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Photo courtesy of the International Institute of St. Louis

The best is yet to come: Local events to catch before the summer ends.

The Fourth of July holiday may be over, but that doesn’t mean summer is. In fact, it’s just getting started. Some of the best events – from county fairs to cultural festivals – take place later in summer. To help you make the most of the rest of your summer, we’ve compiled a list of events in each of the major areas where we’re located. Take a look and see if there’s a new event or old favorite you’ll want to attend this summer.

Central Illinois


Music Under the Stars – Tuesday evenings until August 7 – Head down to the bandstand for concerts in a range of music styles. More information

Normal CornBelters games – Various dates until September 2 – Catch a game and some fun at family-friendly events at the stadium.
More information

Franklin Park Concerts – July 19 & 26 – Conductor Michael Wallace leads the Community Concert Band for some free concerts. More information

Lincoln’s Festival on 66 – July 20-22 – Celebrate Lincoln’s legacy with a festival lineup as tall as the man himself. More information

Inside Out Arts Fair – July 21 – After making your own bracelet or glass globe, grab some food and enjoy live entertainment for a fun day in Sugar Grove Nature Center. More information

McLean County Fair – August 1-5 – Summer isn’t complete without a spin around the ferris wheel and a carnival corn dog. More information

Sweet Corn Blues Festival – August 25-26 – Have a fun weekend with the family enjoying sidewalk sales, blues music, food and – of course – corn. More information

Day of the Dozer – August 25 – Your child can tap their inner Bob the Builder for a day with a chance to operate a bulldozer. More information


Dollar Movies at Savoy 16 IMAX – Fridays until August 3 – Beat the heat with a cheap movie. More information

13 Thursdays – Thursdays through August 16 – Eat and shop in Campustown and fill your promotion passport for a chance to win prizes. More information

StreetFest – July 14 – Head downtown for live local music. More information

Champaign-Urbana Days – August 11 – Join the Chambana community in Douglass Park for a Saturday of live music, food and activities for all ages. More information

Taste of Champaign-Urbana – August 18 – Enjoy food from local restaurants, live music and more. More information

Urbana Sweetcorn Festival – August 24 – Held in downtown Urbana, the festival includes live music, food and all the corn you’ll ever need. More information

Mahomet Music Festival – August 24-25 –Held in downtown Urbana, the festival includes live music, food and all the corn you’ll ever need. More information

CU Pride Festival – September 14-16 – The parade kicks things off on Friday, with the vendor fair, food and fun to follow. More information


Peoria Chiefs games – Various dates until August 31 – From Movie Mondays to Family Sundays, the Chiefs have your summer weeks covered. More information

Heart of Illinois Fair – July 17-21 – Celebrate the best Central Illinois has to offer at the Heart of Illinois Fair. More information

Central Illinois BBQ Throwdown – July 20-21 – Who’s the BBQ master? You’ll be the judge in the people’s choice sampling event. More information

Taste of Peoria – August 8 – Wear your loosest pants in preparation for this block party of music and food from the best local restaurants. More information

Ignite Peoria – August 11 – Get hands-on with a day of STEAM-inspired, creative activities. More information

River City Soul Fest – August 10-12 – Celebrate African-American culture with two days of gospel and R&B music. More information

Peoria Irish Fest – August 24-26 – In between the games and shows, catch the historic Highland Games during this weekend of Celtic culture. More information

Peoria Blues and Heritage Festival – August 31-September 1 – Enjoy shows from Blues artists known around the world. More information

Central Missouri


Concerts in the Gardens – July 15 & 22 – Catch the last few dates of the annual Shelter Gardens music series. More information

Family Fun Fests – July 18, August 15, September 19 – On the third Wednesday of each month, Family Fun Fest provides family-friendly activities along a theme. July’s focus is on fitness, August’s theme is “Around the World,” and September will be all about creativity. More information

Heritage Festival – September 15-16 – Watch as history comes alive with cowboys, traditional tradesmen and handmade craft activities. More information

Movies in the Park – July 13, August 10, September 14 - Head to Cosmo Park for a free movie under the stars, with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in July and “Coco” in August. More information

MidMo PrideFest – August 25 – Celebrate the LGBTQIA community with live entertainment, food and community organizations. More information

Springfield Star-Spangled Summer Festival – Daily until July 22 – Head to Silver Dollar City for family fun and entertainment – from dog shows to clogger performances. More information

Movies at Founders Park – Friday & Saturday evenings until August 25 – Tap into the classic drive-in experience with a free movie in Founders Park. More information

Learn to Grow in the Garden Series – The second Monday of each month through October – Grow your green thumb with a series of classes at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center. More information

The Elephant Man – July 20-22, 26-29, August 3-5 – Catch an award-winning play at the Springfield Contemporary Theater. More information

Ozark Empire Fair – July 26-August 4 – Spend a day – or 10 – at the fair enjoying the sea lion show, petting zoo, free music and more. More information

First Friday at Park Central Square – August 3 & September 7 – On the first Friday of the month, Park Central Square becomes an outdoor concert with food and all that Downtown Springfield has to offer. More information

Birthplace of Route 66 Festival – August 10-11 – Revel in the spirit of Route 66 with a car show, motorcycle show, parade, live music and more. More information

Midwest Dweller Craft Market – August 24 – Browse more than 30 Midwest artists’ work at Urban Roots farm. More information

Kansas City

WeekEnder Series – Friday evenings until August 3 – Everyone knows dinner and a movie makes the perfect Friday night date. Crown Center has you more than covered, with live music, food trucks and a movie. More information

Fringe Festival – July 19-29 – See something you’ve never seen before, from innovative artists from across the country and world. More information

Amelia Earhart Festival – July 20-21 – Celebrate the iconic pilot’s legacy with a carnival, food and crafts fair and even fireworks. More information

Festival of Butterflies – July 27-29, August 3-5, August 10-12 – Alight on Powell Gardens for all the butterfly magic you can hope for. More information

Johnson County Fair – July 29-August 4 – It’s not summer until you’ve been to the fair, and Johnson County Fair is here to make sure your summer is complete. More information

Ethnic Enrichment Festival – August 17-19 – See more than 60 cultures come together for a weekend of delicious food and ethnic music and dance. More information

Kansas City Irish Fest – Labor Day Weekend (September 1-3) – Step into a weekend of Celtic Pride and seven stages of fun. More information

39th Annual Art Westport – September 7-9 – Browse the work of 150 different local artists. More information

Plaza Art Fair – September 21-23 – Art, music, food and community come together for a weekend of fun. More information

St. Louis/Metro East

Faust Summer Concert Series – Tuesday evenings until August 14 – Grab a snack from a food truck before settling in for a free concert in Faust Park. More information

Jungle Boogie Friday Night Concert Series – Friday evenings until August 31 – Have you ever waltzed with a walrus? Now’s your chance at Boogie Nights at St. Louis Zoo. More information

Whitaker Music Festival – Wednesday evenings until August 31 – Pack a picnic and enjoy free live music while lounging in the Botanical Garden. More information

International Institute’s Festival of Nations – August 25-26 – Picture yourself browsing the international bazaar with an empanada or spring roll in hand before catching a performance of authentic Japanese dance. More information

Big Muddy Blues Festival – Labor Day Weekend (September 1-3) – Celebrate St. Louis’ rich blues music history with a weekend of over 50 local bands. More information

Annual Japanese Festival – Labor Day Weekend (September 1-3) – Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Japan with food, dance and activities in the Botanical Garden. More information

Gateway Cup – Labor Day Weekend (September 1-3) – Get a taste of the Tour de France, with four days of high-intensity bike races around St. Louis neighborhoods. More information

Saint Louis Art Fair – September 7-9 – Browse the work of artists from across the country (and even Canada). More information

Great Forest Park Balloon Race – September 14-15 – Anyone who's told you this festival is anything short of amazing is full of hot air. More information


Food Truck Wednesday – Wednesdays until August 8 – Take a break over lunch and head to Guthrie Green for some food and live music. More information

Tulsa County Free Fair – July 20-21 – Sheep, dogs, goats and even rabbits await at the county fair. More information

Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa Pow Wow of Champions – August 11-13 – Enjoy a weekend full of traditional dances, arts and crafts, and food. More information

Just Between Friends – August 19-25 – Get ready for back-to-school with some discount shopping at this lightly-used clothing sale. More information

Utsav-Discover India – August 25 – Transport yourself to India with cultural activities, food and more. More information

Tulsa Reining Classic – August 27-September 2 – See which rider will be named reigning champion in this high-energy event. More information

Tulsa Greek Festival – September 20-23 – This four-day event full of Greek food, dancing and fun will have you saying “Opa!” in no time. More information


Wichita Wingnuts Games – Various dates until September 3 – From fireworks to Splash Down Sundays, summer fun is waiting at the Wingnuts stadium. More information

Freaky Friday – July 11-15 – Musical Theatre Wichita brings the classic story of a mother and daughter magically swapping bodies to the stage. More information

Automobilia’s 24th Moonlight Car Show and Street Party – July 14 – Downtown Wichita will host eight live bands for you to enjoy after visiting the food and vendor courts and enjoying the model car and bike contests. More information

Drums Across Kansas – July 16 – Watch as competitive drum corps from across the country leave it all on the field. More information

Wichita Maker Faire – July 21-22 – Join inventors and tinkerers as they share their experiments and creations at the Exploration Place. More information

Kansas Shrine Bowl – July 28 – Catch this high school all-star game and parade and support the Shriners Hospital for Children at the same time. More information

Kansas State Fair – September 8-17 – Carnival rides, concerts, butter sculptures – what more could you need this summer? More information

Of course, there’s even more events than this, and we can’t catch them all. If there’s one we missed, post on our Facebook page or shoot us a tweet on Twitter to tell us. Before you head to one of the events listed above, please refer to the hosting organization’s website for the most up-to-date information.

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