Things To Do This Weekend July 26-28

“Summer’s Best Fest,” a.k.a the 91st annual Lake County Fair in Grayslake leads off this edition of Lake County’s top five things to do this weekend July 26-28.

To view the top five can’t miss things to do at the Grayslake mainstay, continue here. Click here to learn about unique eats at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center event.

You still have the opportunity to enter our sweepstakes for Six Flags Great America/Hurricane Harbor tickets, a one-to-two night stay at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort and/or a boat for the day on the Chain O’ Lakes. Continue here to enter.

“If summer had one defining scent, it’d definitely be the smell of barbecue.” Frolic at the fair, shop til you drop, sip suds at the splash spot, party like it’s Fat Tuesday and celebrate Lake County’s sole quaking bog in this week’s edition of things to do this weekend July 26-28.

1. 91st Annual Lake County Fair

For nearly a century, the Lake County Fair has provided great family experiences for the young and old, spanning generations. The annual five-day event in Grayslake turns 91 years old this year. This Lake County staple includes entertainment, food vendors, live farm animals, the brand new “Taste of the Fair” carnival rides, games, motocrossing, demolition derbies, monster truck rallies, the rodeo, live music, Bloody Mary Bingo, a dog diving canine stunt show, the Miss Lake County Pageant and so much more. Live entertainment includes headliners like 7th Heaven, Brecken Miles, Too White Crew, Saddlebrook, and Libido Funk Circus. Learn more at

Friday-Sunday, July 26-28; Fri.: 10 a.m.-midnight, Sat.: 10 a.m.-midnight and Sun.: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free-$35. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake.

2. Highland Park Sidewalk Sales / KIDS RIGS & Heroes

Shop till you drop in downtown Highland Park as the city on the Lake Michigan shores hosts its annual Sidewalk Sale Days. The bazaar-esque event features over 50 vendors as these shopkeeps will offer bargains of a lifetime. Participating businesses include Orangetheory Fitness, Pottery Barn, Hazel & Ivy, Uncle Dan’s, Trek Bicycle Store, Stationery Station, Prime My Body Hemp, Citywoods, Pets for U.S. Heroes and many more. Whether you’re shopping for the useful, unique or just on impulse find, these Highland Park stores have what you’re looking for. While you shop, the youngsters can partake in the KIDS, RIGS & HEROES event and meet and greet with the city’s police, fire, public works employees and the United States Marine Corps. Your whippersnappers can also explore the vehicles these heroes utilize at the duel event.

Friday-Saturday, July 26-27; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. KIDS, RIGS & HEROES event begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Downtown Highland Park, St. Johns and Central Avenues, Highland Park.

3. Craft Beer Night at Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center Featuring Tighthead Brewing Co.

Water parks and libations are just what the doctor ordered. Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center in Mundelein invites visitors ages 21 and older to splish, splash and sip at their annual Craft Beer Night. Suds are served for purchase by Lake County Libation Trail™ partner Tighthead Brewing Co., also based in Mundelein. The Mundelein Park District event also features sweet treats from Mundelein-based Tony Cannoli. Swim, drink, play and enjoy the sights and sounds of the perfect Lake County summer evening.

Saturday, July 27; 8:15-10:15 p.m., Entry fee: $5. Barefoot Bay Season Pass holders: free entry. Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center, 1461 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein.

4. Blarney Gras at Blarney Island


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Beads, brews, boats and bands at Blarney Island this weekend. The Antioch island just a mile offshore in the center of Grass Lake, celebrates everyone’s favorite Fat Tuesday holiday in July: Blarney Gras. The Bourbon Street- themed event features drinks specials, live performances from Rumor Hazit, Ask Jimmy, Karma Committee and Judson Brown, and of course, your pick of beads. Live on island time at Blarney Island, NOLA-styled!

Friday-Sunday, July 26-28; various start and end times. Free admission, $10 shuttle out from Port of Blarney. Blarney Island/Port of Blarney, 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch.

5. International Bog Day at Volo Bog State Natural Area

Celebrate International Bog Day this weekend at Volo Bog State Natural Area. The Ingleside National Natural Landmark is the only remaining open-water quaking bog in the Land of Lincoln. The Illinois DNR site will feature an art show, silent auction and artists’ reception, live music by Fox Crossing Stringband, tours of the bog, arts and crafts for the kids, and tasty snacks.

Sunday, July 28; noon-4:30 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Rd., Ingleside.

For more things to do this weekend July 26-28, continue here. To find out all the happenings during summer in Lake County, click here.

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