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8 Not-to-Miss Summer Celebrations in Dubuque
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8 Not-to-Miss Summer Celebrations in Dubuque

To be delighted by festival fun, try Dubuque! You’ll find a different celebration scheduled every weekend from May through October. Treat yourself to a summertime festival experience, while you enjoy this historic Mississippi River community.

Dubuque Farmers Market: It’s a jubilant atmosphere every Saturday morning in downtown Dubuque when the summer farmers market is open. The market stretches for several blocks surrounding City Hall. You’ll find everything from arugula to cinnamon bread, from perennial flowers to organic meats. Grab some fresh caramel corn or a cup of locally roasted coffee. Or listen to street-corner music while you eat breakfast ala fresh air. 

Dubuquefest: If you are an art aficionado, you’ll find creativity at Dubuquefest the third weekend in May. The art fair in Washington park attracts artists from all over the region. Three days of music and family-friendly activities make this free festival a hit with all ages.

Music in the Gardens: Blooms and fragrant blossoms, echoing with musical notes. There’s no more exquisite setting for a concert than the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Every Sunday evening at 6:30 from June through the end of August, enjoy a concert in the garden. 

Dubuque…And All That Jazz: The plaza at the Town Clock explodes with revelry, one Friday evening a month, during All That Jazz. Performances are scheduled by a variety of bands, with the Jaycees serving up cold beer. This year’s dates are June 16th, July 21st, August 18th, and September 2nd.

America’s River Festival: The biggest crowds are drawn to the Port of Dubuque for a three-day sound stage, held this year on June 8th-10th. Bands with names you recognize, from country headliners to classic rock. 

Fireworks on the River: Only the best and most thrilling Independence Day celebration for a hundred miles around is held in Dubuque on July 2nd and 3rd. See the Golden Knights parachute drop. The Hawthorne Street boat ramp at A. Y. McDonald park becomes the center of festivities. A live radio broadcast accompanies a spectacular air show, followed by fireworks. Click here for the schedule of events.

Dubuque County Fair: Find your friends at the Dubuque County Fair on July 25th-30th. You can explore everything from agriculture and 4-H to tractor pulls and carnival rides. Plenty of live entertainment during the nearly week-long event. 

Taste of Dubuque: This year’s Taste of Dubuque will be hosted by the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium on August 3rd. Mouth-watering samples from the area’s best restaurants, craft beer tasting, and music on two stages. 

This list gives only a few highlights of the summer festivals happening in Dubuque. Whatever event you choose to attend, big or small, you’ll find that the Dubuque community knows how to host a fun summertime celebration.

Photo of violinists in the Washington Park Gazebo at Dubuquefest. Contributed by the author.

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thanks for this great list!
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