Gaby FeBland

Gaby FeBland’s illustrations for this guide were finalists for the 2019 “Best Illustration” in a non-daily newspaper or magazine Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club


Pilsen Food Truck Social

18th Street between S. Racine Ave. & S. Throop St. Saturday, June 8 to Sunday June 9, noon–10pm. $5 suggested donation. $20 sampler ticket available for participating vendors and restaurants.

Featuring food truck vendors galore, live music by Empty Bottle Presents and Thalia Hall, local restaurants, and so much more. Sampler tickets are available for purchase, consisting of six individual tickets allowing consumers to taste different samples from participating food trucks and restaurants. (Roderick Sawyer)

Real Men Cook

Hale Franciscan High School, 4930 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Sunday, June 16, 3pm–6pm. Advance tickets $15 adults, $10 children. $30 at the door. Purchase tickets at

Since 1990, founders Yvette and Kofi Moyo have been debunking urban myths about Black fathers by holding space for fathers and father figures to show up and show out on the grill every Father’s Day in celebration of fatherhood, food and wellness. And oh boy, do they ever! This year’s Real Men Cook will feed your belly as well as your spirit with live music, a kid’s zone, health and wellness information, and the food—oh the food! (Nicole Bond)

Chicago Food Truck Festival in the South Loop and LaBagh Woods

1800 S. Wabash Ave., Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 11am8pm; 5275 N. Cicero Ave., Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 10am to sunset. Free. VIP $10.

The largest food truck gathering in the state awaits you. Choose to eat from over forty gourmet food trucks. Wash down your food with an expanded beer and wine selection. Listen to live bands and DJs while collecting your event swag. (Maple Joy)

Chicago Jerk Festival

Washington Park, 5533 Russell Dr. Sunday, June 23, 11am–10pm. $25 early bird ticket, $75 VIP ticket. Kids ages twelve and under enter for free.

Held annually in Washington Park, the Chicago Jerk Festival is back again for 2019. Nothing says summer quite like jerk chicken, pork and fish, and a large array of international artists and DJ sets to keep you dancing from morning to nightfall. Come solo, with some friends, or bring the whole family along. (Roderick Sawyer)

2nd Annual Chi-Town Hot Sauce Expo

SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, Illinois. Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, 10am–6pm. Advance tickets: $7 general admission; $40 for Beer & BBQ Platter tickets; $75 for VIP tickets. Children ten and under enter for free.

Back for a second year of metal-apocalyptic-tinged eating contests, Chihuahua beauty pageants, wrestling, drinking, and—of course—hot sauce, the Chi-Town Hot Sauce Expo returns to the recently-renamed soccer stadium located just outside city limits. (Sam Stecklow)

Chicago Michelada Fest

Harrison Park, 1824 S. Wood St. Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, noon–10pm both days. $5 for 21+, free for 20 & under.

Swing by the 2nd annual Chicago Michelada Festival, this year boasting a larger location, more staff and beer tents, and greater variety in food offerings. The festival seeks to raise $50k for three local nonprofit organizations, as well as to cover festival expenses and accommodations. (Roderick Sawyer)

Tacos y Tamales Festival

16th St. & W. Peoria St. Friday, July 19, 5pm–10pm; Saturday, July 20, noon–10pm; Sunday, July 21, noon–10pm. $5 suggested donation to benefit the Frida K Community Organization; $39 for tequila tasting tickets.

Green Curtain Events is throwing its fourth annual open-air festival inspired by the Tianguis, a traditional Mexican and Central American open-air market. Spend your weekend in Pilsen with tacos, tamales, tortillas, and tequila tastings, as well as other attractions that don’t start with the letter T. (Rachel Kim)

South Loop Beer & Cider Fest

Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens, 1801 S. Indiana Ave. Saturday, July 27, 4pm–7:30pm (3pm entry for VIP). $50 general admission (increases to $55 at the door); $65 VIP Gold Pass; $15 for designated drivers, who are, obviously, not allowed to drink.

The fourth annual South Loop Beer & Cider Fest promises all the craft beer you could ever want from Illinois (and the nation at large). Buy a ticket to experience over a hundred beers, live music, and “craft beer-centric activities.” Proceeds will benefit the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens. (Rachel Kim)

Taste of Greektown

400 S. Halsted St. Friday, August 23rd, 4pm–11pm. Saturday, August 24 and Sunday August 25, noon–11pm. Free entry.

As the glassy condos and gilded restaurants of the West Loop encroach more and more upon the historic ethnic enclave of Greektown, which gave saganaki and a million cries of Opa and flares of flame to the world, you can still sample the Mediterranean cuisine at Taste of Greektown. The food festival will boast savory grilled meats and beloved Greek classics that lean heavy on the lemon, oregano, and olive oil. The thirty-year celebration will feature folk dancing and a gyro-eating contest. (Joseph S. Pete)

Lagunitas Beer Circus

Douglas Park, W. 18th St. & S. Farrar Dr. Saturday, August 24, noon–5pm. $40. 21+.

The California-born and partially North Lawndale–based craft brewery Lagunitas, which is behind beloved beers like the IPA and the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, is running a summer festival of its own this August. Along with their own beers, the event also offers a selection of more famed Midwestern beers and food trucks. But it wouldn’t be a Lagunitas event without live music and a full-blown circus that promises a burlesque show, aerialists, and “acts you can’t un-see.” Bring your of-age friends and, if needed, a designated driver to this event, which is sure to be sumpin’ special. (Rachel Kim)

Jerk, Seafood, & Vegan (JSV) Festival

Park 540, 2401 S. Federal St. Saturday, September 7, and Sunday, September 8, noon–9:30pm. $5 in advance, $10 at the gate. Children twelve and under enter for free.

The third annual “JSVFest” promises to “stimulate your appetite” with all the summer foods you’ve been craving: jerk, seafood, vegan, soul, vegetarian, barbecue, and sweets. There will also be live music, arts and crafts, and games for every member of your family to enjoy. (Rachel Kim)

World Dumpling Fest

Navy Pier Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave. Sunday, September 29, 1pm–7:30pm. General admission free, dumpling tasting tickets will be available later.

At this third annual World Dumpling Fest, we don’t know what kinds of dumplings will be present or from where, but if last year’s “lineup” is any indication, there will be pierogis, samosas, empanadas, tamales, gyoza, shumai, croquettes, and more, from tens of Chicago restaurants. And just like last year, it will be “paired” with the World Music Festival, happening at the same time. Lineup for that is yet to be announced but sure to add an appropriate soundtrack to these tastes from around the world. (Adam Przybyl)


Festa Pasta Vino

2500 S. Oakley Ave. Friday, June 14–Sunday, June 16.

Pilsen Taco Fest

Location TBD. Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16.

Taste of Greater Ashburn

Bogan Park, 3939 W. 79th St. Friday, August 23–Sunday, August 25.

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Gaby FeBland

Brooks Day

Chicago State University, Gwendolyn Brooks Library, 9501 S. King Dr., 4th fl. Friday, June 7. 3pm–8pm. Reception 5pm. Free admission. Onsite parking $5.

Please attend the seventh annual celebration honoring the life and literary legacy of Chicago’s own Gwendolyn Brooks. This year’s Brooks Day is a collaboration between the Guild Literary Complex, Brooks Permissions, and the Third World Press Foundation, featuring reading of select Brooks works in the fourth floor atrium 3pm–5pm, followed by a reception in the fourth floor solarium with birthday cake and appetizers from 5pm–6pm and ending with a program in honor of the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, presented by Chicago State’s Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, 6pm–8pm in the atrium. (Nicole Bond)

Printers Row Lit Fest

Dearborn St. between Congress Pkwy. & Polk St. Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, 10am–6pm. Free entry and events.

For a few glorious summer days, the Printer’s Row neighborhood in the South Loop transforms into a bibliophile’s paradise where people can hunt for their next great read or three. Around 100 booksellers, literary organizations, and vendors will take place in the Midwest’s largest free literary fest. Rick Bayless, Janet Burroway, Kevin Coval, Eve Ensler, Eve Ewing, Ross Gay, and Valerie Jarrett are just some of the distinguished speakers. Come hear best-selling authors or watch live cooking demonstrations while browsing through entire city blocks of books. (Joseph S. Pete)

Chicago Book and Paper Fair

Local 130 Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington St. Saturday, June 15, 10am1pm. $6, or $4 for students and seniors.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of paper’s death are greatly exaggerated. For nearly six decades, people have flocked to the Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association’s Book & Paper Fair to find rare first editions, autographed books, broadsides, leather-bound editions, obscure maps, posters, vintage pulps, and other collectibles. It’s a veritable treasure trove for bibliophiles and collectors in the striking Art Deco ballroom of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers’ Union Hall. (Joseph S. Pete)

Chicago Radical Used Book Fair

The Living Room, 2423 W North Ave. Saturday, June 15, 10am1pm; Sunday, June 16, noon4pm. Free. (312) 487-1315.

There are book fairs and then there are populist book fairs. The people’s Chicago Radical Used Book Fair helps fund scholarships to the Socialism Conference that runs from July 4 to July 7 in Chicago. The Chicago Socialists are selling hundreds of books, both new and overstock, in The Living Room for the fourth annual Chicago Radical Used Book Fair. Fittingly, Revolution Brewing will provide libations. Credit is accepted but cash is encouraged. (Joseph S. Pete)

Soulful Chicago Book Fair

61st St. between S. Cottage Grove Ave. and S. King Dr. Sunday, August 3, 10am–8pm. Free. (646) 359-6605.

More than 4,500 people turned out for last year’s Soulful Chicago Book Fair, which former manager of the now-defunct Afrocentric Bookstore Asadah Kirkland organized to celebrate the literary arts among the African diaspora in the city of Chicago. Hundreds of authors, poets, and other creators will take part in the day-long literary festival in Woodlawn. It aims to give African-American writers more exposure in the literary marketplace and attain no less lofty a goal than “forging forward the new Black Literary Renaissance.” (Joseph S. Pete)

African Festival of the Arts

Washington Park, 5531 S. King Dr. Friday, August 30 to Monday, September 2. Pre-sale tickets $15, $20 at the door. Seniors $10, children five to twelve $5. Children under five are free. Weekend passes available starting at $40.

This year marks the thirtieth annual African Festival Of The Arts, hosted Labor Day Weekend in Washington Park. The festival has multiple spaces including two stages for performances, marketplaces for food and goods, thematic Villages, and family-oriented Pavilions. The African Spiritual Pavilion and Ancestral Grove is the sacred center of the festival, where all members of the diaspora can learn about their history and African spirituality. (Jasmine Mithani)

Chicago Architecture Biennial

Various sites, September 19 through January 5. Free.

North America’s largest architecture and design exhibition returns after the 2017 debut featured more than 140 practitioners from more than twenty countries, drawing an estimated 550,000 visitors. Exhibits, installations, talks, films, and other events take place at the Chicago Cultural Center and sites across the city, to encourage exploration. This year’s theme is “and other such stories” with projects exploring how architecture “relates to land, memory, rights, and civic participation.” Co-curators Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares have assembled contributors from across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia for this go-round. (Joseph S. Pete)

Beverly Art Walk

Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods. Saturday, September 21. Free. All ages.

Beverly might be one of Chicago’s most suburban and single-family-home–dominated neighborhoods, but it’s not devoid of creativity. Explore the arts on the far Southwest Side with a self-guided tour of Beverly and Morgan Park. Check out the work of more than 150 artists in more than fifty venues, including the Beverly Arts Center, Horse Thief Hollow, Heritage Gallery, B-Sides Coffee + Tea, and Cork & Kerry. There will be live music, libations, local foods, and pop-up galleries in vacant storefronts. Oh, and there will be handmade goods at the Uprising Craft Market. (Joseph S. Pete)

Youth Arts Showcase

Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Saturday, September 21, 11am–7:30pm. Free.

The Youth Arts Showcase, or YAS! Fest, is hosted by the City to celebrate the creative works of Chicago’s young people in spaces throughout downtown. While this year’s schedule has yet to be released, last year featured dozens of performers and artists, including the Chicago Youth Symphony, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, South Shore Drill Team, CineYouth, and Beverly Arts Center Dance Program. Young Chicago Authors hosted an open mic at the Art Institute, and the Chicago Cultural Center displayed an exhibition of artworks by young people. There were appearances by National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier and the cast of Comedy Central’s South Side. Given the incredible artistic output of the young people in our city, we’re expecting another stellar lineup this year. (Jasmine Mithani)


Uprising Summer Solstice Night Market

99th St. & S. Walden Pkwy. Friday, June 21, 5pm–10pm. Free.

Ridge Park Art Fair and Festival

Ridge Park, 1817 W. 95th St. Saturday, June 22, 11am–5pm. Free.

Brainerd Park Art Fair

Brainerd Park, 1246 W. 92nd St. Saturday, June 22, 1pm–7pm. Free.

Millennium Art Festival

Michigan Ave. & E. Lake St. Friday, June 28, 11am–6pm; Saturday, June 29, 10am–6pm; Sunday, June 30, 10am–5pm. Free.

North Lawndale Community Art Festival

Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. Saturday, August 3, noon–7pm. Free.

Chicago SummerDance Celebration

Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Saturday, August 24, 1pm–8pm. Free.

Printers Row Art Fest

47 W. Polk St. Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15. Free.

Chicago International Latino Theater Festival

Various locations. Thursday, September 19 through Sunday, October 27. Prices vary.

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Gaby FeBland

Harper Court Summer Music Series

Harper Court, 5235 S. Harper Ct. First Thursdays: June 6, July 4, and August 1, 6pm–9pm. Free.

First Thursdays in Harper Court will be the place to be this summer for live music and dancing in the streets hosted by Mario Smith and sponsored by the Silver Room, Harper Court, and the University of Chicago. First up on June 6 are DJs Sam Chapman, Calvin, and Ramonski Luv, with 95.1FM presenting a live broadcast of “Club Stepping Under the Stars.” Hear the music of Ten City featuring Byron Stingily on July 4. August 1 closes the series with Drea the Vibe Dealer opening for Kadhja Bonet presented by Slo Mo’.  Bring your chair and enjoy the show, just save room for dancing! (Nicole Bond)

Jazz In The Courtyard

Hyde Park Shopping Center, 55th St. and S. Lake Park Ave. First Fridays: June 7, July 5, August 2, and September 6, noon–2pm. Free.

Make plans for a long lunch every first Friday through September at the 55th Street Mall Courtyard. Just don’t lie to your bosses about where you’re going because they will be there too! On June 7, see award-winning trombonist Bill McFarlane leading the Chicago Horns with Hank Ford and Kenny Anderson. Catch Rhythms of Thunder with drummers Charles Heath, Dana Hall, and Jeremiah Collier on July 5. Victor Garcia Latin Jazz Band with members Stuart Mindeman, Josh Ramos, Victor Gonzalez, and Jose Monteajano, heat up August 2. And the Dynamic Duo of Lynn Hilton and Margaret Murphy-Webb will help us say farewell to summer on September 6. (Nicole Bond)

Chicago Blues Festival

Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Friday, June 7–Sunday, June 9, 11am–9pm. Free.

Celebrate one of Chicago and the South Side’s greatest cultural contributions to the world at this year’s installment of the city-sponsored Blues Fest, which is the largest free blues festival in the world. (Sam Stecklow)

Chi-Soul Fest

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Friday, June 21, 10am–11pm; Saturday, June 22, 10am–10pm. Free and open to the public.

Come out to Navy Pier for the second-annual Chi-Soul Fest. Sponsored by Vocalo, this Festival includes musical acts, including Ayana Contreras, ChiBrations, Sam Trump, Manny Torres, Simone Green, and even the Silver Room as they preview the Silver Room Block Party. There will be a little something for everyone at this one, so make sure you bring the whole crew. (Roderick Sawyer)

Ruido Fest

Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Friday, June 21–Sunday, June 23. Single day passes from $79.99, three-day passes from $169.99. Children ten and under free.

Ruido Fest, the “only three-day Latin music festival in the country,” will return for its fifth season but shift its location north from its usual Addams-Medill Park locale. Headliners include norteño group Los Tigres Del Norte and Mexican rock band El Tri. (Christopher Good)

Chicago Mariachi Festival

Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Sunday, June 30, 4pm–8:30pm. Free. Seating available on a first come first serve basis, $50 charitable donation gets you one VIP seat.

This will be the 5th Annual Chicago Mariachi Festival at Millennium Park, and one of the largest mariachi events in the U.S., featuring Aida Cuevas, Mariachi Herencia de México, Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlan, and Mariachi Aztlán of the University of Texas–Río Grande Valley. This event is presented by the Mariachi Heritage Foundation, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. (Roderick Sawyer)

Chosen Few Picnic & Festival

Jackson Park, E. 63rd St. & S. Hayes Dr. Saturday, July 6, 8am. Tickets range from $40 general admission to a $400 VIP package.

Just like the Chosen Few DJs skyrocketed from high schoolers spinning at school dances and basement parties to internationally celebrated producers and pioneers of house music, their once-intimate July Fourth picnic is now a huge house music festival, tens of thousands of attendees strong. This year’s guests include Thelma Houston, Taana Gardner, and David Morales. (Hafsa Razi, Sam Stecklow)

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.; Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.; and venues citywide. Friday, August 23–Sunday, September 1. Free.

The Chicago Jazz Festival, one of the city’s most popular traditions, offers something for just about anyone. This time around, there’ll be sets from guitarist George Freeman and harmonica player Billy Branch, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the Eddie Palmieri Sextet, among others. But the centerpiece for the festival is a tribute to late South Sider Nat King Cole by his brother Freddy Cole. (Christopher Good, Sam Stecklow)


26th St. & S. Central Park Ave. Saturday, August 24–Sunday, August 25. Free.

Villapalooza welcomes all ages to its ninth annual music festival in Little Village. Listen and dance to local and international musicians, watch various performers take the stage, and look at the work of local artists while enjoying delicious Mexican food. (Maple Joy)

North Coast Music Festival

Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Dr. Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31, 2:30pm–11pm. All ages. $60 for a two-day lawn pass.

Bassnectar and Major Lazer headline this year’s North Coast Music Festival, which has been shortened from three days to just two. EDM fans can wait for the drops at the former Meigs Field airport at Northerly Island, which is technically a peninsula and not an island but which has spectacular views of the skyline and Lake Michigan. Other acts include Jai Wolf, Yung Bae, Tchami, and Snakehips. (Joseph S. Pete)

Riot Fest

Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. Friday, September 13–Sunday, September 15. $129.98 for a three-day pass, for a limited time.

In its 15th iteration, Riot Fest goes big with headliners Blink-182, The Raconteurs, and Rise Against, and will include a reunion performance from Bikini Kill and the final Chicago show from Slayer. In typical Riot Fest style, there will be album plays by The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), Bloc Party (Silent Alarm), and Ween (The Mollusk). Other notable performers will include Patti Smith, The B-52s, Violent Femmes, and more. Enjoy all that Douglas Park has to offer outside of the Fest, including the lagoon and a picturesque stone bridge straight out of a fairytale. (Adam Przybyl)

World Music Festival

Multiple venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. September 13–29. Free.

In mid-September more than fifty musical groups from twenty countries will descend on Chicago for a two-week celebration of international music. It’s Chicago’s World Music Festival—the largest, and longest-running, of its kind in the United States—put on by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The organizing committee hasn’t yet released specifics about this year’s lineup, but, as always, we can look forward to the all-night Ragamala concert celebrating Indian classical music, the El Grito concert at Millennium Park, and the Global Peace Picnic. (Emeline Posner)


Make Music Chicago

Venues citywide. Friday, June 21.

Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash

Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30. Two-day general admission $180.97, two-day VIP admission $258.61 (inclusive of taxes and fees). Single-day tickets sold out.

We Are Hip Hop Youth Festival

Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St. Saturday, August 3, 1pm–6pm. Free.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Multiple locations along Midway Plaisance and in Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and Kenwood. Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29. Suggested $5 donation. For preferred seating at indoor venues, Jazz Pass $125.

Lineup to be announced, but given the festival’s history, it’s guaranteed to be good.

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Gaby FeBland

Fiesta Back of the Yards

47th St. between S. Ashland Ave. & S. Damen Ave. Friday, June 7, 5pm; Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 beginning at noon. Three-day mega pass for unlimited rides, $50 in advance; $60 after June 8. (773) 523-4416.

The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council has put together yet another jam-packed, three-day Fiesta celebrating its community. There will be performances, food, contests, rides, and more all weekend. (Amy Qin)

Bronzeville Summer Nights

Friday, June 14: E. 47th St. between S. Drexel Blvd. and S. Lake Park Ave.; Friday, July 12: E. 43rd St. between S. Greenwood Ave. and S. Cottage Grove Ave.; Friday, August 9: E. 47th St. between S. Cottage Grove Ave. and S. King Dr.; Friday, September 13: E. 43rd St. between S. Cottage Grove Ave. and S. King Dr. All nights 6pm–9pm. Free.

Quad Communities Development Corporation presents the seventh annual Bronzeville Summer Nights, focused on promoting arts and commerce in Bronzeville and nearby neighborhoods. Dance performances return this year, with local group MADD Rhythms featured the first night. (Rod Sawyer, Sam Stecklow)

Silver Room Block Party

53rd St. & S. Harper Ct. Saturday, July 20, noon–10pm. Suggested donation.

Hyde Park gallery, venue, and shop The Silver Room hosts its sixteenth annual block party this year, which we expect, as usual, will shut down 53rd Street with music, events, food, and more. (Sam Stecklow)

Fiesta Del Sol

Cermak Rd. between S. Ashland Ave. & S. Morgan St. Thursday, July 25, 5pm–10pm; Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, 11am–11pm; Sunday, July 28, 11am–10pm. Free entry, unlimited ride passes available for $45–60. (312) 666-2663. RSVP at

Pilsen’s Fiesta Del Sol, the self-proclaimed “largest Latino festival in the Midwest,” attracts over a million attendees every year with carnival rides, soccer games, live entertainment, and more. Fiesta Del Sol is also tobacco and alcohol-free, making it the perfect family event. The carnival is organized by (and a fundraiser for) the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, a longstanding neighborhood nonprofit. Hop on a ride and support the community in one fell swoop! (Kristen Simmons)

Chinatown Summer Fair

Wentworth Ave. & E. Cermak Rd. Sunday, July 21, 10am–8pm. Free.

The 41st annual Chinatown Summer Fair is back and better than ever, complete with a procession of Dragon and Lion Dances and all of your favorite artisans and Chinese eats. Bring friends and family alike to this popular street fair! (Amy Qin)

Bud Billiken Parade

Route starts at S. King Dr. & E. Oakwood Blvd; post-parade festivities at Washington Park, southeast of E. 51st and S. King Dr. Saturday, August 10, 10am. Apply online to participate in the parade, $50. College scholarship application due Friday, June 7. Free attendance.

Celebrate ninety years of legacy with the ninetieth annual Bud Billiken Parade. This historic Black parade—the country’s oldest and biggest, with hundreds of thousands of attendees—celebrates the end of summer and puts local children front and center. Marching bands, drill teams, floats, and other youth organizations will take to the streets through Bronzeville, meeting at the end of the route for “after-parade” vendors, giveaways, and more performances. Parade organizer Chicago Defender Charities is also accepting applications from college-bound high school seniors for $2,500 scholarships. And if you can’t make it out, catch the live coverage on WLS-TV. (Hafsa Razi)

Pilsen Fest

18th St. & S. Blue Island Ave. Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18, noon–10pm. $5 donation.

With a variety of local artists, fresh food, and locally sold goods, Pilsen Fest will showcase the neighborhood’s rich cultural diversity in partnership with El BeiSMan, a collective of Latinx journalists and educators. (Kristen Simmons)

Calumet Cultural Heritage Day

Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G. Saturday, August 17. 12pm–3pm. Free. All ages.

The Southeast Side that hugs the Indiana state line often gets overlooked and forgotten. But its rich history will be celebrated at an all-ages festival that’s chock-full of music art and storytelling. The Chicago Park District is staging the fair at the lakeside Calumet Park commemorating the heavily industrial neighborhood that was once home to many steel mills. It remains a rust-dappled hub of shipping, barges, and hulking steel bridges. (Joseph S. Pete)

South Shore Summer Festival

South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Sunday, August 18, 2pm–8pm.

The South Shore Cultural Center will host the eighth annual South Shore Summer Fest. A late summer event to look forward to, keep an eye out for more information as the season goes on—the lineup, always good, has yet to be announced. (Rod Sawyer)

Festival de La Villita

26th St. & S. Kostner Ave. Friday, September 6, 6pm–10pm; Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8, 2pm–10pm. Free.

The long-running three-day festival and parade celebrates Mexican culture and independence from Spanish rule. Over the course of the weekend, 26th Street becomes host to about one hundred vendors selling food, drink, crafts, and art, along with activities for kids, carnival rides, and traditional dancing lessons. On Sunday, the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade comes to an end at the heart of the festival. (Emeline Posner)

79th Street Renaissance Festival

79th St. between Racine and Loomis. Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8, 10am – 7pm. Free. (773) 723-3557.

The Auburn Gresham community will gather again to celebrate the fourteenth annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival. This family friendly event offers games, great music, and yummy food. Shop and support your local community vendors. Sit back and watch various styles of dance from modern to hip-hop. There is something for everyone! (Maple Joy) 


Little Italy Festa

Taylor St. Thursday, August 15, 5pm–10pm; Friday, August 16, 5pm–11pm; Saturday, August 17, noon–11pm; Sunday, August 18, noon–9pm. Free.

Englewood Back to School Parade

From W. 56th St. & S. Halsted St., south on Halsted St. to W. 63rd St., west on 63rd St. to S. Racine Ave., south on Racine Ave. to Ogden Park, 6500 S. Racine Ave. Lineup at 8:30am; kickoff at 10:30am. Free.

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Fresh Pressed Chicago

South Shore Cultural Center Park, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. Sunday, June 9th and Sunday, August 11th, noon–2pm. Free.
Come together as a community to share stories of life on the South and West Sides as a way to reclaim personal narratives of these parts of the city. Share positive tales over food and—if the photos are to be believed—fresh-pressed orange juice. (Jasmine Mithani)

2nd Annual Juneteenth @ The Commons

Sweet Water Foundation, 5749 S. Perry Ave. Saturday, June 22, 11am–3pm. Free. Visit or call (312) 508-3982.

Last year hundreds of people gathered at Sweetwater Foundation’s Perry Commons to celebrate freedom, build community and introduce all who didn’t know, to the long celebrated Texas holiday. Juneeteenth commemorates the day the abolition of American slavery was announced in the state of Texas—June 19, 1865—which just happened to be nearly two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by the Lincoln administration in January of 1863. SWF Executive Director Emmanuel Pratt used his Radical [Re]constructions practice to create an environment where conversations about the power of people to restore spaces could flourish. Having special guest actor/activist and friend to SWF Danny Glover stop by made the even one to remember. The celebration included musical guests, delicious free food, some of which was grown right on the commons, plus children-friendly activities. Stop by this year to see how the celebration will continue is its second year. (Nicole Bond)

Dyke March

Little Village Academy, W. 26th St. and S. Lawndale Ave. Saturday, June 29. Gathering at 1:30pm, kickoff at 2:30pm. Free.

Dyke March returns to Little Village this year on June 29th, the Saturday before the City’s Pride Parade in Lakeview. Boystown Pride can feel like another incarnation of the sweaty, macho crowds flocking to Wrigley Field except with rainbows instead of the ol’ Cubbies red, white, and blue, while Dyke March feels like a picnic with all your cool queer multiracial friends supporting each other. The procession begins on 26th and Lawndale, ending with a fair with food and vendors at Piotrowski Park. (Jasmine Mithani)

Queer Family BBQ

Tom Ping Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. Sunday, June 30th, 11am–4pm. All ages. Free.

As a part of the youth-led Queering the Parks initiative, the Chicago Park District is hosting a festival full of food, music, and family-friendly entertainment. (Jasmine Mithani)

International Festival of Life

Washington Park DuSable Museum Sunken Garden, E. 55th St. and Cottage Grove Ave. Thursday, July 4–Sunday, July 7. Ticket prices vary, for full details visit

After some years in Union Park the International Festival of Life returns home to Washington Park for its twenty-seventh year. This year’s annual celebration of roots and reggae culture, is dedicated, ahem… make that “liveicated” to the Reggae Fifty, commemorating the fifty years of Reggae music since 1968. If you have been a fan of this festival you know it serves you best to stay tuned for the lineup, for it can change up to the minute of show time. But for now it looks like Melba Moore could be the headliner. Just go. Enjoy the vibe. Eat some food. Shop the vendors. See friends you will only see there and Jah Bless. (Nicole Bond)

Bantu Fest

Midway Plaisance Park, E. 60th St. and S. Ellis Ave. Saturday, July 27–Sunday, July 28. Free.

The Bantu Fest will promote diasporic cultural exchange, diversity, unity, and, naturally, love. It’s only right that the fest will do so through a dizzying variety of food and activity: dishes from South Africa, Haiti, Belize, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, the U.S., Liberia, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, and many more. There will also be live bands and DJs, performances, drumming and dancing, fashion shows, vendors, arts, and more. (Rod Sawyer)


Washington Park. Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, 10pm–10pm. $15 for two-day pass; $10 for Sunday pass. All ages.

The 31st annual GhanaFest™ celebrates the history and culture of West Africa. Sponsored by the Ghana National Council of Chicago, the event includes food, fashion, and cultural performances—including a parade of chiefs and Queenmothers. And be sure not to miss a special musical performance by Sista E.L.L.A. The event is all ages and there will be youth activities. (Ian Hodgson)

Windy City Carnival

Midway Plaisance Park, E. 60th St. and S. Ellis Ave. Saturday, August 17. Free.

If you’ve never experienced any of the amazing festivals held in the Caribbean islands, you’ll be able to get a taste at the Midway Plaisance through Windy City Carnival’s Parade of Bands Competition! Like many summer festivals, this one will be jam-packed with bands, spectacular costumes, vendors, food, and so much more. But you’ll also find “impassioned masqueraders,” mas bands, Caribbean cuisine, and family-oriented cultural events. (Rod Sawyer)

Queer Pool Party

Washington Park Refectory, 5531 S. Russell Dr. Saturday, August 24, 1pm–4pm. Free.

Another event organized by the Chicago Park District’s Queering the Parks program, this time exclusively for teens. If you’re between the ages of thirteen and seventeen (inclusive), head to Washington Park to swim to the beat of a DJ, eat, and play games. (Jasmine Mithani)


39th Street Beach, 1199 E. Oakwood Blvd. Saturday, August 24, 11am–9pm. Free. VIP package $125. (773) 285-1211 x 306.

Join Little Black Pearl as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary. Continuing their partnership with the Chicago Park District, they are bringing residents “PearlFest 2019.” Featuring renowned national Jazz, Funk, and R&B artists, along with some of Chi-Town’s most notable talent. Enjoy food, fun, and activities for everyone, all day long. (Maple Joy)

Slow&Low: Chicago Lowrider Festival

Loomis St. and W. Cermak Rd. Sunday, September 2. $10–$25 to enter, free to attend.

The Weekly’s 2017 photo essay highlighted the souped-up automotive beauty and friendly rivalries found at this Pilsen procession of refurbished jalopies. Now in its eighth incarnation, the Lowrider Festival has grown quickly over the last few years, dedicated to the “master craftsmen, innovative mechanics, custom pin stripers and muralists” of lowrider culture. (Bridget Newsham, Sam Stecklow)


Peace, Love, Art, & Nature

Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave. Saturday, June 8, noon–3pm. Free.

So Fresh Saturdays

Moran Park, 5727 S. Racine Ave. Saturday, June 15, 2pm–6pm. Free.

Hermitage Park, 5839 S. Wood St. Saturday, July 13, 3pm–8pm. Free.

Murray Park, 1743 W. 73rd St. Saturday, August 3, 3pm–7pm. Free.

Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St. Saturday, August 31, 3pm–7pm. Free.

Lindblom Park, 6054 S. Damen Ave. Saturday, October 5, 2pm–6pm. Free.

End of School Jam

West Pullman Park, 401 W. 123rd St. Thursday, June 20, 4pm–7pm. Free.

Pride South Side Festival

Various locations. Friday, June 28–Sunday, June 30.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Burnham Park, 1200-5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Saturday, September 14, 5pm–8pm. Free.

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