake breakfasts. The main event for Groundhog Day is the annual prognostication. Gather on the Woodstock Square to see Woodstock Willie emerge from his tree trunk home. If he sees his shadow, it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter and if he doesn't see his shadow, it means we will have an early Spring.