After a long, frigid winter, it’s safe to say that Illinois residents are more than ready for sunshine and warmth. And as fun in the sun is but a few months away, there’s no better time to learn about the various events happening this summer in the Des Plaines area. When the kids are out of school and your family’s looking for fun, don’t forget to plan on the great community festivals and gatherings that offer food, drinks, art, music, and activities. Here are some great summer events in the northeastern Illinois area you should be sure to check out.

Taste of Des Plaines

Des Plaines, IL summer festival
Image via Flickr by Jim, the Photographer Licensed CC BY 2.0

The first spot on our list of the best summer events in Des Plaines is the Taste of Des Plaines outdoor festival. This is an annual festival that takes place in Des Plaines every year and is a city-sponsored event. It’s completely free to the public and features plenty of fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. The Taste of Des Plaines is first and foremost a food festival, which means you better show up hungry. There’ll be various treats to sample, which you can wash down with refreshing beer and other drinks also sold at the festival.

The Taste of Des Plaines festival will take place this year over Father’s Day weekend from Friday, June 17, to Saturday, June 18. What better way to show Dad some appreciation than taking him to a festival of food and drinks? Little ones can spend their energy on the various inflatables, carnival rides and games, face painting, activities, and even a rock climbing wall. Community members of all ages can enjoy vendor booths, two stages of live entertainment, and socializing with friends and neighbors. The festival is in Downtown Des Plaines by the Metra Station, so you can’t miss it.

Independence Day Fireworks

The next event on our list is Des Plaines’ annual Independence Day Fireworks, also sponsored by the city. Fireworks will be held on the Friday evening before Independence Day, which is July 1, at Oakton Community College. As always, the event relies on good weather and the timing of sunset. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, families, and friends to enjoy the fireworks show and kick off Independence Day weekend.

Independence Day Parade

To cap off the holiday weekend, don’t miss the Independence Day Parade, also sponsored by the City of Des Plaines. After two years of cancellations, locals are sure to come out in droves to take part in this annual Des Plaines tradition. This year’s parade theme is “Celebrating our Heroes and Community,” which emphasizes the importance of valuing our veterans and community frontline workers. The event offers fun activities for people of all ages, including games, concessions, musical performances, and, of course, the parade.

Members of the community can sign up to participate in the parade and can even create their own floats. This includes local businesses, organizations, athletic teams, and other local groups that contribute positively to the Des Plaines community. The parade will begin on Monday, July 4 at 10 a.m, so if you want to follow the convoy throughout its route, consider starting your day at the intersection of Center Street and Wicke Avenue for the send-off.

Taste of Park Ridge

Our next must-do summer event is the Taste of Park Ridge festival, located just a short 10-minute drive south of Des Plaines. The Taste of Park Ridge festival is similar to its Des Plaines counterpart, including plenty of entertainment and recreational activities that the entire family can enjoy. Local food vendors occupy booths where you can sample and purchase their delicious delicacies. We’re confident that even the pickiest eaters will find something that suits their palette, with selections including crepes, ice cream, Mexican and Indian cuisine, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, barbecue, and much more.

Beyond the wide variety of dining options at the festival, attendees can also enjoy plenty of impressive musical performances from talented local artists, including tribute performances for iconic artists like Led Zeppelin and Elton John. The Taste of Park Ridge festival is entirely community-driven and encourages local businesses to participate by staffing ticket stations or manning their own booths. This year, the event will take place from Thursday, July 14, to Saturday, July 16, in uptown Park Ridge.

Schaumburg Septemberfest

The final festival on our list of the best summer events is the Schaumburg Septemberfest, which is only a 20-minute drive west. This annual event is an action-packed outdoor festival weekend that includes three performance stages of entertainment. The 2022 lineup has yet to be announced, but past headliners have included Great White, 10,000 Maniacs, and Everclear. The festival also includes an arts and crafts show where you can see and purchase the work of talented local artists and craftspeople. Adults can indulge in the beer and wine area and enjoy samples from the area’s most beloved dining establishments.

The Schaumburg Septemberfest will take place over Labor Day weekend from Saturday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 5, making it the perfect final taste of summer. On Saturday, your little ones can get free pony rides, and Sunday evening concludes with an impressive fireworks display. Monday features a Labor Day Parade that celebrates the hardworking spirit of the American people. Admission to Schaumburg Septemberfest is free for the public. For safety and convenience, you can catch a free shuttle bus service to the event’s location at the Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center Grounds.

So, there you have it. That’s our list of essential summer events in the Des Plaines, Illinois area. We hope you can use this guide to help you and your loved ones plan a season of great outdoor activities. Did we leave out one of your favorite summertime traditions in Des Plaines? If you have any comments about our list or suggestions for other events, feel free to contact us today at American Auto Insurance and a member of our staff would be more than happy to assist you.


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