Upcoming April Festivals in the Midwest


 First weekend in April
Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, WI See 150 independent films from Wisconsin and around the world in seven theaters in and around State Street. March 30–April 6.
Maple Syrup Festival in Poynette, WI The MacKenzie Environmental Center, between the Wisconsin Dells and Madison, offers a pancake breakfast, guided tours of the sugarbush, demonstrations of tapping and syrup-making, intrepretive talks about how Indians and pioneers made syrup, old-time music and horse-drawn wagon rides. April 1.


Maple Syrup Fest in Phelps, WI In the northeast corner of Wisconsin, tour the sugarbush, tap trees, make maple taffy in the snow and shop at an arts and crafts fair. April 1.
Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City, IA Dozens of musicians, artists and writers perform and read at downtown venues. On Friday evening, there's a literature crawl. Performers include Margaret Cho, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird and Saeed Jones. April 4–9.

Second weekend in April

Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, WI See 150 independent films from Wisconsin and around the world in seven theaters in and around State Street. March 30–April 6.
Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City, IA Dozens of musicians, artists and writers perform and read at downtown venues. On Friday evening, there's a literature crawl. Performers include Margaret Cho, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird and Saeed Jones. April 4–9.
Roots and Bluegrass Festival in River Falls, WI Hear music at half a dozen venues in the downtown of this western Wisconsin college town. April 7–9.

World War I Encampment in Rockford, IL A living-history encampment at Midway Village, with reenactors portraying soldiers from the United States, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, marks the 103nd anniversary of the start of World War I. April 8–9.
Easter Egg Hunt in St. Paul, MN Children ages 2-7 can hunt for eggs on the lawn of the James J. Hill House on Summit Avenue. Visitors can win prizes, get a small snack and look around the first floor of the mansion. Reserve in advance. April 9.

Third weekend in April

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival in Minneapolis, MN More than 250 films from more than 60 countries are shown at St. Anthony Main Theatre on the Minneapolis riverfront and at other venues. April 13–29.
Ibsen Festival in Lanesboro, MN Festivities in this southeast Minnesota hamlet revolve around Commonweal Theatre and production of an Ibsen play. There will be Scandinavian food, art, film, music and walking tours. April 14–16.
Midwest Music Fest in La Crosse, W Dozens of musical groups in all genres play in museums, galleries, cafes and arts centers across town. There are arts workshops for children, too. The second part of the festival is April 28-29 in Winona, Minn. April 14–15.
Egg Day in Milwaukee, WI There will be crafts, face-painting, bubble art and treats at the Hop-to-it Bunny Hunt, plus a parade at the Milwaukee County Zoo. April 15.
Easter Egg Hunt in St. Paul, MN Children ages 2-7 can hunt for eggs on the lawn of the James J. Hill House on Summit Avenue. Visitors can win prizes, get a small snack and look around the first floor of the mansion. Reserve in advance. April 15.


Fourth weekend in April

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival in Minneapolis, MN More than 250 films from more than 60 countries are shown at St. Anthony Main Theatre on the Minneapolis riverfront and at other venues. April 13–29.
Julien Dubuque Film Festival in Dubuque, IA See 70 films and a silent-film showcase. There's a red-carpet awards show Saturday. April 20–23.

Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, WI There's a Friday-night rodeo, blacksmith championships, stagecoach rides, Texas trick riders, music and performances, including the Wisconsin Mounted Police Team. At Alliant Energy Center. April 21–23.
U.S. Grant's Birthday in Galena, IL The former home of the Civil War general celebrates his 195th birthday with free admission to the Grant Museum, an artillery encampment, Main Street walking tours with Gen. Grant, a pie auction, a spy trial and appearances by President and Mrs. Lincoln. April 21–23.
Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival in Kenosha, WI There's cheese and beer from around the state plus live music at the Brat Stop. April 22.
Earth Day Birding Festival in Hastings, MN This festival at Carpenter Nature Center includes bird-banding demonstrations, a raptor class and guided birding trips. Reservations are required. April 22.
Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine and Cheese Festival in La Crosse, WI Sample cheese and more than 200 beers and 45 wines at the Oktoberfest grounds. April 23.

Fifth weekend in April

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival in Minneapolis, MN More than 250 films from more than 60 countries are shown at St. Anthony Main Theatre on the Minneapolis riverfront and at other venues. April 13–29.
Spring Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis, MN A spring kickoff for outdoor enthusiasts, with presentations on outdoor adventures and destinations and a gear sale and auction of used canoes and kayaks. April 28–30.
Minnesota Horse Expo in St. Paul, MN There's a parade of breeds daily at noon, free horse, pony and carriage rides and a rodeo Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. April 28–30.
Bluff Country Studio Art Tour in Northeast IA/Southeast, MN Take a spring drive through southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa and visit artists in and around Winona, Lanesboro, Spring Grove and Harmony in Minnesota and Decorah in Iowa. April 28–30.

Mid West Music Fest in Winona, MN More than 75 musical groups in all genres play in museums, galleries, cafes and arts centers across town. There are arts workshops for children, too. There's also a Midwest Music Fest April 14-15 in La Crosse. April 28–29.
Behind the Arts Studio Tour in Racine and Kenosha, WI Visit more than 85 artists at 45 studios, in Racine on Saturday and in Kenosha on Sunday. On Friday evening, there's a Preview Party. April 28–30.
St. Paul Art Crawl in St. Paul, MN Tour the studios of more than 300 artists in 17 buildings in the Lowertown and downtown neighborhoods. April 28–30.
Taylor County Maple Fest in Medford, WI This festival at the fairgrounds features maple syrup in a breakfast, a baking contest, a cooking demonstration and crafts plus music, children's activities and door prizes. April 29.
Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth, MN More than 100 musical acts will perform in venues around the Twin Ports, and there also will be film, visual arts and craft beer. April 30–May 7.
Traverse City Chocolate Festival in Traverse City, MI Sample wares of the region's finest chocolatiers, listen to music and shop at the City Opera House. April 30.
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