Can’t-Miss Summer Festivals in Bloomington-Normal
All summer long, Bloomington-Normal will be celebrating art, culture, history, community, and so much more through our variety of festivals! It’s a time when BN comes to life: streets are lined with vendors, local artists rock out on stages, and there’s always plenty to eat and drink. Here’s the lineup for summer fun in our area:
Cogs & Corsets
June 4 | Downtown Bloomington | Website
This is a family-friendly event for Steampunk fans and newbies alike! Whether you have a closet full of corsets and gadgets or just recently learned about Steampunk, come learn and be inspired.
Illinois Shakespeare Festival
July 1-August 7 | Ewing Cultural Center | Website
This year, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 44th anniversary. What started out as a production on a tennis court at Ewing Manor in 1978 has grown into a full-blown festival, with behind the scenes tours, green shows, food trucks and a gift shop. Performed at the gorgeous outdoor amphitheater on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival is a must-see for theatre lovers. Two plays have been chosen for this year’s festival: The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure.
Glorious Garden Festival
July 10-11 | David Davis Mansion / Various BN Gardens | Website
Attention, all gardeners and wanna-be gardeners! This year is the 25th Anniversary of the Glorious Garden Festival Garden Walk! There will be 11 private gardens included in this year’s Garden Walk. Shop the Garden Fair on the Mansion lawn featuring local artists, craftspeople and businesses selling garden-inspired art, plants, and treasures. Enjoy FREE tours of Sarah Davis’ historic garden given by Master Gardeners and a walk through the David Davis Mansion with experienced docents. Shop the Clover Lawn Gift Shop at the mansion for the best gifts, garden art and packets of seeds for many of the heirloom plants at Sarah’s Garden.
Medici Craft Beer & Jazz Festival
August 14 | Uptown Normal | Website
This year’s event will feature over 50 craft beers, with a heavy focus on Central Illinois Breweries and several limited releases. All of the beer will be served in a four ounce pour so attendees are able to sample different selections. For $5, attendees will receive a commemorative glass (while supplies last), live entertainment, and a program that includes a listing of all brews, with proceeds benefiting local organizations and Uptown Partners, an association of Uptown businesses. Families are welcome!
Sweet Corn Circus
August 28-29 | Uptown Normal | Website
Over 50,000 ears of fresh sweet corn, sidewalk sales, arts, crafts, and flea market vendors await you on the streets of Uptown! Come out and enjoy the fun, and food.