August Chicago festival calendar

Celebrate summer at these Chicago festivals, featuring family-friendly cuisine, tunes and culture

Photograph: cousindaniel.com
Festival-goers congregate in Grant Park at Lollapalooza Music Festival 2013

The arrival of August is a reminder that the summer months are winding down, but Chicago's festival lineup keeps the party rolling. Start the month off with a bang by joining the crowds in Chicago's front yard for a weekend of beats and eats at Lollapalooza. If you have a weakness for elephant ears and carnival rides, you'll want to head to one of several regional fairs. Too many hot dogs and burgers this summer? Expand your palate at Taste of Polonia, Festival Cubano or Albany Park World Fest. Start making plans by looking through our list of the best music, food and art festivals that are happening this month.

Fiesta del Sol

Celebrate under the sun at one of the largest Latino fests in the Midwest. The Pilsen event celebrates the morning star as a symbol for the Mexican-American people with rides, music, art and hearty Mexican meals. The fiesta also features a 5K race, the House of Sol DJ showcase and the Señorita Fiesta del Sol Pageant.

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Cermak Rd and Loomis St Free

Wisconsin State Fair

Pass through the Cream Puff drive-thru to get your pastry fix at this classic state fair. Carnival rides, food, music and a daily parade make up the fest. Some events require separate tickets.

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Wisconsin State Fair Park

ACTIVATE

Critics' pick

The newest series of events presented by Chicago Loop Alliance transforms mundane, downtown alleys into glowing laser light shows. Each month, the party will move to a different alley in the city, transforming the space for a single evening. In August, the event takes place in back of the Chicago Theatre, where the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will present a runway fashion show.

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Chicago Theatre Free

Lollapalooza

Critics' pick

Set between breezy Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, Lollapalooza is the city's largest music festival, boasting numbers of attendance well in the six digits on a regular day (though it can feel like seven), mostly consisting of throngs of high school and college kids. Large stages, large acts and large crowds, Lollapalooza is one of the best festivals in the country with one sweet bonus—no camping. Journey to the after-shows, late-night bars, or your hotel room after a long day of sweating and jamming.

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Grant Park

Lake County Fair

Started in the mid-19th century to celebrate the agriculture of Lake County, this Indiana fair continues today with carnival rides, truck pulls, demo derbies and live music. Plant passions still run deep: Check out the Crop Creations contests and Miller Petting Zoo.

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Lake County Fairgrounds

Chicago Bears Meijer Family Fest

Get a head start on football season by heading to this family friendly festival, featuring games, outdoor activities and live music. The party begins outside of Soldier Field and then moves inside at 5pm where attendees will be able to watch a Bears practice, followed by a fireworks display.

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Soldier Field

Taste of Latin America

17 Latin American countries have consulates in the city of Chicago, but the region's cuisine can be hard to find. Sample dishes like fish panades, empanadas and Brazilian sausage at this foodie feast.

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3600 to 3828 W Armitage, from Central Park Ave to Avers St.

Wrigleyville Summerfest

Wrigleyville is more than just barhopping and Cubs games. Head to the annual fest for food, beer and live music from bands with names like Too White Crew and Hairbangers Ball. The little ones can hang out in the kid zone, which features a moon bounce and a slide.

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3300 N Seminary St at School St

Edge Fest

Not a celebration of U2's guitarist. The edge here is Edgewater. This year, the 'hood hosts a long weekend of wholesome family entertainment featuring tons of interactive, kid-friendly activities including karaoke night and a dog costume contest. Vendors willl serve up the anticipated array of festival foods (corn dogs, funnel cakes, blintzes, donuts), while more than 40 local artists display handmade goods and crafts.

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Broadway from Thorndale to Ardmore

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