Welcome to the Top 10 Events in IllinoisExplore the selection of the top 10 annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) across the State of Illinois including events in Chicago and Springfield.
Galena Wine Lovers' Weekend
Visitors travel from all over the USA to meet winemakers and savor international cuisine at this four-day event in Galena. Daytime events throughout the town include wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, educational events and pottery demonstrations. Evening events include wine maker dinners and celebrity chef dinners. Sunday enjoy champagne brunches.
Special dining and accommodations packages offered at several area hotels, B&B’s and restaurants
For more information visit: www.wineloversweekend.com/
Annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival
Long Grove, Illinois
Celebrating the beginning of the outdoor special events season in Long Grove, the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest takes place in the business district, home to 80 shops and restaurants, including the well-known Long Grove Confectioner.
One of Illinois’ sweetest events for chocolate lovers, guests enjoy watching demonstrations, participating in contests, listening to live entertainment and tasting the delectable chocolate confections.
For more information visit: www.longgroveonline.com/chocolate.html
Southern Illinois Irish Festival
This Celtic cultural celebration features live music including special concerts on Friday and Saturday nights. Visitors can take part in dance workshops and demonstrations, check out Celtic arts and crafts and buy merchandise. There are plenty of children’s activities, such as the Magic Story Teller, as well as special cultural presentations, including Highland games. New events are added annually.
For more information visit: www.silirishfest.org
Annual Superman Celebration
An event for 30 years, the annual Superman Celebration includes, a comic art gallery, fan films, celebrity appearances, fun run/road race, Superman Drama, super bike trek, Garden tours, super car show, entertainment, "Colgate Country Showdown Talent Show" other contests and carnival.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the attempt to set the record for "The Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman".
For more information visit: www.supermancelebration.net
Taste of Chicago
June / July
Coinciding with US Independence Day celebrations, the annual Taste of Chicago is a celebration of the city's eclectic food culture. Attracting over 3 million visitors during its 10-day run, the event features everything from extravagant gourmet menus to fast food takeaways. Highlight of the festivities is the program of live entertainment ranging from music to cookery demonstrations.
For more information visit: www.choosechicago.com
Illinois State Fair
Started in 1853, the annual Illinois State fair today attracts more than 800,000 visitors each year, making it the 13th largest state fair in the USA. Hosted by the State of Illinois, the 10-day festival focuses on the traditional theme of agriculture.
From numerous agricultural exhibits and classic festival food stands to butter cows and nationally recognized pop stars, it’s hard to name something fairgoers won’t see.
For more information visit: www.illinoisstatefair.info
Chicago Air and Water Show
Chicago water front, Illinois
The Chicago Air & Water Show is the largest two-day spectator event in the United States and the longest ongoing show of its kind in North America. Highlighting the show each year is one of the US military's high speed, precision jet teams, featuring the US Air Force Thunderbirds in 2007 and an array of other military aircraft and hardware.
For more information visit: www.chicagoairandwatershow.us
International Route 66 Mother Road Festival
Hundreds of vintage cars, entertainment and celebrity guests from around the world fill the streets of downtown Springfield for a three-day celebration of cars, food, music and friends of the heyday of US Route 66. This event drew more than 80,000 attendees in 2007 and keeps getting larger.
For more information visit: www.route66fest.com
Illinois Wine and Art Festival
last weekend in September
With presentations by more than 50 of Illinois’ best-known artists, live musical entertainment, local food vendors and varietals from more than a dozen Illinois wineries, an authentic Illinois Wine Country experience awaits all visitors.
Admission to the festival at the Southern Illinois Artisans Shop and Visitors Center at Rend Lake is free and visitors can purchase open-tasting tickets for $10, which includes a complimentary festival glass.
For more information visit: www.wineandartfestival.com
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
On the last Friday of November, a tradition for almost 100 years, the official start of the holiday season is heralded at 5:00 pm when the switch is flipped and the lights begin to sparkle and shine in Daley Plaza.
Chicago's massive 90 foot tall holiday tree is comprised of more than 130 smaller Balsam Fir trees illuminated with thousands of lights and hundreds of ornaments.
For more information visit: www.cityofchicago.org/specialevents