Here are some of the more interesting events, deals, websites and other travel tidbits that have come across our desk recently:
•A diverse range of music from around the planet is some of what’s in store at the 25th annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, Ind., Sept. 27-30. Artists at 18 downtown venues will perform music from countries such as Somalia, Mali, France, China, and Ireland. www.lotusfest.org
•Getting from Chicago to Manistee, Mich., is a little easier now with new jet service from Midway Airport in Chicago to Manistee County Blacker Airport. North Country Sky is operating jet service on a 30-seat plane for the 45-minute flight five days a week. Among the recreational attractions in the county are golf, a casino, Huron-Manistee National Forest, mountain biking and fishing. www.northcountrysky.com
•More than 80,000 people are expected in downtown Springfield on Sept. 21-23 for the 17th Annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. There’ll be a classic car show with more than 1,000 vehicles, live music, car judging, food and drink and various contests. https://tinyurl.com/y9sdtryx
•The 250-acre tallgrass prairie at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Mo., is the backdrop for Prairie Day on Sept. 22. Naturalists will lead hikes through the prairie, and there will be demonstrations in blacksmithing, bow and arrow making, basket weaving and quilting. Representatives will be on hand from the Endangered Wolf Center, Greater St. Louis Archaeology Society and the Missouri Prairie Foundation to answer questions and share information. https://tinyurl.com/ybg7yzrr
•The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum hosts a Memorabilia Meet on Sept. 22 for auto racing memorabilia collectors. Autographed photos, programs, patches and posters will be on sale. https://tinyurl.com/yak2kmcl
•Visit an alpaca farm Sept. 29-30 during 2018 National Alpaca Farm Days. There are several alpaca farms throughout the Midwest where visitors can tour the farms and see these llama-like animals up close, watch demonstrations of fiber artists spinning and weaving the alpaca fleece and buy products made from the fleece. At https://tinyurl.com/ycyjtq8c you can find a map to search alpaca farms across the country.
•Every September, Fairmount, Ind., celebrates native son James Dean with the Remembering James Dean Festival. This year’s edition will be Sept. 28-30 and includes free showings of some of the late actor’s films, a classic car show, parade, ’50s entertainment, a Dean lookalike contest and more. https://tinyurl.com/y73r2lfw
•Lake Geneva, Wis., celebrates Oktoberfest on Oct. 6-7 with a beer tent, naturlich, plus live entertainment, kids’ activities such as pony rides, a craft fair and pumpkin giveaway. https://tinyurl.com/y7dmxkpk
•Maker Faire Milwaukee will feature more than 150 “makers” showing off their hobbies and projects. Among the makers will be Wisconsin Robotics, whose members design and make a variety of robots; fiber artist Erin Whalen, who will demonstrate how to sculpt with wool, and the Wisconsin Lego Users Group, an organization of adults who will be showing their creations. The Maker Faire is Sept. 28-30 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. www.milwaukee.makerfaire.com
•The Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Platters will perform Oct. 25 at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich. The three groups have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tickets are available online. https://tinyurl.com/ycf8vgcd
•The 51st annual tour of historic homes in Galena, Ill., will be held Sept. 29-30. Private homes on this year’s tour are the Steamboat House, Bedford House, Henry W. Miller House, Kilburg House and the German M.E. Parsonage. A tour ticket also means free admission to the Barrows Mansion that houses the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum. https://tinyurl.com/y852xmw6
•Gatewaytothedriftless.com is a new interactive online guide to recreational activities in northwestern Dane County, Wis.
Deals and websites listed here have been checked for availability as of press time. Listings are not endorsements. Send tips at least a month in advance to ChicagoTribTravel@gmail.com.
Phil Marty is a freelancer.