For many people, if you mention Illinois, the first thing that comes to their mind is Chicago. While Chicago is a very big part of Illinois, there is so much more than just the big beautiful metropolis. As a matter of fact, 80% of the state's land area is farmland. One thing that Illinois has is festivals. Illinoisians love festivals; some of the more popular and unique festivals are the Edwardsville Route 66 Festival, since Route 66 begins in Illinois it is only appropriate to have the festival located in Edwardsville. The Long Grove Strawberry Festival is held in June and you will find all things strawberry at this festival, strawberry bbq, strawberry pie eating contests, deep fried strawberries, and the list goes on. Superman Celebration is held in Metropolis, Illinois in June and has been running for more than 40 years. Superman fans from all over the world come to show off their costumes and meet celebrities from comics, movies, and television. Great River Tug Fest, technically only half of this festival takes place in Illinois, Tug Fest is a giant tug-of-war between Illinois and Iowa, right across the Mississippi River. Each year 11 teams battle 11 teams across the river as part of the three-day festival, which also includes arm wrestling competitions and cornhole tournaments. Illinois has bragging rights since they have won 21 times to Iowa’s 11. Popeye Parade and Picnic is held in September in Chester, Illinois. Popeye creator Elzie Crisler Segar was born in Chester. So naturally, the town celebrates their famous son every year with a three-day celebration of the famed spinach-loving sailor. There’s a Popeye museum, trivia contests, food, music, dancing, pet show, and fireworks. The Sycamore Illinois Pumpkin Festival is held every year in October. This is a festival where locals show off their pumpkin decorating skills and creativity on the Courthouse lawn with 1,000’s of decorated pumpkins, along with craft shows, a pie-eating contest, and a grand parade. In November we have the Turkey Testicle Festival in Huntley, Illinois. Yep, you read that right. This Festival is known as the TTF to the locals and has been running for 36 years and draws thousands on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Live music and deep-fried turkey testicles, don’t get better than that! Last but not least the Festival of Lights runs in November and December in East Peoria Illinois. All of East Peoria lights up for the holidays. See a huge number of light displays, explore the Enchanted Forest, check out seasonal theatre, browse for gifts in Folepi’s Gifts Galore Shop and Stroll.
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