17 Illinois events you need to check out in July

Jul 01, 2014

July in Illinois isn’t just about fireworks and Fourth of July celebrations. It’s a celebration of summer across the state, from county fairs to food festivals, from small towns to Chicago. Enjoy the dog days of summer and get out and about in the state this July. Starting with the county fairs in the state, here are 17 Illinois events you should check out this July.

Fourth of July celebrations

  • The Fourth falls on a Friday this year, so celebrate all weekend long. Towns and cities around the state have fireworks, festivities and parades, so make sure to check those out. You can view listings for many of the fireworks displays around the state here.

County Fairs

Lisle Eyes to the Skies

  • The carnival is July 2-6
  • The festival is July 3-5
  • You literally need to keep your eyes to the skies here – It’s a hot air balloon festival in west suburban Lisle, Ill.

Dixon Petunia Festival

  • July 2-6
  • Located in Dixon, Ill.
  • This is the 50th year this festival has been held. Live music acts include the band Rusted Root.

Naperville Ribfest

  • July 3-6
  • Naperville, Ill.
  • Get down and dirty with ribs and other BBQ options, then listen to musical acts including Love and Theft and Blue Oyster Cult.

Heritage Festival and Duck Race

  • July 4-5
  • Elizabethtown, Ill.
  • The festival focuses on 1800s games and play, including the duck race, an outdoor pageant and a period ball.

John Deere Classic

  • July 7-13
  • TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
  • The Classic is the only annual PGA Tour stop in Illinois and this year 20-year-old Jordan Spieth is the defending champion.

Taste of Chicago

  • July 9-13
  • Free admission, located in Grant Park in Chicago
  • Along with food vendors from around the city, there will be concerts including Aloe Blacc and AWOLNATION.

Taste of Downtown (Springfield)

  • July 11-12
  • Located in downtown Springfield, Ill.
  • This food fest features 20 downtown restaurants, along with live music.

World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival

  • July 13
  • Collinsville, Ill.
  • This year is the 16th annual event and, new for 2014, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile will be in attendance.

Pitchfork Music Festival

  • July 18-20
  • Located in Union Square in Chicago
  • Headlining acts include Beck and Kendrick Lamar

Kingston Fest and Kardboard Boat Regatta

  • July 19
  • Kingston, Ill.
  • A craft and vendor fair that also features boats made out of cardboard racing on the Kishwaukee River.

Rock n Roll Chicago Half-Marathon

  • July 19-20
  • The 5K race is on July 19, the half-marathon takes place on July 20.
  • The half-marathon starts and finishes in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

Oregon Trail Days

  • July 19-20
  • Located in Oregon, Ill.
  • This festival focuses on the history of the area and includes a Native American encampment and a pioneer village, along with a 5K race.

Findlay Walleye Festival

  • July 25-26
  • Findlay, Ill.
  • Festival on the banks of Lake Shelbyville featuring Walleye. The fished is served both days.

Sugar Grove Corn Boil

  • July 25-27
  • Sugar Grove, Ill.
  • Activities include a carnival, a 5K walk/run and a corn boil cooking challenge.

Geneva Arts Fair

  • July 26-27
  • The fair, featuring more than 140 artists, takes place in downtown Geneva, one of the western suburbs of Chicago.

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