Check Out Springfield IL’s 10 Outdoor Festivals Coming This Summer


Art. Classic hotrods. Fireworks. Music under the stars.

Outdoor festivals are back.

PrideFest, the Old Capitol Art Fair and the opening of the Old Capitol Farmers Market highlight a busy weekend and the opening of a number of festivals and gatherings in downtown Springfield.

For some, like the Art Fair, it’s a return to restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For others, like the Springfield Jaycees’ Capitol City Celebration, the wait has been longer.

Here’s what’s in store:

Mahogany Knight will be part of the Drag Show at PrideFest on Saturday night.


A day of embracing diversity and celebrating Central Illinois’ LGBTQ community, PrideFest takes place Saturday with a parade beginning at Fifth and Allen streets at 11:30 a.m.

The parade will head north on Fifth Street to Capitol Avenue and end at the event stage on Capitol Avenue. There, a launch presentation is scheduled for noon.

Entertainment at Block Y includes The deep hollow (12:30 p.m.), Thornhill (2:15 p.m.), Bluewater Kings (4 p.m.) and a Drag Show featuring Deanna Knight, mahogany knightVincent Knight, Mimi VanCartier, J Estalado Knight and Veronica Knight (8 p.m.)

There is also a children’s area and many food vendors.

PrideFest is sponsored by the Phoenix Center, an LGBTQ community center offering various group services, training, social and educational events, and transitional housing. For more information, visit

Old Capitol Art Fair

One of the gems of the Midwest, the Springfield Old Capitol Art Fairreturns Saturday and Sunday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic just in time for its 60th birthday.

Over 150 jured artists working in a range of mediums including acrylic, oil, ceramic, photography, jewelry, mixed media, metal, wood, drawing, fiber, glass, sculpture, watercolor and engraving will be presented. A children’s tent (Sixth and Adams) for ages 2-15 will be open selling authentic artwork for $4-$6 each.

Due to construction underway at the Old State Capitol, performers will be on Fifth Street between Washington and Adams; on Adams in the square between Fifth and Sixth and on Washington in the square between Fifth and Sixth, said art fair president Julie Beveridge.

the Springfield Municipal Band kicks off the musical entertainment at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Also scheduled are Rhodes & Battles (10:15 a.m.); Solar float (11:30 a.m.); Mary Jo Curry (1:15 p.m.) and Kapital Sound (3:15 p.m.) Sunday, Levi & Jaqueline take the stage at 10 a.m. followed by Blue Ribbon Revival (11 a.m.); Tom Irwin & the Raouligans (12:30 p.m.) and Suburban Mystics (2:30 p.m.) Music and food are on Fifth between Washington and Jefferson.

The art fair takes place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sabrina Serafin, 2, discovers a sage plant as her mother, Emily Serafin, shops the selection at the Gregory Orchard and Garden stall at the Old Capitol's first Farmers' Market of the summer season along East Adams Street in Springfield, Illinois on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Old Capitol Farmers Market

The Old Capitol Farmers Market, the region’s largest farmers’ market, returns to Fourth and Adams streets from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Farmers Market, in its 23rd season under Downtown Springfield, Inc.will be on site on Wednesdays and Saturdays until the end of October.

All products are grown, bred, or handcrafted by each seller, which means nothing is resold or mass-produced. The grower-only rule is part of a larger effort to help buyers get to know their farmers and better understand and invest in local food systems.

The farmers market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and doubles SNAP funds for customers through Link Up Illinois’ Link Match program.

There is a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fourth and Adams at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with a free cake of Incredibly delicious.

For more information, visit DSI website.

Levitt AMP

A third season of Levitt AMP Springfield Musical Series presented by PNC will kick off at Block Y north of the Governor’s Mansion (at Jackson Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets) with the Soul Message Band on June 2.

Two late additions to the lineup include Rajesh Chalam and Orchestra Saregama, playing a high-energy fusion of Bollywood hits, Hindustani classics and American popular music (July 14) and Cincinnati rockers heavy hours (June 9) which piqued the interest of Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach.

Each of the 10 free concerts, with music ranging from country to Afro-rock to zydeco and Indian, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday through August 4.

Natu Camara from Guinea brings a mix of West African soul, rock and pop music to the Levitt AMP Springfield music series at Block Y on June 16.  The concerts are free.

New this year is “Dance Intermission”, when local and regional dance troupes perform during the evening’s half-hour intermission.

the Springfield Park District will host activities for children during each evening of concerts.

The Springfield Jaycees will host their annual fireworks display on June 30. It is presented by Pole Barn Chic.

For more information, visit Levitt AMP Springfield at Facebook.

  • June 2 – Soul Message Band (jazz)
  • June 9 – Heavy Hours (rock)
  • June 16 – Natu Camara (Afro-rock)
  • June 23 – Davina and the Vagabonds (jazz swing)
  • June 30 – Tropical Charanga (Latin)
  • July 7 – Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experiment (Zydeco)
  • July 14 — Saregama Orchestra (Indian)
  • July 21 – Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band (blues)
  • July 28 – Arlo McKinley (country)
  • August 4 – Harlem Gospel Travelers (gospel)
Davina and the Vagabonds, a swing jazz band, will play the Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series at the Y Block on June 23.  The concerts are free.

Artist on the spot

the Artist on the spot the series returns to the Old State Capitol Plaza.

The free, family-friendly series runs Fridays at noon between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The concerts are sponsored this year by the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The lineup of artists will be announced on Thursday.

Don Legacy Festival

More than 60 bands will perform on five stages at the Legacy of Giving (LoG) festival, taking place June 3-4 downtown.

There will be plenty of vendors, children’s entertainment and arts and crafts, all raising money for local charities.

Stages are set up on Fifth Street, Washington Street and Old State Capitol Plaza.

Friday evening runs from 5 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from noon to midnight.

For more information, visit

Old Capitol Blues and BBQ

The Old Capitol Blues & BBQ will return Aug. 26-27 and will have its familiar setup with the stage at Fifth and Adams streets, organizer Barry Friedman, owner of The Alamo.

Friedman tried to book a crossover blues number on Saturday with a more traditional blues performer on Friday. The two-day event attracted Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Spin Doctors and the Smithereens, among other acts. No word yet on this year’s lineup.

The weekend also includes the Central Illinois Blues Challenge and plenty of BBQ space.

For more information visit the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ Facebook page.

NIL8 performs at the 2018 Downhome Music Festival in Springfield.

Downhome Music Festival

The Downhome Music Festival, a celebration of Springfield-area bands, returns to Seventh and Washington streets July 29-30.

Proceeds from all ticket purchases go directly to local musicians participating in the event.

People will also be able to buy tickets at the corner of South Seventh and East Adams streets.

Last year, 28 local bands performed on three stages. A post about his Facebook page promised a lineup announcement soon.


AbeFest returns to Bank of Springfield (BoS) Center Plaza with headliners John Waite (July 8) and Filter (July 9).

St. Louis band Feel and Springfield’s Josie Lowder Band will perform with Waite.

The brotherly duo Jocelyn and Chris and Harlem Hayfield will open for Filter.

Waite last played in Springfield at Hoogland Arts Center in 2006. A former lead singer of The Babys (“Isn’t It Time”) and Bad English (“When I See You Smile”), Waite had solo hits with “Missing You” and “Change.”

Filter is known for his 1990s hits “Hey Man Nice Shot” and “Take A Picture”.

“It gives (goers) a little different flavor every night,” said AbeFest organizer Tim Smith.

The concert will move indoors in case of bad weather. Tickets will go on sale Friday.

For more information, visit The AbeFest Facebook page.

Richard Patrick and the rock band Filter ("Hey man, nice shot") headlines AbeFest at the Bank of Springfield (BoS) Plaza on July 9.

Capital Celebration

After a four-year hiatus, the Springfield Jaycees are bringing Capital City Celebration back from June 30 to July 3.

The Jaycees promise fireworks for the opening and closing nights of the celebration.

Last year, the Jaycees teamed up with Levitt AMP Springfield Musical Series for fireworks.

The celebration will include a parade, children’s activity area and patriotic contests.

His last celebration took place in Block Y.

For more information, visit the Springfield Jaycees website.

The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival returns to downtown Springfield September 23-25.

Mother Route Day

The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival descends on downtown September 23-25.

The Friday Route 66 City Nights cruise features more than 2,000 classic cars and a “Hail to Heroes,” acknowledging the military and the military.

The 12 pieces Blooze Brothers Group plays Saturday with Groove Daddies and One Foot In. Never brothers“A rock ‘n’ roll tribute from Elvis to the Beatles”, is reserved for Friday.

For more information, visit the Mother Route Festival website.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected],


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