There’s so much to do in our region of the Old Northwest Territory! Here’s a sample of our recreation and destination events!
Rock County 4-H Fair
July 24-29, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. The oldest in the United States, with exhibits; animal and project judging; carnival; horse pull; dressage; activities; live entertainment – this year featuring Mickey Gilley & Josh Turner. Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville, Wis. rockcounty4hfair.com.
Lee County 4-H Fair
July 26-29, daily. Tractor show, 4-H exhibits/livestock, local vendors, mudbogging. Lee County 4-H Center, 1196 Franklin Road, Amboy, Ill. leecounty4hcenter.com.
SW Wisconsin Tractor & Equipment Ride at Fennimore
July 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Meet at 10 a.m. at Vogel’s building, corner of 4th and Washington St. Travel to Cheers II in Preston where tractors and equipment will be on display. Food and beverage available. Travel back to Fennimore at 2 p.m. (608) 778-7910.
Midsummer’s Jubliee on Dixon Riverfront
July 28, 6-11 p.m. music by the Rock River Jazz Band dinner by Mama Cimino’s live and silent auction. Proceeds go to Riverfront’s boat dock project and Dixon Main Street’s John Dixon statue project. $35 per/$280 table of 8, 815-288-2308, dixonil.com/mainst.
Burlington Kennel Club Dog Show
July 30-31, daily. This all-breed, AKC-sanctioned dog show, including obedience and Juniro showmanship judging, draws hundreds of entrants each year. Only dogs entered welcome. Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn (262) 723-3228, walworthcountyfair.com, akc.org/akc_clubs/BurlingtonWisconsinKennelClub.
Ogle County Fair
Aug. 1-5, Bruno Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tigers Show; motorcycle stunt show; Kenya Safari Acrobats; draft horses; tractor pull; carnival; 4-H judging; horse show; more. Ogle County Fairgrounds, 1440 Limekiln Road, Oregon, Ill., 815) 732-6962, oglecountyfair.com.
43rd Annual Threshing & Antique Show
Aug. 3-4, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. This show is hosted each year by Stephenson County Antique Engine Club, featuring more than 300 gas-, steam- and horse-powered engines, flea market, daily parade at 1 p.m., tractor and horse pulls, lawn mower races, Civil War encampment and rides on the Silver Creek and Stephenson Railroad antique steam train. Stephenson County Fairgrounds, 2250 S. Walnut Road, Freeport, (815) 235-2198, thefreeportshow.com.
Aug. 3-5, 5 p.m. Fri; noon Sat-Sun. Celebrate Rockford’s Italian heritage at the second largest festival in town. Authentic music & folk dancing, carnival rides and booths, kids’ activities, great Italian food. Boylan High School Grounds, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford, (815) 636-2902, griaa.com.
10th Annual Lincoln Douglas 5K & Fun Run
Aug.4, 8 a.m. This out and back 5K, wheel-measured course consists of flat stretches and gently rolling hills designed to challenge the beginning walker or an experienced runner. A One Mile Fun Run begins at 8:15 am. The 5K begins at 8:35 am. Lower fees for registration before July 29: (815) 235-1689. Event: Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square, 114 E. Douglas, Freeport.
The First Tee Open Golf Outing
Aug. 4, 8 a.m. check-in; 9 a.m. shotgun start. On-course games, prizes, raffle, dinner. $100; $75 for Park Hills Members. Proceeds benefit The First Tee of Rockford, part of a national organization that teaches life skills through golf to children ages 4-18. ark Hills Golf Club, 3240 W. Stephenson Street, Freeport, (815) 965-5057.
John Deere Hammer In 2012
Aug. 4-5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. “One Man, One Anvil, One Plow” commemorates the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the John Deere company. At noon, 175 blacksmiths strike their anvils at once to “Ring In” the anniversary. Demos by tradespeople who sell their wares. $5, 11 & under free. John Deere Historic Site, 8334 S. Clinton St., Grand Detour, Ill., (815) 652-4551, johndeereattractions.com.
Muskets & Memories Civil War Heritage
Aug. 4-5, Civil War Heritage Reenactment and GAR Heritage Encampment at Kronshage Park, Boscobel, Wis. Costume ball held at the historic Boscobel Hotel on Wisconsin Ave. Children’s activities, living history presentations, military camps and battles with 1,000 participants. Call 608-872-2274 for info.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Days
Aug. 4-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hands-on celebration of the author’s life. See animal-, people- and steam-powered vintage machines at work throughout the site. Sat. Barn Dance. Old World Wisconsin, S103 W37890 Hwy. 67, Eagle, Wis. (262) 594-6300, oldworldwisconsin.org.
8th Annual Wakeboard Tournament
Aug. 6-7, all day. Novice, Intermediate, Advanced or Outlaw categories, top three finishers in each category receives awards. Registration/Info: (262) 275-1580. Event: Gordy’s Marine, 336 Lake St., Fontana, Wis., gordysboats.com.
Boone County Fair
Aug. 7-12, daily. Carnival, food, harness & colt racing, mule and draft team obstacle courses, dog agility demos, tractor pull, 4-H livestock/exhibits, demolition derby, more. Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 Ill. Rte. 76, Belvidere, Ill. boonecountyfair.com.
National Water Ski Show Tournament
Aug. 10-12, 8 a.m. Janesville hosts this annual tournament, featuring its own Rock Aqua Jays (RAJ). Free admission; paid concessions. RAJ Stadium, Traxler Park, 600 N. Main St., Janesville, Wis. rockaquajays.com, usawaterski.org.
4th Biannual Catfish Tournament
August 11, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Tournament on the Pecatonica River. Prizes awarded for the total weight of five catfish and trophy for the biggest fish. $20 per boat (1-2 in boat). Sponsored by Lena Community Park District, (815) 369-5351. McNeil’s Damascus Landing, 4891 W. Cedarville Road, Lena, Ill.
Elkhorn Antique Flea Market
Aug. 12, Sept. 30, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Now in its 31st season, with more than 500 dealers inside and out on paved walkways. Food vendors, free parking, rain or shine. $5. Info: (414) 525-0820, nlpromotionsllc.com. Event: Walworth County Fairgrounds, 411 W. Court St., Elkhorn, Wis.
Grant County Fair
Aug. 12-19, daily. FFA and 4-H exhibits/judging, demos, grandstand shows, tractor pull, demolition derby, carnival, food, midway. Grant County Fairgrounds, 916 E. Elm St., Lancaster, Wis. 608) 723.2135, grantcounyfairwi.org.
Winnebago County Fair
Aug. 14-19, daily. Carnival, midway, 4-H judging/exhibits, semi-tractor pull, pro rodeo. Performers: Penny Mae Dixon, soda & County Line. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St, Pecatonica, Ill. winnebagocountyfair.com.
Whiteside County Fair
Aug. 14-18, daily. Ag Society exhibits/judging, Western horse show, harness racing, carnival, tractor pull, bingo, demolition derby. Whiteside County Fairgrounds, 201 West Winfield Street, Morrison, Ill. 815) 772-7329, whitesidecountyfair.org.
50th Venetian Festival
Aug. 15-19, Fri 6 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon. Carnival, craft fair, water ski show, musical entertainment, local cuisine, lighted boat parade & fireworks Sunday. Lake Geneva Jaycees. Flat Iron Park, Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, Wis. Info: (262) 248-6759, lakegenevajaycees.org/venetian-festival-information.html.
Local Roots Heirloom Dinner
Aug. 18, 6-9 p.m. Unique event held in the museum’s 1905 barn. Wine, cheese & sausage tasting; meal created by local chefs using 19th century recipes and local-sourced ingredients popular 100 years ago. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, 815) 397-9112, x116, midwayvillage.com.
Stonefield’s Railroad Days
Aug. 18-19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Activities and displays related to railroading. Music; storytelling; bank robbery. Stonefield Depot and caboose tours, model railroading trains, hobo camp. Stonefield State Historic Site, 2195 County VV, Cassville, Wis. Info: 608) 725-5210.
Maxwell Street Days
Aug. 24-26, all day. Browse the downtown streets of Lake Geneva for bargains, as retailers sell everything from antiques to crafts to produce, with food and refreshments available. Downtown Lake Geneva, Wis., (262) 248-4416, www.lakegenevawi.com.
Cherry Valley Days
Aug. 24-26, daily. Family festival with musical and non-musical entertainment, amusement rides, adults and children’s games and events, food, fireworks. Baumann Park, 218 S. Walnut, Cherry Valley, Ill. 815) 332-4893, valleydays.com.
4th Annual Port of Potosi Brewfest
Aug. 25, 1-5 p.m. Sample beer, wine and cheeses from more than 35 breweries, wineries and cheese companies. Info: 608) 763-4002, x106, potosibrewery.com. Event: Holiday Gardens Event Center, 101 Brewery Hollow Road, Potosi, Wis.
Aug. 25-26, all day. This event features East Troy Electric Railroad’s collection of rapid transit cars that once whisked people around Chicago and its suburbs. Ride historic Pullman-built cars from the railroad’s depot to The Elegant Farmer in Mukwanago and back. East Troy Electric Railroad, 2002 Church St., East Troy, Wis., (262) 642-3263, easttroyrr.org.
Annual Lincoln-Douglas Debate Commemoration Ceremony
Aug. 27, 7-8 p.m. Annual program to commemorate the historic 1858 debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square, 114 E. Douglas Street, Freeport, (815) 975-7631.
163rd Walworth County Fair
Aug. 29-Sept.t. 3, 7 a.m.-midnight. One of the oldest in the state. Food, carnival, horse shows, mounted Performers Chris Young, Wynonna & the Big Noise, REO Speedwagon. Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn, (262) 723-3228, walworthcountyfair.com.
34th Annual Ice Cream Social & Craft Fair
Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Delicious food and homemade pies and cakes served inside and outdoors. More than 50 arts and crafts vendors, farmer’s market, solar observation, more. Apple River Stagecoach Event Center, 446 E. Hickory St., Apple River, Ill., (815) 492-2238, galena.org.
Galena Girlfriends Getaway
Sept. 7-9, events daily. A weekend dedicated to the celebration of women. Shopping, demonstrations and events. Various locations throughout downtown Galena, Ill., (815) 777-9050, galena.org.
Old Farmin’ Days
Sept. 8, What started out as a small neighborhood gathering 12 years has grown into a full working farm show, with equipment demonstrations, garden tractor & antique tractor pulls, kids pedal pulls, horse plowing, blacksmiths, gas engines display, barns full of farm antiques, petting zoo, wagon rides, great food and music. Ward View Farm, 1171 Rockton Road, Caledonia, Ill., (815) 389-9191, find them on facebook.
Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
Sept. 8, 6-9 p.m. March 22, 1933: The days of prohibition have finally ended and the celebration is just getting started at the wine cellar – and a murder mystery unfolds where everyone is a suspect. Fee includes wine tasting and cheese pairing, dinner, and non-alcoholic beverages. Reservations required. $38. Galena Cellars Vineyard, 4746 N. Ford Road, Galena, Ill., (815) 777-3330 x203, galena.org.
“Pec Thing” Antique & Flea Market
Sept. 15-16, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 400 dealers with everything from stamps, yard art, collectibles, glassware, furniture, antique tools, jewelry, arts & crafts, many food vendors, spread over 100,000 square feet inside and 40 acres outside. Rain or shine. Free parking, $3 admission. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St, Pecatonica, Ill., winnebagocountyfair.com.
World Water Ski Show Tournament
Sept. 15-16, 9 a.m. Janesville’s own Rock Aqua Jays host this first-ever event featuring five teams from around the world competing in events like barefoot, swivel, ballet and pyramid. $5 gate fee. RAJ Stadium, Traxler Park, Janesville, rockaquajays.com.
8th Annual Fun Walk/Run
Sept. 22 8:30 a.m. Meander or run 3.1 miles on Galena’s well-shaded hiking/biking path.Door prizes, refreshments. $15. Galena Bike/Hiking Path, Ssouth end of Train Depot lot, 101 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., (815) 777-4960, galena.org.
6th Annual Galena Oktoberfest
Sept. 22, noon-10 p.m. Annual German celebration with non-stop live music; wiener dog races; polka dancing and lessons; German-style food and beverages; children’s activities; more. Galena’s Eastside Riverfront, 101 Bouthillier St., Galena, Ill., (815) 331-0180, galena.org.
Greek Fest 2011
Sept. 22-23, noon. Traditional food, dancers and music; marketplace with jewelry, art, gifts, music; church tours, raffle. Free admission. Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 108 N. 5th St., Rockford (608) 290-5906, gogreekfest.com.
42nd Annual Warren Pumpkin Festival
Sept. 29-30, Old-fashioned family festival antique tractor pull, carnival rides, pumpkin themed games, lots of food and beverage, and much more. Downtown Main St., Warren, Ill., (815) 275-4400, galena.org.
57th Annual Fall Old Market Day
Sept. 29 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Open air market with ladies in turn-of-the-century period costumes selling homemade baked goods, produce, jams and jellies, dried flowers and Rada Cutlery. Local arts and crafts vendors. Old Market House Square, 123 N. Commerce St., Galena, Ill., (815) 858-3392, galena.org.
45th Annual Tour of Historic Homes
Sept. 29-30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Guided tour of five private historic homes plus the 1858 Barrows mansion, home to the Galena History Museum. $13/$15 after Sept. 15. Free shuttle. Galena & U.S. Grant Museum, 211 S. Bench St., Galena, Ill., (815) 777-9129, galena.org.