Lake County Guide to Summer Festivals 2022 - Visit Lake County - Blog

Lake County Guide to Summer Festivals 2022

By: Nick Borowitz

The summer festival season in Lake County always brings the heat, bad pun withstanding. There is always an experience for the family right around the corner.

 

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No doubt that 2019 was “Lit AF,” 2020 had to be put on pause and 2021 brushed off the dust. Many festivals are ready to make the 2022 season a rip-roaring good time.

Someone may ask what makes summer festivals in Lake County so good? Simple: it’s an amazing community that is serious when needed. But, just as easily knows how to have fun.

Because we here at Visit Lake County also love food trucks and farmer's markets, we went ahead and added those in, too!

Keep reading through our summer festival season guide to see what the Land of Lakes has to offer.


All Summer Long

Ravinia Festival (Now through September 18)

 

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Ravinia Festival is the oldest-running outdoor festival in the United States, having been established in 1904. Ravinia Festival attracts about 600,000 guests each year and plays host to over 120 performances & events. This year is no different with acts such as Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town, Pitbull, Sting, Diana Ross, Stevie Nicks, Erykah Badu and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra residency.

Bitter Jester Music Festival (May 27, June 3, 10 and 23, July 4 and September 5)

 

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The Bitter Jester Music Festival (BJMF) showcases upcoming young talent from the Chicagoland and Midwest regions. BJMF kicked off its 16th installment of the showcase on May 20. High school and college-aged student musicians took the Highland Park stage. Emerging performers from 40 cities and eight states present their unique music for prizes and the title of "Grand Champion." The concert series kicked off at Madame Zuzu’s in Highland Park, and the remainder of the performances will be showcased at Port Clinton Square. Musicians have a chance to win the grand prize that includes award money and a live performance at Navy Pier in Chicago. The grand finale and winner announcement will take place July Fourth at the Lake County city’s Independence Day celebration.

Park on Park in Mundelein (June 8, July 13, August 10 and September 14)

The cool part about Park on Park Cruise Nights is that the vehicles are limited to pre-1977 automobiles. The restrictions are in place to ensure that some of the finest vehicles from the time period are able to be displayed.

CarFun on 21 in Libertyville (June 22, July 20, August 17 and September 21)

This classic car show features cars, trucks and motorcycles that are at least 25 years old. Vehicles are displayed on Church and Cook Streets in downtown Libertyville. The show's location means that you can take in the sights and get some shopping in, too. Volunteers can assist without registering.

Cruise Nights at Gurnee Mills (Every Friday through September 30)

Visit Gurnee Mills in every Friday from 5-9 p.m. in the Northwest Parking Lot G between Floor & Décor and Portillos. This car show will feature some of the finest classic and custom vehicles in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.

North Suburbs Cars and Coffee at Hawthorn Mall(June 12, July 17, August 7, September 18 and October 18)

What started with a few friends meeting at a local coffee shop on a Sunday morning to share a passion for cars has grown into the North Suburbs Cars and Coffee. Slowly, more friends began to join, and the word of mouth grew. The event hosts some of Chicagoland's best automotive gatherings and caters to family-friendly automotive enthusiasts. TOUS les JOURS, Cinnabon and Little Bean Coffee Company will be in attendance to provide a mean cup of joe.

Block A Food Truck Socials in Lake Zurich (Every Wednesday through September 28)

Head over to Main Street in Lake Zurich across from the Promenade for outstanding eats every week. The selection rotates with two new food trucks every week for your culinary enjoyment.

Deer Park Food Truck Series (Every third Saturday of the month: June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17 and October 15)

 

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Calling all foodies: the monthly food truck series has returned to the Deer Park Town Center. Food trucks will be located in the road in front of Pottery Barn and Kendra Scott up to the traffic circle. Food trucks are subject to change without notice. The event is presented by The Luby Group.

Food Truck Thursdays at the Village of Hainesville (Every Thursday through September 29)

For those who like to save time or don't feel like cooking, visit Hainesville Village Hall for a weekly rotating food truck selection every Thursday. Each week, you will be able to experience two new trucks. They have coordinated the rotation for a savory or sweet option.

Food Truck Pop-Nights at Buffalo Creek Brewery (Select Days)

BCB’s Food Truck Pop-Up Night runs multiple days a week, every week, with some of the most popular local food trucks rolling into the Buffalo Creek Brewery Biergarten. They are an excellent choice when you want a cold craft beer and an entrée that you may not enjoy regularly.

First Friday on MainStreet Libertyville (First Friday of Every Month)

 

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MainStreet Libertyville invites one and all to their monthly celebration of First Fridays. The Lake County downtown area, free admission event is highlighted by various delectable drinks, mouth-watering eats, live entertainment and more while you peruse the Lake County local mom-and-pop shops offering promotional sales and deals.

Blarney Island Festivals in Antioch (Select Dates Through Summer)

Blarney Island is the premier summer party located a mile offshore on the Chain O’Lakes. The unique Antioch bar hosts events, fests, live entertainment, Thunder on the Chain and many other functions. Take the Blarney shuttle boat or your own vessel out from Port of Blarney, and in just a few minutes, you will be living on island time. Blarney Island isn’t just a weekend destination, it is open daily throughout the summer. The Irish-themed bar is open through Labor Day weekend.

Flourish: The Garden at 50 at Chicago Botanic Garden (Through September 25)

 

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Flourish: The Garden at 50 will feature a series of Garden-wide experiences. Ten nature-inspired art installations from Chicago, national and international artists have been created specifically for the Glencoe campus and Windy City Harvest’s Farm in Ogden, connecting people with nature in new ways. Splashes of gold-hued plants have been incorporated into the seasonal designs of the display gardens. Attendees will be invited to engage with interactive stories taking them back in time and transporting them to an imagined future for the Garden and pop-up events that will surprise and delight.

Bristol Renaissance Faire (Open Select Days from July 9-September 5)

 

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For nine glorious weekends starting in 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. All entertainment is included in the price of admission. It may be in Wisconsin, but is worth a visit.


Lake County Farmers Markets

Antioch Farmers Market (Every Thursday through September 22)

Visit Skidmore Drive in Antioch every Thursday between 3-7 p.m. The market starts Thursday, June 9.

Barrington Farmers Market (Every Thursday through October 13)

Visit East James Street in Barrington every Thursday between 3-7 p.m. The market starts Thursday, June 9.

Buffalo Grove Farmers Market (Every Sunday through October 16)

Visit Route 83 (McHenry Road) in Buffalo Grove every Sunday between 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The market starts Sunday, June 12.

Deerfield Farmers Market (Every Saturday through October 15)

 

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Visit Park Avenue between Jewett Park Drive and Hazel Avenue in Deerfield every Saturday between 7 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The market starts Saturday, June 15.

El Mercadito Farmers Market in Round Lake (July 9 and 23, August 6 and 20, September 3 and 27)

Visit 1019 N. Lake Share Dr. every other Saturday starting July 7, between 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Fox Lake Farmers Market (Tuesdays through September 27)

Visit East School Court every Tuesday between 3-7 p.m. in Fox Lake. The market starts Tuesday, June 7.

Grayslake Summer Farmers Market (Wednesdays through September 28)

 

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Visit Center Street every Wednesday in Grayslake between 3-7 p.m. The market starts Wednesday, June 8.

Gurnee Farmers Market (Sundays through September 4)

Visit Riverside Drive every Sunday in Gurnee between 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The market starts Sunday, June 5.

Highwood Evening Gourmet Market (Wednesdays through August 24)

Visit Highwood Avenue every Wednesday between 4:30-9:30 p.m. The market starts Wednesday, June 8.

Lake Bluff Farmer's Market (Fridays through October 7)

Visit Sheridan Place in Lake Bluff every Friday between 7 a.m. - noon. The market starts June 3.

Lake Zurich Farmer's Market (Fridays through September 9)

 

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Visit South Rand Rd. every Friday in Lake Zurich between 3-7 p.m. Market starts Friday, June 3.

Mainstreet Libertyville Farmer's Market (Thursdays through October 20)

Visit Milwaukee Avenue every Thursday in Libertyville between 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. The market starts Thursday, June 2.

Mundelein Farmer's Market (Fridays through October 14)

Visit Park Street every Friday in Mundelein between 3-7 p.m. The market starts Friday, June 17.

Ravinia Farmer's Market in Highland Park (Wednesdays through October 26)

Visit Ravinia Park Drive every Wednesday in Highland Park between 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. The market starts Wednesday, June 1.

Wauconda Farmer's Market (Thursdays Through September 29)

Visit Mill Street every Thursday in Wauconda between 4-7 p.m. The market starts Wednesday, July 7.

North Chicago Farmer's Market (Sundays through October 16)

Visit Lewis Avenue in Vision Park every Sunday between noon - 4 p.m. The market starts Sunday, June 12.


June Festivals

Mundelein Beach Bash Summer Celebration (June 11)

Mundelein’s Free Beach Bash Summer Celebration is back for year four! Discover Diamond Lake, Mundelein’s hidden gem, with a day spent on the sandy beach. There will Zumba on the beach, Popsicle and Paint, a watermelon eating contest, a selection of beach games, an interactive Hula dancer show, food trucks and all the fun that can be had under the sun at the beach. The rain date is June 18.

Annual Grayslake Arts Festival and Wine Tasting (June 18)

 

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Visit Grayslake for their Annual Arts Festival and Wine Tasting event as they kick off their summer events. The art portion takes place 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The wine tasting begins at noon-3 p.m. Attendees will be able to take in a variety of fine art from local artists and sip wines from a variety of producers.

Craft Beer Adventure Festival at Richardson Adventure Farm & Corn Maze (June 25)

People have asked for it and now, it is finally going to happen. An adult-only, fun time on Richardson Adventure Farm with craft beers, wine and spirits. Richardson Farm is happy to announce its inaugural Craft Beer Adventure Festival.

Taste of Grayslake Family Picnic & Fireworks (June 25)

The Taste of Grayslake Family Picnic & Fireworks event returns to Central Park for another year of fun. Expect all the same delicious eats, entertaining live music, activities for the younger attendees and much more family fun. This event is free and no registration is required. Food, drink and ride tickets will be available for purchase on-site.

Long Grove Strawberry Festival (June 24-26)

Historic Downtown Long Grove’s annual homage to strawberry season is one of the annual summer highlights in Lake County. Loved by everyone, Strawberry Fest consists of three consecutive days dedicated to all things strawberry, from cooks doling out strawberry BBQ to hungry young bellies competing in strawberry pie-eating contests. There will be something for every taste bud at the festival, including a classic carnival, three stages of live music and the legendary Kid Zone with enduring summer entertainment and games. Admission is $5 per person, per day.

25th Anniversary Party at Wild Onion Brewery (June 24-25)

 

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Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington has a ton to celebrate about. And they want to invite the public that has made the venture possible by having a party. Join the Lake County Libation Trail partner for a two-day party in June with great music by Pat McKillen and Bourbon Aristocracy. They will be tapping celebratory beers including one made with 25 different hops.

Wauconda Fest Rock With The Best (June 23-26)

Visit Wauconda at the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce between June 23 and 26 to be a part of the festivities. There will be live entertainment, car shows, bags tournaments, craft beer and wines tents, arts & crafts show, carnival rides, a large selection of food (sold separately) and more activities to be had.

Pulling In The Prairie Tractor and Truck Pull at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (June 25)

Visit the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center to watch a variety of farm tractors and big rig vehicles compete in weighted sled pulls. There will be five classes of competition to see which farm vehicle can pull the most weight. The Midwest Tractor and Truck Pullers Association is putting the event on.

Wizard's Weekend Day in Antioch (June 25)

Wizards, witches and muggles alike will gather in downtown Antioch for their annual Wizards Weekend Day. Celebrate all things of a magical nature, bring your owl (just kidding), your wand and dress as the character you most closely relate to from the "Harry Potter" films. Be ready for magical fun all day long.

Slammedenuff Chicago Car Show the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center (June 26)

The inaugural Slammedenuff Chicago Car Show will be held at the the Grayslake mainstay. The show is sponsored by NIA Bodykits There will be an indoor and outdoor showing of a wide range of custom vehicles. Browse (don't touch!) vehicle styles that include Japanese and domestic tuners, American muscle and high-end exotics that only ever see the light of day for custom car shows.


July Festivals

The following five celebrations are just a small selection of our Fourth of July blog that will be posted in the weeks leading up to the holiday!

Celebrate Fox Lake (July 2)

 

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The event will kick off with a parade down Grand Avenue at 4 p.m. There will be live music at Lakefront Park that will start at 5 p.m. At dusk, fireworks will be displayed over Nippersink Lake.

Deerfield Family Days (July 3-4)

The July Fourth celebration begins Sunday night in Brickyards Park with food, fireworks, family and fun. Start your Monday morning with the Deerfield Family Days 10K Race/5K Walk, complemented by a pancake breakfast. The Independence Day festivities continue with the custom and bike parade, an endless array of food, arts and crafts, rides, a petting zoo and other activities at Jewett Park

Mundelein Community Days (July 1-4)

The festival has something for everyone. Carnival, fireworks, parade, food, music, games, contests, demonstrations, displays and lots of kids activities just scratch the surface of the celebration.

Red, White and Boom in Lincolnshire (July 3-4)

 

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The festival has live entertainment, food, a beer tent, carnival games and a classic car show. The patriotic event is highlighted by the famous Pancake Feast, a 5K run, the Fourth of July parade, the Cardboard Boat Regatta, live music, food, zip-lining, pony rides and a fireworks extravaganza.

BeachFest & Fireworks at Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center (July 3)

The Round Lake Area Park District provides fireworks during the Fourth of July weekend. The fireworks will launch at dusk on Sunday, July 3, near the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center. Prior to the fireworks, there will be food, beer and mixed drinks available for an extra fee at the RLBCCC festival. There will be a petting zoo and bands playing throughout the day.

Annual Waukegan Scoop (July 8-9)

Witness automobiles from different decades of American history when you visit Genesee and Water Streets in downtown Waukegan. There will be live music, street food vendors and a giant car show all in one. The festival will be held on Friday and Saturday. The Waukegan Days Carnival will have rides and attractions for an additional price.

Third Coast Surf Fest at Waukegan Harbor (July 9)

The City of Progress is hosting the inaugural Third Coast Surf Fest (alongside Scoop), named for the Midwest Great Lakes Region. This Lake Michigan-side party celebrates tunes from the 1950s and 60s and encourages audiences to "hang ten." The Waukegan Harbor & Marina event features live surfing music, a vintage car show, boat show, tiki market and bar, food trucks and more activities. Tickets cost $25 for entry.

Dog Days of Summer in Libertyville (July 8-10)

Get ready for Dog Days of Summer featuring Dock Dogs Canine Aquatic Competition for all pups. Canines from the pro-level down to the amateurs are welcome to jump and dive. Local rescues will be at the competition for those looking to add the newest furry family members to their packs. All proceeds after expenses go to local pet rescues and local food pantries.

Vernon Hills Days (July 14-16)

 

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Visit Vernon Hills for four days of food, fun, carnival rides, free entertainment and a huge beer tent. There will also be children's activities, a petting zoo, car show, fireworks and live bands. You can sign up for the bags tournament or the ever-popular "Cream" a Cop Fundraiser.

Antioch Taste of Summer (July 14-17)

Visit downtown Antioch and experience the Lake County village's summer marquee party highlighted by live music, a carnival full of attractions, sidewalk sales and a patriotic musical light show.

Artwauk in Waukegan (July 16)

 

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ArtWauk is the monthly celebration of all arts in downtown Waukegan. Each month is a unique experience as the art exhibits, musicians and featured performances vary from one month to the next. Come downtown, grab dinner and enjoy the tactical application of the arts.

Carmel Street Scenes Celebrates Carmel's 60th (July 16-17)

An outdoor party that will combine traditions and new features for the whole family. Watch bands, take part in activities, do some improv, eat local food and more on the Carmel Catholic High School campus. The celebration is free, but the activities, food and beverages are separate costs.

Alpine Fest at Lake Zurich Lions Club (July 24)

What began in the summer of 1942 has today transformed into what we know as Alpine Fest. It opens Friday night with The Fire Fighters Water Fights. There are three days of carnival rides, games, food, family events and entertainment. The final day of the festival includes the Alpine Fest Parade down Main Street.

2022 Mundelein Cycling Grand Prix (July 25)

The nationally-renowned "Intelligentsia Cup" will be returning to downtown Mundelein for a full day of amateur and professional bicycle racing. There will be 10 races in different rider categories ranging from juniors to professionals in both men's and women's categories. Besides the speedy cyclists, the village has a jam-packed lineup for the peanut gallery including a beer garden, children's games, a community ride, live music, activities and more.

93rd Annual Lake County Fair (July 27-31)

 

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One of summer's highlights here in Lake County, the fair is entering its 93rd year. See the prize-winning livestock, champion horses, dairy goats, pies and vegetables. Today’s visitors experience the county’s agricultural and horticultural heritage alongside modern attractions such as live music, motocross, funnel cakes, beer gardens, carnival rides and much more. The Lake County Fair and its strong sense of community is something not always common in today’s fast-paced world.


August Festivals

MainSweet Libertyville Dessert Walk (August 6)

 

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Stroll around downtown Libertyville sampling generous, tasting size portions of delectable desserts at the participating Main Street businesses. Starting in Cook Park at the MainStreet Libertyville tent, there is light walking involved in three blocks of downtown Libertyville. Check out the booths at David Adler Music & Arts Center’s Annual Festival of the Arts, also in Cook Park, before or after enjoying the Dessert Walk.

Venetian Night at North Point Marina (August 6)

Venetian Night returns to North Point Marina with a "Mardi Gras" themed party including a lighted boat parade, live music, New Orleans-themed food and drinks, activities for all ages and there can't be a party without fireworks. A lighted boat parade at dusk and fireworks will end the night. Featured music includes The Porch Tour featuring Nick Norman and special guest Lewis Brice.

Gurnee Days at Viking Park (August 6-7)

This fest is highlighted by a car show, various food vendors on the grounds, a choice of fun runs and walks, a community art show and you can volunteer to march in the parade.

Long Grove's Vintage Days (August 6-7)

This two-day street market is for all things vintage, antique, reclaimed, repurposed, upcycled and handmade. Located in the heart of downtown Long Grove, the antique-sheen event is free to attend. There will be live music, classic antique vendors and more within the historic downtown setting.

41st Annual Festival of the Arts at Adler Arts Center in Libertyville (August 6-7)

 

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The Adler Arts Center and the GLMV Chamber of Commerce proudly present, The 41st annual Festival of the Arts. The festival is a two-day juried art that features exceptional creations from artists across the country. Witness the creative artwork from some of the century-old facility's youngsters at Cook Park located in historic downtown Libertyville.

Fox Lake Fish Fest: Mayor's Fish Fry (August 12)

 

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Visit the Lakefront Park Building and take part in the fish fry. There will be food, music and other fun events. More details will be posted closer to the event.

Fox Lake Fish Fest: Youth Fishing Derby (August 13)

Visit the Village of Fox Lake to take part in and watch the Youth Fishing Derby. Anglers of various age groups will cast lines and catch fish.

Little Bear Ribfest at Century Park in Vernon Hills (August 19-20)

The Vernon Hills Park District is cooking up a mix of blues, brews and BBQ for their 11th annual Little Bear Ribfest. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the evening listening to award-winning blues musicians. Numerous local rib vendors will be on-site barbecuing their specialties. There will be plenty of adult beverages including beer, wine and seltzer available for an extra fee.

Grayslake Summer Days (August 19-20)

Visit the northern Lake County villagelargest festival of the year, Grayslake Summer Days! Stay tuned for a full schedule of events, bands and the parade. The theme of this year's event is Beach Party.

ArtWauk in Waukegan (August 20)

ArtWauk is the monthly celebration of all arts in downtown Waukegan. Each month is a unique experience as the art exhibits, musicians and featured performances vary from one month to the next. Come downtown, grab dinner and enjoy the tactical application of the arts.

Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine and Fine Arts Festival in Waukegan (August 20)

Celebrate the start of summer with the Waukegan Park District at the annual Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival. This free family art and music festival will be held on Saturday, August 20 at Bowen Park located at 1800 N. Sheridan Rd. in Waukegan. All the performances are free to view. Family activities including a creative art project are free. The event, first starting in 1999, features artists, live entertainment on three outdoor stages, family activities and honors one of Waukegan’s favorite sons, author Ray Bradbury.

Annual Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow in Zion (August 27-28)

 

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Visit Shiloh Park in Zion for the annual Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow. This unique event is one of a kind area as the northern Lake County city celebrates Native American heritage. Its purpose is not only to celebrate this heritage but also to heighten public awareness of Native American history, traditions and customs. Specific activities will include demonstrations, music and dance presentations, educational sessions and a trader area. There will be storytelling and native exhibit porcupine quillwork demos, raffles and vendors selling craft and art auctions throughout the day.


September Festivals

Irish Days at Historic Downtown Long Grove (September 3-5)

 

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All eyes will be smiling over Labor Day weekend for this three-day family-friendly celebration of Irish culture, music, merchants, food and drink. Visitors are invited to stroll the town’s cobblestone walkways and enjoy bagpipers, folk bands and Irish dancers in addition to other entertainment like the popular Irish Dog Competition and the Men’s Kilt Contest.


For more information on the summer festival season, click here. To find your own adventure in the Land of Lakes, continue here.



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