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Johnny Appleseed Festival

September 30 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Rides, Games, Petting Zoo, Food Vendors, Live Music and so much more!

Thanks to all of our sponsors, business owners, volunteers, and the community for supporting this great event!

Did you know?  John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was a real-life historical figure whose wilderness adventures became larger-than-life legends.  He was known as a kind and gentle man who planted apple trees throughout the Midwest.  Meet and greet Johnny Appleseed himself, as he strolls the streets of downtown, telling his story throughout the day.

Crystal Lake’s largest one-day event brings families and the community together to celebrate Fall.  Thanks to our major event sponsor:

Home State Bank




APPLE SCAVENGER HUNT (September 1  – October 2)
Get ready for a month full of fun!  The Apple Scavenger Hunt is FREE and just-for-fun.
Hunt for the numbered red apples in the downtown district.  Each apple will reveal a word for the puzzle.  Write down the words you find in the matching apple box on the card to discover the completed sentence.   Winners will be drawn from correctly completed game cards and notified the following day.  Gift baskets will include Crystal Lake souvenirs, store prizes, and more!

A Craft Fair is held in Depot Park’s parking lot during the Johnny Appleseed Festival.  Dozens of vendors display beautiful and unique handmade items (everything from quilts to painted rocks to jewelry to fabric tote bags to crocheted items to holiday decorations to….well, you get the picture!).

Dozens of scarecrows will adorn the lampposts in Downtown Crystal Lake. Businesses and individuals compete for bragging rights in six categories.

And, speaking of scarecrows….watch for our giant stilt-walking juggling scarecrow who will be roaming around all afternoon.  The scarecrow will put on a special performance immediately following the Great Ball Race on Brink Street.  You won’t want to miss the fun!

FREE ENTERTAINMENT!!  Downtown will come alive with music and fun — all day!.
Live music will be playing at Depot Park and in Brink Street Market.

Demonstrations and More FREE Entertainment!!
There will be musical groups, dance presentations, storytelling, and so much more!

Low Cost Entertainment for the Family!
Activities such as children’s games, pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling, wagon rides, etc., require tickets. Tickets are $1 each. Back by popular demand, the (enlarged!) Corner Corral will be set up as a dedicated area for inflatable fun, including a giant slide, obstacle courses, toddler slide, and more! Wristbands for the Corner Corral will sell for $10, and you can bounce, slide and run all day!

SOUVENIR BOOTH (selling apple cider donuts, water, apple juice, apple sippers, apple squishies, cookbooks, Crystal Lake T-shirts & mugs, tote bags, and more) will be located in the Brink Street Market next to the large parking lot. The Souvenir Booth will accept BOTH Cash and Tickets.

For fast-paced excitement and fun, check out the Great Ball Race on Brink Street.  Purchase your chance to win $1,000 at the ticket booth near Dalzell Jewelers. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold for $10 each. Race time is 3PM. Come on down and cheer your ball on to victory. Click here for additional information about the Great Ball Race.

Thousands of people attend the Johnny Appleseed Festival. We hope you’ll join us in 2023!

The Johnny Appleseed Festival and Great Ball Race are planned, organized and staffed by volunteers.  Thank you to our sponsors for their support, which enables us to host these wonderful family-friendly events for our community.

Home State Bank – Major Event Sponsor
Abalabix Books 
Accumation, Inc.
Black Diamond Plumbing

Benedict’s La Strata
Cafe Olympic
Cheshire Cakes
The Clothes Gallery
Color Me Mine
Compass-Gassensmith Group
Country Inn & Suites – Johnny Appleseed sleeps here!
Countryside Flower Shop & Nursery
Cowlin and Curran
Crystal Ice House
Crystal Lake Bank & Trust

Crystal Lake Park District
Crystal Lake Travel
Dalzell Jewelers
Daniel Arzola State Farm
Dobbe Marketing & PR
Dr. Gregory F. Kubik

Eby Graphics
Express Employment Professionals
Georgio’s Pizzeria & Pub
Goldfish Swim School Algonquin
Heritage Title Co.
Joe + Dough
Judith Svalander School of Ballet

Kitchen Outfitters
LaMorte Team at Cross Country Mortgage
Lizzy Lou Boutique
Marvin’s Toy Store
Montessori Pathways School
Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists
Northwest Herald – Print Media Sponsor
Querhammer & Flagg Funeral Home
Raue Center for the Arts
Regional Transportation Authority
The Running Depot
Shay Boutique
Smith Physical Therapy & Running Academy
Techinpaq Inc.
Urban Air
Wear Did U Get That
Zanck, Coen, Wright & Saladin, P.C.

Thank you to our Sponsors!


View photos from prior events:


September 30
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Downtown Crystal Lake
Corner of Williams & Brink
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
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