Looking for something to do this summer in Chicago? Memorial Day has come and gone. Its official, summer festivals are booming and rocking in Chicago.
This weekend, the 30th annual Gospel Music Festival runs May 29-31. This free event takes place in Millennium Park. When the best acts locally and nationally take the stage, gospel music fans will praise and worship with some of the great performers including Israel Houghton & New Breed, Marvin Sapp, Donald Lawrence and a special tribute to Andrae Crouch. For a full line-up and schedule, visit City of Chicago events page.
Country music fans are delighted to hear about a new 3-day country music festival. The inaugural Windy City LakeShake includes performances by Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, and more. This event takes place June 19-21 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island.
With the many festivals and variety of attractions to choose from, Chicago has a lot to offer. Last week, Mayor Emanuel announced the opening of the new Riverwalk attractions just in time for summer 2015. A big part of Chicagoland are the summerfests and neighboring attractions. This new Riverwalk attraction provides a full dining experience with recreational activities and live entertainment. Mayor Emanuel said, “Memorial Day Weekend has long been the unofficial start to summer in Chicago and I can’t think of a better time to start to open up the Riverwalk so families can relax, have lunch or dinner and enjoy our great city.”
Chicago Blues Festival runs June 12-14. Buddy Guy will headline the 32nd Annual Festival. Special tributes will take place to honor the late B.B. King. Known as the largest free blues festival in the world, it is expected to draw over 500,000 fans to experience the blues in Chicago.
Taste of Chicago runs July 8-12 in Grant Park. This outdoor food festival draws a large crowd of food tasters. Local restaurants offer a delicious array of food during this event taking place at Grant Park
The Air and Water show returns August 15-16. This crowd pleaser is best viewed along the Chicago’s beach front between Oak Street and Diversey shorelines. Center stage takes place at the North Avenue beach.
Wrapping up the large festivals over the summer is the Chicago Jazz Festival September 3-6 in Millennium Park. This free event is programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. This festival runs over the Labor Day weekend in Chicago.
Summertime in Chicago means more than 400 neighborhood festivals taking place from May through September. Rain or shine these festivals include family entertainment, ethnic food and live music. Some of the festivals include the following: (dates subject to change).
· Pilsen Food Truck Fest – June 6-7
· Andersonville Midsommarfest – June 12-14
· Ribfest Chicago – June 12-14
· Wells Street Festival – June 13-14
· Puerto Rican Festival – June 18-21
· Southport Art Festival – June 18-19
· Taste of Randolph – June 19-21
· Taste of Lakeview – July 11-12
· Taste of River North – July 17-19
· Chicago Craft Beer Festival – July 18-19
· Chinatown Summer Fair – July 19
· Taste of Lincoln Avenue – July 25-26
· Wicker Park Fest – July 25-26
· EdgeFest – August 1-2
· Chicago Hot Dog Fest – August 7-9
· Ginza Holiday 60th Annual Fest – August 7-9
· Wrigleyville Summerfest – August 8-9
· On the second Saturday of each month, various uptown locations offer performances and tours to Chicago’s north side neighborhoods, called “Uptown Saturday Nights”.
Note this is not a full line up of all the neighboring festivals. For more information or an event location, visit Chicago’s event page. Enjoy the summer!