June Chicago festival calendar

Start enjoying summer at these top Chicago festivals, with plenty of barbecue, tunes and culture for the whole family
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Photograph: cousindaniel.com Spring Awakening Festival, June 14: Dance music fans descend on Soldier Field for DJs and EDM's biggest acts.
By Time Out Chicago staff, compiled by Zach Long |
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The sun is shining, the mercury is rising and Chicago festivals have hit the streets. June is one of the best months to get outdoors and start enjoying all that the city has to offer, whether you're a fan of hot dogs or music festivals. From neon-clad bros at Spring Awakening to the colorful revelers at the Pride Parade, everyone can appreciate one of Chicago's hottest months. Put down your summer reading (just for a moment) and take a look at our list of the best music, food and art festivals that are happening this month.

Things to do, Festivals

Do Division Street Fest

In its eighth year, Do Division, the street shindig booked by Empty Bottle and House Call Entertainment, holds down the last weekend in May, really kicking off the summer festival season. Shopping is merely one diversion. The vendors' wares along Division Street are rivaled only by the excess of street-side eye candy—other pretty, young things who bring their sartorial A-game. Then, of course, there is the music. Headliners include High on Fire and JC Brooks (Fri), Bass Drum of Death (Sat) and, on the strongest day, J Mascis and People Under the Stairs (Sun).

Things to do, Quirky events

ACTIVATE

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. The June event will take place in the Chicago Theater alley, incorporating art curated by the King Art Collective and music by The Galaxie and DJ Madrid.

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Things to do, Festivals

Fiesta Back of the Yards

The Back of the Yards neighborhood knows how to throw a party, shutting down three blocks to make room for carnival rides, games, food vendors and live music. Head down to 47th Street and Damen if you want to eat a taco, take a ride on a Ferris wheel and win a gigantic stuffed animal.

Things to do, Festivals

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 lanuages and genres, while authors participate in panels and discussion. The kiddies can enjoy special activities at the Lil' Lit Park.

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Things to do, Festivals

Adults Night Out

Call the babysitter and leave the kids at home to explore Lincoln Park Zoo after hours. Food and acoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

Things to do, Festivals

Lincoln Park Greek Festival

Opa! The St. George Greek Orthodox Church hosts Lincoln Park Greek Festival, celebrating the food, culture and hospitality of ancient and modern Greece. Dig into a gyro or sample some hummus while taking in some of the event's live music lineup.

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Things to do, Festivals

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

This 30-year-old street festival celebrates Memorial Day with a showcase of regional tribute bands accompanied by plenty of libations and food from local vendors. We're still waiting for the music lineup, but last year's event included Journey and Dave Matthews cover acts.

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Things to do, Festivals

57th Street Art Fair

The oldest juried craft fair in Hyde Park features paintings, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics and more from more than 250 artists.

Things to do, Festivals

Andersonville Midsommarfest

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

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