Enjoy Illinois in August

Photo from the Southern Illinoisan

The return of the school year is just around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to get out and explore our great state! Governor Pritzker and DCEO announced last week the second round of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program, which will provide $15 million in funding to support the Illinois tourism community. The investment is now open for applications and of the $15 million in funding, $5 million will be reserved for festivals. $10 million will support attractions, museums, live performance venues, and other tourism-related projects. Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply!

This summer, you can dive deep in the Amazon Prime series following the 1992 movie A League of Their Own about the Rockford Peaches. To commemorate the series’ release, Go Rockford launched a website dedicated to the team’s rich history and showing travelers how to best experience the exciting sites making up the unique Peaches Fan Trail.

You can also celebrate National Black Business Month by visiting creative artisans reflecting the incredible diversity of our state’s residents and visitors. Find Black-owned businesses across Illinois and stop by one this summer!

As one of Springfield’s most celebrated annual events, the Illinois State Fair is home to everything from world-renowned artists and livestock shows to carnivals and contests. The State Fair in Springfield is August 11th to  21st. If you’re interested in traveling further downstate or have family or friends in Southern Illinois, the Du Quoin State Fair is taking place August 26th to September 5th.

Additional Places to Visit in Illinois this August:

  • Honor Civil Rights pioneer and visit the Rev Dr. C. T. Vivian Mural in Macomb. For additional spots to visit while you’re in town, visit here.
  • Head to the Cobden Peach Festival to enjoy a delicious slice of peach cobbler while celebrating the local harvest and the crowning of “Miss Peach Queen.”
  • Celebrate the DeKalb County Corn Fest by joining thousands of attendees for music, carnivals, car shows, crafts, and more.
  • Nearly 1,000 storytellers will relive history at the Galesburg Heritage Days Festivalone of the best Civil War reenactments you’ll ever see.
  • Soar into summer with the Balloons Over 66 Weekend, which features over 40 balloons and lively entertainment.
  • Peoria Irish Fest brings Ireland to you! Immerse yourself in the culture, music, and food of the Emerald Isle without leaving Illinois.
  • The Centralia Balloon Fest is back! Enjoy food, drinks, live entertainment and—above all else—majestic hot air balloons.
  • The Mahomet Music Festival has carnival rides and live music, and you’ll have to stay for the bags (or cornhole!) tournament and amazing food.
  • Closer to home, one of Chicagoland’s best automobile events, the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, is coming to the Mother Road.

Support Local this Summer:

  • Close to Home: Take a tour and taste brilliantly handcrafted distilled spirits from Whiskey Acres in DeKalb.
  • Land of Lincoln: Tap into Route 66 history and experience Funks Grove Maple Sirup, a unique family business in Shirley that’s been producing pure maple syrup since 1824.
  • Great Rivers Country: With gorgeous views and a wide array of award-winning wines, a trip to Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery in Hanover is a must for vino enthusiasts.
  • Trails to Adventure: Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass is an ideal late-summer destination for the whole family—especially if you enjoy farm-fresh peaches, nectarines, jams, and jellies.