Champaign-Urbana Area Fall Festivals
No offense Champaign-Urbana area summer fairs and festivals – we love you – but if we have to confess, we LOVE fall festivals all the more. Lumberjacks, parades, scarecrows, music, apples and more – it’s all there.
Make it Monticello Sept. 19-22! We’re celebrating 20 years at the Monticello Farmers’ Market on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 3:30 – 6:30 on State Street; local farmers, makers, bakers and small-batchers await, in addition to easy-listening, live music! Make it a date night or grab some girlfriends and come back out on Friday night for a nostalgic night with Deana Carter at Allerton’s Prairie Sky Concert, presented by U of I Credit Union! Saturday is all about Monticellobration, happening in historic, downtown Monticello. From Kirby Kids Corner full of bounce houses and face-painting, to the local 4-H petting zoo; pop-up makers, food trucks, and our beloved brick-and-mortar boutiques, restaurants and bars; a professionally DJ’d Kids Dance Party on the Square, and the Arcola Kiddie Tractor Pull Competition; it’s a jam-packed day of free fun that begins at 10 AM! Stroll downtown with your favorite libation from one of our bars, 5 PM until midnight and enjoy live, national music acts. Hit the regionally-recognized Railroad Days Saturday or Sunday and enjoy vintage passenger and freight train rides from 10 AM – 5 PM. Live theatre happening all weekend long as the Monticello Theatre Association presents, Witness for the Prosecution. Sept. 19-22 is the weekend to Make it Monticello!
The weather may be getting (a little) cooler but the fall festivals in Central Illinois are heating up! The fall festival season list includes events starting with Labor Day weekend and goes through the end of October (and perhaps into early November).
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? Watching a lumberjack competition? Taking in some folk and roots music? 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 Champaign-Urbana area. And we will continue to add to this list! Of course, don’t forget to add Monticellobration, Sept. 21, to your calendar.
Did we miss your favorite fall festival? Let us know so we can add it to the guide (email us – firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Highlights: Demo derby, Grand Parade Saturday at 10:30am, carnival, and FREE sweet corn cooked with an antique steam engine.
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.
Highlights: Free admission and entertainment; food and crafts for sale. 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.
Highlights: All Heritage families are invited to join the fun at Broadlands Festival. Don't miss the parade beginning at 11am! Fun for kids and adults alike!
Highlights: The fifth annual Japan House Matsuri Festival will be held on Sunday, September 8th, in and around Japan House and the Arboretum at the University of Illinois. There will be a variety of performers, including traditional dances, martial arts, bands and more while great family-friendly activities like origami folding will take place. Fireworks will wrap up the event, starting at 8:30pm!
Where: Gibson City
Highlights: Music, Kids Zone (Saturday only), Bags contest, Food vendors and so much more!
Highlights: Fun for children and adults alike. Games, hayrack rides, barrel train rides, bake sale, flea market, car show.
Highlights: Save the date for this BBQ competition and day of music in Paxton! Click here for a complete list of Summer Fairs and Festivals.
Highlights: Join Prairie Gardens for a Fall Festival full of family fun! Enjoy Pony Rides, a Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Kids Games & More.
Highlights: Enjoy food, live music, vendors, kids activities, and more! Last year featured a kiddie tractor pull, magicians, an exotic petting zoo, multiple bounce houses, an antique Hodge-hand car train ride for kids, face painting, ballon artist, LIVE music and so much more.
Highlights: An event that envelopes Music, Literature, Technology, Food, Makers, Comedy, Podcasts, Science, Arts and more. Happens at various locations over several days.
Highlights: Come out for the inaugural festival! Experience and enjoy arts & crafts, food, fashion, music, jewelry, and resources.
Highlights: Free admission to the grounds. Entertainment, flea market, pony rides, museum tours, craft area, food and much more.
Highlights: Live bluegrass music from 1-5pm, gospel music, artists demonstrations, food and drink and more. Free!
Highlights: Broad variety of musical acts, great art to take in, food available for purchase and more (wine slushies!) too!
Highlights: The tenth annual event in Champaign includes great free, family-friendly happenings on Saturday, including the parade at 3pm, performances and entertainment from 1-7pm and free entry to the Orpheum from 1-5pm for all families.
Highlights: Past year's festivities have included kiddie tractor pull, parade, Little Miss and Little Mister, bounce houses, pony rides, and other kids activities.
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.
Highlights: Watch the Timberwork’s Lumberjack Show perform demonstrations throughout the evening, enjoy music, art, games, crafts, food trucks, Lumberjack Dash and much more at this free fall event!
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!
Highlights: The Odd Market is a festival hosted by the Tuscola Odd Fellows Lodge #316 in Tuscola, Illinois. It brings a uniques combination of Central Illinois' best Artists, Makers, Musicians, and More with 100% of the proceeds going to a chosen charity.
Want to see more fall fun? We’re rolling out our fall content, more and more, every day. Stay tuned!