365ink Summer Festivals Calendar
70 festivals and special events span over a total of 186 days in the Tri-State area for a jam-packed summer!
Vintage Torque Fest
April 30–May 1 @ Dubuque County Fairgrounds
A celebration of original hot rod culture from the golden age (pre-1965) as well as pre-1975 motorcycles, choppers, and bobbers. Chain-racers, drag racing, and dirt track laps. Plus, the biggest live music festival in Dubuque featuring rockabilly, punk, and alt-country. Browse “kustom kulture” artwork, swap meet, a model-building contest for kids, and a vintage pinup contest. Supporting Helping Hannah’s Heart Foundation. VintageTorqueFest.com.
East Dubuque’s Cruisin’ Thursdays
Thurs: May 6–Sept 30 @ Sinsinawa Ave, East DBQ, IL
Classic cars fill the main drag in East Dubuque, featuring food, drinks, and live entertainment. 4–9 p.m.
Gary’s Graffiti Nights
Thurs: May 13–Sept 16 @ Plaza 20 Sonic Drive-In
Classic cars converge with food, drinks, and additional entertainment. 5–9:30 p.m.
Millwork Night Market
May 13, June 10, July 8, Aug 12, Sept 9, Oct 14 @ 7th–9th and Jackson St
The Millwork Night Market is an independent evening farmers’ market that features high-quality local food producers, artists, musicians, and brewers. It was founded with the mission to provide a unique nightlife and shopping experience and to enhance the Millwork District’s mantra of live, work, play. MillworkNightMarket.com.
Food Truck Fridays
May 14, June 11, July 9, Aug 20, Sept 10 @ Washington Park
Brought to you by Travel Dubuque, this event takes place at the heart of #whereiowastarted and will feature area food trucks with yummy street food and live music sponsored by 365ink Magazine. 5/14 Joie Wails Music, 6/11 Ralph Kluseman, 7/9 Andy Wilberding, 8/20 Maureen Kilgore, 9/10 John Moran. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. TravelDubuque.com.
7th Annual Cascade Wing and Brew Fest
May 15 @ Cascade Riverview Amphitheater (Cascade, IA)
The Cascade Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a day of tasty wings, cold brews, and live music. A punch card gets you eight wings. Grill masters are encouraged to compete for three cash prizes. 3–7 p.m. Facebook.com/cascadeareachamber.
Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence
May 20 @ Five Flags Arena
Two country music stars with over a dozen No. 1 Billboard hits between them and 12 million album sales visit Five Flags for the first time ever. “Stick and Stones,” “Can’t Break It to My Heart,” “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” “What’s It to You,” “Live Until I Die,” and “Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open”… you get the idea! FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Trucker’s Thursday Tiny Town Tavern Tours
May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug 19 @ McGrath Dubuque Harley-Davidson
Line up at 5 p.m. Kick-stands up at 6 p.m. Join McGrath Dubuque Harley-Davidson for a tour to a tiny town to tantalize your taste buds with tasty food and drinks! 5/20 Coe’s in Bernard, IA; 6/17 Yoder’s Rockville Bar in Potosi, WI; 7/15 Dirty Ernie’s in Farley, IA; 8/19 Bent Rim in Cascade, IA. More rides to come. Facebook.com/DubuqueHarley.
May 21 @ Five Flags Arena
A tribute to the ‘90s comes to the Five Flags Arena in a special setup when Boy Band Review and Pop ROCKS join forces to bring the party and the frosted tips to town. FiveFlagsCenter.com.
May 22 @ Five Flags Arena
Legendary ‘80s “LOVE” song generators return to the Five Flags Center for the first time in four decades with mega-hits like “Lost in Love,” “The One That You Love,” “‘All Out of Love,” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.” FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Arboretum Children’s Spring Party
May 23 @ Dubuque Arboretum
Children mingle with some of their favorite characters from books, movies, and TV with a birthday theme, sponsored by MidWestOne Bank. Enjoy edible birthday crafts, pose for photos with the characters, free balloons, and carnival games with prizes. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. $1. DubuqueArboretum.net.
Kickoff to Summer
May 28 @ Dubuque County Fairgrounds
Kickoff to Summer moves the long-running party to the Dubuque County Fairgrounds for 2021. Always on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, this year’s party lineup includes a roster of great local talent and touring artists. 5 p.m.–Midnight. Free.
Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts
May 29 @ Sandy Hook Tavern (Hazel Green, WI)
The Sandy Hook hosts a party Memorial Day Weekend featuring Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts with Dubuque’s own masters of funk, Boogie Monster. 6 p.m. $10.
Taste of Summer Series
June 3, July 1, Aug 5 @ National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
A “Taste of Dubuque” scaled-down… but three times! Enjoy mouth-watering food favorites from a handful of great food trucks and two live bands on the first Thursday of June, July, and August. Awards for best sweet and savory dish each time. Look for the full Taste of Dubuque festival to return in 2022. 6–9 p.m. Free. RiverMuseum.com.
Music in the Gardens
Sundays: June 6–Aug 29 @ Dubuque Arboretum
A free summer concert series offers a wide variety of family-friendly music in the beautiful surroundings of Dubuque’s Arboretum. Presented by the Dubuque Arboretum or The Dubuque Arts Council. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and your own picnic and refreshments! 6/6 The Sax Section, 6/13 Mama Tess & The Chain of Fools, 6/20 Hunter Fuerste and his American Vintage Orchestra, 6/27 Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, 7/4 Rita Harvey Trio—Heart Like A Wheel, 7/11 Luke Viertel—Carol King Tribute, 7/18 June’s Got the Cash, 7/25 The Moonlighters, 8/1 Kids From Wisconsin, 8/8 Fortunate Sons, 8/15 Ted Vigil—John Denver Tribute, 8/22 Denny Diamond—Neil Diamond Tribute, 8/29 Ralph Kluseman—Beatles Tribute. 6:30 p.m. DubuqueArboretum.net.
Music On The Mountain
June 12 @ Sundown Mountain
This first-ever all-day, family-friendly outdoor event will have live music on Turkey Ridge, a car and motorcycle show, Skate & Bike Jam from Olliewood Action Sports, beer, food trucks, activities for the kids, a scavenger hunt, chairlift rides up the hillside, and more! Fall edition on Oct. 16. Gates at 9:30 a.m., music at 10 a.m. SundownMTN.com.
June 12–13 @ Council Hill Station (Scales Mound, IL)
All rock and roll you can eat! 6/12 Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience, Not Dead Yet, The Resistors, Gladdy Ressler—Jamie Jones Family Band; 6/13 Neil Young Tribute w/ Dean Wellman, Ron Frank’s Lizard Brigade, Ressler—Jones, and more. Camping available. Noon. 815-858-5276.
Downtown Friday/Saturday Night
June 12, July 9 @ Downtown Dyersville, IA
Not to miss out on the fun, Dyersville hosts its own summer festival series. Besides live music, the event includes food, games for kids, and best of all, it’s free! 6:30–10 p.m.
Cascade Rockin’ on the River
June 12, July 10, Aug 14 @ Cascade Riverview Amphitheater (Cascade, IA)
Enjoy great music and food. Don’t forget to bring your cooler and lawn chairs! 6/12 Catfish Murphy w/ Adam Griffin,7/10 Not Quite Brothers w/ Morehouse Johnson, 8/14 The Matt McPherson Band w/ Mark Zalaznik. 6–11 p.m. Facebook.com/rockinontherivercascade.
June 15 @ Five Flags Arena
The frontman for both GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum juggernaut Slipknot and platinum rock force Stone Sour brings the voice that rallied millions of fans across the globe to Dubuque, this time as a solo artist. FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Jackson County Pro Rodeo
June 17–19 @ Bellevue Horsemen’s Club (Bellevue, IA)
Horse and bull riding, barrel racing, plus kids games, food, music, mechanical bull, and more! BellevueRodeo.com.
Great Galena Balloon Race
June 18–20 @ Eagle Ridge North Course (Galena, IL)
Don’t miss this spectacular three-day event. Over 20 hot air balloons, three races, two night glows, tethered rides, a car show, live music, and activities for the whole family. GreatGalenaBalloonRace.com.
Veterans Freedom Center Benefit & Ride
June 19 @ Shenanigan’s Pub
The biggest bike ride around returns to Dubuque leaving from and returning to Shenanigan’s Pub. Ride leaves at 11 a.m. and returns at 3:30 p.m. for festivities. Registration from 9:30 a.m. Live music, raffles, hog roast, silent auctions, and kids’ entertainment. You don’t have to ride. Join the fun for area vets! $10.
June 25 @ Five Flags Arena
Up-and-coming country music stars in concert in the Five Flags Arena. FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Elizabeth Freedom Fest
July 1 @ Terrapin Park (Elizabeth, IL)
Enjoy Army displays, live music, and tasty food and drinks while the kids get their faces painted and have endless fun in the bounce houses. U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute jump into Terrapin Park at 7 p.m. The night ends with fireworks. Free.
July 3 @ Five Flags Arena
The classic rock legends play an Independence Day show of nothing but hit after hit like “Renegade,” “Come Sail Away,” “Foolin’ Yourself,” “Lady,” and so many more. The early showtime allows you to take in Dubuque’s famous fireworks display at dusk. 6 p.m. FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Dubuque Jaycees/Radio Dubuque Fireworks on the River
July 3 @ A.Y. McDonald Park
It’s only the biggest and best fireworks display for hundreds of miles around! Located in the Hawthorne St. area by A.Y. McDonald Park, you’ll want to get there early for the best spots. Bring blankets, chairs, and coolers, and sit back for an amazing air show in the early evening followed by a stunning fireworks display set to music at about 9:45 p.m.
Shenandoah Pro Rodeo: Freedom Reins
July 3–4 @ Shenandoah Riding Center (Galena, IL)
Fans will see the world’s best bucking horses and bulls and double tough cowboys with nerves of steel when the rodeo rolls into town. Featuring bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, bull riding, women’s barrel racing, and “Mutton Bustin.” 6–9 p.m. $15/$10.
Bellevue Heritage Days
July 3–4 @ Downtown Bellevue, IA
Bellevue celebrates the Independence Day holiday with Heritage Days, two days of family-friendly activities including carnival rides, a Queen contest, dance, parade, petting zoo, a show by Ski Bellevue, vintage tractor, car and motorcycle displays, and fireworks. Live music both nights. Facebook.com/BellevueHeritageDays.
Ham House 4th of July Celebration
July 4 @ Mathias Ham House
The Fourth of July Celebration, sponsored by the Dubuque County Historical Society, celebrates Independence Day in good ol’ fashioned style at the historic Ham House at the corner of Shiras and Lincoln Ave., just below Eagle Point Park. The afternoon event features music, food, tours of the mansion, and historic kids’ games. RiverMuseum.com.
Field of Dreams First Responders Appreciation Day
July 10 @ Field of Dreams Movie Site (Dyersville, IA)
A special performance by the legendary Ghost Players and 7-inning baseball games featuring teams from the Chicago Police, Chicago Fire, Dallas Fire, and New York Police. Then enjoy country music star Jake Dodds. Finish with Field of Dreams screened in the outfield under the lights. $10 Adults, $5 kids. Proceeds support first responders. FODMovieSite.com.
Asbury Music in the Park
July 10 @ Asbury Park (Asbury, IA)
The Asbury Area Civic and Recreation Foundation annually hosts Music in the Park. This is a free family event with a variety of music, entertainment, food, children’s games, inflatables, and family activities followed by live music at 6 p.m. Shuttle service will be available throughout the City of Asbury as well as several outlying areas. Noon–11 p.m. Free.
Delaware County Fair
July 12–18 @ Delaware County Fairgrounds (Manchester, IA)
This traditional county fair has all of the trimmings you expect from great food to farm animals, carnival rides, tractor pulls, and more. Grandstand concerts: 7/15 Jon Pardi, 7/16 ZZ Top. DelawareCoFair.com.
Music on Main
July 16 @ Town Clock Plaza
What was long called Dubuque… and All that Jazz! is now Music on Main with some revamping and running two dates in 2021. Enjoy live music under the Town Clock with food and cold beverages available. Entertainers TBA. DowntownDubuque.org.
Elizabeth’s 100th Community Fair
July 16–18 @ Elizabeth, IL
Experience small-town life at its best! Great food, vendors, music, beer tent, and more. Dairy and sheep show, dairy goat show, inflatable rides, Fantasy Truck Pullers, Elizabeth’s Best BBQ, local pro wrestling enthusiasts, parade, games, contests, and kids activities. ElizabethCommunityFair.com.
Galena Brew Fest
July 17 @ Chestnut Mountain and Resort (Galena, IL)
Savor local and regionally crafted brews, wine, and spirits atop the beautiful mountain at Chestnut Mountain Resort, overlooking the Mississippi River. 1–4 p.m. galenaarc.org/galena-brew-fest.
Great Jones County Fair
July 21–25 @ Great Jones County Fair (Monticello, IA)
Famous for live music, this year is no different. 7/22 Dan & Shay w/ Gavin DeGraw, 7/23 Zac Brown Band, 7/24 Kane Brown, 7/25 For King & Country. GreatJonesCountyFair.com.
Field of Dreams Ghost Saturday Shows
July 24, Aug 21 @ Field of Dreams Movie Site (Dyersville, IA)
Interactive comedy routine by the famous Ghost Players. Concessions and autographs with the Ghost Players available. Just bring your chair and sunscreen! Sunday at 1 p.m. FODMovieSite.com.
Dubuque County Fair
July 27–Aug 1 @ Dubuque County Fairgrounds
The 68th Annual Dubuque County Fair is a celebration for all of Dubuque County, with carnival rides, concerts, stock car races, a tractor pull, a demolition derby, animals, displays, loads of food, and fun for everyone. 7/29 Chris Lane, 7/30 Queensryche and Skid Row. DBQFair.com.
Colts Music on the March
Aug 1 @ Senior High School Dalzell Field
The Colts’ show has been a highlight on Dubuque’s summer calendar since 1963. Eight groups from Dubuque; Madison, WI; Rockford, IL; Anoka, MN; LaCrosse, WI; and seven-time DCI World Champions, The Cavaliers from Rosemont, IL, are scheduled to compete in this Drum Corps International summer tour event. Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $18–$43. Colts.org.
Aug 5 @ Five Flags Arena
Anaheim rockers Buckcherry return to the Tri-States for a wild shot at Five Flags Arena with hits like “Crazy Bi*ch” and “Lit Up.” FiveFlagsCenter.com.
Epworth Town & Country Days
Aug 6–7 @ Epworth, IA
Two days of celebrating the community with live music, foot races, a parade, kid’s amusements, an auction, a BBQ competition, a street dance, and more. Facebook.com/TNCdays.
DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival
Aug 7–8 @ Washington Park
The longest-running fine arts festival in Iowa, DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival celebrates its 43rd year in 2021 moving from May to August. The free all arts festival, brought to you by the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society, features an art fair, interactive art for all ages, and live music all in Washington Park. Plus a reading and book release by Writers Guild and much more. DubuqueFest.org.
MLB at Field of Dreams: Yankees vs. White Sox
Aug 12 @ Field of Dreams Movie Site (Dyersville, IA)
The Chicago White Sox are right at home at the Field of Dreams hosting the New York Yankees in the legendary game postponed from a year ago. Face it, you likely won’t be one of the 8,000 in attendance at the special stadium built to host the game, but it’s still going to be cool for the Tri-States. FODMovieSite.com.
Iowa State Fair
Aug 12–22 @ Des Moines, IA
Ten days of attractions, rides, great food, and butter cows; plus grandstand concerts by Casting Crowns, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Boyz II Men, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, The Beach Boys, Styx, Chris Stapleton, Five Finger Death Punch, Keith Urban, and the Doobie Brothers. IowaStateFair.org.
DuMA Family Art Carnival
Aug 14 @ Dubuque Museum of Art
Step right up for a creative community event for all ages! Outdoor art activities, gallery tours, and food for purchase. Noon–4 p.m. Free.
East Dubuque Wingfest and Fireworks
Aug 14 @ Sinsinawa Ave, East DBQ, IL
Sponsored by the East Dubuque Business & Tourism right on Sinsinawa Ave., Wingfest features delicious chicken wings in nearly every variety imaginable, plus cold beer, live music including 365’s own Unicorn Fist, kids games, and more. This year the community fireworks display moves to join Wingfest for one huge night of celebrating. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Corkless in Galena Wine Festival
Aug 14 @ Depot Park (Galena, IL)
The Northern Illinois Wine Growers (NIWG) hosts Corkless In Galena Wine Festival in Depot Park, moving from June to August. A celebration of area winemaking, especially those made with locally-grown American hybrid grapes, Corkless raises funds for NIWG Research Vineyard and nonprofits like the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation. Noon–6 p.m. CorklessGalena.com.
Market House Square Arts Festival
Aug 14–15 @ Old Market House (Galena, IL)
Take a piece of Galena Country with you! Local and regional artists showcase their paintings, woodwork, jewelry, pottery, baskets, and more. Local musicians will perform. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free.
Aug 15 @ Q Casino Back Waters Stage
Q Casino Back Waters Stage Summer Concert Series Presented by MidWestOne Bank brings country music duo Brothers Osbourne to the friendly confines of the Q Casino’s outdoor stage with hits like “Stay a Little Longer,” “21 Summer,” “It Ain’t My Fault,” and “I Don’t Remember Me.” More concerts to be announced. QCasinoAndHotel.com.
Grant County Fair
Aug 18–22 @ Grant County Fairgrounds (Lancaster, WI)
Grant County Fair featuring 4-H, FFA and youth projects, carnival rides, demolition derby, and other entertainment. GrantCountyFairWI.org.
Cascade Hometown Days: 80’s Days
Aug 20–22 @ Downtown Cascade, IA
Cascade comes together and shows their community spirit and pride with three days of music, food, games, and fun. Expect a parade, vendor fair, car show, water ball fights, beanbag tourneys, a church breakfast, and tons of live music and food! Facebook.com/CascadeHometownDays.
Fall Into Stockton
Aug 21 @ Downtown Stockton, IL
Get ready for a full day of family fun! Kick off the celebration 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. with a parade plus live music, activities for the kids, and the NWIL BBQ fest 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Games, arts, and crafts for adults and kids will be available throughout the day in addition to a petting zoo, kiddy tractor pull, car show, and food vendors with beer and wine tent.
16th Annual Irish Hooley
Aug 28 @ Alliant Amphitheater
The Irish Hooley is back and stuffing all the fun back into one day this year. The live traditional Irish music lineup has not yet been announced. Plus the McNulty School’s Irish Dancers, Dubuque Fire Pipe & Drums, and more! Noon–10 p.m. IrishHooley.org.
Midwest Garlic Fest
Aug 28 @ Terrapin Park (Elizabeth, IL)
Organized by Galena Garlic Company, local vendors selling naturally-grown garlic, garlic-related food items, and local garlic-themed dishes, beer, and wine. There will be live entertainment and children’s activities throughout the day! 9 a.m.–6 p.m. MidwestGarlicFest.com.
13th Annual Potosi Brewfest
Aug 28 @ Holiday Gardens (Potosi, WI)
Potosi Brewery hosts the 13th annual Potosi Brewfest at the Holiday Gardens Event Center in Potosi, WI. Admission to the festival includes an opportunity to sample the work of nearly 60 vendors featuring craft brewers, homebrewers, wineries, meats, and Wisconsin cheeses. Plus live music, a tour of the National Brewery Museum, and a commemorative tasting glass. PotosiBrewery.com.
Grant’s Home Front Reenactment & Encampment
Aug 28–29 @ Depot Park (Galena, IL)
Experience life in the 1860s through a living history encampment and Civil War battle. Enjoy the sanitary fair (a Civil War ladies bazaar supporting our troops) with beautiful handmade items for sale. Battles each day: Saturday at 11:30 a.m., Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Event 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Summer’s Last Blast
Sept 3–4 @ Q Casino Back Waters Stage
Great live music spread across two (and possibly three!) big days at the Q Casino Back Waters Stage. 9/3 Not Quite Brothers and Menace; 9/4 Spazmatics, Johnny Trash, and RatchetJaw. Friday and Saturday are traditionally free. These are all-ages outdoor events.
Blueberry Jam Music Festival
Sept 6 @ Sandy Hook Tavern (Hazel Green, WI)
The annual Sandy Hook party moves from Memorial to Labor Day featuring live music from the Brews Brothers and possibly another awesome special guest yet to be confirmed. This noteworthy event honors the late Garrett Wade Stephens and benefits the Garrett Wade Stephens Memorial Fund and other local charities.
74th Annual Platteville Dairy Days
Sept 10–12 @ Platteville Legion Park (Platteville, WI)
The family-themed event has something for everyone to enjoy and great food, too. Enjoy amusement rides, live music, parade, flea market, cattle show, talent show, tractor pulls, and more. PlattevilleDairyDays.com.
Sept 11 @ Millwork District
The 365ink Impact Award-winning Millwork District block party features local craft and domestic beers, live music, food, and retail vendors. Plus enjoy great activities like strongman events, adults games, and seriously tons of kids games and activities, as well as huge BMX/skate demonstrations. Presented by the Dubuque Jaycees featuring Olliewood Action Sports.
West Dubuque Wingfest
Sept 11 @ Farley Park (Farley, IA)
Competitors cooking up about 10,000 wings with live entertainment, volleyball, baggo, human foosball, and a wing eating contest sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. Plus, kids entertainment, a dunk tank, and more! Sponsored by Western Dubuque Fine Arts Booster Club. 11 a.m.
Sept 11 @ Bellevue, IA Riverwalk
An artistic celebration of many artists, food, family art activities at the new gallery located at the remodeled Button Factory, and the annual appearance of the Fishtival mermaid. Begins with the Lions .5K—yes, that’s 1/2 kilometer—walk around Cole Park followed by an all-town garage sale. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Facebook.com/BellevueArtsCouncil.
Dubuque Dragon Boat Festival
Sept 11–12 @ Miller Riverview Park
Drawing teams from multiple states and Ontario, Canada, 40-foot-long boats shaped like dragons and holding 21 people of all ages race on the mighty Mississippi. Shuttle service is provided. Tentative scheduling. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. DubuqueDragonBoat.org.
Sept 18 @ Q Casino Back Waters Stage
Dubuque’s largest Oktoberfest celebrating our German heritage. Enjoy a day full of traditional German food, drinks, music, and dance. Plus wiener dog races and the Tri-States Championship Bier Stein holding contest. Proceeds benefit the campers at Camp Albrecht Acres. DBQoktoberfest.org.
Mac & Cheese Fest
Sept 23 @ TBA
Foodies and craft beer lovers unite to taste more than 20 varieties of mac & cheese paired with over 50 craft beers. Live music. Supporting U of I Children’s Hospital and the Rauen Family Foundation. VIP at 5–6 p.m., GA at 6–8 p.m. MacAndCheeseFestDBQ.com.
Tri-States’ Largest Chili Cook-Off
Oct 2 @ Cable Car Square
Historic Cable Car Square transforms into an aromatic chili tasting and competition. Enjoy live music, cold beer, kids’ games, food, and entertainment at this family-friendly event. Site opens at 10 a.m., $5 tasting spoons at 1 p.m.
Oct 2 @ Depot Park (Galena, IL)
Non-stop live music, wiener dog races, polka dancing and lessons, German-style food and beverage, bounce house and games for the kids, and more at Depot Park in Galena, IL. Noon–10 p.m. $5 Adults and teens, kids are free. galenalions.org/oktoberfest.