10 fests celebrating world cultures
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, we're all getting ready to celebrate the good ol' U.S.A. with hot dogs and chips and everything distinctly American.
But if you've got a hankering to also try some goodies from other cultures, here's a quick look at 10 festivals you may want to check out in the coming weeks …
• Palatine Greek Fest opens Friday, June 22, and runs through Sunday, June 24, at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church, 133 S. Roselle Road. It's a celebration of the music, culture and cuisine of Greece that runs from 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Info: PalatineGreekFest.com.
• Speaking of Greece, you can check out Greek Fest from July 13 to 15 at St. Sophia Church, 525 Church Road, Elgin. Admission is $2 and there'll be plenty of Greek food, live music, carnival rides and Greek dancing by St. Sophia's Agape Dance Troupe. Info: St-Sophia.com.
• Geneva's Swedish Days celebration opens today and runs through Sunday, June 24, at Third and State streets in downtown. There's plenty of live music and entertainment, multiethnic food booths, a Sunday parade and even a Geneva's Got Talent music competition. Admission is free. Info: genevachamber.com.
• If you're looking for a little German food, try the Sacred Heart Church Germanfest from July 19-22 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 114 S. Elizabeth St., Lombard. The fest features carnival rides, bingo, a bags tourney and live music. Admission is free. Info: facebook.com/sacredheartgermanfest.
• Traditional food from five Nordic cultures will be on the menu during the Scandinavian Day Festival Sept. 9 at Vasa Park, 35W217 Route 31, South Elgin. The 39th annual bash also features children's games, crafts and live music. The cost is $10 for adults. Info: (847) 695-6720 or scandinaviandayil.com.
• You can say bonjour to everyone you meet -- even the mime -- when Wheaton's Cantigny Park celebrates French Connection Day on Aug. 12 at 1S151 Winfield Road. There's music, art, food, family activities and even a 23-foot Eiffel Tower at the event that celebrates all things French. It's free with $10 parking. Info: cantigny.org.
• West Chicago celebrates Mexican Independence Day Sept. 15 and 16 in downtown with a parade, mariachi music, a dancing equestrian unit and a Miss Mexican Heritage contest. Info: westchicago.org.
• You don't need St. Patrick's Day to celebrate the Irish as folks in Long Grove will demonstrate with Irish Days Sept. 1 to 3 in downtown. The party celebrates Irish culture, music and food. Admission is free. Info: longgrove.org/festivals/irish-days.
• The Taste of Serbia Festival runs Sept. 1 and 2 at St. Basil Serbian Church, 27450 N. Bradley Road, Lake Forest. The festival features nonstop music, Serbian specialties and more. Info: tasteofserbia.org.
• Yes, we know Oktoberfest celebrations are all over the place, but Itasca gets a jump on things with its party Sept. 7 and 8 in front of the Metra station. Put on your alpine hats and lederhosen for festivities that include German food and bands. You can purchase German hats to benefit Itasca's charities for $2. Admission is free. Info: itasca.com.