Summer festivals bring food, music, arts to tri-state area


People gather to listen to music during Taste of Summer held at the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Visitors sample beers in one of the tents during Brewfest in Potosi, Wis. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Sam Goerdt, brewer at Galena Brewing Co., gives out beer samples to attendees during Galena Brew Fest at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Ill., in 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


A crowd gathers on Sinsinawa Avenue during WingFest in East Dubuque, Ill. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Josh Hendricks, of Dimensional Brewing Company, pours a sample for Dennis Colclasure, of the Quad Cities, during Key City Beer Fest in Dubuque in 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


People pack the Dubuque Star Brewery, Alliant Amphitheater in the Port of Dubuque for the annual Dubuque Irish Hooley in 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


People gather during Galena (Ill.) Brew Fest at Chestnut Mountain Resort. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


People take tours of the herb garden during the Herb Society of DubuqueÕs Herbfest at the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in 2021. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


People gather to listen to music during Taste of Summer held at the Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in 2021. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Artist Brian Graham, of Dubuque, exhibits some of his wooden creations at DBQFest. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Briana Cushman, of Bankston, Iowa, discusses herbs at a free herb station at the Herb Society of Dubuque’s Herbfest at the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


People dance during the annual Irish Hooley at the Dubuque Star Brewery, Alliant Amphitheater in the Port of Dubuque. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Ric Walsh (left) and Jeff Holder, with Galena Canning Co., grill a batch of wings during WingFest in East Dubuque, Ill., in 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


Brodee Graham, of Onalaska, Wis., creates artwork at DBQFest while his 2-year-old sister Quinnlee looks on. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file


A vendor pours a sample during Key City Beer & Seltzer Festival in Dubuque. PHOTO CREDIT: TH file

From ice-cold brews to flaming hot wings — with a sprinkling of live music and family activities in between — the tri-state area will host a wide array of festivals this summer.

Throughout June, July and August, community calendars are packed with events where local residents can enjoy live entertainment, food and beverage vendors and more.

Here are just a few of the upcoming festivals in the tri-states:

Taste of Summer

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, June 6, June 27 and Aug. 1.

Where: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, 350 E. Third St., Dubuque.

Tickets: $5 suggested donation, which will support the museum’s conservation efforts.

Details: The after-hours event features live music, foot trucks and a beer/seltzer stand. Food vendors will compete for the prize of Best Vendor at each of the three events.

More information: Details on food vendors and performers can be found in the “Events” tab at rivermuseum.org.

Music on Main Street

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, June 14, July 12 and Aug. 16.

Where: Town Clock Plaza on Main Street, Dubuque.

Tickets: Free.

Details: The event, formerly known as “Dubuque … And All That Jazz!” features live music, food trucks, beverage tents, bounce houses and more. The June 14 event will feature singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen as the headline artist. Alt-country artist Joelton Mayfield will perform July 12, and Al Holliday and the Eastside Rhythm Band will headline the Aug. 16 concert.

More information: “Dubuque Main Street” on Facebook, or call Dubuque Main Street at 563-588-4400.

HerbFest

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

Where: Herb Area of the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 3800 Arboretum Drive, Dubuque.

Details: The Herb Society of Dubuque’s annual event will include a silent auction, herb garden tours, grab-and-go bags of herbal treats, sample plants and a sale of handcrafted items. This year’s “herb of the year” is yarrow.

More information: dubuquearboretum.net/herbfest or email DBQHerbSociety@gmail.com.

Galena (Ill.) Brew Fest

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20.

Where: Chestnut Mountain Resort, 8700 W. Chestnut Mountain Road.

Tickets: $35 if purchased before July 1, and $40 if purchased after July 1, including a wristband, glass and 30 sampling tickets. Designated driver tickets also are available for $5.

Details: The festival, which benefits Galena Art & Recreation Center, will feature local and regional beer, wine and spirits, along with activities like a beer stein holding contest and music.

More information: galenaarc.org/

galena-brew-fest

Key City Beer & Seltzer Festival

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3.

Where: Town Clock Plaza/700 block of North Main Street, Dubuque.

Tickets: $35 general admission tickets, which include unlimited tastings and a souvenir glass, and $65 VIP tickets, which include general admission-level perks along with one hour early entry, a T-shirt, reusable bag, $15 in food tickets and access to a special seating area. $10 designated driver tickets also are available and include two nonalcoholic drinks.

Details: Dubuque Main Street launched the inaugural Key City Beer Festival last year to celebrate craft beers, promote regional breweries and businesses and raise funds for downtown development. Officials have made some updates to the event this summer, including adding seltzers, more beer choices, more food vendors and additional shade structures.

More information: tinyurl.com/ KeyCityBeer or call Dubuque Main Street at 563-588-4400.

East Dubuque (Ill.) Wingfest XIX

When: Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

Where: Sinsinawa Avenue.

Tickets: $10 per person for the wing tasting portion of the event, other activities are free.

Details: The 19th annual festival, hosted by East Dubuque Greater Events Foundation, includes a wing tasting beginning at 2 p.m., along with food vendors, free inflatables, live music and a fireworks display.

More information: “East Dubuque Wingfest” on Facebook.

DBQfest (DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival)

When: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11.

Where: Washington Square, 700 Locust St., Dubuque.

Tickets: Free, though donations can be made on the DBQfest website.

Details: The annual event, known as Iowa’s oldest arts festival, will include a two-day art fair featuring artists and makers, live music, food vendors, activities and community booths. The application deadliness for artists and musicians have passed, but those interested in being a food vendor have until July 1 to apply.

More information: dbqfest.com.

Irish Hooley

When: Saturday, Aug. 24.

Where: Alliant Amphitheater, 600 Star Brewery Drive, Dubuque.

Tickets: $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event, with tickets available beginning June 1 at Shamrock Imports (391 Bluff St., Dubuque), Happy’s Place (2323 Rockdale Road, Dubuque), Family Beer & Liquor (20200 U.S. 20 W., East Dubuque, Ill.) and Premier Bank locations.

Details: The annual event celebrating Irish culture includes music, dancing and food. This year’s headline act will be The High Kings, with other featured acts including Rory Makem, Michael Darcy and the Atlantic Tramps, Ballyheigue, The Lads of Dubuque, McNulty Irish Dancers, Dubuque Fire Pipes and Drums and Ian Gould.

More information: irishhooley.org.

Potosi (Wis.) Brewfest

When: 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.

Where: Holiday Gardens Event Center, 101 Brewery Hollow Road.

Tickets: General admission tickets are $39 if purchased before Aug. 1 and $49 starting Aug. 1. VIP tickets, which allow purchasers to attend the event starting at noon, are $65, and designated driver tickets are $15.

Details: The 16th annual event, which benefits the Potosi Foundation, will feature about 60 vendors from craft breweries, distilleries and wineries, as well as specialty meat and cheese sellers. Activities like a beer stein holding contest also will be held, along with games, live music and food.

More information: potosibrewery.com/news-events/potosi-brewfest.

Elizabeth Kelsey writes for the Telegraph Herald.

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