Trying to figure out what to do during your long Labor Day weekend? Whether you’re staying in Springfield, or venturing out a bit further, here are a few events taking place worth checking out.
Springfield Oyster & Beer Festival
Inn at 835, Springfield, IL
Sept 2, 2017
It’s time for the 8th annual SOB festival held noon until 5pm. Enjoy live entertainment, food prepared by Inn at 835, as well as a variety of food trucks, and taste beers from over 30 Midwest and national brewers including special, limited-availability brews. Tickets available at Inn at 835, Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Friar Tuck, and HyVee. Tickets available here.
Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival
Sept 2 to 4, 2017
Celebrate the 45th anniversary of this Amish country event with crafts, street vendors, Arthur storefronts and restaurants. Get up and moving on the rock wall, go for a pony or buggy ride, join the tractor pull, or run in the 5K and 10Ks, rat race one mile fun run, 5K pat wood recreational walk, or the cheese chaser kids fun run. Alternatively sit back, relax, and watch the National Cheese Eating Championships, live entertainment, parades, and more. Visit the Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival website for more information.
Sept 2 to 4, 2017
The 4th annual Big River Steampunk Festival will feature events, contests, performances, and vendors in historic downtown Hannibal. Ever dream of being a part of a futuristic Victorian era world? Here’s your chance to explore your imagination, dress up, or enjoy the show as participants gather in their latest creations. Many of the events, contests, and performances are free and open to the public with tickets to premium events such as the masquerade and time travelers ball - available for purchase online here.
Great Perishing Balloon Derby
Sept 1 to 4, 2017
Recognized by the Balloon Federation of America (BFA) as the longest running continuously sanctioned event in the nation, the derby is celebrating its 41st year. Opening ceremonies commence on Saturday the 2nd during a weekend of celebration that includes sidewalk sales, craft vendors, garage sales, a flea market, food, drinks, balloon derby parade, and balloon flights galore. Gates open at 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Launch site admission is $2 per person or maximum of $6 per vehicle; Children four and under gain free entry.
Chicago Jazz Festival
Aug 31 to Sept 3, 2017
Located at the Chicago Culture Center, Millennium Park, the free admission jazz festival first started in 1979 and has been programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago with headliners including Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Festival Big Band, Dana Hall’s Spring, Donny McCaslin Group and Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio. Parking is available through Millennium Garages at Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage for $35.
Summer Sunset Festival
Lake in the Hills, IL
Sept 1 to 3, 2017
Play bingo, enter the bags tournament, enjoy the carnival, check out the car show, see the talent show, go wine tasting, or check out the crafts bizarre during this three-day event. The festival also includes musical performances, a kids’ corner, food, drinks and a 5K run or walk. Admission is free and carnival tickets can be purchased individually for $1 or in sheets of 44 for $40. More information, including mega pass details can be found here.