Festivals in Joliet

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A celebration of all things ink, Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival brings together celebrities, sideshow entertainers, tattoo artists, and connoisseurs of the horror movie genre for a weekend of macabre camaraderie. The roster of celebrities hews toward the horror film genre?on hand will be George Wilbur of the Halloween films, Ari Lehman from Friday the 13th, and John Carl Buechler, the writer, director, and actor known for his work on Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Halloween. The rest of the guest list includes tattoo supermodel Heather Moss and enough tattoo artists to honor every MOM in North America.

But there's plenty more to ogle at than just celebrities. Human suspension performers, for instance, challenge viewers' concepts of pain and endurance by piercing their flesh with large hooks and suspending themselves from above. Further impossibilities are on display during the Captain's Sideshow, a performance with beds of nails, mouse traps, and just about anything else that can make you cover your eyes and then peek between your fingers. But at Tattoo Arts & Horror Festival, the show easily crosses the threshold of the stage and into the crowd. Expect to see everybody in their brightest inks, their sharpest piercings, and their most gothic duds, especially during the costume contest and the Ms. Tattoo Pageant.

18451 Convention Center Drive
Tinley Park,
IL
US

Music and yoga are perfect bedfellows: both can invigorate the body, and both can mollify the mind. So the Chicagoland yoga community has paired the two together for the Naperville Fusion Summer Music Festival, filling the air with a culture of positivity, creativity, and expression. All day, yoga workshops invite first-timers and experienced flexers alike to tap into the unity of body, mind, and spirit, while musical acts bring crowds together without slowly making the festival grounds smaller and smaller. Lila, for instance, tucks audiences under a blanket of tranquility with her kirtan music, whereas Under the Willow treats ears to traditional bluegrass tunes. A bounce house and family-fun train keep toddlers as peaceful as their parents, and Two Brothers Brothers Company provides liquid serenity in the form of beer and coffee for of-age patrons.

2135 City Gate Lane
Naperville,
IL
US

The Southside Polish Fest is said to be the largest of its kind in the country, an honor it has earned by attracting not just the local Polish community, but by welcoming Chicagoans of all ethnicities. Whether familiar with the culture or not, revelers can immerse themselves in it by sampling traditional foods and beers and by taking in the live performances scheduled to fill all three days of the festival. This entertainment includes polka bands, Polish musicians, traditional dancers, the unceasing movement of the sun, and even a pierogi-eating contest. Kids will be drawn to the 25 carnival rides, which riders can enjoy by purchasing wristbands good for either 4-hour blocks or all three days of the festival.

7000 South Harlem Avenue
Bridgeview,
IL
US

Days at Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival end around the campfire. As flames flicker, they spill light over a group of like-minded individuals: yogis, musicians, activists, and anyone else who has found his or her way to the annual celebration of mind, body, and spirit. According to event organizers, Sukhava Bodhe means "joyful awakening." That's what attendees hope to experience when they emerge from their tents each morning and start a journey into new areas, both physically and spiritually.

Vibrant flowers blanket the festival's venue, the 37-acre Stonehouse Farm. Walking paths meander around the grounds and lead to different events, passing by a tranquil pond and a limestone farm house from the nineteenth century. Across these grounds, experts lecture and lead classes in areas such as yoga, massage, and even organic farming. Live performers score the day with international music that ranges from American Folk to Kirtan, a form of call and response. Dancing often breaks out during these shows, which allows everyone in attendance to become part of the performance and show off their well-oiled Macarena moves.

3719 Suydam Rd.
Earlville,
IL
US

It was love at first sight between antique dealer Chuck Springob and a bench he found at the Third Sunday Market in Bloomington. But as the Daily Herald reports, it also turned out to be love at first sight between Chuck and the bench’s owner, Mary. Now married, the Springobs furnish their five-bedroom two-story home with antiques from their combined eight storage units; the remaining stock fills their backyard barn.

Along with fellow enthusiast Maureen Little, the couple shares its passion for antiques with Sunday at Sandwich Antiques, held at the Sandwich Fairgrounds. From May to October, dealers from four states gather one Sunday each month to sell their collectibles and crafts at an all-day festival with food and free parking.

1401 Suydam Road
Sandwich,
IL
US

From September 13 to 16, Camera Park’s emerald expanse of grass and wooden gazebos braces itself for a lively celebration of German culture as the first annual Oktoberfest in Glendale Heights gets underway. The festival’s spacious tent ensures a full weekend of merriment, whether the sky rains, shines, or finally spills its Big Dipper. As brass-laden live bands lay down rhythms with their oompahs, waitresses clad in dirndl skirts serve up authentic German cuisine prepared by Chef Wolfgang of Schnitzel Platz Restaurant, in addition to Austrian and German pastries and frosty beers imported from Hofbräu Brewery in Munich.

Aside from the festival’s palate-pleasing foods, revelers can work off hearty meals by participating in a strong-arm contest, dancing from noon to midnight, and erupting into a round of applause after an inspiring vocal performance by a German American choir group of children. Youngsters can also meet their daily quotas for fun with a pumpkin patch, pony rides, and huts filled with an array of souvenirs, such as hats, German flags, and apple-juice steins.

101 E Fullerton Ave.
Glendale Heights,
IL
US