5 Cultural and Heritage Events in the Midwest

mariachi and charros festival

5 Cultural and Heritage Events in the Midwest

Acutrans encourages everyone to do their part to stop the spread of coronavirus. But just because we’re staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t plan for next year! Cultural and heritage festivals offer the opportunity to experience different traditions and learn about another culture. Below are five cultural and heritage festivals to attend after stay-at-home orders end.


Puerto Rican Festival – Chicago, IL

(Tentatively June 18-20, 2020)

Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood has seen many waves of immigrants since it was founded. First came the Germans and Scandinavians, then the Italians and Russian Jews, then the Puerto Ricans. This last group settled in Humboldt Park in the 1950s and 1960s and has made it the Puerto Rican cultural hub of Chicago. Each year, the Puerto Rican Festival is head on Division Street and in Humboldt Park to celebrate Puerto Rican culture. This lively festival celebrates Puerto Rico’s art, customs, traditions, and food. In addition to cultural programming there is a carnival erected in Humboldt park for all to enjoy. This festival attracts Hispanics and Latinos from all around Chicago and Illinois.

The festival is currently scheduled for June 18-20, 2020 but may be adjusted based on coronavirus developments. Check out Puerto Rican Festival’s website for more information.

Milwaukee Polish Fest – Milwaukee, WI

(June 18-20, 2021)

One of the largest waves of immigration from Europe in the 20th century was from Poland. Across the Midwest, Polish immigrants built communities and fueled America’s industrial revolution. Chicago and Milwaukee were two centers of Polish culture in the US. To honor this, each year Milwaukee hosts Polish Fest, one of America’s largest Polish cultural festivals.

There is truly something for everyone at Polish Fest. If you like to eat, you can try traditional Polish dishes. If you want to learn about Polish culture you can visit the festival’s cultural village. In the cultural village you’ll find Polish folk arts, genealogy experts, and cooking demonstrations. Plus, there is music, dancing, and games.

Visit Polish Fest’s website to learn more.

Festival de la Villita – Chicago, IL

(Tentatively September 6-8, 2020)

Many people are surprised to learn that the Chicago area has the second largest Mexican population in the United States. These 650,000 immigrants create a rich community and set of traditions. Each year, the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago holds one of the Midwest’s largest celebrations of Mexican heritage during Festival de la Villita (Little Village Fest). The festival is held every September to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain and draws families from across Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. At the festival you’ll find traditional Mexican dishes, dancing, music and entertainment.

The festival is currently scheduled for September 6-8, 2020 but may be adjusted based on coronavirus developments. Check out Festival de la Villita’s page for more information.

Chicago Chinese Lunar New Year Festival – Chicago, IL

(Lunar New Year February 12, 2021, parade February 21, 2021)

Chinese lunar new year is one of the most celebrated holidays across the world. Each year, billions of people travel home to be with family and celebrate the new year. In 2019 Chinese citizens made a whopping 3 billion trips during the New Year celebrations!

The Chinese and Chinese-American community in Chicago is no exception! For the past 108 years, the Chinese Lunar New Year parade has brought people from all over the Midwest to Chicago. The parade marks the end of a month of cultural events including dances, orchestras, and cooking classes to celebrate Chinese heritage. The Lunar New Year parade runs through Chicago’s Chinatown and has local floats, dragon dancers, fireworks, and more. Check out this video of the 2020 parade. The bright colors and large crowds are sure to entertain you and your friends.

Check out the website for the Chicago Chinatown Community Foundation to learn more.


Tulip Time Tulip Festival – Holland, MI

(May 1-8, 2021)

Many people dream of going to see the tulips bloom in the Netherlands each spring. If you want all the tulips with much less of the travel, head to Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan. This annual festival celebrates Dutch heritage and the blooming of the Netherland’s most famous flower – the tulip!

Founded in the early 1800s when a group of parishioners left the Netherlands in search of religious freedom, Holland has always embraced its Dutch roots. The Tulip Time festival started in the 1920s and has continued to be a beloved tradition through today. The festival brings visitors from all around the Midwest to experience the truly unique sights of this quaint town. Each day of the festival visitors can visit the Marktplaats, a traditional Dutch market, Dutch dance performances and dance workshops, and a parade. Great for families, flower enthusiasts, and adventurous people alike!

Visit the Tulip Time website to learn more.


At Acutrans, we celebrate all cultures and believe it’s important for everyone to experience other customs and traditions. We rely on a multicultural staff every day and know that our differences make us stronger. Visit our website for your free quote today.