There's a carnival, craft show and car cruise, but don't miss the 10 a.m. Saturday band parade in this northern Iowa town, which Meredith Willson made famous in "The Music Man.''
This big festival in southeast Wisconsin features a battle of the chefs, the Project Yum-way candy-wrapper design contest and chocolate-eating contests, plus a crafts fair and carnival.
There's music on four stages, the world's largest touring grill (a Johnsonville semi that can cook 750 brats at a time), the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, carnival rides and Sunday fireworks. Admission is free. Outside the Alliant Energy Center.
This free pageant at Colonial Michilimackinac features a cast of more than 400, re-enacting events that took place between the French, British and Indian tribes on June 2, 1763.
There are also 18th-century fashion shows, voyageur contests, kids' games, a Saturday parade and fireworks.
The Spring Green General Store in this artistic town on the Wisconsin River celebrates Bob Dylan's 74th birthday with free outdoor music.
This free festival opens in Millennium Park, moves to the Chicago Cultural Center on Friday and is in Ellis Park on the weekend.
The festival in this small town just west of Appleton features a chocolate-eating contest, a Tour de Chocolate bike ride, a bicycle rodeo, an Artisan Village and fireworks
The festival in this small town just south of Lake Geneva, Wis., is the longest running in the state. There are milk-drinking contests, milking demonstrations, cow-chip lotto, bed races and a parade at 1 p.m. Saturday.
This Fox Cities festival includes cheese-curd eating, cheese-carving and cheesecake contests and a 10:30 a.m. Saturday cheese parade.
The juried show in this posh southern Minneapolis suburb draws 375 exhibitors and 60,000 people.
Artists open their studios in Mount Horeb and other towns in the Wisconsin River valley: Mazomanie, Black Earth, Cross Plains, Blue Mounds and Verona.
This free downtown festival features an art show, a Global Village, a Culinary Row and music and dance. Sunday is Children's Day, with 10 booths of hands-on activities.
The festival in this town on the Fox and Illinois rivers features wine from 25 Illinois vineyards and jazz and blues in Washington Park.
Listen to bagpipe bands, eat Scottish food and watch sheepdogs, Highland dancers and athletes.
When the weather's nice, crowds turn out for this street fair, during which Grand Avenue is divided into "districts'': entertainment, family fun and sports. A parade starts at 9:30 a.m. from Grand and Dale.
Visit a state park without paying the daily vehicle fee, $7 for residents and $10 for non-residents.
More than 150 musicians and songwriters perform in more than 15 venues around town to benefit the historic Michigan Avenue canal bridge.
There's an arts and crafts show, flea market and carnival but also a milking contest, firemen's water fight and a parade at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
See dragon-boat racing, a water-ski show, sand sculpting and car shows, all along the Fox River.
This is the largest of Chicago's free music festivals, drawing 750,000 people to Grant Park.
This big festival on the lakefront features lots of rollicking, zydeco-laced polka and hearty food.
This street festival in the Northcenter neighborhood, on Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Warner Avenue, features barbecue plus indie, roots, rock and alt country music.
There's a Kids Square with games and a rib-eating contest Friday with professional eaters.
From sunset to sunrise, artists perform a variety of projects at museums and outdoor venues along the riverfront and around Minneapolis.
There's a carnival, music on two stages, a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday and a Sunday art fair on Snake Alley.
The main event is the 12:31 p.m. Sunday parade, one of the region's largest. There's also a carnival, craft show, power-boat races and car show.
There's dragon-boat racing, a boat parade, pirate-chaser sails on the Friends Good Will, music and a craft fair.
The harbor-side North House Folk School on Lake Superior kicks off summer with a boat parade, dancing, craft demonstrations, mini-courses and a solstice parade.
It's the 51st annual Scandinavian midsummer festival in this Door County village. There's a regatta, historic walking tours, art fair, trolley rides, Fur Ball pet parade, cake walk and, of course, a fish boil.
This family festival at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, in the coulees near La Crosse, features the best of Scandinavian culture: food, music and crafts. For children, there will be a visit from the trolls by the bridge, fjord horses and a scavenger hunt.
On the banks of the Mississippi, 250 artists show their wares around St. Anthony Main. There are also three stages, art for kids and a car show.
This big fair in the Custer Avenue-Main Street shopping district features 250 artists, 50 variety performers, a medicine show, powwow dancing, children's activities and music on two stages.
This Fox River town on the western edge of Chicago offers music, a zipline, a carnival, a Swedish cottage walk and a big parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Listen to jazz in Mears Park, in St. Paul's Lowertown.
This big, juried arts fair at Western Gateway Park downtown includes street theater, live music and a film festival.
This festival at the Hjemkomst Center includes demonstrations, performances and goods that tell about society and culture in Viking-age Scandinavia and beyond.
During this popular event in an old mill town north of Milwaukee, there's music, kids' games, shortcake-eating and bubblegum-blowing contests and strawberries in everything — brats, wine, slush.
They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 800 acts perform on 11 stages along Lake Michigan.
This festival in the Hometown of Ronald Reagan features music, a carnival, fireworks and a Sunday parade.
This big riverfront festival includes water-ski and air shows, an arts and crafts fair, a lip-sync contest, a dragon-boat race, Venetian and family parades and music on four stages.
Big-name bands perform in Knoch Park, where there's also magic shows, kids' games, food and fireworks on the last evening.
This festival has a scenic location in Marina Park, on the Lake Superior waterfront.
On Thursday, there's the Hot Dam 5K fun fun, followed by music and a movie. On Friday, there's a half-marathon in the morning, and music and family activities from 6 to 10 p.m., followed by fireworks.
Festivities are along the riverfront downtown.
This town on Lake Michigan attracts half a million people to events that include air shows, an arts fair, music, races, the big Cherry Royale Parade and many contests, including pie-eating and pit-spitting.
Duluth claims to have Minnesota's largest fireworks show, part of festivities in Bayfront Festival Park.
Bring your own throne to this race at Perkinstown Park. Teams of four pushers and one squatter compete for the titles "hardest pushers'' and "prettiest potty.''
The big free festival in Grant Park offers lots of food and music.
This easy-going, family-friendly festival features 70 performers, food and hand-made art from around the world plus a fun play area for children.
Many people camp on-site at Birds Hill Provincial Park. Tickets are cheapest when bought in advance.
Look for minstrels, beignets, French lessons, a Mardi Gras celebration and a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower in Cathedral Square Park.
Look for the four R's in this western Wisconsin town: roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing. A parade is on Saturday.
This show and swap meet brings up to 130,000 people to this village east of Stevens Point.
At the airport, Balloon Rally & Glow features barnstormer plane rides, kite-flying, pig-racing, music and fireworks. Also at the airport, the Big Bull Falls BBQ Ribfest is Thursday through Saturday.
On Saturday and Sunday, artists decorate downtown during Chalkfest.
This northern town near Grand Rapids offers a powwow Friday, wild-rice lunch, bike rodeo, sawdust scramble, singing competition and fireworks Saturday and a parade Sunday.
This juried art show along the Lake Superior harbor includes children's activities, art demonstrations, a pie social and live music.
At the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park, there's cannoli-eating and pizza-making contests, celebrity chefs, a bocce ball tournament, parades at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, nightly fireworks and music and dance on five stages and an opera tent.
This hamlet on Lake Pepin, a favorite day trip destination for Twin Citians, becomes a shopping mecca during this big fair.
Hear island music on Lake Superior, from Bayfront Festival Park.
A week of music and games winds up with an 11 a.m. street parade and 10 p.m. lighted boat parade, followed by fireworks.
Dawes Park on Lake Michigan turns into a global village for this celebration of music, dance, arts and food.
This fest south of St. Paul features Celtic music, a British car show, a harp competition and heavy games -- hammer throwing, sheaf tossing, caber turning and the stone put.
The world's largest one-day outdoor fish fry also includes classic car and arts and crafts shows, soccer water fights, a smoked-fish eating contest, music on three stages, a parade and fireworks.
Listen to music on the square in this town just over the Wisconsin border from Lake Geneva.
This huge Experimental Aircraft Association festival includes air shows, fireworks, big-name concerts, children's activities, workshops, exhibits and rides in historic aircraft.
Reserve lodgings early; it fills rooms within a 60-mile radius.
This festival on the shores of Lake Minnewaska is famous for its lighted pontoon parade, followed by fireworks. On Sunday, there's a parade on land, followed by a water-ski show.
You can't see this kind of thing just anywhere: cut-throat log rolling, boom running, springboard chopping and speed climbing.
Ole and Lena host this friendly, authentic, very fun and very large festival of Scandinavian culture. The parade, one of the region's best, is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The rodeo in this town of 90 is a good excuse to explore the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, which winds through Chippewa National Forest north of Grand Rapids.
The festival in this western Minnesota town revolves around the book "On the Banks of Plum Creek.'' Family Festivals are held each Saturday.
This giant hot-air balloon festival includes daily flights, rides for the public, music, night glows, fireworks and a parade.
Look for dachshunds, dirndls and lots of oompah music at this big party at Henry Maier Festival Park on Lake Michigan.
There's nightly entertainment on the waterfront, a downtown carnival, tours of Coast Guard cutters, a Grand Parade and fireworks.
There's a lighted boat parade Friday, and on Saturday an arts fair, firemen's water fight, waterfront carriage rides and a 6 p.m. Grande Parade.
This show, between Bradford and McKinley beaches on the lakefront, features many aerobatics.
At the confluence of the Fox River with the Illinois, there's a carnival, paddleboat races, Art in the Park, Taste of Ottawa, live bands and a parade on the last day.
This town on Lake Michigan is sausage central. There's music, a carnival, beer and, of course, a brat-eating contest. The parade is Saturday.
There's a lot going on at the North Shore's biggest festival, including loon-calling, log-rolling, herring-eating and rock-skipping contests; Saturday fireworks; and the grand parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.
In this Mississippi River town, there's music, food and games in Bay Point Park and an arts show in Levee Park. There's a Venetian boat parade at dusk Saturday and the grand parade Sunday.
Ride the Root River State Trail then enjoy music, games and food in this bluff-country burg. A parade is Sunday.
This free harborfront festival features locally produced specialties as well as cooking demonstrations, gardening workshops and music on three stages.
This Manitoba prairie town celebrates its heritage with pavilions representing 44 nationalities, offering music, dance and food at many venues.
Ride the Heartland State Trail to this tiny "burp in the road'' near Park Rapids, then eat your way down the street. And don't forget to vote (or run) for mayor. Food is served 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There are chainsaw artists, a zip line and alligator and bear shows as well as a carnival and grandstand acts that include national country musicians.
The fair in this Milwaukee suburb features lots of contests, including hog-calling, cookie-stacking and cream puff-eating.
This 36th annual family-friendly festival includes music on five stages and workshops at El Rancho Mañana Campground, 20 miles west of St. Cloud.
This big fest in west-central Minnesota snags the biggest names in country music.
Eat until you're blue in the face during the festival in this Lake Michigan beach town. There's a pie-eating contest, riverfront concerts , an arts fair and a big parade on Saturday.
More than 100 singer-songwriters perform at more than 40 venues along College Avenue downtown.
This nonprofit festival is in the southwest Wisconsin bluffs, half an hour north of Winona, Minn.
Tickets are $5. In addition to music, there will be a hot-air balloon launch, car show, arts, a youth obstacle course and Saturday fireworks.
Minnesota's official Pie Capital near Cambridge holds pie-eating contests, a pie trivia contest and performances of the Pie-Alleuia Chorus.
The 27th annual music fest on the Lake Superior harbor showcases national and regional acts on three stages.
This big heritage fest on the banks of the Mississippi includes Irish Got Talent and best legs in a kilt contests, hurling demonstrations, dancing and lots of music.
This large juried art fair in the Uptown neighborhood draws crowds. Use a Nice Ride bike or download a free bus/train pass, www.metrotransit.org/artpass, to avoid congestion and to get to the two other art fairs in south Minneapolis.
This celebration of Polish culture is on the St. Anthony Main riverfront across from downtown, with music, art, food and free polka lessons.
These smaller festivals in Powderhorn Park, in south Minneapolis, and Loring Park, on the edge of downtown, are not far from the Uptown Art Fair. All are easily reached by bus shuttle or by bicycle on the Midtown Greenway.
See a diaper derby, outhouse races and mullet contest, and don't miss the butter sculptures.
The two towns stretch a 680-pound, 2,400-foot rope across the Mississippi River for the ultimate tug of war. (Over 27 years, the score is Illinois 17, Iowa 11.) There's also a parade, fireworks, children's games, concerts and carnival rides.
The antiques show and flea market in this friendly little village just north of Rochester off U.S. 52 includes more than 400 vendors and 1,200 booths. There's also pancakes for breakfast, homemade pie and music.
Re-enactors from across the continent gather at Grand Portage National Monument for the annual fur-trade rendezvous; next door, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa holds a powwow. Reserve lodgings far in advance.
Enjoy national and local blues musicians in Fern Island Park. There's a beer garden, of course.
The 57th annual free show features aerobatics, extreme flying and parachuting off North Avenue Beach.
In this southeast Wisconsin vacation area, the festival includes a carnival, arts and crafts fair, firefighter water fight and, on Sunday, a water-ski show followed by a lighted boat parade and fireworks.
Enjoy the best of Mexican culture at the Henry Maier Festival Park: mariachi, arts and crafts, spicy foods and contests: dance, costume, jalapeno-eating and el grito, or shouting.
The festival on Barker's Island begins Friday with a parade of teams, fireworks and a concert and continues Saturday with races in the harbor and family entertainment.
This festival at Grand Traverse Commons features more than 200 craft beers.
See the Luminarium, try beer flights at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, eat food on a stick and listen to free concerts.
Artists, performers and craft and food stands fill streets downtown near the Fox River.
This goofy central-Minnesota festival features mashed-potato wrestling, a golden potato hunt, potato car races, peeling and eating contests and a Saturday parade.
Few settings are more beautiful than Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on Lake Superior; 25 national and regional blues, folk and bluegrass acts perform.
Fireworks provided by the Iowa Pyrotechnic Association are the centerpiece for this fest, which includes arts & crafts, food and kids' activities.
This free music festival in LeClaire Park, on the banks of the Mississippi, also features Rib Festival and the paddling festival Floatzilla.
This festival in Riverside Park includes children's activities and craft demonstrations.
There's music on two stages, children's games, a petting zoo and an arts fair in Carson Park. Entry to Paul Bunyan Logging Camp and Chippewa Valley Museum is included.
More than 600 musicians perform on 10 stages in this town in northwest Iowa.
This free festival features music at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.
Revel in the past during this show of antique machinery, which includes rides on trains and a carousel, square dancing, roving musicians and nightly jamborees.
In 2015, the show will feature blacksmithing.
This Swiss town near Madison has been putting on an outdoor William Tell pageant since 1938. Festivities include a children's lantern parade, yodeling, an arts show and ethnic fashions.
There's chip-chucking contests in this Wisconsin River town, but also music, kids' games and an arts and crafts fair. The Tournament of Chips parade is at noon Saturday.
This free benefit festival on Capitol Square includes 300 menu items from more than 80 restaurants, all priced at $1-$4. There's also music on three stages.
On Sunday, there's a lighted boat parade on Lake Mendota, followed by fireworks.
The festival in this southern suburb of Chicago features more than 300 artisans, entertainment, a carnival and a parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Once a year, on Labor Day, people can walk across the five-mile span, the third-longest suspension bridge in the world.