Festivals are a sign it’s really summer. Packed streets, yummy treats, and music filling the sticky air all fun waiting to be had for families of all ages. Search for a fun festival near your home this summer. And don’t miss the five great ones we’ve listed below.

Montana Wild West Festival, August 9-10, 2008 at the Kleffner Ranch, East Helena

The Old West comes alive again with shootout reenactments, pioneer quilt shows, cowboy poets, wagon rides and more. There’s a chili cook-off and a Saturday night BBQ. Kids under 12 are free, and so is the parking. But bring some money to spend at the Chuckwagon Café or Snakebite Soda Shop. Make sure to pose the family for an “Old West” photo shoot. It will make a great holiday card this winter! And will be a fitting reminder of the fun you had at this rootin’, tootin’ festival.

The Sawdust Art Festival, June 27-Aug. 31, 2008, Laguna Beach, California

Watch artists as they demonstrate glass-blowing, ceramics, painting, sculpting and more. There’s a special area for kids with opportunities to create masterpieces in all mediums. All ages can enjoy making their own ceramics item. There’s also great live music and yummy treats for purchase, making this festival packed with fun.

Satchmo Summer Fest, July31 – August 3, 2008, New Orleans

Click on the festival website for a countdown (to the second) until this fun Louisiana weekend gets underway. July 31 will mark the start of this French Quarter family festival. Four stages are set up for a musical extravaganza, including one just for kids. Thousands of people will gather at the old U.S. mint in downtown New Orleans for the amazing food and spectacular music. And to pay tribute to none other than Louis Armstrong himself.

The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, July 16 and 17, 2008, Hiawassee, GA >

What could be better than a festival on the lake? Located on the shores of Lake Chatuge, this festival will be one to remember. There’s onsite camping, carnival rides, musical performances, and a glimpse into North Georgia’s culture and history, including amazing art, agriculture and local talent. Kids under 10 get in free to this weekend event. Located two hours from Atlanta, this is a must see for anyone passing through the Peach State.

Taste of Chicago, June 27-July 6, 2008, Chicago, IL

Looking for something free and wonderful to do in Chicago this summer? Look no further. Before Independence day arrives, Chicago will be kicking off the festivities early with their famous Taste of Chicago festival. There’s a famous 5K race and corresponding “Kids Dash” races.  Musical performances from a host of famous names including Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder. A family village area will include face painting, bubbles, crafts, mask making, inflatables, Mexican Bingo, origami, balloon twisting and a Lego Block Party! And of course, the wonderful diverse group of food served all week long. This is an amazing week, full of endless possibilities for fun for the whole family!