Three Fan-Favorite Fests In Starved Rock Country

Vintage Illinois, Artisan Market and Fall Festival Return This Weekend

Vintage Illinois Wine Fest - North Utica

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 17; noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 18

Canal Market - Utica

Get ready to uncork the fun at this year’s Vintage Illinois Wine Fest. The state’s largest festival highlighting Illinois-made wines returns this Saturday and Sunday to the village of North Utica’s Canal Market. Located less than five minutes from the gates of Starved Rock State Park, this fan-favorite fest allows guests to sample delectable offerings from more than 25 of the state’s top wineries.

In a fun and historic setting, guests have the chance to sample from a huge variety of some of the best wines being produced in the entire Midwest. Each company will bring a selection of their best wines and meads, available to taste or purchase by the bottle (or even by the case if you end up finding your new favorite).

The relaxing open-air festival will be held at the LaSalle County Historical Society’s Canal Market. Wineries slated to attend the festival include August Hill Winery, Bishops Hill Winery, Blue Sky Vineyards, Fox Creek Vineyards, Galenda Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Hidden Hills Vineyard & Winery, Hopewell Winery, Illinois Sparkling Co., Lasata Winery, Lavender Creek Winery, Mossback Ridge Winery, Mistie Hill Winery, Pheasant Hollow Winery, Prairie State Winery, Sable Creek Winery, Spirit Knob Vineyard & Winery, Spoon River Junction, The Pour Vineyard, Village Vintner Winery, Walker’s Bluff, West of Wise Winery, Wild Blossom Winery and Wyldewood Cellars. On-site food vendors will include Mickey’s Massive Burrito, The Taylored Plate and Nelson’s Family Concessions.

Your admission will include a glass, tasting tickets and complimentary live music throughout the day. The farm-to-table, or vine-to-glass, festival highlights the passion and dedication these small businesses have for growing, mashing and producing the perfect bottle of aged wine. Come out and taste the fruits of their labor and discuss the winemaking process with the owners and operators themselves.

Artisan Market at Hornbaker Gardens

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17

Hornbaker Gardens - Princeton

Now in its ninth year, Hornbaker Gardens’ annual Artisan Market is one of Starved Rock Country’s most popular art events. Held on the pristine lawns of Princeton’s Hornbaker Gardens, the free, all-ages market brings together dozens of local fine artists, live music, food trucks, local wine, craft beer, fresh baked goods and fall produce.

The event will include an art market with 40 regional artists selling original works in a wide variety of mediums including jewelry, pottery, painting, fiber, gourd art, mosaics, mixed media, metal art, photography, leather, woodworking and fused glass.

The day’s festivities also will include some fan-favorite food and beverage vendors, including wine by August Hill, craft beer, fresh-picked local produce from Hungry World Farm, Flour House Bakery, Baker’s Dozen baked goods, Ms. Mint’s Pop Shop, Sisler’s ice cream and Krazy Kernel Kettle Corn.

If you didn’t have a chance to explore Hornbaker Gardens over the summer, this is your ideal opportunity to enjoy a bit of wonderfully curated nature (and outdoor art) before fall sets in.

Redbud Creek Farm Fall Festival

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17

Redbud Creek Farm - Sheridan

Sheridan’s Redbud Creek Farm hosts its annual Fall Festival this Saturday. The family-friendly fest features local artists and crafts people, delicious food and bountiful fall plants.

The popular nursery in rural Sheridan will have a selection of pumpkins, gourds, mums, asters, fall annuals and several varieties of corn for sale. Pepe’s Mexican Food, of Yorkville, will serve tacos and margaritas at the event. There also will be live viola and dulcimer music throughout the day, and an expert arborist will be on hand to answer all your fall tree questions.