There’s so much to do in our region! Here are some exciting recreation events happening this season.
Northwest Fourth Fest
July 4-8, 11 a.m. daily. Delicious food from more than 20 local vendors, carnival rides, live entertainment daily and the region’s largest fireworks display on July 4th. Free parking, admission. A partnership by Elgin, Hanover Park, Hanover Township and Hoffman Estates. Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates, NorthwestFourthFest.com.
21st Annual Civil War Days
July 7-8, Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. With infantry, cavalry, artillery reenactors, encampment, musicians, sutlers, medical personnel, civilians, ongoing drills, kids’ activities, Civil War-era shopping. Lake County Discovery Museum, 27277 N. Forest Preserve Road, Wauconda, (847) 968-3400, LakeCountyDiscoveryMuseum.org
27th Annual Heritage Fair
July 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Theme: “Hats Off to Home Towns,” so visitors are encouraged to wear fun, unique hats. Baking contests, barbershop quartet, quilt bed turning, vintage clothing, books, plants, “white elephant” sales. Antique/collectibles auction, magic show, more. McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main St., Union, (815) 923-2267, mchsonline.org.
July 13-22, events daily. The weeklong celebration includes parade, carnival rides, food, craft fair, car show, drum and bugle corp competition, live musical entertainment, more. Peterson Park, McCullom Lake Road, McHenry, mchenrychamber.com.
July 22, 6:30 a.m. race start. Chip-timed 0.5 or 1 mile swim in Bangs Lake, 15- or 24-mile bike ride and 3.1- or 6.2-mile run through the Wauconda countryside. Start: Beach Park, 112 Park St.; transition Cook Park, 600 N. Main St., Wauconda, (847) 526-3610, waucondaparks.org.
Family Canoe Trip
July 22, 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Learn basic paddling techniques, canoe safety and river canoeing, before paddling seven miles of the Nippersink Creek completely within the undeveloped areas of Glacial Park. Bring a sack lunch and plenty of water, and wear shoes that can get wet and provide good support. Glacial Park, Lost Valley Visitor Center, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.
Kane County Flea Market
June 30-July 1, Aug. 4-5, Sept. 1-2, Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques, collectibles, and Fancy Junque. Country breakfast served on Sundays. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 377-2252, kanecountyfleamarket.com.
July 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Experience a “Kaleidoscope of Garden Colors” by visiting various local gardens. Rain or shine. Annual event of Pottawatomie Garden Club of St. Charles. Tickets: Blue Goose, Heinz Brother’s Greenhouse, Wasco Nursery. Info: (630) 661-0702, pottagardenclub.org.
40th Annual Convention Pontiac-Oakland International
July 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Public car show of rare, restored and concept Pontiacs by POCI. For POCI members, starting July 17, four days of speakers, special displays, Drag Day & Poker Run, Route 66 tours, more. Pheasant Run, St. Charles. Convention info: (877) 368-3454, poci.org.
Kane County Fair
July 18-22, Wed. 3-11 p.m.; Thurs. noon-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. noon-midnight; Sun. noon-10 p.m. Carnival, entertainment, thrill events, farm animals, kids events, food, more. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 584-6926, kanecountyfair.com.
Festival of Flight
July 21-22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fox Valley Aero Club members and invited guest demonstrate flying of all types of radio controlled model airplanes including jets, helicopters, and giant airplanes. Free. Fox Valley Aero Club Field, Karl Madsen Drive, St. Charles, foxvalleyaero.com.
Barn Full of Bats
July 25, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Celebrate the Year of the Bat games, crafts and activities for the whole family, followed by a short candlelight hike to the old Northern Pump Barn to witness hundreds of bats exiting for the night to begin feeding. Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, (815) 338-6223, mccdistrict.org.
DuPage County Fair
July 25-29, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Exhibits, contests, craft fair, motocross, demolition derby, more. DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-6636, dupagecountyfair.org.
84th Lake County Fair
July 25-29, daily. Livestock barns, competitive exhibits, fabulous food, amusement rides and some of the best entertainment around. Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E Peterson Road, Grayslake, (847) 680-7200, lcfair.com.
Tri-County Pro Rodeo
July 27-28, 7:30 p.m. Cowboys, bull riders, steer wrestling, barrel racers and more at the only IPRA-sanctioned rodeo in McHenry County. Live music Friday after rodeo by Smokin’ Gunz. Milky Way Park, Rte. 173, west of Rte. 14, Harvard, (815) 943-4404, tricountyprorodeo.com.
45th Sugar Grove Corn Boil
July 27-29, Fri. 4-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Annual event draws 15,000 visitors for parade, fireworks, 5K run/walk, carnival, craft show, car show, live entertainment and, of course, corn. Volunteer Park, Main Street, Sugar Grove, (630) 466-5166, sugargrovecornboil.org.
Repticon Reptile & Exotic Animal Expo
July 28-29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Features breeders and vendors selling exotic animals, supplies and merchandise. Hourly presentations on various reptile topics. Free raffle entry. $10 adult; $5 children. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (863) 268-4274, repticon.com.
McHenry County Fair
Aug. 1-5, events daily. Exhibitions, beer tent, tractor pull, demolition derby. McHenry County Fairgrounds, 1051 Country Club Road, Woodstock, (815) 338-5315, mchenrycountyfair.com.
Crystal Lake Night Owl Bicycle Ride
Aug. 4-5, 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Midnight-to-Sunrise bicycle ride and fundraiser to promote bicycling as an alternate means of transportation and exercise and to benefit The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. $30 adult ($40 ride night), $15 child under age 15. Downtown Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0531, clnightowlride.org.
Bob Leonard 5K Run & Walk-A-Thon
Aug. 11, run 8 a.m., walk 9:30 a.m. Pottawatomie Park, St. Charles, (630) 418-5309, stcrivercorridor.org. Register at signmeup.com.
56th Annual Sycamore Steam Show & Threshing Bee
Aug. 9-12, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. See threshing and plowing using steam and gas tractors; steam-powered sawmill in operation, mule team and wagon rides, Corliss stationary steam engine. Lunch, kids’ activities, flea market, farm toy show, parade, more. Taylor Marshall Farm, 27707 Luken Road, Sycamore, threshingbee.org.
Big Truck Show
Aug. 11, 10 a.m.-noon. Annual St. Charles Park District event, where kids of all ages enjoy climbing aboard emergency vehicles, tractors, construction trucks and more. James O. Breen Community Park, Campton Hills and Peck roads, St. Charles, (630) 513-6200, stcparks.org.
Geneva Kite Festival
Aug. 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kite demos, unique kites, food vendors, more. Peck Fields, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, (630) 232-4542, genevaparks.org.
28th National Garden Railway Convention
Aug. 18-Aug. 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun to 3 p.m. Loads of exhibitors with two large display layouts. For convention members, starting Aug. 14, four days of diverse layout tours, clinics on trains, gardens, ponds, dinners, more. Convention Hall. Pheasant Run Resort & Spa, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, pheasantrun.com. Convention info: (630) 985-2057, 2012ngrc.com.
Elgin Kennel Club Dog Show & Obedience Trials
Aug. 25-26, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 800 entries in conformation and obedience. Advance registration to show; only entered dogs allowed. Free. Kane County Fairgrounds,
525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (630) 606-6278, elginkennelclub.com.
Heirloom Garden Show Museum
Aug. 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Rare and specialty fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs are displayed and sold by Midwestern growers. Member participation by Seed Savers Exchange. Garfield Farm, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
125th Sandwich Fair
Sept. 5-9, 8 a.m. daily. Parade, hot air balloon launch, carnival, harness racing, demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, live entertainment. Sandwich Fairgrounds, 1401 Suydam Road, Sandwich, (815) 786-2159, sandwichfair.com.
Festival of the Vine
Sept. 7-9, daily. Food and wine tasting, flower markets, antique carriage rides, family games, A Fall Harvest of Natural Art, music and live entertainment, fine arts & crafts show. Downtown Geneva, (630) 232-6060, genevachamber.com.
Revolutionary War Reenactment
Sept. 8-9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A living history lesson on camp life, military artillery and war time during this late 17th century battle. More than 600 Revolutionary War reenactors from the Northwest Territory Alliance will consume the battlefield twice a day, firing cannons and muskets. Parade Field, Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Annual DeKalb Kite Festival
Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Colorful, whimsical and magical creations fill the skies. See dancing, stunt, fighting kites, 90-foot-long octopus kite, vendors, candy drop, more. Free. NIU’s “North 40,” Lucinda Avenue and Kishwaukee Drive, DeKalb, near Annie’s Woods & Anderson Hall. Info: dekalbcountycvb.com.
Fox Valley Marathon
Sept. 16, 7 a.m. Award-winning full and half marthon and Fall Final 20. Perfect for everyone from Boston Qualifiers to first-timers. Downtown St. Charles, at 1st St. Info/registration: (630) 549-3070, foxvalleymarathon.com.
30th Country Folk Art Festival
Sept. 21-23, Fri. 6-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Handmade arts and crafts by award-winning artisans, historic crafts, folk art, primitives, reproductions of antique American furniture, some original antiques. Robinson Hall, Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (815) 772-3279, artoftheheartlandinc.com.
Long Grove Apple Festival
Sept. 28-30, events daily. Celebrate fall’s favorite fruit and the many delicious ways to enjoy it, from the village’s restaurants to outdoor food booths. Apples by the bushel, activities, live music. Historic Long Grove, (847) 634-0888, longgroveonline.com.
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Live entertainment, pony rides, petting zoo, storytelling, wagon rides, farmers market. Meet Johnny Appleseed. Demonstrations of an antique cider press and peeler, contests, craft fair. Downtown Crystal Lake, downtowncl.org.