Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” Arts and Music Festival
When: 2nd Saturday of June in beautiful Bowen Park
The Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” Arts and Music Festival is a free, annual, family event that celebrates the start of summer. The Festival is dedicated to showcasing local and regional artists and venues, championing the arts, remaining free to the public, offering low participation fees to artists, and remembering one of Waukegan’s favorite sons, author Ray Bradbury.
History of Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” Arts and Music Festival
Mr. Jim Harrington, a local artist, had a dream of a festival celebrating the arts in Waukegan. A fine arts component was added to the “Beach Bash!” held at the Waukegan lakefront. The Arts component was successful and needed its own event—with that, the Ray Bradbury “Dandelion Wine” Fine Arts Festival was created.
The first few years the Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival had Waukegan Public School students from 1st to 8th grade visiting Bowen Park to work with professional artists on a team project based on the story Dandelion Wine. The students also were able to participate in other arts activities, like a drama workshop. Each year presented a new theme.
2013: Following the passing of Ray Bradbury, the honorary chairman for the event, the theme became and has remained “Celebrating Ray Bradbury!”.
2018: To better represent the festival, a new name was established: Ray Bradbury “Dandelion Wine” Arts and Music Festival.
2019: For the first ever, wine was available for purchase, sold by Glunz Family Winery & Cellars.
Oakwood Cemetery Walk
When: 2022 date TBD
The Oakwood Cemetery Walk, an annual event that began in 1995, takes participants through Oakwood Cemetery (1951). Participants in the Oakwood Cemetery Walk have been taken back to a time and place that has ranged from pre-Civil War to as recent as 1979. Four to six “residents” are portrayed by local “actors” each year. The Oakwood Cemetery Walk has featured the first female physician in Waukegan and George Washington Bell, a former slave turned Union soldier.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Belvidere Recreation Center, Field House Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Center, or the Jack Benny Center for the Arts for $5. The Oakwood Cemetery Walk is a cooperative program between the Waukegan Park District, City of Waukegan, and the Waukegan Historical Society. For more information, contact Ty at (847) 360-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour of Homes
When: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Tour will be a virtual experience of the Historic Waukegan Carnegie Library. More info TBA.
The Tour of Homes is an annual event that showcases three to five beautiful Waukegan homes. Participants are able to learn the history of some of the fineset homes in the city as well as tour their interiors. The Tour of Homes, started in 1969, is the main fundraiser for the Waukegan Historical Society.
Tickets can be purchased at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts, Waukegan History Museum, or the Ace Hardware in Downtown Waukegan. The Oakwood Cemetery Walk is a cooperative program between the Waukegan Park District, City of Waukegan, and the Waukegan Historical Society. For more information, contact the Waukegan History Museum at (847) 360-4749 or the Jack Benny Center for the Arts at (847) 360-4740.
Dia de Muertos/Day of Dead Celebration
When: October 23, 12-5pm, Bowen Park
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a popular celebration of Life, Death, and Rebirth that originated in Mexico. It is now one of the main traditions celebrated with family and friends not only in Mexico, but also in India, Korea, Egypt, Peru, Pacific Islands, Persia, Rome, China, and other countries in Europe.
Dia de Muertos honors the lives of the deceased by celebrating with food, drinks, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. This day is a recognition of death as a natural part of the human experience, rebirth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community.
Dia de Muertos is also a misunderstood holiday because its celebrated close in time with Halloween and people assume it is the Mexican Halloween. Dia de Muertos and Halloween are two separate festivities from different countries.
Join us in this family fun filled cultural festivity where you will learn about Dia de Muertos and its Sugar Skull symbolism. Bring the whole family and friends!
Joseph A. Favero Memorial Do-It-Yourself Messiah and Carol Sing-Along
When: Saturday, December 10, 2021 at 7pm at St. Anastasia Church
Join the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus for the annual Joseph A. Favero Memorial Do-It-Yourself Messiah and Carol Sing-Along.
Tickets and scores can be purchased in advance at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts or at the door. Scores may be rented on the night of the event for a deposit of $10. For more information, contact the Jack Benny Center for the Arts at (847) 360-4740.