The weather may be getting cooler but the fall festival schedule in Central Illinois is heating up!
There are so many to choose from in our area and each one offers some serious family fun. Feel like watching a parade? Carving a pumpkin? How about taking a train ride? There’s something for everyone at a festival near you this fall!
Thanks to Sleepy Creek Vineyard for sponsoring this guide. Sleepy Creek Vineyards is hosting the ninth annual Salt Fork River Art and Music Festival on Saturday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 24th. Over 50 artists will be displaying and demonstrating their work. And… don’t miss the opening of the all new Sleepy Creek Event Center – the Dragonfly! Join them for a wonderful weekend of wine, art, music, food and fun. Admission is free. Sleepy Creek Vineyards – three miles south of Oakwood, just 20-25 minutes from Champaign-Urbana. For more information go to website or call 217-733-0330.
Here’s our guide to fall festivals in the area. And we will continue to add to this list! Did we miss your favorite festival? Let us know so we can add it to the guide.
What: 74th Annual National Sweetcorn Festival
When: Aug. 31- Sept. 4
Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston
Highlights: Carnival rides, rodeo, parade, car show, 5K, petting zoo, live music, demolition derby, FREE sweetcorn and so much more. Gate fee Thursday through Monday is $3. Children 7 and under are free.
What: 44th Annual Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival
When: Sept. 2-4
Where: Downtown Arthur
Highlights: Arthur’s oldest and largest outdoor festival with events for the whole family. Free cheese giveaway each day. National cheese curling contest, cheese eating championships, sidewalk sales, live entertainment, kids games, car show, inflatable rides, food and craft vendors, Amish buggy rides and more.
What: 47th Annual Arcola Broom Corn Festival
When: Sept. 8-10
Where: Downtown Arcola
Highlights: Visitors can see broom activities, arts/crafts, free entertainment, great food, and a gigantic parade with the famous Lawn Rangers.
What: Gibson City Harvest Fest
When: Sept. 8-9
Where: Downtown Gibson City
Highlights: TWO DAYS, 8 BANDS, KIDS ZONE, CRAFT & FOOD VENDORS, ADULT COMPETITIONS, KID COMPETITIONS, and more!!!
What: Ellnora Guitar Festival
When: Sept. 14-16
Where: Krannert Center
Highlights: The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts shreds into its seventh incarnation with an impressive array of the globe’s greatest guitarists.
What: 8th Annual CU Pride and Parade
When: Sept. 16
Where: Downtown Champaign
Highlights: The eighth annual event in Champaign includes a parade and a Chambanamoms-sponsored kids area that includes children’s entertainment, bounce houses and carnival games.
What: Monticellobration FestiFall
When: Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Where: Downtown Monticello, around Historic Courthouse Square
Highlights: Enjoy food, live music, vendors, kids activities, car show, and more!
What: Railroad Days
When: Sept. 16-17
Where: Monticello Railway Museum
Highlights: Ride vintage passenger and freight trains on the former Illinois Central and Illinois Terminal main lines. Expanded children’s area, including Hodge Pedal Car rides. Concessions will also be served.
What: Pygmalion Festival
When: Sept. 20-24
Where: Pygmalion takes place in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois —Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Canopy Club, 51 Main, Memphis on Main, and the intersection of Main and Market in Downtown Champaign.
Highlights: Music, technology, food, makers, and literature are all featured at this Champaign-Urbana festival, which is in its 13 year. Full weekend passes, day passes, and single show tickets are for sale and can be purchased here.
What: Scarecrow Festival
When: Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: AMBUCS Park, Urbana
Highlights: Food, a bake sale, a huge flea market, hayrack rides, barrel train rides, kids games, and lots and lots of fun!
What: Apple ‘n Pork Festival
When: Sept. 23-24
Where: C.H. Moore Homestead, Clinton
Highlights: Free admission to the grounds. Entertainment, flea market, pony rides, museum tours, craft area, food and much more.
What: Salt Fork River Art and Music Festival
When: Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24
Where: Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Oakwood
Highlights: Over 50 artists will be displaying and demonstrating their work. A wonderful weekend of wine, art, music, food and fun. Admission is FREE, and it’s family-friendly to boot. Sleepy Creek Vineyards – three miles south of Oakwood, just 20-25 minutes from Champaign-Urbana. For more information go to website or call 217-733-0330.
What: 5th Annual C-U Oktoberfest
When: Oct. 7 from 3 p.m. to midnight
Where: Downtown Champaign
Highlights: Sausages! Beer! Polka! Pretzels! Only a $5 entry which benefits the Developmental Services Center! Family and children’s activities from 3-6 p.m.
What: Harvest Fest
When: Oct. 7 from 2-6 p.m.
Where: Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods
Highlights: Enjoy the fun traditions of the season, including pumpkin carving and decorating, scarecrow making, open fire cooking, and spooky (but family-friendly) stories!
What: Flannel Fest
When: Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Hessel Park, Champaign
Highlights: Watch the Timberwork’s Lumberjack Show perform demonstrations throughout the day, enjoy music, art, games, crafts, food trucks, and much more at this fall event!