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ILLINOIS

JUNE 14-15

MUSKETS and DRUMS MUSTER

EAST RECREATION AREA | LAKE SHELBYVILLE DAM | SHELBYVILLE | 9-5 DAILY | $3 per day; $5 two-day pass | 800-874-3529

This annual American Revolution reenactment was scheduled for June because for the last two years it's just been too hot in July. The site overlooks Lake Shelbyville and features re-created battles as well as British, colonial, and Indian encampments. There will also be a parade, a dance, weapons displays, and a demonstration of "soldier rolling"--a form of looting in which, according to a spokesperson, women following the troops would "roll the dead ones over to strip them of everything they could because supplies were so scarce."

JUNE 23-28

HEARTLAND CHAUTAUQUA

AMERICAN LEGION POST #436 | STATE STreet | LITCHFIELD | 5:30-8 PM MONDAY, 6:30-8:30 PM TUESDAY, 7-8:30 PM WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY, 7-9:30 PM SATURDAY | FREE | 217-324-5253, ext. 147 | WWW. PRAIRIE.ORG/CHACHA/HARTCHA.ASP

Like the traditional 19th-century chautauquas that toured the midwest, this traveling Lewis and Clark-themed event begins and ends with the raising and lowering of the big top under which it takes place--volunteers are needed. In between, scholars in period garb will give nightly presentations on the explorers' 1804 expedition from the points of view of the Shawnee, Sauk, and Fox tribes as well as of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Performances of period music will precede each evening's talk.

JULY 2-6

PRAIRIELAND CHAUTAUQUA

COMMUNITY PARK | JACKSONVILLE | 4-9 DAILY | FREE | 800-593-5678 | WWW.JACKSONVILLEIL.ORG/TOURISM

Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Chautauqua is the most American thing in America," which fits in nicely with the theme of this year's Prairieland Chautauqua--American women. Each day will focus on a different history maker, including Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Adams, Lady Bird Johnson, Josephine Baker, and hard-drinking, pants-wearing frontierswoman Calamity Jane (nee Martha Jane Canary). There will also be lectures on topics such as "Lucy Parsons: Rebel Woman for Labor" and "American Women as Songwriters," and music.

JULY 5

1845 INDEPENDENCE DAY

LINCOLN LOG CABIN STATE HISTORIC SITE | 400 S. LINCOLN HWY. | LERNA | 1-4 | $2 SUGGESTED DONATION | 217-345-1845

Abe Lincoln didn't actually live in this log cabin, but his father and stepmother did, and when Lincoln was working as a lawyer and state representative in nearby Charleston he'd visit them here. Today's Fourth of July bash is in the style of those popular in Lincoln's day, when Independence Day was more widely celebrated than Christmas. It'll include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a picnic, military drills, a temperance rally, and historical tableaux that "were done in a series of vignettes or scenes," explains site manager Matthew Mittelstaedt. "Behind the curtain everyone would get into place. There'd be a narrator who would talk about the founding of the U.S. and early Illinois history and the War of 1812." Lincoln won't be making an appearance because, says Mittelstaedt, "he's a politician and is probably going to be in Springfield."

JULY 25-27

SHERWOOD FOREST BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

SHERWOOD FOREST CAMPGROUND | 920 CITY LAKE | HILLSBORO | 7-10 PM FRIDAY, 2-6 AND 7-11 PM SATURDAY, 10 AM-Noon SUNDAY | $7 FRIDAY, $12 SATURDAY, FREE SUNDAY; $18 weekend pass | 217-532-5211

Local guitarist, fiddler, mandolinist, and banjo player Bill Obptande started this festival some 20 years ago and his band, the ShareCroppers, will play all three days--as will the True Blue Bluegrass Band, Blue Mountain Tradition, and Long Creek Bluegrass. The Stone County Ramblers, from Morton, Illinois, take the stage during the afternoon on Saturday. The festival takes place at the wooded campground of the 80-acre, man-made Lake Hillsboro, and no alcohol is allowed. (The campground also hosts Western Illinois Bluegrass Days September 19-21; it'll feature the ShareCroppers and other bands from Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.)

AUGUST 8-17

ILLINOIS STATE FAIR

STATE FAIRGROUNDS | SPRINGFIELD | 7 AM-MIDNIGHT DAILY | $3, $2 seniors, KIDS 12 AND UNDER FREE | 217-782-6661 | WWW.STATE.IL.US/fair/

According to a survey on the Illinois State Fair Web site, horses are the favorite animal attraction here, followed by cattle. Swine come in last. In addition to the traditional livestock, agricultural, floricultural, textile, home ec, dairy, and talent competitions, the annual ten-day fair includes all the midway and entertainment diversions you could hope for. At press time, however, schedules for the grandstand and other stages weren't set, beyond a promised "Battle of the Illinois Bands."

AUGUST 9-10

WINGS and WHEELS

CENTRAL ILLINOIS REGIONAL AIRPORT | ROUTE 9 EAST | BLOOMINGTON | 8-6 SATURDAY, 10-5 SUNDAY | $6, $4 kids 11-17, kids 10 and under free | 877-206-1501 | WWW.WINGSNWHEELSBN.COM

In 1903 the Wright brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Ford Motor Company shipped its first auto, and William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson sold their first motorcycle. Those achievements and more are the focus of the first annual Wings and Wheels, which will offer rides in DC-3s, helicopters, vintage Stearman aircraft, a World War II navy trainer, and hot air balloons. There'll also be displays of historic aircraft and antique Fords and Harleys, an air show, and a sneak preview of the Challenger Learning Center, a space mission simulator scheduled to open in December.

AUGUST 21-31

LINCOLN SESQUICENTENNIAL

VARIOUS LOCATIONS AND TIMES | LINCOLN | FREE | 217-732-8687 | WWW.LINCOLNILLINOIS.ORG

Forward-thinking Lincoln (formerly Postville) was the only town in the U.S. to name itself for the 16th president while he was alive; according to local lore it was christened by Lincoln himself with the juice of a watermelon in 1853. In addition to an art show and balloon festival, the 11-day extravaganza will feature a display of Lincoln memorabilia from the Illinois State Museum, a lecture on the town and surrounding Logan County, an Underground Railroad exhibit, and the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Well. There will also be reenactments of the town's christening, a parade of representatives from other towns named Lincoln; vintage baseball games, concerts, crafts shows, and a homecoming day (Saturday, August 30) featuring appearances by prominent former Lincolnites such as astronaut Scott Altman and baseball player Kevin Seitzer.

WISCONSIN

JUNE TO SEPTEMBER

MILWAUKEE FESTIVALS

The 35th annual SummerFest runs from June 26 to July 6 (11:30 AM to midnight daily, $12 general admission; 800-273-3378, www.summerfest.com); performers include LL Cool J, Fleetwood Mac, the Dead--who've ditched the moniker the Other Ones--with Willie Nelson & Family, Cheap Trick, Wilco, the Alkaline Trio, and, as ever, Waukesha natives the BoDeans. Other events on the 90-acre lakefront grounds this summer include PrideFest (June 6-8), Festa Italiana (July 17-20), German Fest (July 25-27), the African World Festival (August 1-3), Irish Fest (August 14-17), Mexican Fiesta (August 22-24), Harley-Davidson's 100th anniversary celebration (August 28-30), Labor Fest (September 1), and Indian Summer (September 5-7).

JUNE 7

WRIGHT AND LIKE 2003 TOUR

UNITARIAN MEETING HOUSE | 900 UNIVERSITY bay Dr. | MADISON | 9:30-4 | $45 | 608-287-0339 | WWW.WRIGHTINWISCONSIN.ORG

Madison, not Oak Park, is Frank Lloyd Wright's hometown, according to the folks behind today's self-guided auto tour. He lived there from age 11 to age 18 and designed 32 works for the area: "No other city can claim this range of Wright's built and unbuilt work," organizers claim. A dozen were actually built, and six of the nine still standing will be featured on today's tour, including his 1903 Robert M. Lamp House and his first Usonian design, the 1936 Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House. It'll also feature the exterior of his 1957 Mary Ellen and Walter Rudin House as well as homes by Louis Sullivan and E. Edward Linville.

JUNE 7-SEPTEMBER 7

INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH DESIGN: HOW BROOKS STEVENS SHAPED YOUR WORLD

MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM | 700 N. ART MUSEUM DR. | MILWAUKEE | 10-5 FRIDAY-WEDNESDAY, 10-8 THURSDAYS | $12, $10 STUDENTS AND SENIORS, children under 12 Free | 414-224-3220 | WWW.MAM.ORG/BROOKSSTEVENS

Milwaukee-born designer, marketer, and entrepreneur Brooks Stevens championed the stylish redesign of products so as to make older, purely functional models undesirable, but much of his best work is still in ciculation: he designed the first modern clothes dryer (with a window on the door), the Miller Brewing Company logo, and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Brooks had some 2,000 clients in his career and thought of himself as "a businessman, an engineer, and a stylist, in that order." Many of his original sketches, models, and photos will be included in the exhibit.

JUNE 20-22

WISCONSIN HIGH SCHOOL STATE RODEO FINALS

RICHLAND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS | RICHLAND CENTER | 1:30 AND 7:30 FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 1:30 SUNDAY | $8, $7 SENIORS, $6 STUDENTS, $4 KIDS UNDER 13 ON SATURDAY; $1 MORE ON SUNDAY | 800-422-1318

Boys and girls compete in the usual rodeo events--bareback bronco riding, goat tying, steer wrestling, calf roping, bull riding, breakaway roping, cutting, pole bending, and barrel racing. Downtown Richland Center hosts a parade on Saturday at 10:30.

JUNE 22-27

WORLD MASTERS AND JUNIORS OVERALL FLYING DISC CHAMPIONSHIPS

VARIOUS LOCATIONS AND TIMES | MADISON | FREE TO WATCH | 608-222-0512 | WWW.DTWORLD.COM

"For this tournament we really want spectators," says an organizer. Each year it takes place in a different city; this year it's Madison's turn to host the weeklong series of games, which includes disc golf, distance throwing, a disc-a-thon (a race in which players negotiate a winding course with two or more discs), and freestyle, which is judged on "difficulty, artistic impression, and execution." The finals are Thursday and Friday.

JULY 4

1876 INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

OLD WORLD WISCONSIN | EAGLE | 10-5 | $14, $12.80 SENIORS, $8.50 CHILDREN | 262-594-6300 | WWW.WISCONSINHIsTORY .ORG/SITES/OWW/

Partying like it's 1876 entails political debates between the Republican (Rutherford B. Hayes), Greenback (Peter Cooper), and Democratic (Samuel J. Tilden) nominees for president, flag-raising ceremonies, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a greased-pole climb, sack races, an outdoor concert, and a parade of marching animals, suffragists, ragamuffins, and politicos. It's at Old World Wisconsin, a historic site of 67 buildings that includes ten farms, an African-American pioneer area, and an "ethnic village."

JULY 12

25TH ANNUAL OLD TIME FIDDLERS' CONVENTION AND FIDDLERS' CONTEST

GRUNDAHL PARK | 500 S. BLUE MOUNDS ST. | mount HOREB | 11-5 | $5 | 608-437-5914 | WWW.TROLLWAY.COM

Among those competing for musicianship prizes this year will be Madison accordionist and guitarist Rosemarie Lester, Appalachian fiddler Peter Johnson, the Madison-based all-woman contra dance band Dark of the Moon, and Moldy Jam, the longest-running jam session in Wisconsin. Bring your own eats and seats. On your way there, you can drive through the village of Mount Horeb, which is nicknamed "Trollway" because of the large trolls carved into tree trunks along the main drag.

JULY 19-20

WAR OF 1812 IN WISCONSIN

VILLA LOUIS | PRAIRIE DU CHIEN | 10-5 DAILY | $8.50, $7.75 SENIORS, $4.50 CHILDREN | 608-326-2721 | WWW. WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG/SITES/VILLA/

This reenactment takes place on the site of Wisconsin's only War of 1812 battlefield. From July 17 through 19, 1814, more than 600 British, Canadian, and Native American troops surrounded 60 Americans stationed at the newly built Fort Shelby and forced them to surrender--giving the British control of the entire upper Mississippi valley. The war starts at 2:30 each day and includes musket and cannon fire. There'll also be a military parade, tactical demonstrations, guided tours, and children's activities.

AUGUST 16

FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE CELEBRATES

ZONA GALE

FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE | PORTAGE | 10-10 | FREE | 608-742-3315 | WWW.PORTAGEWI.COM

Many of Zona Gale's best-selling novels were based on life in her hometown of Portage, on the Wisconsin River 180 miles northwest of Chicago. In 1921 the progressive activist, writer, and feminist won a Pulitzer for her Broadway adaptation of her 1920 novel, Miss Lulu Bett, a small-town comedy about a spinster's attempts to assert herself (it was also turned into a silent movie). Today's events include a eulogy at Gale's grave, readings from her work, and an ice cream social; the town's museums will be open, and several events take place at Gale's home.

AUGUST 23

FAMILY THRESHEREE

FAMILY FARM | 328 PORT WASHINGTON rd. | GRAFTON | 9-4 | $6.25, $5.25 SENIORS, $3.75 CHILDREN | 262-377-6161 | WWW.FAMILYFARM.NET

A 1932 thresher will separate the wheat from the chaff at this kid-friendly event, which includes displays of vintage wagons and tractors, horse-drawn-wagon rides ($1), and a thresherman's lunch (which last year meant hot beef sandwiches with mixed vegetables and rice). It takes place on a 46-acre antique farm that boasts southern Wisconsin's largest domesticated-animal zoo. Outside food and drink are forbidden.

SEPTEMBER 6-7

VILLA LOUIS CARRIAGE CLASSIC LATE SUMMER EQUINE FESTIVAL

VILLA LOUIS | PRAIRIE DU CHIEN | 8-5:30 SATURDAY, 8-4 SUNDAY | $11, $6 CHILDREN, $25 FAMILY PASS | 608-326-4436 | WWW.WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG/SITES/VILLA

Each year about 80 vintage "turnouts" converge on historic Villa Louis--where H. Louis Dousman raised Standardbred trotters in the late 1800s--for the third largest carriage show in North America. Carriage drivers, stable hands, and groomsmen compete in obstacle courses and cross-country races.

INDIANA

THROUGH AUGUST 31

SOUTH BEND BAIT COMPANY EXHIBIT

STUDEBAKER national MUSEUM | 525 S. MAIN ST. | SOUTH BEND | 9-5 MONDAY-SATURDAY, 12-5 SUNDAY | $6.50, $5.50 students and seniors, kids eight and under Free | 888-391-5600 | WWW.STUDEBAKERMUSEUM.ORG

The South Bend Bait Company--founded in 1909 and moved to Chicago in the 50s--is best known for its line of Oreno fishing lures (the name comes from the old-timey expression "peachoreno"). This exhibit, at the Studebaker National Museum, features 350 pieces of SBBC paraphernalia, including lures with glass eyes, lures made of Bakelite, and a furry bucktail from the teens that's still in its original box. The museum's main attraction, of course, is a Studebaker collection that spans 114 years and includes everything from settlers' wagons to high-performance autos.

JUNE 6-8

MEROM BLUFF CHAUTAUQUA

BLUFF PARK | MEROM | 6-11 PM FRIDAY, 11-11 SATURDAY, 11-7 SUNDAY | $2 | 812-356-4068

Everyone from hatchet-wielding temperance crusader Carrie Nation to William Howard Taft stopped to orate in Merom's Bluff Park during the heyday of the chautauqua. This rendition of the traveling lecture show includes a fur traders' encampment, hot air balloons, classic cars, music (Skynny Lynyrd takes the stage Saturday at 3), a church service, and a variety show.

JUNE 13-14

BILLY SUNDAY FESTIVAL

THE VILLAGE AT WINONA | WINONA | 10-5 DAILY | FREE | 574-268-9888 | WWW.VILLAGEATWINONA.COM

"Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)" is, among other things, "the town that Billy Sunday / Could not shut down." The lyric's a reference to the Iowa-born ballplayer who was signed by the Chicago White Stockings in 1883 and born again three years later, after attending a sermon at the Pacific Garden Mission. The protemperance, anti-birth-control base stealer quit baseball in 1891 and spent the next 40 years spreading the gospels to an estimated 100 million people with lines like "Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in hell." Sunday lived in Winona until his death in 1935; he's buried at Forest Home cemetery. This weekend's festival includes book signings by authors who've written biographies of Sunday, a performance of the new one-man musical Sunday in Manhattan ($1 admission), a vintage baseball tournament, sawdust-shoveling, fast-talking, and water-chugging competitions, music, and an open house at the Sunday home. But you can bet your bottom dollar there won't be any beer.

JUNE 27-29

MOSCOW COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL

MOSCOW | NOON-10 FRIDAY, 7 AM-10 PM SATURDAY, 7-4 SUNDAY | FREE | 317-634-9406 | WWW.MOSCOWFESTIVAL.ORG

The six bridges on this Amish-country tour include the 334-foot, twin-span Kennedy Moscow Bridge, built in 1886, and the smaller 1916 Norris Ford Bridge--both of which cross the Big Flat Rock River and are still in use. The three-day festival offers food, music (featuring the gospel group Higher Calling, a Garth Brooks impersonator, and a whole lot of bluegrass), a horseshoeing demonstration, buggy rides, a flea market, and a parade.

JULY 12-13

TERRE HAUTE AIR FAIR

TERRE HAUTE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT | TERRE HAUTE | 9-6 DAILY | $15 ($12 in advance), $5 children | 812-877-4100 | WWW.TERReHAUTEAIRFAIR.COM

Not long after the Wright brothers made their first successful motorized flight on December 17, 1903, the air show was born. Aircraft from the past 100 years will be featured in Terre Haute this year, including jets, gliders, biplanes, and Otto the Air Show Helicopter (for the kids). The event is BYOS (bring your own seat), but no coolers or backpacks are allowed. A premium $30 ticket includes VIP seating and toilet access, a shade tent, and chairs for the kids. The flying starts at 11 each day.

JULY 26-SEPTEMBER 1

FROM TRASH TO TREASURE

INDIANA WELCOME CENTER | 7770 CORINNE DR. | HAMMOND | 8-7 MONDAY-FRIDAy, 9-7 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY | FREE | 219-989-7979 | WWW.ALLLAKE.ORG

This three-year-old show features art made of junk; past highlights have included an installation made of 18 and a half tons of shredded paper; broken-beer-bottle necklaces; a trash-can camera and the photos taken with it; bent-steel figurines; and a life-size giraffe made from steel car bumpers. It's sponsored by the Lake County Waste Management District.

AUGUST 2

MIDWEST BREAST FEST AND HEALTH EXPO

STANLEY COVELESKI STADIUM | 501 W. SOUTH ST. | SOUTH BEND | 10-2 | FREE | 574-284-7800 | WWW.QUALITYOFLIFE.ORG

Until last year, when 1,135 nursing women gathered at the University of California's Berkeley campus, the record for the most women breast-feeding in one place (536) was held by a group of Australians. The organizers of today's assembly are hoping to amass 2,000 lactating moms and make it into the Guinness Book of World Records when the head count is taken at noon. The event takes place rain or shine and also includes a health fair.

AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 1

KEE-BOON-MEIN-KAA

Saint PATRICK'S COUNTY PARK | 10651 LAUREL RD. | SOUTH BEND | 10-SUNDOWN daily | $5, $2 students | 269-782-8998

Loosely translated, "kee-boon-mein-kaa" is Potawatomi for "I've quit picking berries," and this annual festival celebrates the harvest of the wild blueberry, a staple of the traditional Potawatomi diet. In addition to vendors, food, and crafts, there will be powwows featuring Pokagon Band dancers from southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana. The dancing starts at noon and 6 PM on Saturday and at 1 PM on Sunday.

SEPTEMBER 6

VALPARAISO POPCORN FESTIVAL

LINCOLNWAY AND WASHINGTON | VALPARAISO | 7-6:30 | FREE | 219-464-8332 | WWW.POPCORNFEST.ORG

Indiana's largest one-day festival, which attracts some 70,000 visitors, honors Valpo native and popcorn impresario Orville Redenbacher, whose look-alike grandson will fly in from California for the event. Organizers claim they put on the nation's only all-popcorn parade. Floats are made of popped corn plus cobs, kernels, roots, and tassels--this is the Rose Parade of maize.

MICHIGAN

JUNE 9-14

CRUISIN' GRATIOT 2003

GRATIOT AVE. | EASTPOINTE | 4-8:30 MONDAY, 4-9 TUESDAY-THURSDAY, 10-8 SATURDAY | 586-552-1366 | WWW.CRUISIN-GRATIOT.COM

Gratiot Avenue was once an Indian trail that connected Fort Wayne in Detroit to Port Huron; now an eight-lane parkway, it's the centerpiece of this week's cruise night, which takes place between Eight Mile and Ten Mile roads. The celebration of all things automotive also includes car shows, a screening of American Graffiti, live entertainment, and food; it culminates with the big cruise from 3 to 10 on Saturday. Gratiot, by the way, is pronounced "GRAH-shit."

JUNE 12-16

FORD CENTENNIAL

HENRY FORD II WORLD CENTER | DEARBORN | 4-8 THURSDAY, 10-8 FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 10-5 MONDAY | $24.95 | 313-271-1620 | WWW.CELEBRATEFORD100.COM

"The Road Is Ours" is the theme of this event, and the $24.95 ticket is good for all five days, including NASCAR night (June 12), which features autograph sessions and Q & As with drivers from various Ford teams; displays of Ford concept cars and automobiles representing each year of production; a reproduction of the Wright Flyer and celebration of the centennial of flight (1903 was a busy year); tours of local attractions; and several brand exhibits (including foreign lines such as Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Aston Martin). There will also be musical performances by Earth, Wind & Fire and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Friday), Beyonce Knowles (Saturday), and Toby Keith (Sunday).

JUNE 13-15

GIZZARDFEST

JOE'S POTTERVILLE INN AND GIZZARD CITY | POTTERVILLE | 6 PM-Midnight FRIDAY, 6:30 AM-Midnight SATURDAY, 9 AM-10 PM SUNDAY | FREE | 517-645-2120

Organizers expect 20,000 people to eat 2,000 pounds of deep-fried chicken guts at this year's GizzardFest--which only drew about 1,000 people back in '99, when it was still called Potterville Days. There'll be a gizzard-eating contest, a flea market, tractor pulls, an antique tractor show, live music, a softball tournament, helicopter rides, and a carnival.

JULY 8

MUD DAY

HINES PARK | westland | 11-1 | FREE | 734-261-1990

"Every child's fantasy and every mother's nightmare" is how the organizers describe Mud Day, for which they mix up 200 tons of topsoil and 20,000 gallons of water and spread it across this Hines Park playground. Wear old clothes and bring towels; hoses for rinsing off and plastic bags for the dirty laundry will be provided. The event includes a mud limbo contest, wheelbarrow races, and the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. Mud. The contests are open to kids 12 and under, but adults are welcome to get down and dirty too.

JULY 11

ROLLING SCULPTURE CAR SHOW

MAIN ST. | ANN ARBOR | 2-10 | FREE TO WATCH , $8 TO SHOW A CAR ($10 day of show) | 734-668-7112, EXT. 32 WWW.MAINSTREETANNARBOR.ORG

More than 400 exotic, antique, classic, concept, and art cars are expected at this show. There will also be radio-controlled car races and demonstrations of restoration technology; the art cars will be on display in front of the Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W. Liberty).

JULY 25-27

YALE BOLOGNA FESTIVAL

VARIOUS LOCATIONS | YALE | 9 AM-MIDNIGHT FRIDAY, 9 AM-10 PM SATURDAY, 7-5 SUNDAY | FREE | 810-387-9253 | WWW.YALECHAMBER.COM

Last summer the festival drew 20,000 visitors to this town of less than 2,000 in the thumb of Michigan, where bologna's been made since 1906. What the Yale chamber of commerce doesn't say is whether they came for the bologna ring toss, the parade, the bologna cardboard boat races, the fried bologna sandwiches and hot dogs, the crowning of the bologna king and queen, the music, the puppet shows, the street dancing, or the outhouse races.

JULY 27

BERRIEN SPRINGS PICKLEFEST

GROVE PARK | BERRIEN SPRINGS | 10-9 | FREE | 269-471-9611 | WWW.BSECCHAMBER.ORG

Why pickles? Because all the other fruits and vegetables were taken, jokes a festival spokesperson, but today's event actually grew out of the town's annual Christmas Pickle Festival, which is based on an old German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament on the tree. At this year's festival--the 11th--folks will have the opportunity to taste, smash, decorate, and fling the things. (The record for throwing a pickle, 297 feet, has been held by local boy Vince Rago since 1995.) There's also a parade, and you can chase your pickles with deep-fried Oreos.

AUGUST 2

GREAT LAKES

BAT FESTIVAL

CRANBROOK INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE | BLOOMFIELD HILLS | 10 AM-5 PM and 8-10 PM | $7, $4 CHILDREN | 248-645-3232 | WWW.BATCONSERVATION.ORG

A dozen different bats from around the Great Lakes region and the rest of the world will be on display today, along with a sloth and other wetland and rain-forest dwellers. Experts will give presentations on bat benefits, bat houses, and bat conservation, and there will be informational exhibits on subjects such as gardening to attract bats. The evening portion of the festival is an additional $3 and will take place on a Rouge River tributary. It'll focus on research techniques, including mist netting, radio tracking, and light tagging.

AUGUST 7-10

HUMONGOUS FUNGUS FEST

VARIOUS LOCATIONS | CRYSTAL falls | 4:30-8 THURSDAY, 9-9 FRIDAY, 10-6:30 SATURDAY, 7-3 SUNDAY | Free | 906-875-3212 | WWW.CRYSTALFALLS.ORG

In 1988 two scientists from the University of Toronto discovered a 38-acre, 100-ton Armillaria bulbosa fungus outside of Crystal Falls, near the Wisconsin border. You can't really see it, and the only edibles it produces are tiny honey mushroom shoots that occasionally poke their heads out. But the giant mass--which is perhaps the largest and oldest living organism in the world--also cleans up the environment, feeding on decayed wood and producing oxygen. Today's festival doesn't feature mushrooms as much as humongous rummage and sidewalk sales, races, a parade, a pony pull, a tube float, an auto show, a picnic, and lots of games. (Many events have individual registration fees that range from $1 to $25.)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustrations/Laura Park.

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