The Chicago metropolitan area -- or Chicagoland, as it is known locally -- is home to many fairs and festivals. Between the city and its suburbs, hardly a weekend passes without some type of celebration, from the popular Kane County Fair to the lesser-known Harvard Milk Days with its milk drinking contest and bed races. Though less tourist-oriented than some areas, Chicago’s south suburbs have their fair share of festivals.
Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Fest
About 34 minutes south of downtown Chicago is the suburb of Oak Forest, home of the Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Fest. This four-day festival takes place each Memorial Day weekend on the 50-acre grounds of Chicago Gaelic Park, an Irish heritage organization. The festival features six stages of Irish entertainment, including music, an Irish dance competition, Gaelic football and hurling matches, as well as carnival rides and imported Irish goods for sale. A portion of the festival’s proceeds are donated to a different charity each year.
Will County Fair
For more than 110 years, the Will County Fair has been a mainstay of life in northern Illinois. Held each August, the fair takes place about one hour south of the city in suburban Peotone. The fair usually features such activities as live music, a beer garden, bingo, carnival rides, a truck and tractor pull and a baby show. The 4-H livestock judging and auctions are a large draw and includes animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and pigeons. Judging is also held for several categories, including textile arts, cooking, vegetables, needlework and wood carving.
Fall Faire in Monee
Monee, Illinois, is a suburb located about 45 minutes south of downtown Chicago. Each year since 1995, the town has held the Fall Faire, featuring live music, fireworks, a parade, a car show, carnival rides, food vendors, competitions and a raffle. Held each September in Firemen’s Park, the fair also includes a 5K run, which moves through the neighborhoods of Monee. The fair is planned and organized by the town’s Parks and Recreation Commission and staffed by volunteers.