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Back in full swing: Here’s your guide to summer festivals in DeKalb County

School’s out for the summer, and festivals are just getting started.

Katherine McLaughlin, marketing director with the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she is looking forward to this summer’s lineup of festivals.

“At the CVB, we’re excited about the fest, especially the new fests that are being added,” McLaughlin said. “It’s exciting to see each fest grow through the years. We get phone calls about fests that started small, and now everyone outside the county is looking forward to them.”

McLaughlin said the events offer unique experiences for residents of DeKalb County and the surrounding areas.

“The festivals attract others from outside of the county as well,” she said. “There are festivals that appeal to different crowds: from 5Ks, car shows, carnivals, food trucks and more. There’s a variety of different events within the festivals, too. There’s truly something for everyone.”

Krissy Johnson, executive director of the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, said she is looking forward to holding events again in person after two years of virtual and limited programs.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is having people gathering again and seeing people’s faces as they’re exploring Genoa,” Johnson said. “There has been a lot of adaptation the last few years. Some events were held, but we’re looking forward to things being in full swing this year.”

Johnson said events also help cities financially.

“Events and festivals definitely help with economic development,” Johnson said. “When people come to Genoa, it helps all of the businesses throughout town, and everybody prospers.”

Here’s a list of local festivals to attend from now through Labor Day in September:

Genoa Days

Dates: June 8 to 11

Place: Downtown Genoa

The 86th Genoa Days is a fundraising carnival hosted by the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department and is put on by Skinner Amusements. The four-day festival will include amusement rides, nightly entertainment, food games and live music. Ride wristbands cost $25 each. The parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 11.

Malta Days

Dates: June 10 to 12

Place: Lions Park in Malta

The three-day festival will feature rides by Zeiler Amusements, games, food, a beer garden, sound stage and more. On Saturday, June 11, a pancake breakfast will be held at 6:30 a.m., a 5K tractor trot and fun run will begin at 8 a.m., the car show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the arts, crafts and business show will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 12.

Pride Fest

Date: June 23

Place: Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb

The Egyptian Theatre, Safe Passage, Sycamore Public Library, Queer-Oriented Rural Resource Network, Grace Place, Hometown Sports Bar & Grill, Youth Outlook, 94.9 WDKB and S.O.A.S. are hosting a free event for the community during Pride Month. The event will feature a short Pride march, a viewing of the film “Tangerine” and a post-movie discussion. The film is intended for mature audiences.

Greek Fest

Dates: June 25 to 26

Place: Hopkins Park in DeKalb

The event will feature authentic Greek food, homemade Greek pastries, food available for carryout, Greek and American music, arts and craft vendors and Little O’s Frozen Treats trailer.

Fourth of July Festivals

Dates: July 1 to 4

Place: DeKalb, Kirkland and Sandwich

In addition to fireworks, there also will be festivals held in conjunction with Independence Day.

DeKalb’s Fourth of July fireworks and celebration will be held July 4 at Hopkins Park. The celebration will include an Independence Day 5K and 10K, food vendors, relay races, games, activities and strolling entertainment, an animal and reptile show, live music, a DeKalb Municipal Band concert and fireworks.

Kirkland Lions Club’s Fourth of July Festival will be held July 1 to 4. The festival will include a carnival, a 50/50 raffle, concerts and live music, bingo, a bags tournament and more. A car show will be held Sunday, July 3, and a parade and fireworks on Monday, July 4.

Sandwich Park District’s Freedom Days will feature a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 2, and fireworks at the Sandwich Fairgrounds. The Freedom Run, including a 1-mile fun run and walk and a 5K race, will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, July 3, at James Knights Park, 1001 Latham St.

Sip ‘n’ Savor

Date: July 9

Place: Sycamore Community Park

This inaugural event will offer craft spirits, unique food and artisan vendors of all types.

Bacon Fest

Date: July 9

Place: Warehouse on Park in Genoa

There will be a variety of bands playing live music, multiple food truck vendors and Byers Brewing will sell a special bacon beer. This event is for ages 16 and older.

Waterman Summerfest and Antique Tractor Show

Date: July 16

Place: Lions Park in Waterman

The event will feature kids’ activities and entertainment, a craft show and flea market, food, a carnival, a tractor and truck parade of power, a pedal pull, beer garden, kids and adults bags tournaments, live music, a pork chop barbecue, a drawn down raffle and fireworks.

Throwback at the Park

Date: July 16

Place: Hopkins Park in DeKalb

Cost: Early bird prices before July 1 include disc golf, $16 residents, $20 nonresidents; craft beer fest only, $35 residents, $44 nonresidents; combo pass, $48 residents, $60 nonresidents; and non-drinker wristband, $10 residents, $13 nonresidents

The inaugural craft beer and disc golf festival is hosted in collaboration by the DeKalb Park District, Byers Brewing and the Phenix Disc Golf Club. The festival will include a new temporary disc golf course, a family disc golf section, a craft beer festival featuring beers from at least six different breweries, food trucks, local bands and more. The afternoon will conclude with headliner music and cash bar sales.

Fizz Ehrler Memorial Turning Back Time Car Show

Date: July 31

Place: Downtown Sycamore

The car and motorcycle show will also include a 50/50 raffle. The event raises funds for local nonprofit entities and organizations.

Cortland Summerfest

Dates: Aug. 5 to 6

Place: Cortland Park

Cost: $5 for adults 21 and older

The event, presented by the Cortland Fire Department, will feature fireworks, live music, a bags tournament, free family activities, and a car, motorcycle and apparatus show.

Sycamore Steam Show and Threshing Bee

Dates: Aug. 11 to 14

Place: Taylor Marshall Farm, 27707 Lukens Road

Cost: $7 adults, children younger than 12 enter free

Daily activities include a sawmill and shingle mill in operation, Flink fan in operation testing horsepower, silo filling, corn shelling, wheat grinding, field plowing, a display of steam and gas engines, gas tractors, antique cars and other antique power equipment, the Prairie State Scale Railroad, a large flea market, live music and food vendors.

Cruisin’ to Genoa

Date: Aug. 20

Place: Downtown Genoa

The car, motorcycle and truck show will award more than 30 trophies and will feature a 50/50 raffle.

Corn Fest

Dates: Aug. 26 to 28

Place: Downtown DeKalb

Cost: Free to attend, sound stage admission costs $8 for a daily pass or $20 for a weekend pass before Aug. 1 or $10 for a daily pass or $25 for a weekend pass after Aug. 1

Corn Fest will feature three days of live music, about 100 vendors, carnival games and rides and free corn. The Chuck Siebrasse Corn Boil, featuring free ears of corn steamed by a steam traction engine, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27. This year’s sound stage headliners will be Voices of Classic Rock, featuring Billy Champlin, formerly of Chicago; John Payne, formerly of Asia; and Fran Cosmo, formerly of Boston. Voices of Classic Rock will perform from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.

Sycamore Ribs Rhythm and Blues

Date: Aug. 27

Place: Downtown Sycamore

Guests can raise their glasses and sip craft beer from across the nation. Ribs and side dishes will be served up by multiple vendors and compete for the title of RR&B Fest Champion. This year’s music headliner is Back Country Roads.

Sandwich Fair

Dates: Sept. 7 to 11

Place: Sandwich Fairgrounds

Cost: Adult $10; ages 6 to 12, $7; ages 5 and younger, free

This year’s fair will feature food, a carnival and animals and homemade items on exhibit. On Wednesday, Sept. 7, there will be harness racing and an equipment vendor showcase; on Thursday, Sept. 8, truck pulls; on Friday, Sept. 9, a concert with country music artist Trace Adkins; on Saturday, Sept. 10, tractor pulls; and on Sunday, Sept. 11, an antique car show and demolition derby.