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June 2019 events calendar for Chicago

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

Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Saturday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
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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 2019

Featured events in June 2019

Do Division Street Fest, 6/3/12.
Photograph: Max Herman
Things to do, Festivals

Do Division Street Fest

icon-location-pin Division St at Damen Ave, Ukrainian Village
icon-calendar

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning several city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurants to Division Street, as well as a petting zoo for the kids, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. This year's music lineup includes Why?, the Meat Puppets, Mikal Cronin, Pile, Ryley Walker and Laura Stevenson, as well as local acts like Russian Circles, the Cool Kids, Makaya McCraven and Paul Cherry.

Mayfest | Lincoln Square | 6/2/12
Photograph: Anthony Soave
Things to do, Festivals

Maifest

icon-location-pin Lincoln Square, Lincoln Square
icon-calendar

Not to be confused with Mayfest in Lakeview, the traditionally German neighborhood of Lincoln Square celebrates Oktoberfest in the summer with all the beers, cheers, oompah, Lederhosen and pretzels you'd expect. Swing by to check out the maypole, hoist a stein and eat your fill of schnitzel.

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Comic Con Revolution
Photograph: Courtesy Comic Con Revolution
Things to do, Conventions

Comic Con Revolution

icon-location-pin Donald E. Stephens Convention Center,
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A newcomer to Chicago's crowded convention circuit, Comic Con Revolution brings more than 200 exhibitors to Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for a two-day celebration of comics, movies, games and toys. The guest list is stacked with comic talent, including Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza, Nightwing artist Tim Seeley and Harley Quinn artist Amanda Conner. You can also expect cosplayers and plenty of long boxes of back issues to dig through.

CAKE
Photograph: Courtesy CAKE
Things to do, Conventions

CAKE: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

icon-location-pin Center on Halsted, Lake View
icon-calendar

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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ACTIVATE
Photograph: Courtesy Chicago Loop Alliance
Things to do, Quirky events

ACTIVATE

icon-location-pin Various locations throughout Chicago,
icon-calendar

Chicago Loop Alliance's pop-up party series returns to alleys and other unexpected downtown locations this summer, giving you a good reason to hang out on a street after work. Joining the city's celebration of the Chicago Year of Theater, all four ACTIVATE events will be centered around the local performing arts community, including drag performers, lighting designers, stage decorators, comedians and circus acts. The location of each party is typically announced a few weeks before the event takes place. Don't forget to RSVP for ACTIVATE to receive a complimentary drink ticket (good for beer, wine or cocktails) when you show up.

Morton Arboretum Nature Connects
Photograph: Michael Hudson
Art, Outdoor art

“Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks”

icon-location-pin Morton Arboretum, Suburbs
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Take in 15 sculptures spread throughout the Morton Arboretum's pathways, including an eight-foot dragonfly, a peacock, a turtle and a nearly life-size family of deer—all made out of LEGO bricks. The intricate models are the work of New York-based artist Sean Kenney, who is well-known for turning the tiny plastic bricks into creative works that tour the world as part of the "Nature Connects" exhibition.

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Hamilton: The Exhibition
Illustration: David Korins
Museums, History

“Hamilton: The Exhibition”

icon-location-pin 1535 S Linn White Dr, Museum Campus
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Experience the life of Alexander Hamilton at this stand-alone exhibition, created by the team behind the hit musical Hamilton. Debuting in Chicago, "Hamilton: The Exhibition" takes visitors on a journey from a trading post in St. Croix to the New Jersey hilltop where the Founding Father was shot in duel, using imaginative environments (created by the Broadway production's set designer David Korins) to immerse guests in the historical tale. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda serves as the exhibition's narrator (via a high-tech headset), fleshing out details as you make your way through the display and listen to rearranged music from the Broadway show. Highlights of the 20,000 square-foot experience include a moving sculpture representing the hurricane that brought Hamilton to America and a 70-foot parchment map of Manhattan circa 1772 outfitted with scale models of key locations, like Fraunces Tavern and King’s College.

Millennium Park
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Movies

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Pack your own popcorn, bring a blanket and enjoy another season of free outdoor movie screenings during the Millennium Park Summer Film Series. In honor of the Year of Chicago Theatre, this summer's lineup was curated by 13 local theater companies, which means that you'll find a few stage adaptations on the list, including the 1962 musical The Music Man, 2016 Academy Award best picture winner Moonlight (based on a play written by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney) and 10 Things I Hate About You (an updated retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew). The lineup also includes superhero movies (Black Panther, Wonder Woman), foreign films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and kid-friendly flicks (Inside Out, The Muppet Movie).

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Chicago Blues Festival 2017
Photograph: Max Herman
Music, Music festivals

Chicago Blues Festival

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Chicago honors its legacy as a city filled with 12-bar melodies by hosting the world's largest blues music festival, bringing living legends and local players to Millennium Park for a three-day celebration. This year's lineup of headlining acts includes “King of the Chitlin' Circuit” Bobby Rush, soul singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette and gospel blues singer Ruthie Foster. Snag a spot on the lawn to secure a great view of the always-packed evening performances at Pritzker Pavilion, or stroll through the park to catch sets from local musicians on the Blue Festival side stages.

Nickelodeon SlimeFest
Photograph: Jeff Schear
Music, Music festivals

Nickelodeon SlimeFest

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
icon-calendar

After drenching attendees in buckets of green goop last summer, Nickelodeon's SlimeFest returns to Northerly Island to make every ‘90s kid's dreams come true with two days of family-friendly fun and music. When you're not searching for the nearest slime spout, you'll be able to take in sets from headlining acts like rapper Pitbull, pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, YouTube star JoJo Siwa and recent The Masked Singer winner T-Pain. Plus, you can meet Nickelodeon stars, dance at a slime disco or dive down a gigantic inflatable slide. Tickets for Nickelodeon SlimeFest go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10am.

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Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Friday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Spring Awakening Music Festival

icon-location-pin Sears Centre, Suburbs
icon-calendar

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Spring Awakening takes over Poplar Creek at 59-90 Entertainment District in Hoffman Estates (just west of the Sears Centre), welcoming a slate of headliners that includes DJ Snake, Zedd, Martin Garrix, Rezz, Griz and DJ Illenium. 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.

Cyclists strip down and cruise through Chicago during the World Naked Bike Ride​
Photograph: Max Herman
Things to do

World Naked Bike Ride

icon-location-pin Various locations throughout Chicago,
icon-calendar

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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Things to do, Festivals

Craft Brews at the Zoo

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago, IL, Lincoln Park
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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.

Taste of Randolph
Photograph: Courtesy Star Events
Things to do, Festivals

Taste of Randolph

icon-location-pin 900 W Randolph St, Downtown
icon-calendar

Taking place on the same street occupied by some of Chicago's best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drinks and music. You'll find food from more than 16 restaurants (on Randolph Street and beyond) being served as well as two stages packed with performances throughout the day. This year's lineup include indie rockers Real Estate. R&B act Anderson East, synth-pop duo Holy Ghost!, Vulfpeck guitarist Cory Wong and New York rockers Cults. Donations made at the entrance to the festival support the West Loop Community Organization.

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Windy City LakeShake Country Music Festival, June 20, 2015 at Northerly Island, Chicago.
Photographer: cousindaniel.com
Music, Folk, country and blues

Country LakeShake Festival

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
icon-calendar

Country music doesn't get a lot of love on major Chicago summer music festival lineups, but the annual Country LakeShake gives cowboy hat-wearing fans a place to see some of the favorite Nashville stars. Taking place at the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, this year's edition of the county fest features headlining sets from Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan. Props to whoever programmed the event's Friday lineup, which is almost exclusively made up of female artists, including Maren Morris (who provided the vocals for Zedd's hit "The Middle") and American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina.

Ruido Fest
Photograph: Maria Madrigal
Music, Latin and world

Ruido Fest

icon-location-pin Union Park, West Loop
icon-calendar

Moving to Union Park for the first time this summer, Rudio Fest fills a notable void in Chicago summer festival calendar by championing the diverse sounds of Latin American pop, electro and rock en español. Headlining acts on the 2019 lineup include Californian norteño (Mexican polka music) band Los Tigres del Norte and a collaboration between Argentinian pop-rock group Enanitos Verdes and Spanish boy band Hombres G. Other notable performers include Mexican psych-rockers El Tri and experimental pop artist Helado Negro.

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Water Flicks Navy Pier
Photograph: James Richards IV Photography
Movies, Action and adventure

Navy Pier Water Flicks Summer Film Series

icon-location-pin Polk Bros Park, Streeterville
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Superheroes are taking over Navy Pier's Water Flicks summer film series at Polk Bros Park this year, with eight screenings centered around cinematic renderings of spandex-suited defenders. Fans of Marvel and DC will be able to enjoy screenings on the shore of Lake Michigan, including recent blockbusters like Black Panther, Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Logan Square Arts Festival
Photograph: Christopher Dilts
Things to do, Festivals

Logan Square Arts Festival

icon-location-pin Illinois Centennial Monument, Logan Square
icon-calendar

Each summer, stages, tents and food trucks spring up around the Illinois Centennial Monument for a weekend that celebrates local art, food, beer and music. The Logan Square Arts Festival is one of the neighborhood's most beloved events and a reminder of the importance of community in an area of the city where demographics are changing as rapidly as new condos and high-rises can be built. In addition to a full slate of local artists, printers and makers, this year's festival will feature sets from Philadelphia rockers Hop Along, New Zealand indie-pop group the Beths, Brooklyn electronic act Future Generations and more.

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Chicago Pride Parade 2018
Photograph: Jordan Avery
LGBT

Pride in the Park: Iggy Azalea + Steve Aoki

icon-location-pin Grant Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride celebrations in Chicago and the city is observing the occassion with a gigantic one-day festival in Grant Park. On the Saturday before the Chicago Pride Parade on the city's North Side, Pride in the Park will bring revelers to the Loop for an entire afternoon of performances and entertainment. Australian rapper Iggy Azelea and EDM cake-thrower Steve Aoki headline the the festival, joined by R&B singer (and reality TV star) Tamar Braxton and Kathy Sledge of disco group Sister Sledge. Plus, Ru Paul's Drag Race contestants like Shea Coulee, Alexis Michelle and Coco Montrese will also be appearing at the fest, which will take over Bulter Field north of Buckingham Fountain. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit local organizations like the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Center on Halsted and Stonewall Sports. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Chicago Pride

Ultra Fresh
Photograph: Hilary Higgins
Things to do, Festivals

Ultra Fresh

icon-location-pin ICNC Make City, United Center
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True to its name, you won’t drink a beer that was packaged more than one week before this expansive tasting event, organized by local craft brewing blog The Hop Review. Each ticket includes 20 tasting of fresh creations from the likes of Dovetail, Half Acre, Marz, Noon Whistle and more than 15 other breweries.

Concerts in June 2019

Do Division Street Fest, 6/3/12.
Photograph: Max Herman
Things to do, Festivals

Do Division Street Fest

icon-location-pin Division St at Damen Ave, Ukrainian Village
icon-calendar

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning several city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurants to Division Street, as well as a petting zoo for the kids, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. This year's music lineup includes Why?, the Meat Puppets, Mikal Cronin, Pile, Ryley Walker and Laura Stevenson, as well as local acts like Russian Circles, the Cool Kids, Makaya McCraven and Paul Cherry.

Wu-Tang Clan
Photograph: Courtesy Infamous PR
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Wu-Tang Clan + Reignwolf + The Soul Rebels

icon-location-pin Aragon, Uptown
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While the nine members of the Wu-Tang Clan have kept busy with solo projects, features and collaborations, the Staten Island hip-hop collective only seems to get together to tour (though they did sell a $2 million double album to Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli, which was subsequently siezed by a federal court). Now RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and Cappadonna are joining forces to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wu's acclaimed debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The collage of dusty jazz sample, excerpts from kung-fu movies and provocative lyricism set the tone of early ‘90s hip-hop, giving way to East Coast hip-hop luminaries like Nas and Jay-Z. Expect a performance of the 1993 record in its entirety, complete with Ol' Dirty Bastard disembodied verses and RZA's masterful production—rest assured that even after a quarter of a century, Wu-Tang can still bring the ruckus. Canadians rockers Reignwolf and New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels support.

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Chicago Blues Festival 2017
Photograph: Max Herman
Music, Music festivals

Chicago Blues Festival

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Chicago honors its legacy as a city filled with 12-bar melodies by hosting the world's largest blues music festival, bringing living legends and local players to Millennium Park for a three-day celebration. This year's lineup of headlining acts includes “King of the Chitlin' Circuit” Bobby Rush, soul singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette and gospel blues singer Ruthie Foster. Snag a spot on the lawn to secure a great view of the always-packed evening performances at Pritzker Pavilion, or stroll through the park to catch sets from local musicians on the Blue Festival side stages.

Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Friday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Spring Awakening Music Festival

icon-location-pin Sears Centre, Suburbs
icon-calendar

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Spring Awakening takes over Poplar Creek at 59-90 Entertainment District in Hoffman Estates (just west of the Sears Centre), welcoming a slate of headliners that includes DJ Snake, Zedd, Martin Garrix, Rezz, Griz and DJ Illenium. 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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John Prine
Photograph: Josh Britt
Music, Folk, country and blues

John Prine + Tyler Childers

icon-location-pin Ravinia Pavilion, Suburbs
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While working as a mailman in Chicago in the ‘60s and regularly performing at open mics, John Prine's simple and impactful folk music caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, launching his career as a professional singer-songwriter. Several decades later, Prine's eloquent songcraft has garnered prominent fans such as Bob Dylan and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. At this special performance just north of his hometown, Prine will look back on his storied career and debut material from The Tree of Forgiveness—his first album of new songs in nearly 13 years. Contemporary country singer-songwriter Tyler Childers opens the show.

Nickelodeon SlimeFest
Photograph: Jeff Schear
Music, Music festivals

Nickelodeon SlimeFest

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
icon-calendar

After drenching attendees in buckets of green goop last summer, Nickelodeon's SlimeFest returns to Northerly Island to make every ‘90s kid's dreams come true with two days of family-friendly fun and music. When you're not searching for the nearest slime spout, you'll be able to take in sets from headlining acts like rapper Pitbull, pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, YouTube star JoJo Siwa and recent The Masked Singer winner T-Pain. Plus, you can meet Nickelodeon stars, dance at a slime disco or dive down a gigantic inflatable slide. Tickets for Nickelodeon SlimeFest go on sale Friday, March 29 at 10am.

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359.mu.mu.ls.buddyguy.jpg
Photograph: Paul Natkin
Music, Folk, country and blues

Buddy Guy + Blues Traveler + Shemekia Copeland

icon-location-pin Ravinia Pavilion, Suburbs
icon-calendar

As one of the last remaining legendary Chicago blues players, Buddy Guy is a performer who epitomizes a very specific era in the city's musical history, when juke joints were an essential part of local nightlife. If you've never caught him playing at his eponymous Chicago club, you know what to expect: Screaming vocals, blazing guitar solos and a few random expletives. At Ravinia, Guy is joined by blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland and rock act Blues Traveler—a band best known for its hit song "Run-Around" that was probably added to lineup simply because its name contains the word "blues."

The Comet is Coming
Photograph: Fabrice Bourgelle
Music, Jazz

The Comet is Coming

icon-location-pin Sleeping Village, Avondale
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Jazz with a cosmic scope is nothing new, especially in Chicago, where bandleader Sun Ra developed the experimental, science fiction-influenced sound that infused bebop and free jazz with interstellar grooves. Led by woodwind-player Shabaka Hutchings, London trio the Comet is Coming has similarly astral ambitions for its output, combining elements of jazz, electronica and psychedelic rock. The group's latest album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, layers growling bass clarinet and saxophone melodies atop cascading synthesizers and rhythms, creating music with decidedly futuristic aspirations that unabashedly draws upon the past.

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Dead & Company
Photograph: Danny Clinch
Music, Rock and indie

Dead & Company

icon-location-pin Wrigley Field | Chicago, IL, Wrigleyville
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The Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Wall concerts at Soldier Field marked the final time that all of the surviving members of the band's core lineup performed together, but the legendary jam band hasn't gone silent yet. Former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann team up with guitarist and singer John Mayer as Dead & Company, reheating the Dead's hallowed catalogue of genre-bending, psychedelic tracks in stadiums and arenas across the country. After playing a two-night stand in Wrigley Field in 2017, Dead & Company returns for another two evenings of meandering guitar solos, tie-dye shirts and a thick clouds of skunky smoke.

Taste of Randolph
Photograph: Courtesy Star Events
Things to do, Festivals

Taste of Randolph

icon-location-pin 900 W Randolph St, Downtown
icon-calendar

Taking place on the same street occupied by some of Chicago's best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drinks and music. You'll find food from more than 16 restaurants (on Randolph Street and beyond) being served as well as two stages packed with performances throughout the day. This year's lineup include indie rockers Real Estate. R&B act Anderson East, synth-pop duo Holy Ghost!, Vulfpeck guitarist Cory Wong and New York rockers Cults. Donations made at the entrance to the festival support the West Loop Community Organization.

Show more
See more June 2015 concerts

Festivals in June 2019

Do Division Street Fest, 6/3/12.
Photograph: Max Herman
Things to do, Festivals

Do Division Street Fest

icon-location-pin Division St at Damen Ave, Ukrainian Village
icon-calendar

Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, kicks off the summer festival season during the first weekend of June. Spanning several city blocks, the annual celebration brings a selection of local vendors and restaurants to Division Street, as well as a petting zoo for the kids, a sidewalk sale and a runway fashion show. This year's music lineup includes Why?, the Meat Puppets, Mikal Cronin, Pile, Ryley Walker and Laura Stevenson, as well as local acts like Russian Circles, the Cool Kids, Makaya McCraven and Paul Cherry.

Duck Gyro at Taxim
Photograph: Martha Williams
Things to do, Festivals

Lincoln Park Greek Festival

icon-location-pin St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago, Sheffield & DePaul
icon-calendar

The street in front of St. George Greek Orthodox Church hosts three days of gyros, spicy feta spread, dancing, traditional music and more during Lincoln Park's annual celebration of Hellenic culture. Show up to feast on Greek delicacies, shop for gifts at the craft fair or catch a set from the Ormi Orchestra.

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Photograph: Nick Murway
Things to do, Festivals

Taste of Mexico

icon-location-pin 26th St and California Ave, Loop
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Get your fill of tacos, torta, burritos, tamales and more delicious Mexican dishes at this culinary celebration in Little Village. More than 20 local restaurants and vendors will fire up the grills and serve food throughout the three-day event, accompanied by live bands and a festive array of carnival rides. We recommend waiting to order enchiladas until after you've taken a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Beer
Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Ale Fest

icon-location-pin Butler Field, Grant Park, Downtown
icon-calendar

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 Field and will feature more than 150 craft beers, live music, games and food trucks.

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Things to do, Festivals

57th Street Art Fair

icon-location-pin 57th St between Kenwood and Kimbark Aves,
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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.

Gold Coast Art Fair
Photograph: Courtesy Amdur Productions
Things to do, Festivals

Gold Coast Art Fair

icon-location-pin Grant Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Dubbed the "Granddaddy of American Art Festivals," Gold Coast sets up the work of 300 artists in Grant Park. Live demos and speed-painting take place throughout the weekend and there are three food, music and beer oases spread throughout the park. Plus, this year you'll be able to head to Butler Field to check out the Chicago Ale Fest on Saturday, June 1.

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Hyde Park Brew Fest
Photograph: Courtesy Hyde Park Brew Fest
Things to do, Festivals

Hyde Park Brew Fest

icon-location-pin 53rd St and Harper Ave, Hyde Park
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Hot beats and cold beers unite at the Hyde Park Brew Fest, which brings a stacked lineup of DJs and breweries to the neighborhood. Admission to the event is free, but you'll need to purchase some beer tickets if you want to drink your way through 50 beers from the likes of Half Acre, Middle Brow, Illuminate Brew Works and more.

Music, Classical and opera

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

The city's annual celebration of gospel music welcomes national touring acts and up-and-coming local talent to Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center for two days of uplifting songs and hymns.

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ACTIVATE
Photograph: Courtesy Chicago Loop Alliance
Things to do, Quirky events

ACTIVATE

icon-location-pin Various locations throughout Chicago,
icon-calendar

Chicago Loop Alliance's pop-up party series returns to alleys and other unexpected downtown locations this summer, giving you a good reason to hang out in the area after work. Joining the city's celebration of the Chicago Year of Theater, all four ACTIVATE events will be centered around the local performing arts community, including drag performers, lighting designers, stage decorators, comedians and circus acts. The location of each party is typically announced a few weeks before the event takes place. Don't forget to RSVP for ACTIVATE to receive a complimentary drink ticket (good for beer, wine or cocktails) when you show up.

Chicago Blues Festival 2017
Photograph: Max Herman
Music, Music festivals

Chicago Blues Festival

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Chicago honors its legacy as a city filled with 12-bar melodies by hosting the world's largest blues music festival, bringing living legends and local players to Millennium Park for a three-day celebration. This year's lineup of headlining acts includes “King of the Chitlin' Circuit” Bobby Rush, soul singer-songwriter Bettye LaVette and gospel blues singer Ruthie Foster. Snag a spot on the lawn to secure a great view of the always-packed evening performances at Pritzker Pavilion, or stroll through the park to catch sets from local musicians on the Blue Festival side stages.

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Chicago's Food Trucks Rally in Daly Plaza. May 4th, 2014.
Photograph: Bekki Y Wasmuth
Things to do, Festivals

Pilsen Food Truck Social

icon-location-pin Thalia Hall | Chicago, IL, Lower West Side
icon-calendar

Some of the city's best food trucks park in Pilsen for two days of music accompanied by dishes from 5411 Empanadas, Pierogi Wagon, Giordano's and more. Guests can purchase a $20 sampler ticket to try sample-sized portions from six of the trucks. Stick around through the afternoon to catch sets from local DJ duo TRQPiTECA, Puerto Rican pop duo Los Wálters, indie-pop band Rose of the West and more.

Printers Row Lit Fest
Photograph: Ken Carl
Things to do, Festivals

Printers Row Lit Fest

icon-location-pin Printers Row, Downtown
icon-calendar

Get your lit fix as the city's historic former bookmaking hub hosts the Midwest's biggest free outdoor ode to literature. Begin your day by shopping at the outdoor marketplace, which features more than 100 booksellers offering everything from used paperbacks to newly published works. Head inside to sit in on conversations with authors like Alex Kotlowitz and Valerie Jarrett, take in readings of theatrical works with members of the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatre ensembles or attend a cooking demo from Rick Bayless and Todd Richards. Kids can get in on the fun by visiting the festival's Arts & Poetry tent or dressing up as their favorite literary character and marching in the Storybook Parade on Saturday morning.

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Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Friday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Spring Awakening Music Festival

icon-location-pin Sears Centre, Suburbs
icon-calendar

Chicago's largest EDM festival returns each June, armed with some of the biggest DJs and electronic acts in the world. This year, Spring Awakening takes over Poplar Creek at 59-90 Entertainment District in Hoffman Estates (just west of the Sears Centre), welcoming a slate of headliners that includes DJ Snake, Zedd, Martin Garrix, Rezz, Griz and DJ Illenium. 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.

380.ga.ga.cp.Misommarfest.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy of Andersonville Chamber of Commerce
Things to do, Festivals

Andersonville Midsommarfest

icon-location-pin Clark Street and Foster Avenue, Andersonville
icon-calendar

Get ready to dance around the Maypole at Andersonville's annual celebration of its Swedish heritage. The LGBTQ-friendly event showcases international performers, Nordic cuisine and an array of family activities. Skål!

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Ribfest Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy Ribfest Chicago
Things to do, Festivals

Ribfest Chicago

icon-location-pin Lincoln Ave between Irving Park Rd and Berteau Ave,
icon-calendar

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, lounges where you can sit down to eat and live music to keep you entertained while you're digesting your second rack of ribs.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Tacos & Tequila Festival

icon-location-pin Stockton Dr and LaSalle Dr, Loop
icon-calendar

Get outside and eat some tacos at Lincoln Park's latest festival, which brings together some of the city's best tortilla-wrapped dishes and drinks made with tequila. Admission includes a margarita as well as access to live music from the likes of Alan King and Xonic//Ayoo. 

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Things to do, Festivals

Craft Brews at the Zoo

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago, IL, Lincoln Park
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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.

Taste of Randolph
Photograph: Courtesy Star Events
Things to do, Festivals

Taste of Randolph

icon-location-pin 900 W Randolph St, Downtown
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Taking place on the same street occupied by some of Chicago's best-known restaurants, this West Loop fest boasts six blocks of food, drinks and music. You'll find food from more than 16 restaurants (on Randolph Street and beyond) being served as well as two stages packed with performances throughout the day. This year's lineup includes indie rockers Real Estate. R&B act Anderson East, synth-pop duo Holy Ghost!, Vulfpeck guitarist Cory Wong and New York rockers Cults. Donations made at the entrance to the festival support the West Loop Community Organization.

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Cobra Starship at Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party
Photograph: Max Herman
Things to do, Festivals

World's Largest Block Party

icon-location-pin Old Saint Patrick's Church, West Loop
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While it may not set any world records with its attendance, this annual bash at Old St. Patrick's Church is a beast of a block party, benefiting the institution's social justice and outreach programs. World's Largest Block Party fills a parking lot near the church with food, beer, a bags tournament and music from local cover bands 16 Candles and 7th Heaven. Lock down your ticket before June 10 to score a free drink upon arrival or show up between 5 to 6pm on June 21 for free entry to the event.

Chicago celebrates a month of gay pride with all its colors, June 21, 2015.
Photograph: Anthony Soave
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Pride Fest

icon-location-pin Halsted St, Boystown
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Prep for Chicago's annual Pride Parade with this massive block party, now a highly anticipated, two-day tradition of its own. Situated in the heart of Boystown, the event offers food and drinks from local vendors as well as musical entertainment with strong queer followings.

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