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A weekly series focused on Bloomington-Normal's arts community and other major events. Made possible with support from PNC Financial Services.

3 things to do this weekend: McLean County Fair, an all-star block party and Pride Fest

A festival in Uptown Normal on a closed-off street. The words "3 Things To Do This Weekend" lay on top of the photo, along with the WGLT logo

Here are 3 things to do for the weekend of July 29-30, 2023, curated by WGLT's Lauren Warnecke. You can find more coverage on our Datebook - Arts & Music page or by subscribing to WGLT's Weekend Scoop email newsletter, which goes out every Friday.

Save room for funnel cake: In addition to standard fair fare and (with a wristband) all-you-can-ride carnival rides, the McLean County Fair’s spectacles include Friday’s YaBud country musical festival featuring Dylan Scott and a demolition derby Saturday night. The air-conditioned petting zoo is an especially big perk during peak temps this weekend, plus the world’s largest 4-H fair and free stuff to do every day. Through Sunday at the McLean County Fairgrounds; admission $5-$18 (kids under 5 are free), carnival wristbands $18-$25 at mcleancountyfair.org.

Pt.fwd’s birthday bash: The local non-profit presenting electronic and other forms of contemporary music celebrates five years with an all-ages party at Connie Link Amphitheatre in Normal. Roll out a blanket on the lawn to enjoy eats by A to Z's Catering and tunes by a genre-expansive list of musicians that includes V8 Vast Change, Swim Ignorant Fire, Yea Big and more. 5-9 p.m. Friday; free. Parking tips and other details on pt.fwd’s Facebook page.

Pride Fest: The Bistro hosts its fifth annual block party celebrating Bloomington-Normal’s LGBTQ community. The family-friendly event concludes with an outdoor drag show; lingering grown-ups can venture inside the Bistro for the saltier, late-night queens. 4-10 p.m. Saturday on the downtown square; free.

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter at WGLT. You can reach Lauren at lewarne@ilstu.edu.