While many craft shows and fairs in Illinois take place in the summer months when crafters begin selling new items made during the winter, some shows are scheduled for fall and early winter, in time for the holiday shopping season. Shows range from small and intimate to larger ones with hundreds of vendors. Often these shows are tied to other festivals and offer something for everyone. Warrenville, Ill., in the western suburbs of Chicago, is situated near many craft shows.
DuPage County Fair
Held in late July, the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton, northeast of Warrenville, is the epitome of a county fair. Not only does it have a large area for craft vendors, it also holds craft competitions. Those going to shop the crafts can expect to find a wide variety of offerings, from quilts to jewelry to home goods and foods. Crafts entered into competition must be handcrafted -- not made from a kit -- and follow other guidelines. Many items are available for sale after judging, although the price on a craft item may increase if it is judged a winner.
North of Warrenville is Schaumburg, where Labor Day weekend means Septemberfest. Held since 1970, the fest is home to one of the largest arts and crafts shows in the area. Here you can expect to find ceramics, paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry and textiles, just to name a few. All crafts must be handmade, not from kits or be resale of manufactured goods. A carnival and two stage areas are near the craft show. Entertainment includes local bands and headliners, as well as a large fireworks show on Sunday night.
Eyes to the Skies Festival
Just east of Warrenville is the town of Lisle, home of the Eyes to the Skies Festival, usually held in late June or early July. The festival features two balloon launches, in the morning and in the evening, daily. Later at night, the balloons are lit so that they glow. Both local and national crafters display their wares at the festival's craft show. Expect to find many offerings of artwork, jewelry and clothing. The crafting area is just east of the main entrance to the festival.
Christmas World Gift and Craft Fair
Just in time for Christmas shopping in late November comes the Christmas World Gift and Craft Fair at Pheasant Run Resort in the MegaCenter, St. Charles, Ill. Northwest of Warrenville, this fair gives shoppers nearly 200 vendors to choose from. Visitors can find treats made from Michigan cherries as well as fragrant oils, handbags, jewelry and more. Of course, because it takes place during the holiday season, the fair includes plenty of items ideal for giving or displaying as decorations.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images