2013 Champaign-Urbana Area Fairs and Festivals

You’ve asked for it and we’ve delivered. Fair season is heating up! Here’s our guide to summer festivals and fairs in and around Champaign-Urbana, through early September. (We will list Fourth of July info separately). What is your favorite?

champaign urbana fairs and festivals 2013

The Champaign County Fair will light up the night sky starting July 19 through July 27. photo

What: Piatt County Fair
When: June 18-23
Where: Cerro Gordo
How much: Admission is free (fees may apply to special events)
Highlights: Inflatables nightly June 19-22; Bands nightly June 20-22; Tractor pull Friday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.

What: 2013 Taste of Champaign-Urbana
Where: Westside Park, Champaign
When:  Friday June 21, 5:00 – 10:00 pm; Saturday, June 22, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sunday, June 23, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
How much: Free admission (free live entertainment); food for sale, inflatables and children’s activities are ticketed
Highlights: Arts and crafts; family fun; live music. Sample some food from around the area. We’ll have more up-to-date information as it becomes available.

What: Vermilion County Fair
June 25-29
Vermilion County Fairgrounds, Blount (directions here)
How much: 
Gate Fee is $3/person; 10 and under are free; Ticket prices vary for Grandstand events
Highlights: Truck and Tractor Pull Wednesday, June 26; Talent contest Thursday,June 27; Flat Track Racing Friday, June 28; Demolition Derby Saturday, June 29; Tuesday, June 25 is $1 ride night. New this year (time unknown): The High-Flying Pages Aerial & Animal Thrill Show. Carnival open nightly 5 -10 p.m. except for Saturday, 1 -10 p.m.

What: Gifford Community Celebration
When: June 29 all day
Where: Werner Roessler Park, Gifford; Main Street (parade); Behind the Gifford State Bank
How much: Free
Highlights: Parade at 11 a.m.; Fireworks at dusk; Kiddie tractor pull; strong man show; watermelon eating contest; cricket spitting contest. Music, inflatables, petting zoo, games.  They know how to party in this northern Champaign County community!

What: Ford County Fair
When: June 24-29, 2013
Where: Melvin (directions)
How much: Season Ticket $15; Daily entry from 3 – 9 p.m. $5 (6 and under free); $2.50 per ride
Highlights:  Armband night – $14 armbands on Friday night.  Family night – Wednesday, June 26; 5 tickets for $8; one ticket per ride. . Demolition Derby Saturday night. Sally the Clown Magic Show and face painting Friday night; Thursday night is children’s tractor pull.

What: The Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival
When: Friday, June 28, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Saturday, June 29, Noon – 2 a.m.
Where: Downtown Champaign at the corner of Walnut and Washington
How much: free admission; food for sale
Highlights: Two days of music, future stars stage, Duke of Uke, food, cooking demos, cold beer and much more.

What: Tolono Fun Day
When: Saturday, June 29, all day
Where: West Side Park, Tolono
How much: free admission; food for sale; some activities may be ticketed
Highlights:  One of the largest parades in Champaign County (11 a.m. start). Food vendors, flea market, pony rides, petting zoo, inflatables open all day.  Kiddie tractor pull, Live music, 5K and 1-mile fun run. Fireworks at dusk.

(Reminder, Fourth of July info will be in another post)

What: Moultrie – Douglas County Fair
When: July 7-13, 2012,
Where: Located at Jurgens Park in Arthur behind Arthur High School.
How much: Most nights it is $2 gate admission per person, kids 5 and under free; grandstand shows vary. Free Saturday gate. Monday is canned food day; bring one can per person for free entry.
Highlights: A full week of activities such as livestock shows, tractor pulls, demolition derby, horse and pony shows, live entertainment, carnival rides for all ages, exhibits for the whole family

What: Fisher Community Fair and Horse Show
When: July 9-13, 2012
Where: Fisher Fairgrounds
How much: Tuesday: Adults $5 Children $3; Wednesday through Friday; Adults $8 Children 6-13 $3; Saturday: Adults $10 Children $3; Season tickets available. THURSDAY, July 11 is FREE. Please bring canned goods to the admission gates to donate to the Fisher Food Pantry.
Highlights: Be sure to check out the Ping Pong Drop for Kids on Wednesday. It’s a unique and fun activity with great prizes! Also, the Demolition Derby, Lawn Mower Demolition Derby, All American Mutt Show, Bingo, Amvets Fish Fry, the 5K run/walk, Car Show, live music, Queen Pageant and more. New this year – Horizon Hobby Remote Control show, Thursday night.

What: Mattoon Bagelfest
When: July 17-20, 2013
Where: Peterson Park at 500 Broadway Avenue in Mattoon (map)
How much: Most events free; mainstage events ticketed
Highlights: Free bagel breakfast 8-10 a.m. and Bagelfest Parade 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 20; 5K; carnival rides; mainstage acts.

What: 161st Champaign County Fair
When: July 19-27, 2012
Where: Champaign County Fairgrounds, Urbana (behind Carle Hospital)
How much: Adults (13 and Over) — $5; Season Ticket, 9 days (13 & over) includes car — $20.00; Children 12 and under (with 18 or older adult) — Free; Family Day – Sunday only until 4:00 p.m. (car load price) — $10.00; Free parking. Grandstand Tickets: Event tickets range from Free to $30; most below $15. Highlights: (We’ll have a lot more on the Fair as it gets closer). County music shows, Demolition Derby, Motorcycle Rodeo, Classic & Custom Car & Truck Show, Prairieland Monster Truck Nationals, Talent show and “BIG” giveaway, Harness Racing, Tractor and Truck pull…plus all of your fair food favorites and carnival rides!

What: Champaign Music Festival
When: Saturday, July 20, 7 p.m. to midnight
Where: Downtown Champaign
How much: Free
HighlightsEnjoy a fun atmosphere of music and in downtown Champaign. Two main stages – artists TBA. Music, food, drink, pack the streets.

What: Coles County Fair
When: July 28-Aug 4, 2013
Where: Coles County Fairgrounds, Charleston (map)
How much: Children under 16 years of age are admitted free into the grounds; adult admission after 4 p.m. $3; parking $2. Grandstand tickets vary per show
Highlights: Pro Bull Riding, Demolition Derby, Harness Racing, and Truck and Tractor pull. Illinois’ Oldest Continuous County Fair, since 1854. Carnival rides, a Western Horse Show, the Art Hall and more.

What: Decatur Celebration
When: August 2-4, 2013
Where: Downtown Decatur
How much: FREE entertainment; food for sale, carnival ticketed. 
Dubbed the “most exciting family street festival in the Midwest,” this is five festivals in one – Music, Food, Arts & Crafts, Carnival, and Film. Ten Show Stages featuring national and emerging music artists; over 70 unique food items hand-selected for quality and inspected for safety; three blocks of Arts & Crafters; carnival rides for all ages; Razzle Dazzle Goodtimes Parade (10 a.m Saturday, August 3); and a Kids Block featuring children’s games, shows and prizes.

What: Villa Grove AG Days Celebration
When: Friday Aug. 2 – Sunday August 4
Where: Villa Grove (various locations)
How much: Free
HighlightsHighlights of this annual event include the carnival (opens at 5 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday); the Fireworks Display at Richman Sports Complex on Friday night (dusk); 9 a.m. Saturday, parade; 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Tractor display; 3 p.m. Saturday, demo derby at Richman; much more.

What: Georgetown Fair
 August 3-10, 2013
Where: 413 N. Seminary, Georgetown (directions here)
How much:  Adult admission $3; Children 5-11, $1; Under 5 free gate at all times; Gate Season Tickets are $12.00. Grandstand tickets vary. 
Barnyard Tractor & Truck Pull, special “Armband Nights” for the Carnival, Talent Contest, Big Band Dance, Ping Pong Ball Prize Drop, Demolition Derby, Motocross and live music. Fireworks Aug. 7.

What: Illinois State Fair
When: August 8-18
Where: state fairgrounds, Springfield (directions here)
How much: Adults (13 – 59) — $7; Children (5-12) — $3; Children (under 5) — FREE; Senior Citizens (60 and older) — $3; Vehicle Parking (Single day) — $7. Head over on Aug. 18 for family day, $3 admission for everyone over 5. Grandstand tickets vary.
HighlightsHere’s our state fair preview in 2011; not much (but the dates) has changed! This year’s main grandstand acts include Journey with Night Ranger; Ke$ha with Mike Posner; Billy Currington; REO/STYX/Head East; Toby Keith with Kip Moore; John Mayer with Phillip Phillips and more.  Parade is August 8 at 6:00 p.m.


What: St. Joseph Community Festival 
When: August 8-10
Where: St. Joseph Sports Complex
How much: Free
Highlights: Parade at 3 p.m. August 10, fireworks at dusk, carnival rides, talent show, pancake breakfast, walk/run, mutt show, streetdances, bingo and a whole lot more.

What: CU Days
When: Saturday, Aug. 10 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 11 4- 8p.m.
Where: Douglass Park, 512 E. Grove St., Champaign
How much: Free admission; food and merchandise will be for sale
Why you should go: A festival that is all about community building – we can go for that! Live entertainment, food, talent show, inflatables, a Touch-a-Truck, and more.

What: LeRoy Fall Festival
When: August 20-23
Where: Downtown LeRoy
How much: Free admission; food, games ticketed
Highlights: Free musical entertainment each evening; nightly carnival rides; Fall Festival 5K run (fee charged) and kids run (free); and much more. 

What: Mansfield Homecoming
When: August 17-18
Where: Downtown Mansfield
How much: Free
HighlightsTBA; in the past there has been free music, games, a carnival, kiddie tractor pull, antique car and tractor show, and a parade on Saturday.

What: 2013 Urbana Sweetcorn Festival
When: August 23-24
Where: Downtown Urbana
How much: Free admission; music, children’s activities may have extra fees. Food, merchandise for sale.
HighlightsLive music, food and local art vendors, a rock climbing wall, indoor laser tag, pony rides, and a petting zoo, and lots of buttery sweetcorn. This year’s headliners are Kansas and Calynn Green.

What: Sangamon River Music Festival
When: August 23-24
Where: Main Street, Mahomet
How much: Free admission; food for sale and some events ticketed
HighlightsParade Saturday at 10 a.m. Enjoy carnival rides,  bingo, and more. Live music from likes of Ryan Ideus and Feudin Hillbillys, Steel Magnolia, PopRocks, more.

What: 2013 Hoopeston National Sweet Corn Festival
When: August 30-September 2, 2013
Where: Hoopeston, Illinois
How much: Thursday – Monday $2; 7 and under, Free; Free Admission for Active Duty Military and Retired Military with ID
Highlights: The Sweet Corn Festival Parade begins Downtown Main Street on Saturday at 10:30 am. Petting Zoo, Pony & Camel Rides; Children’s Fishing Derby; Free Sweetcorn; magic show; flea market, baby contest, carnival rides, Demolition Derby, National Sweetcorn Pageant and a whole lot more.

What: The 41st Annual Amish Country Cheese Festival
When: August 31 – September 2, 2013
Where:  Arthur, Illinois
How much: Free admission; food, crafts for sale; free cheese!
Highlights: Free cheese! Tractor pull, live music, the National Cheese Eating Championships, International Cheese Curling Championships (family and kids divisions in each event), parade.

What: Farmer City Heritage Days
When: September 5-8, 2013
Where: downtown Farmer City
How much: free admission; food for sale; some activities may be ticketed
Highlights:  carnival, fair food, live music, more.

Did we miss a fair or festival? Let us know!

Get the Weekend Planner (It’s Free!)

Enter your email address to receive email updates. We respect your email privacy.

Speak Your Mind