12 Top Midwest Events in May | Midwest Living
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12 Top Midwest Events in May

As the weather warms up, take advantage of events recognizing May flowers, local art, outdoor entertainment, kite-flying and more.

Illinois

HerrinFesta Italiana, Herrin May 22–29

Authentic food and wine, bocce tournaments, grape stomping and plenty of free entertainment round out this lively downtown festival (herrinfesta.com).

Old Capitol Art Fair, Springfield May 20–21

Held beside the Old State Capitol building, the annual fair draws up to 30,000 shoppers to meet artists and browse jewelry, pottery, watercolor paintings and other works (socaf.org).

Old Capitol Art Fair. Photo by Cassandra Pence Ostermeier.

Indiana

The Alternative Gift Fair, Indianapolis May 13

Just in time for Mother’s Day, find carvings, jewelry, clothing and more at Indy’s popular handmade gift fair at the historical, industrial Irving Theater (altgiftfair.com).

Abbey Road on the River, Jeffersonville May 25–29

Celebrate the Fab Four at a five-day festival on the Ohio River. Join more than 50 tribute bands, plus acts including The Grass Roots and The Family Stone, for “Beatlemania” (arotr.com).

Abbey Road on the River. Photo by Wade Harris.

Iowa

Orange City Tulip Festival, Orange City May 18–20

This hamlet comes alive in orange—and pink and yellow—as parades, music and dancers in Dutch outfits accent a backdrop of beautiful blooms. Enjoy Dutch delicacies during the festival, and be sure to check out the town’s dozen replica windmills (octulipfestival.com). 

Michigan

Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, Muskegon May 11–September 10

The Muskegon Museum of Art features a collection of stirring historical images of Native Americans (muskegonartmuseum.org).

Minnesota

Duluth Junk Hunt, Duluth May 19–20

At this market made for “junkers,” vintage enthusiasts encounter rusted treasures, upcycled pieces and lovingly worn decor from dozens of vendors at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center (duluthjunkhunt.com).

Missouri

Spring to Dance Festival, St. Louis May 26–28

More than 30 dance companies will display the full gamut of dance styles at this three-night event. A unique program will define each evening at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center (dancestlouis.org).

Nebraska

Helicopter Day, Ashland May 27

Learn all about helicopters for Army, law enforcement and other uses at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Get closeup views, hear talks from pilots and even hitch a $60 ride in a chopper (sacmuseum.org).

North Dakota

Sky Fest, Garrison May 27–29 

You can see some of the largest kites in the nation and the impressive Candy Drop—when sweets rain from kites in the sky—at Fort Stevenson State Park (skyfestnd.com).

Ohio

Oxford Wine Festival and Craft Beer, Oxford May 20

A charming college town sets the stage for the best in domestic and international wines, plus craft beers and  cooking demonstrations (oxfordwinefestival.com).

Wisconsin

Bayfield in Bloom, Bayfield May 12–June 11

Celebrate spring with a live broadcast of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Garden Talk, concerts, garden tours and a boat parade through the city harbor (bayfield.org). 

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