August Events in Illinois

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Check out this listing of August events and festivals in Illinois.

Cobden Peach Festival

Cobden Peach Festival

Aug. 5-6, 2016, Cobden

August is National Peach Month. Celebrate this juicy summer staple in Southern Illinois at the annual Cobden Peach Festival.

Sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club, this family-friendly event features carnival rides and games, a Peach Queen contest, a 5K run/walk, lots of delicious homemade food, including, of course, peach cobbler. Visitors also can catch a parade on Saturday at this free event.

For more information, call (618) 893-2425.

Lake Forest Days

Aug. 2-3, 2016, Lake Forest

For more than 90 years, Lake Forest American Legion Post 264 has presented Lake Forest Days in the community located about 30 minutes north of Chicago.

The festival opens on Tuesday from 6 to 11 p.m for family night, and the annual summer event officially kicks off with a parade on Wednesday morning, followed by a carnival in West Park. Guests can enjoy rides and games, along with fair food such as hamburgers, hot dogs and roasted corn. A raffle also gives lucky festival-goers the chance to win cash prizes.

For more information, visit or call (847) 234-9870 or (224) 715-3924.

Photo courtesy of Redneck Fishing Tournament; FRED ZWICKY/JOURNAL STAR

Photo courtesy of Redneck Fishing Tournament; FRED ZWICKY/JOURNAL STAR

Redneck Fishing Tournament

Aug. 5-6, 2016, Bath

Living up to its name, the annual Redneck Fishing Tournament in Bath invites visitors to fish in a more unusual way.

The tournament began as a way to control the population of Asian carp in the Illinois River, which wipe out native species. The fish are filter feeders, meaning they mostly eat plankton, which impacts the food chain insects and crustaceans that other fish depend on. They force other fish out of the area because bugs and minnows have nothing to eat. During the tournament, the Asian carp react to boat motors by jumping out of the water at great speeds and height, turning a relaxing boat ride into a fish-dodging obstacle course.

Tournament competitors try to catch as many fish as possible with nets or their bare hands, making it a wet, wild and constructive couple of hours.

For more on how to enter, contest rules and camping information, visit or call (309) 546-2957.

Illinois State Fair in Springfield

Illinois State Fair

August 11-21, 2016, Springfield

Whether you’re looking for a Ferris wheel or a 500-pound cow made out of butter, the Illinois State Fair has something for everyone.

More than 600,000 visitors from all over the state find themselves in Springfield in late August each year for games and rides, arts and crafts, agriculture competitions, and live entertainment. Cash in your tickets for a giant stuffed panda or enjoy the carnival rides in the Adventure Village. Enjoy live musical performances on the Lincoln and Northwest stages. And don’t miss exciting annual events, such as daily free entertainment on the Farm Bureau stage and great food provided by Illinois beef and pork farmers in the Commodities Pavilion.

And what about that butter cow? Hand-sculpted each year from unsalted butter over a wire and wood frame, it has been the fair’s unofficial icon since the 1920s.

For more information including directions to the fairgrounds and a full list of events, visit the state fair website.

Windsor Harvest Picnic

Aug. 18-20, 2016, Windsor

Celebrating its 119th year, this time-honored tradition offers something for the whole family.

The Harvest Picnic satisfies a wide range of musical tastes with performances by gospel, country and rock entertainers, some coming from as far as Australia. Attendees can also enjoy a lively carnival, tasty eats and an ice cream social, plus a pedal tractor pull, parade, raffle drawing and 5K run/walk.

For a detailed schedule, visit or call (217) 259-1755 or (217) 962-1037.

Fulton, Illinois Windmill

Fulton Summer Nights

Aug. 11, 2016, Fulton

Enjoy a night with the family filled with fun, entertainment, games and food during Fulton Summer Nights.

Hosted by the Fulton Public Library and Fulton Presbyterian Church, the event begins at 6 p.m. with live music, face painting, a children’s book giveaway and lots of kid-friendly treats like ice cream and cotton candy.

The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fulton Windmill on the corner of 1st Street and 10th Avenue. For more information, visit

all night flea market

All-Night Flea Market

Aug. 20, 2016, Wheaton

Ever wanted to enjoy antiques at 3 a.m.? Head to the All-Night Flea Market in Wheaton. With 38 years of tradition and more than 300 dealers, this bargain hunt has been named the world’s fifth best flea market by the Travel Channel.

Commodities like antiques, collectibles and more ensure that shoppers can find just about anything, and as you meander through the DuPage County Fairgrounds, you should check out the collector car show.

Bring a flashlight and expect to join more than 8,000 guests, rain or moonshine. For more information, call (715) 526-9769. [Photo]

Balloon Fest

Aug. 19-21, 2016 Centralia

Fly up, up and away at the annual Balloon Fest in the south-central Illinois city of Centralia.

More than 40,000 visitors attend this event to see more than 40 hot air balloons. The weekend includes balloon races Friday afternoon, and Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as majestic balloon glows on Friday and Saturday evenings. The event also features a car show, fireworks, craft fair, childrens’ activities, live entertainment and more. Organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs, flashlights, sunscreen and cameras. Admission costs $3 per person (over age 6) or $6 for a three-day pass.

Visit or call (888) 533-2600 for more information.

Lincoln Balloon and Art Festival

Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival

Aug. 26-27, 2016, Lincoln

Find live music, good food and a sky full of hot air balloons at the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival. The balloons will launch from the Logan County Airport in the morning, and tethered balloon flights and an evening balloon glow will follow later in the day.

In downtown Lincoln, enjoy art vendors, live entertainment, food and an art and craft show. For more information, call (217) 735-2385.

Sweet Corn Blues Festival

Sweet Corn Blues Festival

Aug. 27-28, 2016, Normal

More than 50,000 ears of fresh sweet corn, sidewalk sales, arts, crafts and flea markets will fill the streets of Uptown for this annual event.

The festival celebrates one of the state’s top commodities along with some of the best blues music around. Bring the family and join in the celebration to welcome back the students at Illinois State University.

The 2016 Sweet Corn Blues Festival is Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.(or when the corn runs out!). For more information on the festival and stage lineup, visit or call (309) 454-9557.

Share Your Illinois Event

Are we missing your favorite July events in Illinois? Send the details to, and we may feature them on this website and in a future issue of Illinois Partners magazine.

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