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Entries in festivals (4)

Monday
Aug052013

Summer Guide 2013: A Trip to The Illinois State Fair in Springfield

Do your kids love animals? Carnival rides? Farm equipment? Baton twirling contests? Well, then you owe it to them to take them to the 2013 Illinois State Fair!  The State Fair runs from Friday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 18, at the fairgrounds in Springfield, about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Geneva. If you want to extend your trip a bit, check out this guide to a family-friendly Springfield getaway.

THE BASICS:

As a Springfield native, I have attended more than 30 Illinois State Fairs, and it’s a rare year that I attend for only one day during the fair’s run. Obviously, I think any day is a good day for the fair, but since you’ll be doing a lot of walking, it’s nice if you can attend when the temps aren’t say, 90 degrees. Also, weekdays are a lot less crowded than weekends.

Make sure to take a good look at the schedule of events for the day of your visit and also to surf around the State Fair’s website, especially the tabs called “Rides & Attractions” and “Concerts & Entertainment.”

There are all sorts of fun, only-at-a-fair events, such as the High Dive Show, a sheep shearing contest, a diaper derby and a contest for the longest ponytail. But you’ll need to do a bit of scheduling to be at the right place at the right time. Don’t worry: This isn’t Disney World. It doesn’t take that long to get from one end of the fair to another, but planning ahead — and enjoying the fair in zones before moving onto the next area — will make for a happier family. Here’s a link to a printable fairgrounds map that will help you get orientated before you even arrive.

The "Sky Glide" travels from one end of the fairgrounds to the other at the Illinois State Fair. Photo by Tara Burghart.

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Wednesday
Jun122013

Summer Guide 2013: Fairs and Festivals in Northern Illinois

With "Pride on the Fox RiverFest" in St. Charles last weekend, and "PrairieFest" in Oswego coming up this weekend, festival season is in full swing! The festivals below are placed in chronological order; I'll do my best to place them on the Go West Calendar, too. I've included a few notable fairs that are within a two- to three-hour drive. 

Please let me know if I've missed a fair or festival you think I should include. I'll be glad to do an update! 

PrairieFest

  • Where: Throughout Oswego, with the main festival grounds located at PraireFest Park, 91 Plank Road.
  • When: June 13 through June 16
  • Why: This four-day community celebration is marking is 25th anniversary this year. Nearly 50,000 people attend over the course of the festival. If features main stage entertainment, children's performers, an expo village, petting zoos, pony rides, camel rides, children's activities, a parade, bed races, a touch-a-truck event and more.
  • Cost: Free admission.

Photo by The-Lane-Team on Flickr.

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Monday
Jun182012

Summer Guide 2012: Fairs and Festivals

We've already had "A Taste of Wheaton," "PrairieFest" in Oswego and the "Pride on the Fox RiverFest" in St. Charles this month. But if you like fairs and festivals like I do, there are plenty more to look forward to this summer. In addition to festivals in the western suburbs, I've included on the below list a few notable fairs that are within a 2- to 3-hour drive. 

Please let me know if I've missed a fair or festival you think I should include. I'll be glad to do an update! 

Photo by topshampatti on Flickr.PrairieFest

Swedish Days 

  • Where: Downtown Geneva
  • When: June 19 through June 24
  • Why: This is a great all-around festival, marking the longest days of the year and the city's Swedish heritage. It features a carnival, music, food, craft show, children's games and a parade on the final day that's particularly good. Friday, June 22, is "Kids' Day," featuring a Kids' Day Parade, Radio Disney and other entertainment that will appeal to children.
  • Cost: Free admission. 

Long Grove Strawberry Festival

  • Where: Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove
  • When: June 22 through June 24
  • Why: Long Grove says the Strawberry Festival is the "granddaddy" of the town's signature festivals, drawing thousands of visitors for music, food and fun. You'll find strawberry treats, plus free live entertainment. For kids, there are kiddie rides, face painting and family activities. 
  • Cost: Free admission

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Tuesday
Jun142011

Festivals, Fairs and Fried Food: The Go West 'Go Guide' to Summer Fun Around the State

We've already had "A Taste of Wheaton" and the "Pride on the Fox RiverFest" this month. But if you like fairs and festivals like I do, there are plenty more to look forward to this summer. In addition to festivals in the western suburbs, I've included on the below list a few notable fairs that are within a 2- to 3-hour drive. 

Please let me know if I've missed a fair or festival you think I should include. I'll be glad to do an update! 

Photo by topshampatti on Flickr.PrairieFest

PrairieFest

  • Where: Throughout Oswego, with the main festival grounds at PrairieFest Park at 91 Plank Road
  • When: June 16 through June 19
  • Why: This will be the 23rd year for PrairieFest, which is put on by the Oswegoland Park District. It features children's performers, petting zoos, pony rides, camel rides, free children's activities and an Expo Village in which businesses and crafters promote their services and sell their wares.
  • Cost: Free admission.  

Swedish Days 

  • Where: Downtown Geneva
  • When: June 21 through June 26
  • Why: This is a great all-around festival, marking the longest days of the year and the city's Swedish heritage. It features a carnival, music, food, craft show, children's games and a parade on the final day that's particularly good. Friday, June 24, is "Kids' Day," featuring a Kids' Day Parade, a teddy bear clinic and entertainment that will appeal to children.
  • Cost: Free admission. 

Click to read more ...