An action-packed season is underway at The Dole, in Crystal Lake, as this cultural destination shows off all it has to offer. There’s much for families to enjoy inside and on the grounds of the historic Dole Mansion and its Ringling annex.
Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., catch the The Dole’s Farmers Market+, which last year brought more than 100 vendors to the mansion’s sprawling lawn. The block party-like atmosphere, with local farmers, crafters, artists, food trucks, live music and more, covers even more ground this year.
“The kids’ attractions and the food trucks are outstanding,” says Erin McElroy, chief relationship officer. “We also have a bar where you can get a drink and sip while you shop.”
Independence Day brings back The Dole’s 42nd annual Lakeside Fest, now in full swing after two pandemic-limited summers. The fun runs June 30-July 3, with classic rockers The BoDeans taking the stage on opening night. Live music plays on two stages all weekend.
Festivalgoers enjoy a wide range of activities for everyone in the family. The carnival runs daily, with unlimited ride wristbands on sale. Friday brings food and fun while Saturday brings a bike parade and baggo tournament. Sunday includes the annual Independence Day parade, which starts at City Hall and ends at The Dole. The night sky is filled with a brilliant fireworks show from the lake.
Not to be forgotten, Music Under the Trees returns for its third season with five Ravinia-like shows. Families can bring lawn chairs, a blanket and a picnic, or they can purchase the new enhanced and VIP tickets to get a table and dinner reserved for them. This year’s Thursday-night shows highlight country act Vinyl Goldmine (with a line dancing lesson), blues music with Jimmy Nick + Friends, pop rock with Hey Jimmy, and an Oktoberfest night.
“I love that this is a cultural destination hub, and it’s getting more and more recognition for the way it supports local musicians,” says McElroy. “People are realizing you can see live music and the arts at The Dole.”
The Dole is located at 401 Country Club Road, in Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000.