Recreation opportunities abound in our region! Here are a few of the best our area has to offer.
53rd Venetian Festival
Aug. 19-23, Wed-Fri. 5 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon. Carnival, craft fair, live entertainment, water ski show, food, fireworks. Flat Iron, Seminary and Library Parks, Lake Geneva, Wis., lakegenevajaycees.org.
Family Campfire & Potluck
Aug. 21, 5:30-8 p.m. Bring the whole family for hot dogs, lemonade, s’mores and a campfire. Musical instruments welcome. Registration req. Free. Welty Environmental Center, 8606 County Road H, Beloit, (608) 361-1377, weltycenter.org.
7th Annual South Beloit Firefighter’s Association Corn Boil & Street Dance
Aug. 22 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Enjoy live music all day, a sand volleyball tournament, mechanical bull, hole-in-one golf tournament and a fire truck on display. South Beloit Municipal Park, 400 Winnebago St., South Beloit, (815) 389-3097, southbeloitfire.com.
Astronomy at Cadiz Springs
Aug. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Join park staff in identifying star groups with a telescope. Cadiz Springs State Rec Area, N2241 Cadiz Springs Road, Browntown, Wis., (608) 214-1716, cadizsprings.com.
Aug. 22, live music 3 p.m., military ceremony 5 p.m. Food, beer garden, raffle. Kutter Harley-Davidson, 3223 N. Pontiac Dr., Janesville, (608) 757-0880, janesvillecvb.com.
Victorian Murder Mystery
Aug. 22, 6-8 p.m. Actively explore Tinker Cottage while participating in a murder mystery. Light refreshments included. Registration req., $25. Tinker Swiss Cottage, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.
Lakefest & Sugar River Triathlon
Aug. 22. Family fun in the park featuring local foods and brews, activities for kids, entertainment, pontoon rides, triathlon. Belleville, Wis., (608) 328-1838, greencounty.org.
4th Annual New Glarus Car Show
Aug. 22, 10 a.m. Antique and classic car, truck and motorcycle show. Downtown New Glarus, Wis., (608) 527-2095, swisstown.com.
Hayride in the Park
Aug. 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy a scenic tour of Riverside Park while riding on a hay wagon, and eat s’mores at a campfire. $3. Riverside Park South Pavilion, 2600 Parkside Dr., Janesville, (608) 757-3171, janesvillecvb.com.
Aug. 27, 7 p.m. Annual program to commemorate the historic 1858 debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square, 114 E. Douglas St., Freeport, (815) 975-7631, stephenson-county-il.org.
Amboy Depot Days & Depot Days Car Show
Aug. 27-30, daily. Live music, carnival, food. Depot Days Car Show on Sun. Amboy Depot, 50 S. East Ave., and downtown Amboy, Ill., (815) 857-3814, leecountytourism.com.
Cherry Valley Festival Days
Aug. 28-30. Food and beverage vendors, carnival, live entertainment, bingo, fireworks, more. Bauman Park, 218 S. Walnut St., Cherry Valley, Ill., (815) 332-2152, valleydays.com.
Westgate Block Party
Aug. 29, 4-8 p.m. Games, food, music, fireworks at dusk. Bond Park, 201 N. Oakhill, Janesville, (608) 757-3171, janesvillecvb.com.
166th Walworth County Fair
Sept. 2-7, daily. Food, carnival, bull riding, truck and tractor pulls, demo derby. Performers: Charlie Daniels Band, Cheap Trick. Walworth County Fairgrounds, 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn, Wis., (262) 723-3228, walworthcountyfair.com.
Iowa County Fair
Sept. 3-7. Carnival, 4H judging/exhibits, more. Iowa County Fairgrounds, 900 Fair St., Mineral Point, Wis. (608) 987-3490, iowacountyfair.org.
Wilhelm Tell Festival
Sept. 4-6. More than 200 local volunteers in theater presentation. Yodeling, pageant, ethnic food, outdoor art fair. Wilhelm Tell Grounds, W5199 Hwy W, New Glarus, wilhelmtell.org.
3rd Annual “Cruisin’ to the Dairy” Car Show
Sept. 5, 3-8 p.m. Old-fashioned ice cream parlor with 1950s and ‘60s music, cars and more. Music by 3-D Sound. Union Dairy, 126 E. Douglas St., Freeport, (815) 232-7099.
Sept. 6-7. Mud volleyball, rock climbing wall, bounce house, live music, beer garden, craft fair, car show. Parade on Monday at 1 p.m. from Milwaukee St. to Main St. UAW Grounds, 1795 Lafayette St., Janesville, (608) 352-0330.
Lena Lions 65th Annual Fall Festival
Sept. 11-12. Carnival rides, games, food, stage entertainment, 5k run/walk, parade Sat. at noon, raffle for new car and other prizes. Downtown Lena, Ill., (815) 369-5351.
Ladies Getaway Galena Weekend
Sept. 11-14. Pajama party, quartermania auction, Bloody Mary contest, special offerings. Various locations, downtown Galena, bestofgalena.com.
Festival on the Rock
Sept. 11-13, 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, softball, boat rides, fireworks. Preservation Park, 3444 S. Riverside Drive, Beloit, (608) 362-4612.
Sept. 11-13. 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 through Beloit, (608) 365-4838.
Rock Cut Hobo Runs
Sept. 11-13, Fri. 7 p.m. 10k, Sat. 8 a.m. 25k, Sun. 8 a.m. 50k & 25k. All races are run on the scenic trails in Rock Cut State Park, 7318 Harlem Road, Loves Park, Ill., (815) 670-4239, rockfordroadrunners.org.
SCWBA Parade of Homes
Sept. 12-20. Visit new and remodeled homes in the Rock County area. Various locations, Janesville, (608) 752-8075, travelwisconsin.com.
9/11 Peak Sports Challenge
Sept. 12. 15k race at 7:30 a.m., 3Mi Challenge at 8:15 a.m., awards at 10 a.m. Proceeds go towards the construction of the Winnebago County 9/11 Emergency Responders Memorial. Peak Sports Club, 4401 Peak Dr., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 877-4401, WIN911.org.
10th Annual Rock River Valley Carvers of Wisconsin Show & Sale
Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Chainsaw carvings, vendors, demonstrations, raffles, concessions. Rock County Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville, (608) 752-3328.
5th Annual Screw City Beer Festival
Sept. 12, 1-5:30 p.m.; VIP session 12-1 p.m. Sample more than 130 beers from American craft breweries. Downtown Rockford, intersection of State & Main streets, screwcitybeerfest.org.
Great Downtown Dogwalk
Sept. 17 & Oct. 22, 5-9 p.m. Bring your dog and enjoy live music, doggy vendors and pampering. Random prizes will be given throughout the evening. $5 or a donation of pet food/supplies. Kryptronite Bar, 308 W. State St., Rockford, (815) 965-0935.
Rockford Rage Women’s Roller Derby
Sept. 19, 7 p.m. Come out for an exciting night of roller derby action with the Rockford Rage. Sportscore Two Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd., (847) 894-8136.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Sept. 19. Registration 8 a.m., ceremony 9:30 a.m., walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Start a team and join in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Free. Martin Park, 5701 Park Ridge Road, Loves Park, Ill., (815) 977-9125.
Walk to Defeat ALS
Sept. 19. Registration 9 a.m., walk begins at 10 a.m. to raise awareness and funds to further their mission. Free. Aviators Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (312) 932-0000, web.also.org/rockfordwalk.
Pretzel City Brewfest
Sept. 19. Craft beer tasting, food vendors. Fundraiser for downtown revitalization. VIP (not available at the door): $50; advanced general admission: $25; at the door general admission: $30. Downtown Freeport, intersection of Chicago & Douglas streets, pretzelcitybrewfest.com.
Fat Tire Memorial Tour of Lake Geneva
Sept. 19, registration 8:30 a.m. The 21.5 mile bicycle tour travels through Lake Geneva, Fontana and Williams Bay. Race Start: Champ’s Beer Garden, 747 Main St., Lake Geneva. Info/registration: (262) 248-6008.
Minhas Brewery Oktoberfest
Sept. 19-20. Live music, beer and food. Presented by the Minhas family and Monroe Lions. Minhas Craft Brewery, 1208 14th Ave., Monroe, Wis., (608) 325-3191.
39th Annual Beloit Autorama
Sept. 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Car show benefiting Lions Club community projects. Swap meet, flea market, arts & crafts vendors. Preservation Park, 3444 S. Riverside Drive, Beloit, (608) 290-3628.
Sept. 25-27. Live music, food, wagon rides, chainsaw carving, family fun. Downtown New Glarus, swisstown.com.
World War II Behind the Lines
Sept. 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Interact with re-enactors, get a close-up look at vehicles, experience displays and demonstrations. $15. Midway Village Museum, Rockford (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
World War II Days
Sept. 26-27, Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Watch realistic battle re-enactments, see displays and demonstrations. Food and refreshments available. $14 adult; $7 child, members free. Midway Village Museum, Rockford (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
USO Style Dance
Sept. 26, 7-11 p.m. Swing dance to 1940s music performed by Little Big Band. Concessions and bar available. $7. Indoor Sports Center, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.
Speakeasy Murder Mystery
Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m. Actively explore Tinker Cottage while participating in a murder mystery. Light refreshments included. Registration req., $25. Tinker Swiss Cottage, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, tinkercottage.com.
45th Annual Aquin Flea Market and More
Oct. 4, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Indoor flea market including antiques, collectibles, crafts, glassware, books, farmer’s market items and more. $1. Aquin High School, 1419 S. Galena Ave., Freeport, (815) 235-3154.
Swiss Historical Village Harvest Fest
Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A re-creation of 19th century cheese making, blacksmithing, yarn spinning and basket weaving. Talk to Civil War re-enactors and enjoy live music. Swiss Historical Village Harvest Fest, 612 7th Ave., New Glarus, swisshistoricalvillage.org.
28th Annual Autumn Drive
Oct. 16-18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tractor rides, petting zoos, hay rides, apple and pumpkin picking, craft vendors, more. 16105 Garden Valley Road, Woodstock, Ill., autumndrive.net.
Robin Hood’s Enchanted Woods
Oct. 24, 2-8 p.m. Trick-or-treating through the Victorian Village, crafts, games. Tour scenes and meet characters from Robin Hood. $6/members free. Midway Village Museum, Rockford, (815) 397-9112, midwayvillage.com.