I had the privilege (yes I say privilege) of growing up in the Midwest. I say this because, no offence South, the midwest knows how to throw a great festival in the summer/fall time. In Fort Wayne (my home town) there is almost a festival every weekend in the summer. They have even added a few since I left. These are my personal favorite festivals around the Midwest and the US that I have personally attended or would like to attend!
Johnny Appleseed Festival in Ft. Wayne, Indiana
I will make an excuse to go home to attend this festival. People really get into this festival. It is a big fundraiser for schools and churches. Participants dress up in colonial clothing and cook giant kettles full of popcorn, ham and beans, vegetable soup and I have waited 45 minutes in a line for cast iron made cornbread with freshly churned butter. Of course there is every sort of apple item you could imagine. When you are full, you can take the kids to make candles or meet Abraham Lincoln. It really is a fantastic time for the whole family!
Taste of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Admission is free at this foodie paradise, however you can expect to shell out quite a few dollars on samples from Chicago’s finest restaurants. The festival typically takes place mid July. Enjoy amazing food and great music at this iconic festival.
Texas Renaissance Festival, Houston, TX
It is way too hot in the summer to do anything in Houston. I have had the pleasure of attending the Texas Renaissance Festival several times since I’ve lived here. It is good fun and a great place to people watch. It is family friendly, however, I would probably take the kids home before the sun goes down. Things can get a little wild. There are plenty of activities to partake in as well as (of course) great food! There are themed weekends, if you feel so inclined to dress up.
Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival, Albuquerque New Mexico
I have not attended this particular festival, but it’s on my list! This fabulous festival takes place this year Oct. 6 – 14. The Dawn Patrol balloon launch will leave you speechless. It is a choreographed balloon launch to music very early in the morning. It is a great sight to see! There are other incredible art displays to view while at the festival. It is strongly recommended to purchase tickets in advance.
State Fair of Texas, Dallas, TX
Another foodie paradise!! This fair has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel for its unusual food combinations and huge portions! I had the pleasure of attending last year and had a blast. You do have your standard fare of turkey legs and corn dogs but you also have to try the unusual bites such as fried chicken noodle soup (really good!) or Oreo Beer (not so good.) There are plenty of rides, a livestock show and music to fill your day.