Wabasha, Minn.

The annual Riverboat Days festival Friday and Saturday in Wabasha, Minn., captures the spirit of the riverboat era with dozens of activities and events along the Mississippi River. Everyone is invited to check out a pageant, Music Under the Bridge featuring Flipside and a lighted boat parade on Friday. A "Grumpy" fishing contest and pancake breakfast will start Saturday's festivities, followed by a River Run, games, children's activities, farmers market, Grande Parade (6 p.m.) and several bands playing until midnight. wabashamn.org; 1-800-565-4158.

Indianola, iowa

Nine days of high-flying fun will highlight the National Balloon Classic Fri.-Aug. 6 in Indianola, Iowa. Festival-goers will see more than 100 colorful balloons in classic and specialty shapes take flight and catch a ride, too (all weather-permitting). The festival features daytime and nighttime launches, skydiving, live music, parade, fireworks and other entertainment. nationalballoonclassic.com; 1-515-961-8415.

Detroit Lakes,Minn.

Get ready to party during the 34th annual We Fest country music festival Aug. 4-6 at Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes. This year's headliners are Eric Church, Tim McGraw and Kid Rock, and rock legend Steven Tyler and the Loving Mary Band, Montgomery Gentry, Amanda Watkins and others will perform. Fans can come hear the music only or camp for a day or more. Campgrounds open early Tuesday ($50-$100 for hookup) or Wednesday (free). Gates open at 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $95-$189 plus taxes and fees. wefest.com; 1-800-493-3378.

Colleen A. Coles