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Exciting Spring and Summer 2018 Events

This article refers to events held in 2018. Please note that due to COVID-19, Food Truck Thursdays, along with other large summer events, has been canceled for summer 2020. More information is available in the cancellation announcement. Ravinia Farmers Market will be held  on Wednesdays from June 3 - October 28, 7am - 1pm.

Highland Park is known for its bustling downtown, pristine beaches, great parks, unique shopping and dining experiences, and renowned special events that celebrate the vibrant energy of the community. Join your family, friends, and neighbors at the upcoming spring and summer events listed below to experience first-hand, a community that lives with heart and leads with passion. All events are free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

Arbor Day Celebration – New in 2018
Saturday, April 28 from 9 AM to 1 PM at Jens Jensen Park, 486 Roger Williams Avenue.
More than a dozen local businesses and sustainability organizations will offer activities and projects focused on planting and caring for trees, shrubs, and flowers. On a first come, first serve basis, the City will give away 500 free oak tree seedlings ready for planting while supplies last. The event will also feature live raptor talks and a touch-a-truck exhibit.

Bitter Jester Music Festival
Fridays in June at 7 PM at Port Clinton Square and Wednesday, July 4 at Wolters Field.
Enjoy a variety of music as bands perform every week in June.  Winning bands are selected by professional and celebrity judges and then eight semi-finalist bands compete against each other on the 4th of July for over $20,000 in cash and other prizes and the chance to be named the 2018 Grand Champion!  Food and drink vendors are on hand all night long.

Ravinia Farmers Market
Wednesdays from June 6- October 24 at 7 AM - 1 PM on Dean Avenue between St. Johns and Roger Williams.
Fresh produce, flowers and other artisanal items are available for purchase.

Ravinia District’s Food Truck Thursdays
Thursdays from June 7 – September from 4:30 PM - dusk at Jens Jensen Park (St. Johns and Roger Williams Avenues).
Food Truck Thursdays features delicious food and drink from local restaurants and more than a dozen food trucks offering an array of delectable options. Paired with a rotating list of live bands and musicians, Food Truck Thursdays makes for a fun weekly outing with family and friends in the Ravinia Business District.

The Art Center – Highland Park Festival of Fine Arts
June 23-24 from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM at Sheridan Road and Central Avenue.
The Art Center Festival of Fine Arts showcases the work of over 100 juried artists from around the world in a variety of mediums. In addition to the incredible artwork available for purchase, attendees will be able to interact with artists. Live music and kid-friendly activities will be available for visitors to enjoy.

Independence Day Parade and Evening Fireworks
Wednesday, July 4 at 10 AM (parade in Downtown Highland Park) and dusk (fireworks at Wolters Field).
The celebration continues with the annual Independence Day Parade hosted by the City and Park District. The parade features floats, marching bands, dignitaries, novelty groups, community entries and other special entertainment. The parade starts at the intersection of Laurel and St. Johns Avenues and heads north on St. Johns Avenue, then turns west on Central Avenue and continues to Sunset Park. The 4th of July festivities culminate with a dazzling fireworks show which can be viewed from Wolters Field.

City of Highland Park Bike Fair
Wednesday, July 4 from 11 AM – 2 PM at Sunset Park.
In conjunction with the Park District of Highland Park’s Fourth Fest, the City of Highland Park Police Department will be coordinating the Highland Park Bike Fair. The fair will offer bicycle and helmet safety checks, demos, bike rodeo, and raffles. Working Bikes will be accepting donations of new and used bicycles.

Highland Park Sidewalk Sale
Thursday, July 26, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 in Downtown Highland Park.
Coordinated by the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, more than 80 merchants in Highland Park’s lively Central Business District move their merchandise outdoors for this shopping extravaganza. Check out the trendy goods and great deals at this annual event.

Port Clinton Art Festival
August 25 & 26 from 10 AM – 6 PM in Downtown Highland Park.
Amdur Productions coordinates this well renowned juried art festival that attracts more than 250,000 art enthusiasts from around the globe. More than 300 of the world’s most celebrated artists come together to showcase their work over the course of the weekend, creating an atmosphere brimming with artistic creativity.

Taste of Highland Park
August 24, 25 & 26 Friday 5 PM-10 PM, Saturday 10 AM-10 PM & Sunday 10 AM-6 PM in Downtown Highland Park.
The Taste of Highland Park runs in conjunction with the Port Clinton Art Festival and features local Highland Park restaurants and live entertainment.

National Night Out– New in 2018
Tuesday, August 7 from 6 PM – 8:30 PM City Hall Front Lawn, 1707 St. Johns Avenue.
Coordinated by the City of Highland Park Police Department, National Night Out will offer entertainment and activities that promote safety, health and civic mindfulness. This new event will bring the community and public safety personnel together for a fun and interactive afternoon of activities.

Annual Resident Fair
Sunday, September 23 from 2 PM - 4 PM at the Highland Park Public Library.
Meet with representatives from the City of Highland Park, the Highland Park Public Library, the Park District of Highland Park, School District 112, School District 113, Moraine Township and Lake County at the 2018 Resident Fair. The Resident Fair is part of the Highland Park Public Library’s How -To Fest that offers numerous demonstrations and presentations from 1 PM – 5 PM.

Please visit the City website at for event information and updates or contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000 or

The events above are sponsored by the City of Highland Park. The City’s Sister Governments including the Park District of Highland Park and the Highland Park Public Library, along with private entities such as Ravinia Festival and other private organizations and businesses host a number of other notable events throughout the spring and summer in the City. Please check the Community Calendar on the City’s website at or the respective organizations’ websites to find other exciting reasons to visit Highland Park.