Summer is way-too short in the Midwest so we do our best to soak up all the fun and celebrations it has to offer: swimming, boating, picnics, barbecues, gardening, lawn games, golf, and baseball.

We also gravitate to the many festivals and parades. Swedish Days is one of the largest festivals and parades, if not the largest, in Illinois. This year’s Swedish Day parade in 90 degree weather did not disappoint as it left us sweaty, flushed, mustard-stained and filled to the brim with summer fun. More than 60,000 people lined the streets to watch the marching bands, floats, the Shriners bands and antics, horses, and classic cars.

The six-day annual event runs mid-June and includes carnival rides, craft booths, food and merchandise vendors, concerts, Swedish-focused attractions, and free trolley rides all set in quaint, charming shopping and restaurant district in Geneva, Illinois.


Our to-do list will always be long, so we might as well add the pleasures of summer to that list before the season passes us by. Following are a few Midwest festivals you might want to check out:

June 26 – 30, July 2 – 7: Milwaukee Summerfest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, www.summerfest.com

July 3 – 7,Naperville Ribfest, Naperville, IL,  http://www.ribfest.net/event-info

July 14 – 19, Festival of the Lakes, Hammond, Indiana, www.festivalofthelakes.com

July 17 – 20, Festival of the Lakes, Wolf Lake Park, Indiana, www.festivalofthelakes.com

July 19 – 21, Jazz & Rib Fest, Columbus, Ohio, www.hotribscooljazz.org

July 26 – 28, Pierogi Fest, Whiting, Indiana, www.pierogifest.net

August 9 – 11, Bayfront Blues Festival, Duluth, Minnesota, www.bayfrontblues.com

August 14 – 18, Lake Geneva Venetian Festival, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, www.lakegenevajaycees.org

August 22 – 25, Swiss Wine Festival, Vevay, Indiana, www.swisswinefestival.org

August 23 – 25, German-American Festival, Oregon, Ohio, www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm

August 29 – September 1, Chicago Jazz Festival, www.chicagojazzfestival.us

©2013, Mary K. Doyle