Thanks to Monticello Main Street for sponsoring this guide. Join us in historic, downtown Monticello on September 29 for our annual Monticellobration! Expect both unique and traditional family-friendly fall festivities from 10 AM – 4PM, then head home to get the kids settled and come back when downtown becomes your own personal beer garden, beginning at 6 PM. Attractions include: Oktoberfest fun at Monarch Brewery; Wild Time Exotics petting zoo; Monticello Railway Museum’s “Hodge hand cars;” Kirby Medical Center Kids’ Corner; pony and carriage rides; three, outdoor music stages; Corvette Car Show; glazing and night-time, Raku firings; National Coffee Day at historic Steeple Coffee House; pop-up, artisan vendors and Monticello merchants for shopping; fair food and local flavors, too! Go ahead and save the date for Friday, November 23 as well, and come back down that evening for Reds of Christmas, a downtown, sip-and-shop wine-walk. #makeitmonticello
The weather may be getting cooler but the fall festivals in Central Illinois are 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!
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: Hoopeston National Sweet Corn Festival
When: Thursday, August 30 through Monday, September 3
Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston
Highlights: Demo derby, Grand Parade, carnival, and FREE sweet corn cooked with an antique steam engine.
What: Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival
When: Saturday, September 1 through Monday, September 3
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: Arcola Broom Corn Festival
When: Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9
Where: Historic Downtown Arcola, all day
Highlights: Visitors can see broom activities, arts/crafts, free entertainment, great food, and a gigantic parade with the famous Lawn Rangers. Visitors can also participate in the 5K or 10K race.
What: Gibson City Harvest Fest
When: Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8
Where: Gibson City
Highlights: Many competitions for children and adults at Harvest Fest! Last year’s fest included vendors, kids’ zone, children’s scarecrow costume contest and a sledgehammer contest to name a few.
What: Broadlands Festival
When: Saturday, September 8
Highlights: Free bounce houses, tons of kids games, touch-a-truck, petting zoo, kiddie tractor pull and more.
What: Intertribal Powwow
When: Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9
Where: Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park (Arrowsmith, IL)
Highlights: Don’t miss the Grand Entries, happening Saturday at 1pm and 7pm or Sunday at 1pm. Other activities include corn maze, dancing, a chance to visit the bison herd (!) and more!
What: Pride Fest and Parade
When: Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16
Where: Downtown Champaign
Highlights: The ninth annual event in Champaign includes a parade on Saturday at 5pm; in years past, there have been bounce houses and kids’ entertainment, as well.
What: AMBUCS Annual Scarecrow Festival
When: Saturday, September 22 from 10am to 3pm
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: PYGMALION Festival
When: Wednesday, September 26 through Saturday, September 29
Where: Various locations in Champaign-Urbana
Highlights: Families will especially love the free Tech Demo on Thursday night and perusing Made Fest on Friday and Saturday!
When: Saturday, September 29 from 11am to 10pm
Where: Downtown Monticello and Monarch Brewing Company
Highlights: Enjoy food, live music, vendors, kids activities, and more! New this year, Oktoberfest fun at Monarch Brewing Company, too!
What: Apple ‘n Pork Festival
When: Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30
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: Sleepy Creek Vineyards Art and Music Festival
When: Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30
Where: Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL
Highlights: Broad variety of musical acts, great art to take in, food available for purchase and more (wine slushies!) too!
What: Flannel Fest
When: Saturday, October 6 from 11am to 4pm
Where: Centennial 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 free fall event!
What: C-U Oktoberfest
When: Saturday, October 6, 3pm-12am
Where: Downtown Champaign, corner of Neil and Washington
Highlights: Kids activities are from 3-6pm and live music begins at 4! Get your pretzels, get your polka and have a great time! $5 admission per person at the gate, all proceeds go to Developmental Services Center.
What: Camargo Woolly Worm Festival
When: Saturday, October 6, 6am-11pm
Highlights: Inflatables, tractor pulls, entertainment and a woolly worm race (bring your own woolly worm!)
What: CU Folk and Roots Festival
When: Thursday, October 18 through Saturday, October 20
Where: Downtown Urbana
Highlights: Over 80 high-quality folk performances and participatory activities throughout downtown Urbana. The festival includes performances, dances, instructional sessions, jams, song-circles, family activities, storytelling, instrument-making and much, much more!