Springtime in Illinois: 9 Exciting Festivals and Events

The days are getting longer, and flowers will soon be blooming — spring is on the horizon. Which means now is the time to start planning your vernal escapes and excursions for the season. Since Illinois is The Middle of Everything, there are plenty of events and festivals in every region to fill up your spring calendar.

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Northern Illinois

C2E2 2023

  • Location: Chicago
  • Dates: March 31 – April 2, 2023
  • Description: Get your geek on at McCormick Place in Chicago for the inaugural C2E2 event. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo is a fan convention  dedicated to all things comics, pop culture, anime, manga and so much more. You’ll stroll through endless rows of vendors and artists and even get the chance to meet your favorite industry celebs. Epic memories and new friendships await at C2E2! 

Richardson Farm Tulip Festival

  • Location: Spring Grove
  • Dates: April 7 – May 13, 2023
  • Description: Experience over five acres and 300,000 bulbs in 30 different varieties at this year’s Tulip Festival! Hosted at Richardson Farm, this beloved northern Illinois event lets visitors experience the wonder and whimsy of the tulip flower with beautiful scenery, gift shops, wine tasting, popcorn, donuts and more. Just don’t forget to pick a free tulip with your ticket!

Chicago Latino Film Festival

  • Location: Chicago
  • Date: April 13 – 23, 2023
  • Description: Explore Latino thought and culture through the art of moving pictures at this year’s Chicago’s Latino Film Festival. Considered one of the largest and most comprehensive Latin film festivals in the country, this year’s festival will showcase over 100 films of cultural and social significance from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and more. Attendees will also get the chance to vote for their favorite with the Audience Choice Awards, too!

Sueños Music Festival

  • Location: Chicago
  • Dates: May 27 – 28, 2023
  • Description: Held in Grant Park, the Sueños Music Festival is an annual reggaeton event celebrating Latin talent, music and culture. The highly anticipated festival is expected to attract thousands of attendees and over 20 Latin musical acts from across the country. Just make sure to grab a wristband before the event sells out! 

Central Illinois  

Boneyard Arts Festival

  • Location: Champaign
  • Dates: April 14 – 16, 2023 
  • Description: It’s more than your traditional arts walk. The Boneyard Arts Festival features the work of hundreds of sculptors, actors, weavers, painters, photographers and more across 90 different venues. It features some traditional locales, like theaters and cafes, plus other nontraditional locales such as salons and retail stores. Come discover art in its various forms across Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Homer and more in this one-of-a-kind visual experience!

 Spring Fling

  • Location: Springfield
  • Dates: April 28-30, 2023 
  • Description: Due to renovations and repairs to the Coliseum at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois (HCI) has decided to postpone the annual Illinois Horse Fair. However, HCI has announced the first annual Spring Fling, which will feature the Wooten Rodeo Company and the Fairground Showdown Youth Speed Challenge at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Enjoy food and drinks and expect a horse-riding good time!

Springfield Pridefest

  • Location: Springfield
  • Date: May 20, 2023 
  • Description: Adorn your finest rainbow gear, get out those fur boots that you needed an excuse to wear and head to the Springfield Pridefest – an annual family-friendly street festival celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. Live entertainment, great vendors and delicious food are just some of the exciting reasons you should attend this year’s festival — not to mention it’s a great way to show your pride! 

Southern Illinois 

Maple Syrup Festival

  • Location: Makanda
  • Dates: March 25 – 26, 2023
  • Description: Prepare for waffles and pancakes because its maple season. And what better way to celebrate the delicious syrup than Makanda’s very own Maple Syrup Festival. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to enjoy two full days of maple syrup demonstrations, nature hikes, lumberjack demonstrations, kids’ activities and more. And yes, there will be a pancake breakfast. Start salivating. 

Belleville Strawberry Festival

  • Location: Belleville 
  • Dates: May 13 – 14, 2023
  • Description: Have the berry best weekend at this year’s Strawberry Festival in Belleville. The whole family can pick fresh strawberries from vast berry fields while the kids can play on the jungle gym or meet their favorite furry creature at the petting farm. There’s also a wagon ride, delicious food and tons of farm fun to be had.
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