When it comes to winter, most either love it or could leave it. If you’re the type of Illinoisan who chooses to leave it, then these are the best winter festivals for you.
Though they have nothing to do with snow, we can’t promise you’ll stay warm through these fests, so bundle up. Keep scrolling for dates and locations.
1. Great River Eagle Days (January 27-28, 2018)
It's a little-known fact that Illinois is one of the premier locations for eagles to roost during the winter. Because of this, many bird watchers seek them out, and several towns host events to celebrate their arrival. This one in Quincy is at the civic center and aims to honor Native American traditions surrounding bald eagles.
2. Galena Whiskey Weekend (January 27, 2018)
Taking place at the Historic Turner Hall, this tasting event will leave you happier than a hen. Guests have the opportunity to try more than 100 different varieties of whiskey.
3. Woodstock Ground Hog Days (February 1-4, 2018)
As more of an homage to the famous movie, "Groundhog Day," this annual event takes place in and around downtown Woodstock. This is where the flick was actually filmed. The event includes movie screenings, walking tours, a pub crawl, a chili cook-off, and more.
4. Civil War Weekend (February 9-10, 2018)
Taking place in Anna, this educational event is one of the best winter festivals in the state. It is hosted by The Shawnee Hills Art Council and includes exhibits of war artifacts, storytelling and reenactments, bus tours, and more.
5. Lincoln's Birthday Celebration (February 10, 2018)
Celebrate the late 16th President's 208th birthday at the David Davis Manson in Bloomington. The event includes stories about Lincoln as well as reenactments that show what life was life in his day.
6. Chocolate Fest (February 17, 2018)
Taking place over Valentine's weekend in the town of Homewood, this amazing paradise of chocolate features a baking competition and demonstrations. Of course, there will also be many treats to try and take home.
7. Elmhurst College Jazz Festival (February 22-25, 2018)
This event began as a learning opportunity for students on campus and quickly grew into one of the best winter festivals in the state. Hear tunes from some of the most famous jazz musicians of our time.
8. Maple Syrup Festival (February 24-25, 2018)
Taking place throughout the town of Makanda, this nature lover's dream is all about delicious maple syrup. Locals learn how to identify the proper trees and enjoy demonstrations, food vendors, live music, and much more.
9. Galena Goes 50's Weekend (March 2-3, 2018)
You may hate snow, but you'll love this fun Illinois event. Enjoy live music, craft beer, and dancing lessons at Historic Turner Hall. Whether or not you actually lived through the 50s, this weekend will have something of interest for you.
Which of the best winter festivals in Illinois are you looking forward to most? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.