Guide to Summer Festivals in Lake County

Summer is in just two weeks. Although the weather hasn’t really felt like it to this point, and now is the time to celebrate sunshine and enjoy the outdoors.  There’s nothing better than enjoying the warm and beautiful sun in Lake County during a summer festival. Lake County festivals are full of delectable bites, elegant suds, moving tunes and of course carnival rides. Find something to do with the whole family or grab some friends and head to one of these fun summer festivals in Lake County!

Need some inspiration before you travel to Lake County. Here is our ‘I Love Lake County Song Search’ winner, Dylan Kroll’s winning song, ‘Lake County, the Bounty of Illinois’ video.

What are you doing next weekend? There is plenty for you from June 21 (don’t forget dear old dad), the beginning of summer up until late September. Here is your complete guide to summer festivals in Lake County.

(Psst!  Looking for fireworks or Independence Day Parades?  Check out our blog on Fourth of July Celebrations next week)

Jelly Belly Summer Carnival
Thursday, June 11 – Sunday, June 14
Thursday-Friday: 12- 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Bring the whole family out for four days of fun. Carnival Rides, midway games and more at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Unlimited rides Friday-Sunday from 12-4 p.m. for $18 per person. 

2015 Libertyville Days Festival
Thurs-Sun June 18-21; Thursday: 5pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-11pm, Sunday: 1pm-6pm

The party of the year in Libertyville: the 2015 Libertyville Days Festival ‘Festival of Heroes.’ Join Lake County residents and visitors in a family-friendly setting for good. From Thursday-Sunday beautiful Downtown Libertyville will be action-packed with fun-tivities including carnival rides, food, beer tent, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and much, much more. Website has details.

Wauconda FestWauconda Fest
Thursday, June 25,  – Sunday, June 28
Thurs 5-10 p.m., Fri 5 p.m. – Midnight, Sat 12 p.m. – Midnight, Sun 12-9 p.m.

Bring friends and family out for carnival ride specials, Taste of Wauconda, wine tasting tent, tie-dye tent, Annual Car Show, 5k/10k Race, Texas Holdem’ Tournament, Wauconda Fest has Talent and more. Three Dollar admission is good for all four days. See the website for schedule updates and specials.

Highwood Days with Taste of Summer
Friday, June 26 – Sunday, June 28
Friday: 5 – 11 p.m., Saturday: 1 – 11 p.m., Sunday: 1 – 9 p.m.

Party in the Park and the Taste of the North Shore. Come out and enjoy 3 days of partying in the beautiful park . Highwood’s Taste of Summer will be three days of partying in beautiful Everts Park with great tastes of the North Shore, live music, family activities, beer garden, and plenty of new and exciting carnival rides for all ages.

Fox Lake Fireman’s 56th Annual Festival
Saturday, June 27- Sunday, June 28

Bring the family (and some beach towels) out for this event! There will be food, raffles, carnival games & rides, a street dance Saturday night and the water fights Saturday and Sunday. Don’t miss the fun and excitement!

Free Community Picnic
Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m.

Spend time with neighbors and friends, on Diamond Lake’s sandy beach. No registration needed! Swim, enjoy a paddle boat, try the floating SportsPark, play games, and top it off with an evening of water thrills from the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team! Beach opens at 10 a.m. Water ski show begins at 6 p.m. Picnic areas and food available for purchase.

BeachFest 2015 Annual Village Festival

Fri-Sun June 26-28; Friday: 3pm-11pm, Saturday: 1pm-11pm, Sunday: 1pm-8pm

Events and activities for all ages! Enjoy main stage live music, Cultural Stage & Children’s Stage for awesome entertainment! Great food and drinks! Free entry with fees for some activities. Brass Buckle Band performing on the main stage Friday night and Modern Day Romeos on Saturday night. Please visit the website for more information. 

17th Annual Family Picnic and Fireworks in Grayslake
Saturday, June 27, 4 – 10 p.m.

282557_10150255261719033_4119833_nFun and entertainment for the whole family!  Not to mention the delicious “Taste of Grayslake”, live music, and a ton of fun for kids including moonwalks, carnival rides, face painting, obstacle courses, a climbing wall and much more. And if that’s not enough summer fun, finish the whole thing off with fireworks at dusk!

Mundelein Community Days
Thursday, July , – Sunday, July 5
Thursday-Friday: 12 – 11 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Event includes musical performances, food, drinks, arts and crafts, car show, carnival, activities for kids and adults, and much more. The parade will be held on Sunday, July 5th at 2pm down Hawley Street from Village Hall to Mundelein High School. Please call for more information.

Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival
Saturday, July 4 – Sunday, July 5; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival is returning to the Garden. Guests can stroll and shop among the 80 juried artists on the Esplanade who will be selling photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry, and much more, all with a botanic theme or made from plant materials. Artists will give interactive demonstrations and booth chats throughout the weekend. Also featured at the Art Festival will be family activities.

8th Annual Tanabata Festival in Waukegan
Monday, July 7, 12 – 1 p.m. & 6 – 7 p.m.

The Waukegan Park District’s Cultural Arts Division is celebrating the Japanese Star Festival – Tanabata. This festival takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when according to legend, two stars, Altair and Vega, usually separated from each other by the Milky Way, are able to meet. Make a wish for clear weather and attach a personal wish or haiku poem for the upcoming year to the tree otherwise, Altair and Vega cannot meet.

Dog Days of SummerDog Days of Summer in Libertyville
Thursday, July 09– Sunday, July 12, 2015

Take a leisurely stroll with your dog into the quaint shops of MainStreet Libertyville, or see and feel the exhilaration of the nationally recognized sport of “DockDogs-Big Air Dog Jumping”. Libertyville is honored again to be the Host City for DockDogs Regional Finals 2015. On Sunday enjoy the annual Petathlon, which includes a 3k dog walk, live music, raffle, and pet and family activities. Please visit the website for a complete schedule of activities.

St. Demetrios’ Annual Greek Fest in Libertyville
Friday July 10, – Sunday July 12, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Enjoy annual Greek Fest with a wonderful array of Greek food including Lamb on the spit, Souvlakia (shish-kebab), Greek chicken, Gyros, Spanakopita (spinach pie), and more! There will also be delicious Greek pastries, games for the kids, Greek music and dancing!

Grandwood Park’s Summerfest Celebration
Friday, July 10 & Saturday, July 12
Friday: 5 – 11 p.m., Saturday: 3 – 11:30 p.m.

Come out and enjoy plenty of good food, cold beer, kids games, and on Saturday a craft show, family games and a petting zoo.

ScoopScoop Waukegan
Friday July 10- Saturday July 11

The festival will start on Friday with a continuation of the Scoop Unplugged concept with no paid registration for vehicles and live music with Bella Cain. Saturday owners paying $15 a registration fee can enter their vehicles in a parked car show drive (scoop), drivers electing just to scoop would pay $20 per vehicle. Music from Sugar High will also play on Saturday.

The 14th Annual Buffalo Grove Invitational Art Festival
Saturday July 12, – Sunday July 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Buffalo Grove is home to more than 44,000 loyal festival supporters and some of the most reputable business organizations in the Midwest. Currently rated as one of the top 100 art festivals in the country, the festival hosts more than 100 juried artists from around the globe. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to watch the masters at work with art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long! In addition to the work of the 100 juried artists, festival-goers will have the opportunity to view and purchase works from young artists, ages 18 and under, who participate in the Youth Art Division of the festival taking place on Sunday. In addition to the artwork, festival-goers will enjoy live performances from a variety of musical acts, great food and art activities for kids, including an art scavenger hunt and spin art at the festival and much more!

Photo by Bristol Renaissance Faire 2004Bristol Renaissance Faire 2015
Saturdays & Sundays July 11 through Sept. 7
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For nine glorious weekends starting in early July, each Saturday and Sunday, plus Labor Day Monday, visitors take a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England, complete with 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a spectacular cast of characters. The Faire boasts a beautiful 30-acre site with open-air stages featuring Swordfighters, Minstrels and Jesters. Meet Robin Hood or Queen Elizabeth, in person! All entertainment is included in the price of admission. In addition to the faire please watch for special events, including wine tasting, costume weekend Tea with the Queen.

Antioch’s Taste of Summer Festival
Thursday, July 16 – Sunday, July 19

Days of fun in downtown Antioch are a must for summer pleasure. Carnival rides and games add up to fun for the whole family. Enjoy the delectable specialties prepared by top restaurants. Dine in the relaxing sunshine or under the “Big Top” while listening to top entertainment in the Brook Bandshell. The Entertainment includes Bella Cain, Hi Infidelity, Suburban Cowboys and BBI, a new Carnival with new rides and much more. Then stroll through the town for the best sidewalk sales and crafters in the area. The merchants go all out for this event, so come early and grab the bargains. Spend these four days at this wonderful family event. 

Alpine FestAlpine Fest
Friday, July 17- Sunday, July 19

This family-oriented event will bring back all the things people love. There will be well-known bands, events, carnival rides and activities for the young patrons. In addition to the entertainment there will be some of the best food in Lake County. Enjoy the Alpine Fest Parade downtown Lake Zurich. Admission is free. Please visit website for more details.

Island Lake Lakefest
Fri-Sun, July 24-26
Bring the family out and join the Fun! There will be music, pony rides, dunk tank, a car show, games, craft show, food and drink.

6th Annual Bloody Mary Fest
Sunday, July 26, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Judged by a host of celebrity experts and real people, professional and amateur mixologists compete for the title of Best Bloody Mary in the Midwest. In it’s sixth year, the festival includes the very popular 5K Buddy Challenge , live entertainment, plenty of food vendors, beverages, and more! This event is held at Everts Park from 10am-5pm. More details to come.

games_prize (1)87th Annual Lake County Fair
Wednesday-Sunday, July 29-Aug 2

Come out and enjoy five days of fun as the Fairgrounds celebrate the 87th Annual Lake County Fair. Events at the fair will 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. 

Highwood’s Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, September 12, noon- 5 p.m.

The 3rd Annual Highwood Craft Beer Festival will take place at Everts Park in Highwood, IL, just North of Highland Park and the North Shore of Chicago’s number one dining and entertainment destination.The Highwood Craft Beer Festival will feature over 35 breweries & 70 different Craft Beers. Many will be great brews from the best Midwest Craft & Micro breweries and some from right here in the Chicago area. Each GA ticket holder will get 20, 3 OZ beer samples, VIP ticket holders will get 25, 3 OZ. beer samples

The 18th Annual Lincolnshire Art Festival
Saturday, August 15- Sunday, August 16, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The festival hosts 100 juried artists from around the country in the Village Green of Lincolnshire and offers extraordinary examples of fine art and fine craft in a variety of mediums and price points. Take in the tranquility of Lincolnshire with a wonderful weekend that combines the fun of art with the art of fun. Live music on the music stage, great food and fun activities for kids, including an art scavenger hunt and spin art, make the festival a perfect family experience. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see the masters at work with interactive art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long! Festival-goers of all ages will have an opportunity to get into the “art-filled” action by contributing to a mural on-site at the festival.

Long Grove family holding hands_small

5th Annual Garlic Fest
Wednesday August 19, 4 – 9 p.m.

From 4-9pm, some 5,000 attendees come to Everts Park to sample a variety of garlic creations from out-of-the-ordinary garlic ice cream, candy, cupcakes and cocktails, to the more usual pastas, sauces, breads, and butters. Held during Highwood’s Evening Market, the Fest features a Taste of Garlic Competition for the Savory and Sweet categories!

31st Annual Port Clinton Art Festival & Taste of Highland Park
Saturday, August 29 –  Sunday, August 30, 10 – 6 p.m.

Port Clinton Art Festival is one of the most successful juried art festivals and attracts more than 250,000 art enthusiasts from places near and far. More than 260 of the world’s most celebrated artists come together to showcase their work over the course of the weekend, creating an atmosphere brimming with renowned creativity. Alongside established artists, a youth art division celebrates the talents of young artists ages 18 and under, offering them the opportunity to participate, exhibit, and experience the inner workings of an art festival. 

Balloon Festival3rd Annual Color Aloft Balloon Festival
Saturday August 29, 4 – 9 p.m.

Bring the family out for this exciting new event. The Color Aloft Festival will begin with Hot Air Balloons being inflated and compete in a “Fox and Hounds” contest in which competing balloons seek to land closest to the ‘Fox’. Balloons will be retrieved and return to the park and after dark they will be internally illuminated by their burners or glow. Also enjoy family activities, live music and food vendors. There will also be a Civil War Era Baseball game at 4pm. 

Wauconda’s Annual Street Dance
Saturday, September 5, 3 – 11 .p.m.

What a feeling to join friends and family for a night of music, beverages, food and dancing!  The bands play with a spirit only Wauconda can have on Saturday, September 5th. The Wauconda Area Chamber hosts an evening of live music, food, dancing, raffles, collection of food & school supplies and more!  The Main Street will be packed with area communities in celebration & appreciation for our Members and building a stronger community.  This celebration is for YOU!

German Fest
Don’t miss this German Fest and The People’s Fireworks! It’s a huge celebration that features the best German food, beer, raffles, kid’s games and prizes, snowmobile riding on the water exhibition, live bands and dancing and a German costume contest with cash prizes. After dark, we light up the sky with the biggest and loudest spectacular fireworks show ever! Spectators can watch the show from our grounds or from their boat on Bluff Lake.

IMG_797167th Annual Jubilee Days Festival
Saturday, September 7, – Monday, September 9,
Saturday: 8 a.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
This weekend long festival begins with an annual 5K run, the Miss Zion Pageants followed and an ice cream social. Head back on Sunday for an Arts and Crafts Festival, food, live music and fireworks.  End the festival on Monday with the Mayor’s Breakfast, Arts and Crafts Festival, food and Lake County’s largest parade, the Jubilee Parade at 1 p.m.

61st Annual Art Fair on the Square
September 6-7

Art fair consists of selected exhibitors work in a variety of disciplines including: ceramics, digital art, drawing/pastels, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, graphics, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture & wood. Silhouetted against classical architecture and stately mature trees, the artists set up their outdoor galleries around historic Market Square. There will also be a children’s art tent for the creative little ones.


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