Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
Boone County Fair
Aug. 5-10. Truck/tractor pulls, Next-Level Pro Bull Riding, demolition derby. Grandstand Stage performers include American English & Easton Corbin. Boone County Fairgrounds, 8791 Ill. Rt. 76, Belvidere, Ill., boonecountyfair.com.
Carroll County Fair
Aug. 5-9. Ag Olympics, demolition derby, Funky Monkey Wrestling. Performer Tracy Lawrence. Carroll County Fairgrounds, Schell Park, 28374 Milledgeville Road, Milledgeville, Ill., carrollcountyfair.info.
Trivia (on the Terrace)
Aug. 8, 6 p.m. Trivia questions about superheroes, natural history, pop culture, current events, movies, books and more. Hosted by local media persons. Live music, food, cash bar. $20/$15 for Burpee members. Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-3433, burpee.org.
National Water Ski Show Tournament
Aug. 8-10, 8 a.m. See teams such as Mad City, Wonderlake and Rock Aqua Jays. Concessions. Free Admission. Traxler Park, RAJ Stadium, 600 N. Main St., Janesville, Wis., (608) 757-3171.
Winslow River Days
Aug. 8-10, Fri. 6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. Entertainment, softball, volleyball, tractor pull, kids’ tractor pull, petting zoo, pony rides, kids’ water fights, duck race, raffle, church service, food, more. 802 Mitek Plaza, Winslow, Ill., (815) 821-1316, (815) 291-4843.
Lincoln Douglas 5K and One Mile Fun Run
Aug. 9, 8 a.m. This 5K course challenges beginning walkers and experienced runners. Adults: $20; Under 18: $10. Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square, 114 E. Douglas, Freeport, (815) 275-3139.
Freeport Cruise Night
Aug. 9, 7-10 p.m. Display of 60-70 antique cars in the Freeport Public Library parking lot, and two lots with classic cars. Antique car parade 7 p.m. Food, live music, burn-out contest, more. Downtown Freeport, Ill., (815) 233-1357.
Grant County Fair
Aug. 10-17. 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.
144th Whiteside County Fair
Aug. 12-16. Ag Society exhibits/judging, Western horse show, harness racing, carnival, tractor pull, bingo, demolition derby. Whiteside County Fairgrounds, 201 W. Winfield St., Morrison, Ill., (815) 772-7329, whitesidecountyfair.org.
93rd Winnebago County Fair
Aug. 12-17. Carnival, midway, 4-H judging/exhibits, semi-tractor pull, pro rodeo. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, 500 W. 1st St., Pecatonica, Ill., winnebagocountyfair.com.
52nd Venetian Festival
Aug. 13-17, W-F 5 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon. Carnival, craft fair, water ski show, music, local cuisine, lighted boat parade, fireworks. Lake Geneva Jaycees. Flat Iron Park, Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, Wis. Info: (262) 248-6759, lakegenevajaycees.org./venetian-festival-information.html.
MELD Golf Play Day
Aug. 14, 12:30-7 p.m. Scramble format, 50/50 raffle, prizes on course, dinner, silent auction. Prairie View Golf Club, North German Church Road, Byron, rockfordmeld.org.
Perseid Meteor Watch
Aug. 15, 9 p.m.-midnight. Discover the beauty of shooting stars. Bring blanket/lawn chairs, binoculars. Free. Weiskopf Observatory, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, byronforestpreserve.org.
Rotary Corn Roast & Mud Volleyball
Aug. 16, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Mud Volleyball Tournament. Food and beverage vendors; free sweet corn. Children’s activities, live music. $1 in advance/$2 at gate. Traxler Park, Janesville, (608) 756-4591.
The Local: Burpee Summer Festival
Aug. 16, 7-11 p.m. Sample unique pairings from area breweries, wineries and restaurants; vote on favorite; prize to pairing with most votes. $55/10 for $500. Burpee Museum, Rockford, burpee.org.
33rd Annual Polish Fest 2014
Aug. 17, 11 a.m.-dusk. Enjoy a traditional Polish dinner; music & dancing; bingo; cultural exhibit; kids’ games; more. Free. St. Stanislaus Parish grounds, 201 Buckbee St., Rockford, (815) 965-3913.
Cherry Valley Days
Aug. 22-24. Food & beverage vendors, carnival, live entertainment. Advance button purchase $5, good for all three days; otherwise, $6 a day, $3 Sun. Bauman Park, 218 S. Walnut St., Cherry Valley, Ill., (815) 332-2152, valleydays.com.
Lockwood Park Pro Rodeo Roundup
Aug. 22-23, 7-10 p.m. Big Hat Rodeo with bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, team roping, tie down roping, cowgirl barrel racing & bull riding. Advance tickets: $10/$6 ages 4-12; gate $12/$8. Lockwood Park, 5201 Safford Road, Rockford, (815) 987-889, rockfordparkdistrict.org/lockwood.
3rd Annual New Glarus Car Show
Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Car, truck & motorcycle show. Downtown New Glarus, Wis., (608) 527-2095, swisstown.com.
165th Walworth County Fair
Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 7 a.m.-midnight. Food, carnival, Big Hat Rodeo, demolition derby. Performers: Trace Adkins, Little Big Town, Foreigner. Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn, (262) 723-3228, walworthcountyfair.com.
Oct. 29, 6-9 p.m. Bring gutted pumpkin and learn how to use tools to create your dream pumpkin. Adults must accompany children under 12. Nordlof Center / Large Multi-Purpose Room, 118 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 965-7606, option 2, rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
2nd Annual “Cruisin To The Dairy” Car Show
Aug. 30, 4-8 p.m. Old fashioned ice cream parlor with 1950s and ’60s music, cars and more. Music by 3-D Sound. No entry fee. Union Dairy, 126 E. Douglas, Freeport, (815) 232-7099.
The Company Picnic
Aug. 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Features one of Freeport’s heritage companies. Food, museum tours, entertainment and more. Adults $3; children 6 and under free. Stephenson County Historical Museum, 1440 S. Carroll Ave., Freeport, (815) 232-8419.
Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Sat. noon; Sun.-Mon. 8 a.m. Teen mud volleyball, clowns, rock climbing, petting zoo, puppet show, volleyball, car display, music, beer garden. Parade on Monday at 1 p.m. from Milwaukee Street to Main St. UAW Hall Grounds, 1717 Center Ave., Janesville, (608) 755-5120.
Festival on the Rock
Sept. 5-7, Fri. 4 p.m.-midnight, Sat. 9 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Carnival rides, craft tents, bags tournament, food vendors, beer tent, live music and more. Fireworks Sat. at 8:30 p.m. Packer Tailgate Party Sun. at noon. Free admission. Preservation Park, 3444 S. Riverside Dr., Beloit, (608) 362-4612.
Sept. 5-7. Tour historic neighborhoods and buildings, Beloit’s oldest cemetery, Indian Effigy mounds; events at Beckman Mill and Angel Museum; live music; old-fashioned crafts. Free admission to most events, donations appreciated. Locations throughout Beloit, Wis., (608) 365-4838.
Ladies Galena Getaway Weekend
Sept. 6-8. Pajama party, quartermania auction, Bloody Mary contest, Ladies of Courage & Commitment program, adventure tours, specials at Galena restaurants & shops, more. Various locations, downtown Galena, bestofgalena.com.
Lena Lions 64th Annual Fall Festival
Sept. 5-6, Fri. 6-10 p.m.; Sat noon-11 p.m. Carnival rides, games, food, stage entertainment, parade Sat. at noon, BBQ Sat., and raffle for new car and ATV. Main Street, downtown Lena. (815) 369-4946.
Wilhelm Tell Festival
Sept. 5-7. More than 200 local volunteers in theater presentation. Yodeling, archery demos, ethnic food, outdoor art fair. Tell Grounds, east of New Glarus, wilhelmtell.org.
Screw City Beer Fest
Sept. 6, 1-5:30 p.m.; VIP Session noon-1 p.m. Sample more than 130 beers from American craft breweries. $25 in advance, available online only; VIP tickets $65, available at Kryptonite Bar. Downtown Rockford, Intersection of State & Main streets, screwcitybeerfest.com.
SCWBA Parade of Homes
Sept. 6-14, Fri. 2-7 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit new and remodeled homes in Rock County area. $6 in advance/$7 at event. Various locations, Janesville, Wis., (608) 752-8075, scwbaonline.com.
Garden Art Auction
Sept. 7, 1 p.m. Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, (608) 752-3885, rotarybotanicalgardens.org.
4th Annual Fish Fry
Sept. 12, 4-9 p.m. The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation host dinner with choice of cod, walleye, bluegill, or catfish. Silent Auction. Adults $15; Children 12 and under $10. Rock Hollow Conservation Club, 1931 Il. Rt. 75 East, Freeport, (815) 238-6895.
Pretzel City Brewfest
Sept. 13. Craft beer tasting; food vendors. Fundraiser for downtown revitalization. VIP (not available at the door): $50; Advanced general admission: $20; At the foor general admission: $25. Downtown Freeport, (815) 232-9000.
Rock River Valley Wood Carvers Show & Sale
Sept. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free (donations accepted). Chainsaw carvers, vendors, demonstrations, raffles, concessions. Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville, Wis., (608) 868-4522.
100th Green County Cheese Days
Sept. 19-21, Fri. 4 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m. Live entertainment, local/ethnic food, beer tent, cheese factory/dairy farm tours, Family Farm tent, vintage tractor show, yodeling, alphorns, polka bands & dancing. Downtown Monroe, Wis., cheesedays.com.
Minhas Brewery Oktoberfest
Sept. 19-20, Live music, beer and food. Presented by the Minhas Family and Monroe Lions. Brewery/distillery tours; tastings. Minhas Craft Brewery, 1208 14th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3191.
Jane Addams Festival
Sept. 20, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. 5K run/walk on the Jane Addams Trail; arts/crafts exhibit and demonstrations; folk songs; lunch. Cedarville Historical Museum, 450 W. 2nd St., Cedarville, (815) 563-4485.
Fat Tire Memorial Tour of Lake Geneva
Sept. 20, registration 8:30 a.m. The 21.5-mile bicycle tour travels through Lake Geneva, Fontana and Williams Bay. Proceeds benefit Walworth County Alliance of Children. Info/registration: (262) 248-6008, fattirmemorialtour.com. Race start: Champ’s Beer Garden, 747 Main St., Lake Geneva, Wis.
Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m. Learn how animal senses work at night. Campfire; s’mores. Free. Atwood Center, Rockford, rockfordparkdistrict.org/atwood.
Twilight Tours & Tastings at Milton House
Sept. 20, 7-10 p.m. See the Milton House as a fugitive slave might have on the Underground Railroad. Food; desserts; wines. Milton House Museum, 18 S. Janesville St., Milton, Wis., (608) 868-7772, miltonhouse.org.
The “Pec Thing” Antique & Flea Market
Sept. 20-21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Vendors selling antique tools, yard art, jewelry, stamps, postcards, furniture, glassware, arts & crafts. Winnebago County Fairgrounds, Pecatonica, winnebagocountyfair.com.
Sept. 20-21, Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11a.m.-4 p.m. World War II era re-enactment; camps; vintage tanks; 1940s era military vehicles; realistic battles with tanks, artillery, armored vehicles and pyrotechnic displays. Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. See cars such as Street Rods, Corvettes, Chevrolets, Street Machines, Muscle Cars. Swap meet; flea market; arts & crafts vendors. Preservation Park, Beloit, (608) 290-3628.
Wine Tasting & Luminary Walk
Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Stroll through illuminated paths; wine tasting; hors d’oeuvres; live music. $20/$15 members. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, klehm.org.
Sept. 26-28, noon. Live music; food; cheese fondue pot; wagon rides; chainsaw carving; family fun. Downtown New Glarus, Wis., swisstown.com.
14th Annual SwedishAmerican Hospital Craft & Bake Sale
Sept. 26-27, Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Benefits United Way. SwedishAmerican Hospital, Rockford, swedishamerican.org.
Green County Fall National Tractor & Truck Pull
Sept. 27, noon. Badger State Tractor Pullers; food stands; live music at 8 p.m. Ticket sales benefit Green County charitable causes. Green County Fairgrounds, 2600 10th St., Monroe, Wis., (608) 558-2316.
Rockford-Freeport Illinois Kennel Club Dog Show
Sept. 27-28, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Show includes conformation (judging dogs per standard) and obedience. $2/car. Stephenson County Fairgrounds, Freeport, (815) 519-0130.