June 2018 events calendar for Chicago

Jump into summer in Chicago with our picks for the best art, music, beaches, events and festivals

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

What in the entire world is lovelier than June in Chicago? After months of bundling up, dreaming of beach weather, the time is here. Chicago’s infamous (and endless) street festivals are already in full swing, the patios are open and summer music festivals are already eating up our weekends. Plus, June is Pride Month—as if you needed an excuse to celebrate—so we’ve got the incredible Pride Parade to cap off a gorgeous month. Kick off your summer with a bang and the help of our June events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2018

Featured events in June 2018

Do Division Street Fest

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning ten city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurants to Division Street, as well as family activities, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. Indie rock veterans Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, garage rockers La Luz and afrobeat band Antibalas headline the music lineup at this year's fest.

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Division St between Damen Ave and Wood St , East Village Friday June 1 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

Taylor Swift + Camila Cabello + Charli XCX

Taylor Swift may be preoccupied with her Reputation, but we’re still trying to fathom how her latest stadium show will contrast the aggressive, R&B-inflected production of her latest album with the wholesome, enthusiastic pop of her past. Prepare for a bit of musical whiplash as the country crossover star careens from sappy Nashville balladry to hip-hop-inspired anthems about holding grudges. "Havana" singer Camila Cabello and British dance-pop singer Charli XCX support.

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Soldier Field | Chicago, IL , Museum Campus Friday June 1 2018 - Saturday June 2 2018
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CAKE: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

For readers of independent comics and small press publications, there's no event more sweet than CAKE (short for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo). Each year, the convention brings underground creators and fans to the Center on Halsted for two days of panels, workshops and shopping. If you've ever wanted to see what's possible with a pen, some paper, a stapler and a little imagination, this is one of the city's finest showcases of DIY ingenuity.

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Center on Halsted , Lake View Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

Hyde Park Brew Fest

Hot beats and cold beers unite at the Hyde Park Brew Fest, which brings a stacked lineup of DJs and breweries to the neighborhood. Attendees will enjoy samples of more than 50 beers and ciders, including selections from 5 Rabbit, Whiner and Middle Brow. DJ Jazzy Jeff (best known for his collaborations with Will Smith) will headling the music stage on Sunday, while a selection of local DJs will be spinning tracks throughout the weekend.

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53rd St and Harper Ave , Hyde Park Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago honors its history as a destination for musicians by hosting the largest free blues festival in the world, bringing living legends and local 12-bar players to Millennium Park. This year, Pritzker Pavilion hosts headlining sets from Mavis Staples and Fantastic Negrito, as well as a tribute to blues harpist Little Walter and Chicago label Delmark Records. During the day, local acts perform on side stages, giving you plenty of time to snag a spot on the lawn.    

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Millennium Park | Chicago, IL , Millennium Park Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Ribfest Chicago

Head to North Center to dig into more than 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ and don't forget to grab some napkins. The annual celebration of saucy pork brings together more than 30 vendors, including Austin’s Texas Lightning, BBQ Supply Co, Real Urban Barbecue, Blackwood BBQ and Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro. After you pig out, stick around for live music, activities and more.

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Lincoln Avenue / Irving Park Road / Damen Avenue Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

Spring Awakening Music Festival

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Kaskade and Steve Aoki are among the acts headlining the stages in Addams/Medill Park. If endless bass drops, pyrotechnics and high-tech light shows are your cup of lukewarm beer, Spring Awakening is the place to kick off summer festival season.

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Addams/Medill Park , Little Italy, UIC Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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World Naked Bike Ride

The annual clothing-optional bike ride takes over the streets of Chicago, attracting hundreds of scantily clad riders who help raise awareness about cyclists and positive body image. Check-in for the ride begins at 6pm in the West Loop and the ride usually runs from 8pm-11pm—for specific route details (typically announced the day of the event) check ChicagoNakedRide.org. Remember to wipe down your Divvy seat the day after.

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Various venues , Loop Saturday June 9 2018

Kendrick Lamar + SZA + Schoolboy Q + Jay Rock

After scoring Marvel's box-office smashing film Black Panther and earning a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album, DAMN., Kendrick Lamar hits the road with his Top Dawg Entertainment label mates on the aptly-titled Championship Tour. In addition to a headlining set from Lamar, the lineup also includes R&B singer-songwriter SZA as well as L.A. rappers Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. With so much talent on the bill, you'll probably see some unexpected collaborations throughout the evening.  

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Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre , Suburbs Friday June 15 2018
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Taste of Randolph

In the heart of restaurant row, on the same streets as some of Chicago's (and America's) best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drinks and music. This year, R&B crooner Allen Stone, Americana trio the Devil Makes Three, psychedelic soul group Chicano Batman and neo-soul singer Mayer Hawthorne headline the festivities.

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Randolph St , West Loop Friday June 15 2018 - Sunday June 17 2018

Country LakeShake Festival

For country music fans in Chicago, there's no bigger event than the Country LakeShake Festival on Northerly Island. Headliners at this year's fest include The Voice judge (and Sexiest Man Alive, according to People magazine) Blake Shelton, singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley and bro-country duo Florida Georgia Line. In a city where most festivals tend to ignore country music, this is the hootenanny that Nashville devotees have been waiting for.

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Huntington Bank Pavilion , Downtown Friday June 22 2018 - Sunday June 24 2018
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Ruido Fest

Returning to Pilsen's Addams/Medill Park, Ruido Fest fills a void in Chicago's summer festival scene, championing the diverse sounds of Latin American rock en español, pop and electro. Mexico City rock act Caifanes and cumbia sonidera revivalists Los Ángeles Azules headline this year's festival, joined by acts like Panteón Rococó, Plastilina Mosh and Dread Mar-I.

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Addams/Medill Park , Little Italy, UIC Friday June 22 2018 - Sunday June 24 2018

Chi-Town Hot Sauce Expo

Set your taste buds on fire at this inaugural expo, featuring spicy sauces from more than 40 different vendors, a cocktail competition and amateur wrestling. Guests will be able to put their heat tolerance to the test with samples of fiery foods and participate in extreme events like the “Death Wing Eating Challenge" or the "Slaytanic Burrito Challenge." You'll also get to watch someone eat a bunch of super-hot Reaper peppers—hope you're a heat seeker.

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Toyota Park , Suburbs Saturday June 23 2018 - Sunday June 24 2018
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Mamby on the Beach

If you can't afford a vacation to the ocean this summer, you can at least enjoy some music with sand beneath your toes at Mamby on the Beach. The lakefront festival takes place on Oakwood Beach, and features headlining sets from local rapper Common, rising hip-hop artist Russ and indie-rock veterans Spoon, Grizzly Bear and Cold War Kids. Plus, you'll see some of Chicago's best homegrown talent, including Jamila Woods, Joseph Chilliams, Kami and more.

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Oakwood Beach , Bronzeville/Oakland Saturday June 23 2018 - Sunday June 24 2018

Chicago Pride Parade

Chicago's LGBT community comes out to celebrate with a parade that attracts over one million attendees. You'll want to head to the parade route early to grab a spot before the procession starts rolling down Halsted and Broadway between Montrose and Diversey.

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Pride Parade Route , Uptown Sunday June 24 2018
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Eyes to the Skies Festival

In Lisle, the Fourth of July features plenty of airborne eye candy, including fireworks and hot air balloons. Balloons launch daily, filling the sky with colorful inflatables of all shapes and sizes. In the evening, the balloons come down and the fireworks begin. Attendees can also check out the festival's carnival, kids area, live music and craft fair.

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Lisle Community Park , Suburbs Thursday June 28 2018 - Sunday July 1 2018

Tour de Fat

New Belgium Brewery brings its annual celebration of bikes and beer to Humboldt Park this year, setting up a stage by the park's iconic boathouse. L.A. alt-rock duo Best Coast headline the event, which features live entertainment, a bike pit filled with DIY creations and lots of New Belgium's signature beers available for purchase. The day will kick off with Tour de Fat's bike parade, which allows cyclists to take a slow ride through the surrounding neighborhood.

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Humboldt Park Boathouse , Humboldt Park Saturday June 30 2018
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Concerts in June 2018

Taylor Swift + Camila Cabello + Charli XCX

Taylor Swift may be preoccupied with her Reputation, but we’re still trying to fathom how her latest stadium show will contrast the aggressive, R&B-inflected production of her latest album with the wholesome, enthusiastic pop of her past. Prepare for a bit of musical whiplash as the country crossover star careens from sappy Nashville balladry to hip-hop-inspired anthems about holding grudges. "Havana" singer Camila Cabello and British dance-pop singer Charli XCX support.

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Soldier Field | Chicago, IL , Museum Campus Friday June 1 2018 - Saturday June 2 2018

David Byrne + Benjamin Clementine

In a 2001 interview with Time Out New York, David Bryne said that his decision to break up the Talking Heads came out of a desire to "change creatively so I could keep people off balance." In the ensuing decades, he's remained true to his word, founding an eclectic record label, writing a book about his relationship to music and collaborating with musicians like Brian Eno and St. Vincent. Touring behind American Utopia, his first solo record in more than a decade, Byrne continues to chase his muse throughout a collection of endearingly optimistic songs. The tracks provide the centerpiece of his "most ambitious" live show since Stop Making Sense, incorporating a cast of marching musicians that synchronize their movements to Byrne's challenging catalog.

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Auditorium Theatre , Loop Friday June 1 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Do Division Street Fest

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning ten city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurants to Division Street, as well as family activities, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. Indie rock veterans Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, garage rockers La Luz and afrobeat band Antibalas headline the music lineup at this year's fest.

Read more
Division St between Damen Ave and Wood St , East Village Friday June 1 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

Bon Iver

While many fans cling to the mythology of singer-songwriter Justin Vernon writing heartbroken folk songs in a Wisconsin cabin, these days the Bon Iver frontman is collaborating with Kanye West and running his own music festival. Vernon brought his band out of an extended hiatus with his 2016 album, 22, A Million, which wrapped his falsetto vocals around a collection of glitchy, experimental arrangements. Now, he's bringing Bon Iver to Chicago for the first time since 2011—who knows what new tricks (or songs) he'll have up his sleeve?

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Millennium Park Sunday June 3 2018
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Deerhoof + Not For You + Solid Freex

Endlessly catchy and boundlessly energetic, Deerhoof's two-plus decades of musical output is still full of surprises. The quartet's latest album, Mountain Moves, finds the group collaborating with artists like Lætitia Sadier and Xenia Rubinos, providing a contrast to the chirpy vocals of lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki and the band's blistering funk-punk arrangements. Here, the group squeezes back into the Bottle after a set at Do Division, joined by eclectic local act Not For You and Madison punks Solid Freex

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Empty Bottle , Ukrainian Village Sunday June 3 2018

Post Malone + 21 Savage

Golden-grilled rapper Post Malone is one of the decade's most unlikely hip-hop stars, rising to prominence on the back of hazy SoundCloud single "White Iverson." The outspoken 22-year-old (who credits his interest in music to the Guitar Hero video game) scored another hit with "Rockstar," the lead single from his latest album Beerbongs & Bentleys, which continues doesn't stray far from his vocoder and moody synth-strewn template. "Rockstar" collaborator 21 Savage and Bay Area rap crew SOB X RBE support.

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Huntington Bank Pavilion , Downtown Tuesday June 5 2018
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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago honors its history as a destination for musicians by hosting the largest free blues festival in the world, bringing living legends and local 12-bar players to Millennium Park. This year, Pritzker Pavilion hosts headlining sets from Mavis Staples and Fantastic Negrito, as well as a tribute to blues harpist Little Walter and Chicago label Delmark Records. During the day, local acts perform on side stages, giving you plenty of time to snag a spot on the lawn.    

Read more
Millennium Park | Chicago, IL , Millennium Park Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

Nickelodeon SlimeFest

Live out your ‘90s kid dreams at Nickelodeon's very first SlimeFest in Chicago—a two-day, family-friendly festival that features live music, Nick stars and buckets of the network's signature green goop. One Direction singer-songwriter Liam Payne, "Low" rapper Flo Rida and EDM producer Zedd headline the music stage, while actors like Kel Mitchell, Ella Anderson and Breanna Yde will be taking selfies with fans. There's also an activity area featuring games and the opportunity to get slimed.

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Huntington Bank Pavilion , Downtown Saturday June 9 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Spring Awakening Music Festival

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Kaskade and Steve Aoki are among the acts headlining the stages in Addams/Medill Park. If endless bass drops, pyrotechnics and high-tech light shows are your cup of lukewarm beer, Spring Awakening is the place to kick off summer festival season.

Buy tickets Read more
Addams/Medill Park , Little Italy, UIC Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

Kendrick Lamar + SZA + Schoolboy Q + Jay Rock

After scoring Marvel's box-office smashing film Black Panther and earning a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album, DAMN., Kendrick Lamar hits the road with his Top Dawg Entertainment label mates on the aptly-titled Championship Tour. In addition to a headlining set from Lamar, the lineup also includes R&B singer-songwriter SZA as well as L.A. rappers Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. With so much talent on the bill, you'll probably see some unexpected collaborations throughout the evening.  

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Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre , Suburbs Friday June 15 2018
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See more June 2015 concerts

Festivals in June 2018

Chicago Ale Fest

You'll never go too long without a good beer fest in Chicago, thanks to Chicago Ale Fest. With both winter and summer renditions, drink up the best craft beers in the greater Chicago area every six months. The summer edition is held at Grant Park's Butler Fiel and more than 200 craft beers from more than 100 breweries. Knock back drafts from 4 Hands Brewing, Southern Tier, Marz Brewing, Rogue and more while enjoying views of the skyline. Each ticket includes 20 3oz samples and a portion of proceeds benefit the Grant Park Conservatory.

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Buckingham Fountain , Grant Park Friday June 1 2018 - Saturday June 2 2018
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CAKE: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

For readers of independent comics and small press publications, there's no event more sweet than CAKE (short for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo). Each year, the convention brings creators and fans to the Center on Halsted for two days of panels, workshops and, of course, shopping. 

Read more
Center on Halsted , Lake View Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

Hyde Park Brew Fest

Hot beats and cold beers unite at the Hyde Park Brew Fest, which brings a stacked lineup of DJs and breweries to the neighborhood. Attendees will enjoy samples of more than 50 beers and ciders, including selections from 5 Rabbit, Whiner and Middle Brow. DJ Jazzy Jeff (best known for his collaborations with Will Smith) will headling the music stage on Sunday, while a selection of local DJs will be spinning tracks throughout the weekend.

Buy tickets Read more
53rd St and Harper Ave , Hyde Park Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Maifest

It's Oktoberfest (even though it's June), as the traditionally German neighborhood of Lincoln Square throws down with all the beers, cheers, oompah, Lederhosen and pretzels you'd expect.

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Lincoln Square , Lincoln Square Thursday May 31 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018

57th Street Art Fair

The oldest juried craft fair in Hyde Park features paintings, sculptures, jewelry and ceramics from more than 200 artists. The event features pop-up artist talks as well as an artist-at-work area, where attendees can observe the process of creation. Attendees can shop for artwork created in a variety of mediums, including glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics or fiber.

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57th St between Kenwood and Kimbark Aves Saturday June 2 2018 - Sunday June 3 2018
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Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest

Get your lit fix as the city's historic former bookmaking hub hosts the Midwest's biggest free outdoor ode to literature. Publishers, booksellers, literacy and cultural organizations advocate books and related merchandise in different languages and genres, while authors participate in panels and discussion. The kiddies can enjoy special activities at the Lil' Lit Park.

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Printers Row , Downtown Saturday June 9 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Ribfest Chicago

Head to North Center to dig into more than 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ and don't forget to grab some napkins. The annual celebration of saucy pork brings together more than 30 vendors, including Austin’s Texas Lightning, BBQ Supply Co, Real Urban Barbecue, Blackwood BBQ and Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro. After you pig out, stick around for live music, activities and more.

Read more
Lincoln Avenue / Irving Park Road / Damen Avenue Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

Spring Awakening Music Festival

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Kaskade and Steve Aoki are among the acts headlining the stages in Addams/Medill Park. If endless bass drops, pyrotechnics and high-tech light shows are your cup of lukewarm beer, Spring Awakening is the place to kick off summer festival season.

Buy tickets Read more
Addams/Medill Park , Little Italy, UIC Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago honors its history as a destination for musicians by hosting the largest free blues festival in the world, bringing living legends and local 12-bar players to Millennium Park. This year, Pritzker Pavilion hosts headlining sets from Mavis Staples and Fantastic Negrito, as well as a tribute to blues harpist Little Walter and Chicago label Delmark Records. During the day, local acts perform on side stages, giving you plenty of time to snag a spot on the lawn.    

Read more
Millennium Park | Chicago, IL , Millennium Park Friday June 8 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

Wells Street Art Festival

See the work of more than 200 juried artists and bid on original photography, paintings, jewelry and more at the two-day silent auction in Old Town. Food options include fare from local restaurants.

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Wells St , River North Saturday June 9 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018
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Old Town Art Fair

Old Town hosts another go-round this year, featuring the work of 250 juried artists. Other highlights of the festival include a self-guided tour through over 50 urban gardens, plenty of vendors, food from local eateries and a stage featuring live music.

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Old Town Triangle Park , Lincoln Park Saturday June 9 2018 - Sunday June 10 2018

World Naked Bike Ride

The annual clothing-optional bike ride takes over the streets of Chicago, attracting hundreds of scantily clad riders who help raise awareness about cyclists and positive body image. Check-in for the ride begins at 6pm in the West Loop and the ride usually runs from 8pm-11pm—for specific route details (typically announced the day of the event) check ChicagoNakedRide.org.

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Various venues , Loop Saturday June 9 2018
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Fiestas Puertorriqueñas

When summer starts, the party in Humboldt Park never seems to end. The neighborhood's celebration begins with this four-day Puerto Rican heritage festival, which bring tasty food, carnival rides and live Latin music to the park. On Saturday, June 16, the community-organized Puerto Rican People's Parade marches down Division Street from Western to Sacramento Avenue.

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Humboldt Park , Humboldt Park Friday June 15 2018 - Monday June 18 2018

Pilsen Food Truck Social

More than 25 trucks will show up to sling sample portions of tasty grub on the street outside of Thalia Hall at the Pilsen Food Truck Social. A percentage of the proceeds benefits the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association, the St. Procopius Church soup kitchen and food panty and local after school programs. Check out the full music lineup below.

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Dusek's Board and Beer , Lower West Side Saturday June 16 2018 - Sunday June 17 2018
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Taste of Randolph

Recommended

In the heart of restaurant row, on the same streets as some of Chicago's (and America's) best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drink and music. Lineup to be announced. 

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Randolph St , West Loop Friday June 15 2018 - Sunday June 17 2018

Craft Brews at the Zoo

Head to Lincoln Park Zoo for this after-hours tasting event, featuring beers, food pairings, live DJs and prime views of the venue's animal residents. This year, attendees can choose from two evening sessions, each offering more than 120 craft beers to taste. If you've ever wanted to drink a beer within eyeshot of a rhinoceros, this is the place to make your dreams come true.

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Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago, IL , Lincoln Park Friday June 15 2018 - Saturday June 16 2018
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Chicago Pride Fest

Prep for the following weekend's annual Pride Parade with Chicago's LGBT community at this celebration. The event offers musical entertainment and food and drinks from local vendors, right in the heart of Boystown. 

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Halsted and Roscoe Sts , Boystown Saturday June 16 2018 - Sunday June 17 2018

World's Largest Block Party

World's largest? Um, don't call Guinness. Old St. Patrick's Church hosts this beast of a block party to benefit social justice and outreach programs. The two-day event takes over a parking lot near St. Pat's in the West Loop, complete with food vendors, a bag tournament and plenty of tasty macrobrews. Stay through the evening to see cover bands like Mike and Joe, 7th Heaven and Dave Matthews tribute act Trippin Billies.

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Old Saint Patrick's Church , West Loop Friday June 22 2018 - Saturday June 23 2018
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Free events in June 2018

The best Chicago beaches

Summertime in Chicago means one thing: Spending as much time as humanly possible out in the sun. While hanging on patios and hitting up summer music festivals are excellent choices, don’t forget about Chicago’s glorious beaches. With sandy lakefront hangouts dotting our city’s eastern border, you have no excuse not to throw on a suit and soak up the sun. 

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By: Time Out Chicago editors

Slo ’Mo

At this polysexual Logan Square dance-off, party purveyor Kristen Kaza and DJ Audio Jack drop the needle on love-drenched classics by Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Prince and the queen of lovers' rock, Sade. Admission is always free and the Whistler's capacity is limited, so there's usually a line out the door. Arrive early if you want to start grooving on the crammed dance floor ASAP.

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The Whistler , Logan Square Thursday June 21 2018
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Fabitat

Recommended

This all-inclusive LGBTQ night that started at Double Door’s Door No. 3 is now at Beauty Bar, featuring live music, drag performances and DJ sets. It's one of the most promising new alt-queer party outposts in town.

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Beauty Bar , River West/West Town Until Wednesday June 27 2018

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