Midwest travel events: From the Caribbean to the circus

Festa Italiana returns to Milwaukee July 17-19.
Festa Italiana returns to Milwaukee July 17-19.
Chicago Tribune


Aug. 8: DeKalb County Barn Tour. This is a self-drive tour of historic barns in the county. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the various barns listed on the website. 815-756-7904, Miles from Chicago: 65

Aug. 14-15: Ya Maka My Weekend, Rock Island. Downtown will be rocking with Caribbean music, food and culture in this 24th annual event. 309-788-6311, Miles from Chicago: 180



July 23-25: Berne Swiss Days. The town celebrates its Swiss heritage with Swiss music, polka dancing, food, Heritage Village activities, a parade and much more. 260-589-8080, Miles from Chicago: 195

Aug. 1: Mass Ave. Criterium, Indianapolis. More than 400 cyclists tackle a challenging triangular course through the Mass Ave. district. After the ride, there will be bike activities throughout the day on Massachusetts Avenue, a beer garden and live entertainment. Miles from Chicago: 180


July 25: Iowa Shrine Bowl, Cedar Falls. This all-star game, which started in 1973, features select high-school football players representing the north and south parts of the state. Over the years, the game has raised more than $2.2 million for Shriners Hospitals for Children. 515-276-3319, Miles from Chicago: 310


July 18: SummerFest Music & Microbrews, St. Joseph. Silver Beach is the place to be to sample nearly 70 beers from 18 craft breweries while enjoying live music and food. 269-982-4030, Miles from Chicago: 95

July 23-26: Ugotta Regatta, Harbor Springs. This is the 55th year for this sailboat race on Little Traverse Bay. The more than 80 boats competing can be watched from Petoskey State Park or Petoskey’s Sunset Park. 231-526-7906, Miles from Chicago: 370

July 24-Aug. 2: Baroque on Beaver, Beaver Island. Classical music is the focus of this series, though there will also be jazz performances this year. On July 26 and Aug. 2, there will be packages available that include ferry service from Charlevoix to Beaver Island and concert tickets. 888-511-5189, Miles from Chicago: 355



July 17-19: Jurassic Quest, Mansfield. This traveling attraction features more than 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, as well as activities for the kids such as fossil digs, face painting, dino crafts and more. Info on the exhibit is at, and hotel and visitor information for Mansfield is at 800-642-8282, Miles from Chicago: 315


July 17-19: World Championship Snowmobile Watercross, Grantsburg. Believe it or not, for 39 years they’ve been racing snowmobiles across Memory Lake here each summer. In the evening there are also fireworks and street dancing. 715-463-4269, Miles from Chicago: 430


July 17-19: Festa Italiana, Milwaukee. Enjoy Italian entertainment, food, culture and fun at Henry W. Maier Festival Park. Among the entertainment is the return from Italy of the Flag Throwers of the Florentine. 414-223-2808, Miles from Chicago: 90

July 25: Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration, Baraboo. Circus wagons, bands, live animals and floats will help Baraboo celebrate its circus heritage. Also: a classic car show, and antique and artisan fair. 608-356-8333, Miles from Chicago: 190

Phil Marty is a freelance reporter.