Saturday, September 30, 2023


The last few Midwest summer festivals and events worth attending

Soon, school will begin again and summer will come to an end. While you still have the chance, why not check out these Midwest summer festivals and events?

Midwest summer festivals to attend

Midwest Great River Tugfest (Iowa/Illinois)

Remember playing Tug-of-war during your grade school days? Two teams would compete in this contest of strength. One team held tightly to one end of a long, sturdy rope. Opponents grabbed the other rope end. Whichever team was able to pull the majority of the rope to their side was the winner. If you enjoy this exciting game, you’ve got to visit the Midwest’s Great River Tugfest!

Tugfest 2023

This year’s Tugfest is scheduled for August 10-12 and will take place simultaneously in Le Clare, Iowa, and Port Byron, Illinois. These two wonderful Midwest towns will each host their own version of outdoor family fun. Scheduled activities include arts and crafts vendors, carnival attractions, activities for the kids, great food, live music, and, of course, the festival’s namesake: Tug-of-war!

Massive scale

The Great River Tugfest is the only tug-of-war contest held across the United States’ longest river—the Mighty Mississippi! That’s right, teams from Iowa compete against Illinois teams in this challenge of strength. Team members will fight for their state’s bragging rights (and trophy) as they grab hold of the 2,700-foot long, 680-pound rope which will be stretched across the Mississippi. Who will win? You’ll have to go to find out!

Bristol Renaissance Faire (Wisconsin)


While the Bristol, Wisconsin, Renaissance Faire weekends have been going on for much of the summer, the weekend of August 12-13 is designated as RennCon™. If you love dressing up as a favorite comic strip character, fairy tale giant, or television celebrity, you’ll enjoy this weekend. 16th-century townsfolk will mingle with the crowd, to sing, dance, and perhaps sword fight, too!

Maypole dance

At 10:30 a.m., plan to dance around the huge maypole with other costumed characters. This is your chance to bring your favorite character to life!

Hand-made costume contest

You can sign up at Guest Services to participate in the hand-made costume contest. (Just make sure to get your name registered by 1:45 each day.) Then you can prance or creep across the stage as judges decide your fate. Winners receive a free return ticket to the Faire!

Irish Fair (Minnesota)

St. Paul, Minnesota, will host its Irish Fair from August 11-13 this year. Dubbed as one of the most authentic Irish fests in the nation.

Fair details

Harriet Island Regional Park’s setting is beautiful, with both the downtown skyline and views of the Mississippi River serving as the fair’s backdrop. You’ll enjoy products from over 60 vendors, taste traditional Irish foods, and watch Irish dance performers, too! There’s even an outdoor Sunday Mass.

Best of all

The best thing of all about St. Paul’s Irish Fair is that tickets are free. With a price like that, you just can’t miss!

Three out of many Midwest summer festivals and events

These are only three Midwest activities. You can find many, many other celebrations and festivals online. Simply Google the state(s) where you plan to be + summer events and then arrange to attend. (Don’t forget that many Midwest states will also celebrate their State Fairs in August. Plan to check those out as well.)


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Orlan Jennings
1 month ago

Check out Fairfield, IA. They have a “First Friday” art festival the first Friday of every month. In addition, the local city park has a great rv park and lots of trails.

1 month ago

Too late for this year, but the Dublin Irish Fest in Dublin, OH is always a great time. We’ve stayed at Alum Creek State Park and also Plain City, OH city park campground.

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