If you are a fan of arts and crafts, folk music, fine art, spoken word or international affairs, there are plenty of festivals that right in your wheelhouse this Labor Day weekend.
Aurora has its Alley Art Festival, and there’s Yorkville’s Hometown Days, the Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Fest, Frankfort Fall Fest and Elgin International Fest.
It’s a good time to live in the suburbs.
Frankfort Fall Festival
♦ Aug. 30-Sept. 2
♦ Downtown Frankfort
♦ (815) 469-3356
Each year over Labor Day weekend, more than 300,000 visitors flock to the Frankfort Fall Festival.
With more than 300 participating artisans (from 30 different states), and several entertainment and food options, the festival has continuously been ranked in the top 15 Best Fests in the United States by Sunshine Magazine. This year’s theme is Fall “Fright” Festival.
Highlights include an entertainment tent with dance area, a food court, craft show, parade and more.
The main stage entertainment includes Five Guys Named Moe Aug. 30, The Leadfoot Band and Midlife Crisis on Aug. 31, Timing’s Everything and Funhouse on Sept. 1, and The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club play Sept. 2. There is an admission fee for the entertainment tent.
The Breidert Green stage will have free entertainment Saturday, Sunday and Monday; including a kid’s costume contest on Saturday.
There will be a carnival and a parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Since Fall Fest is an arts and crafts oasis, some of the products to be had include homemade soaps and candles, baby items, hair bows, doll clothes, fine arts, florals, picture frames, glassware, jewelry, metal work, ornaments, signs, stoneware and pottery and wood crafts.
Alley Art Festival
♦ Aug. 31
♦ Water Street Mall between Galena Blvd. and Downer Place, Aurora
Fans of both art and music will enjoy the Alley Art Festival, held from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora.
Held on the pedestrian brick alley between Downer Place and Galena Boulevard , the Alley Art Festival is a family-friendly event that celebrates community and Aurora’s vibrant art scene.
There will be 70 artists involved in this participant-run outdoor festival, including artists Jen Evans, John Heinz, Don Picton, Javi Terrazas, Mike Mancuso, Jaime Torraco, Maureen Gasek, Chris Hodge, Brittany Tripp, Greta Bell and more.
Artwork and other handmade items will be available for sale. Lions Club and Luigi’s Pizza will have food and ice cream available for purchase.
There will be two children’s art tents run by The Light of the Heart and Fox River Academy of Music and Art featuring interactive activities. Lawn games and a free yoga class are also a part of the festivities. The Riverfront Playhouse and Culture Stock will also be open as well.
Other activities of note that day are the Light of the Heart’s mural unveiling at 2 p.m. at River’s Edge Cafe and the Aurora SciTech Museum’s free Super Saturday
Six local musicians will perform on the lawn of the mall including Greg Boerner, Max Benson, The Swirls, Town Band and more.
Yorkville Hometown Days
♦ Aug. 30-Sept. 1
♦ Beecher Community Park, 908 Game Farm Road, Yorkville
♦ Tickets, $0-$2
♦ (630) 553-4357
Now in its 21st year, Hometown Days in Yorkville features live music, a car show, carnival, bingo and demonstrations from community organizations.
Headlining bands include American English Aug. 30, Billy Croft and the 5-Alarm and Mike and Joe on Aug. 31, and Cool Rockin’ Daddies and Hi Infidelity on Sept. 1.
Other activities include a bags tournament, baby contest, BMX stunt bike show, the Fox Country Players performance of “Rapunzel,” the Pride and Joy Car Show on Sunday, a used book sale by the library, a pizza eating contest and duck race.
For children, there will be free family activities hosted by Jacob’s Well throughout the festival.
Festival hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. tonight, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Fest
♦ Sept. 1 — Sept. 2
♦ Island Park, Geneva
♦ Tickets, $0-$15
♦ (630) 897-0061
Fans of the spoken word will find eight stage areas presenting concerts, hands-on workshops, topical song and story workshops, dance, vocal and instrument classes and children’s activities over two days in Geneva.
The Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Fest is presented by the Fox Valley Folklore Society, the Geneva Park District and the City of Geneva. It runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at Island Park in Geneva.
There will be more than 30 folk music and storytelling acts
Highlights include an old-time community barn dance on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., followed by ghost stories in the main music stage tent. There is also a children’s area, folk arts area and food vendors.
Elgin International Fest
♦ Aug. 31
♦ Festival Park, 130 S. Grove St., Elgin
♦ (224) 725-3378
Elgin iFest (or International Fest) runs from noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 31 at Festival Park in Elgin.
It’s a chance for the community to celebrate its rich multi-cultural heritage with a parade, KidZone filled with “edu-tainment” activities for youth and families, a world bazaar, ethnic cuisine, live entertainment and a parade.
Headline entertainment will be Brass From the Past, a funk, R&B cover band; and Thunder Road. Additional performers include the Choral Ensemble of 2nd Baptist Church of Elgin, Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers, Chicago Cossacks and Arkady, the Bartlett International Chorus, Alfred Baker and West Indian Folk Dance Company, Amy and the Bliss Tribe, Elgin Opera with Jeorge G. Holmes, Eastern Groove Studio, Mood Makers and many more.
The KidZone will feature crafts and activities representing various cultures.
A highlight of the festival is the Art Kite competition at 6 p.m. the event features handmade kites representing an international theme, and the kites are judged by artistic merit (not flying ability.)
Parking is free for cars, bicycles and motorcycles.