News - McHenry County

5 things to do in McHenry County: Huntley Fall Fest, Johnny Appleseed Festival and Oktoberfest celebrations

McHenry County Farm Stroll will feature 11 farms across the area this Sunday

1. The Huntley Fall Festival with carnival rides, a model train display, live music and fireworks kicks off Friday.

The festival runs 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. on Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday. Fireworks are scheduled at t 8:45 p.m. Saturday and a pancake breakfast is scheduled from 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday.

The carnival will be open 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Wristbands for unlimited rides cost $30 per person for 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, $30 for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, $35 for 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and $35 for 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Taking the main stage will be My Metal Heart at 6:15 p.m. Friday, 7th Heaven at 11 p.m. Friday, Serendipity at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, EZ FM at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, In The Stix at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, The Lounge Puppets at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Recaptured - Journey Tribute at 9 p.m. Saturday, The Student Body at noon Sunday, Two Beer Tommy at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, and Hi Infidelity at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday also will feature a car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a tractor show 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both at Deicke Park. There also will be magic shows, a K-9 demonstration by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, an ice cream eating contest, a petting zoo and pony rides.

For information, including a full schedule of events, go to

2. The Johnny Appleseed Festival returns to downtown Crystal Lake this weekend with rides, games, a petting zoo, food and music.

Johnny Appleseed will be roaming the downtown, sharing his story of the real-life historical figure whose wilderness adventures became larger-than-life legends.

A giant stilt-walking juggling scarecrow also will be out and will perform immediately following the Great Ball Race on Brink Street.

The Great Ball Race – with a $1,000 grand prize as well as merchandise or gift certificates from participating businesses for the runners-up – will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday when a slew of brightly colored plastic balls will be released down Brink Street.

The fastest ball will win prizes for whoever purchased the raffle ticket with the corresponding number on it.

The whole event runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features live music at Depot Park and in Brink Street Market; a variety of musical groups, dance presentations and storytelling, provided by the Crystal Lake Public Library; a craft fair in Depot Park’s parking lot; a scarecrow decorating contest; and a variety of activities for families, including pony rides, a pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling and wagon rides.

The Corner Corral will be set up as a dedicated area for inflatables, including a giant slide, obstacle courses and toddler slide. Wristbands for the Corner Corral will sell for $10 for the day.

For information, go to

3. The villages of both Spring Grove and Island Lake have Oktoberfest celebrations set for this weekend.

The event in Spring Grove is its inaugural Oktoberfest. It is for those age 21 and older and runs 4 to 9 p.m. at Horse Fair Park, 8105 Blivin St.

It will include live entertainment from Die Kenosha Musikanten, German food and beers, stein-holding contests and cabbage bowling

Island Lake’s event is in its third year – although this year marks the introduction of the Dachshund Derby.

Oktoberfest begins at 5 p.m. Friday at Water Tower Park, 429 W. State Road, and will feature German music, food and beer. Phenix will perform 7 to 11 p.m.

The festival will resume at 5 p.m. Saturday with music from the Frankie K and Co. Quartet, and the Dachshund Derby will begin at 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the festival will go toward the support of village events.

4. A farm offering therapy through horses and nature in Woodstock and another near Hebron that raises and milks 150 Holstein cows are among the 11 farms participating in the McHenry County Farm Stroll this Sunday.

The free, self-guided and family-friendly event allows visitors to pick and choose which farms they want to visit and in what order.

The day runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is organized by the McHenry County Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Extension, and the Center for Agrarian Learning at McHenry County College. McHenry County Extension Master Gardener and 4-H volunteers will be onsite to assist farm families in conducting demonstrations and tours.

Most farms will be selling food, produce or other farm-related products. Visitors are advised to bring cash to purchase items directly from the farmers plus a cooler to store any purchases.

Participating farms include: Wanda Farm, 17419 Hebron Road, Harvard; Hephzibah Farms, Inc., 13202 Hebron Road, Hebron; Patyk’s Farm Market and Greenhouse, 8519 Route 173, Richmond; Soulful Prairies, 4706 Alden Road, Woodstock; Terra Vitae Farms, 2208 Greenwood Road, Woodstock; Lazy K Ranch, 18209 Collins Road, Woodstock; Cody’s Farm and Orchard, 19502 River Road, Marengo; Broadview Farm and Gardens, 18720 Route 176, Marengo; HillBunker Farms, 4915 Dean St., Woodstock; Vanderstappen Farm, 12908 Hebron Road, Hebron; and All Grass Farms, 18N681 Route 31, Dundee Township.

For information about the event and each farm, go to

5. Woodstock High School’s 100th anniversary celebrations will take place 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at South Street building.

The school originally was built in 1921, but its centennial celebration was pushed back because of disruptions tied to COVID-19.

Visitors can tour the school and see the historic artifacts gathered in the new Alumni Room.

The Woodstock High School band, orchestra and choir members will perform and the school will honor the first recipients of the its Distinguished Alumni Awards.

For information, go to

Would you like your event featured in this weekly feature? The first step is submitting your events to the Northwest Herald’s community calendar at where they are then considered for inclusion in this feature.