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Paint the Perfect Memorial Day Weekend in St. Charles, Illinois

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the most popular times of the year for travel. So this year, why not take your trip to St. Charles, Illinois? It's a great weekend to visit - with the beautiful weather in full-swing, and of course, the renowned St. Charles Fine Art Show! Take a look below out how you can make this Memorial Day Weekend in St. Charles one to remember.


Plan Your Stay

In order to make the most of your time in St. Charles, you're going to need a place to lay your head to rest after spending all day out on the town. St. Charles is home to 11 hotels that you can stay at - ranging from upscale boutiques to family-friendly options. The historic waterfront Hotel Baker is located downtown - just steps away from the Fine Art Show, making this a terrific option if that's where you're planning on spending much of your time. Whatever amenities you need, there's a accommodation in St. Charles that's perfect for you!




Event Details

One very exciting attraction of the weekend is the 25th annual St. Charles Fine Art Show that runs from Saturday, May 27th from 10am-6pm, and Sunday, May 28th from 10am-5pm. This juried Fine Art Show will be held right in the heart of downtown St. Charles on Riverside Avenue, between Main Street (Route 64) and Illinois Avenue in downtown St. Charles. The location is perfect - you'll be within walking distance of tons of shops and dinning options to enjoy while you're experiencing the event!


The St. Charles Fine Art Show will feature over 100 extremely talented fine artists from all over the country in 14 different mediums. You'll not only be able to admire their incredible work, but you can also purchase the pieces that catch your eye! If you spend more than $250, you'll receive a voucher for tickets to a show at the historic Arcada Theatre, thanks to the Artcada Purchase Program. On Saturday afternoon, ten exhibitors will be presented with awards that recognize the artist's originality, technique, execution, and overall impression of their work. Stopping by the winner's booths is a must!


Live Mural Creation


While seeing all the artists at their booths will be a sight to behold, there will be lot more art-related fun at the St. Charles Fine Art Show! Don't miss your chance to witness a mural being painted live on the east wall of Dukes Northwoods by local artist, CJ Hungerman. CJ Hungerman has created public art throughout Chicago, as well as many other cities and towns including Pittsburgh, West Hollywood, and Elgin. His work is vibrant, eye-catching and welcoming, and is sure too add beauty and appeal to our already striking downtown area.


Art Activities

Looking to show off your own artistic ability and channel your inner Picasso? There will be plenty of chances to do so at the St. Charles Fine Art Show. In the St. Charles Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Activity Zone, you will have the opportunity to paint a car, organized by the St. Charles Arts Council. And yes, you did read that right! Also, you can take part in fun, hands-on art activities for purchase, thanks to All Things Art Studio, and purchase artwork done by Elgin Community College's student artists at their feature tent!


While there's nothing quite like a city-wide community event, it's always important to practice eco-friendly habits. This year, additional steps were taken to ensure that the St. Charles Fine Art Show is more sustainable in order to help keep this town green. Clarke Environmental will be "Zero Waste Ambassadors", educating patrons on what is recyclable and what isn't, and Lakeshore Recycling Systems will be providing the recycling bins! Aluminum water bottles will be given out as an alternative to plastic water bottles, as well, and there will be two refillable water stations to refill at. On top of that, all the paper products for the show are from West Valley Graphics who uses 10% recyclable paper and is FSC certified!


What's Your Idea of a Perfect St. Charles Day?

  • Spending Time Down by the Fox River

  • Listening to Live Music While Trying Fantastic Cuisine

  • Exploring a Local Forest Preserve

  • Going on a Shopping Spree at the Local Stores


Food, Drink, and Shopping


While you're strolling through the St. Charles Fine Art Show, you're bound to work up an appetite and a thirst. Fortunately, there are plenty of restaurants in town that you can grab a fantastic meal or beverage. Pollyanna Brewing & Distilling will have their specialty "Van Gogh Cocktail" this weekend, and will be hosting live music on both days during the Fine Art Show. You can't leave without trying their Offbeat Aquavit which just won Best in Class at the 2023 ADI International Spirits Competition.



Need a place to grab a bite and a drink, and to catch up on all the sports action? If so, Flagship on the Fox is the place to be! You can never go wrong with one of their many grilled cheeses or burgers. For entertainment, they have tons of flat screen tv's showing all the big games, and will have live music on both days during the St. Charles Fine Art Show, too.



Photos Courtesy of Ghoulish Mortals

There are even more places in St. Charles where you can see some spectacular artists showcasing their work, one of which being Ghoulish Mortals - "Chicagoland's friendlishly fun retail monster and horror store." For fans of all things spooky, this needs to be on your list of destinations as it's filled with the scariest, creepiest products from an array of different vendors. You'll find art prints, books, dolls, stickers, and so much more!


Also this weekend, the acclaimed The Graceful Ordinary will be bringing back their Sunday Brunch, as well as their summer hours which means they will be open at 12pm on Saturday, too! You'll fall in love with their "refined rustic" cuisine that blends multiple American regional styles, and a picturesque patio that overlooks the beautiful Fox River. Be sure to make your reservations soon!


Photos Courtesy of The Wine Exchange

For a wide-selection of wine, and delicious small plates, it doesn't get much better than The Wine Exchange ! This weekend, they will be serving up refreshing Frose's with Rum Runners throughout the day. This is an excellent spot to unwind after exploring everything the St. Charles Fine Art Show has to offer.


More Events Around Town


Photo #2 Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomadic Soul Photography

The St. Charles Arts Council will be hosting a Plein Air Event right around the St. Charles Fine Art Show on Saturday, May 27th. This event will feature registered artists completing a 2D painting between 10am-4pm. At the end of the day, artists will bring their paintings back to the St. Charles Arts Council tent for judging. At 6pm, make sure to stop by for the award ceremony!



Photos Courtesy of the Moonlight Theatre

Take a quick break from all the art and visit the Moonlight Theatre. This beautifully, refurbished vintage theatre is having an Open House on Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th from 11am-4pm. They'll have specialty cocktails, food, music, and a free raffle entry for a chance to win 2 free tickets to any upcoming show (with a food or drink purchase).


Free Movie Showing at the Arcada Theatre


While you're visiting St. Charles, you can't forget to visit the historic Arcada Theatre! During the St. Charles Fine Art Show, they will be having a free movie showing of "Lust for Life." "Lust for Life" is a film about the brilliant painter Vincent Van Gogh - making this the perfect motion picture for the weekend. They will also have ticket giveaways, and raffles at their booth, too!


If you're looking to get away from downtown for a bit, the 46th Annual "Let's Rock" Chicagoland Gem and Mineral Show is coming to the Kane County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 27th from 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 28th from 10am-5pm. Here, you'll find tons of nationally-known dealers of jewelry, fossils, precious stones, and more, along with educational exhibits, demonstrations, a Kid's Korner, and much more!


Photos Courtesy of Rebellion Kettlebell Gym

Join Rebellion Kettlebell Gym & Riverlands Brewing for their 3rd Annual "Ruck to Remember" on Sunday, May 28th. This Memorial Day Weekend event is a wonderful way to honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom, and is a good way to get some exercise in, too! You'll be wearing a weighted backpack and take a hike to the Fox River and back from Riverlands Brewing, and you'll get a t-shirt, and a beer back to the Brewery with some live music and the Flyin' Hawaiian food truck. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Warrior Songs.



Photos Courtesy of the City of St. Charles

On Monday, May 29th, there will be a Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony taking place in downtown St. Charles. The morning will begin with a flag raising and cemetery ceremonies at 6am at the Baker Community Center. Following at 7am-9am, there will be a veterans community breakfast fundraiser at Baker Memorial Church. The cost is $5 per person, and for all current former fire, police, uniformed scouts, emergency services, and military/veterans, the breakfast is free! This all leads up to the parade at 10am, which steps off at 6th and Main Street and will travel down to Riverside Avenue. After the parade, there will be a special Memorial Service at the Freedom Shrine. These events are a great way to honor the service members who made sacrifices for this country.




Something is brewing in St. Charles! Click here to learn about the upcoming STC 6 Beer Collaboration, including details on the launch party and more!

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