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CHICAGO FESTIVALS

Extraordinary special events combine with favorite food festivals, mega music events, parades & annual celebrations in 2017.

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2017 is poised to be an epic year in Chicago! The event schedule is packed so plan your city getaway using this complete festival calendar guide below.

JanFebMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec

Search by month above, or consider these highlights. Coming to town are some MAJOR art & architecture events this year, including: Chicago Architecture Biennial (September 16-January 7) which saw more than a half-million visitors in its first year and returns with free exhibitions showcasing 120 architects and firms from more than 30 countries, including many from Chicago. It opens in conjunction with EXPO Chicago (September 13-17) at Navy Pier. Fittingly 2017 has been designated the Year of Public Art in Chicago, and is also celebrating Wright 150, the anniversary of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's birth.

Chicago will continue to do things BIG in 2017, from:

  • the largest annual outdoor dancing series in the US (Chicago SummerDance)
  • the oldest and largest free air exhibition of its kind (Chicago Air & Water Show)
  • the largest free blues festival in the world (Chicago Blues Festival)
  • the nation's only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind (Grant Park Music Festival)
  • the nation's premier free outdoor food festival (Taste of Chicago)

What makes Chicago's festival season so great is that many of the top-tier events are completely FREE — including the major ones like the Chicago Jazz Festival and Chicago World Music Festival.

This is your guide to the biggest and best of Chicago in 2017.

 

JANUARY 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide January

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Through January 1, 2017  

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink in Millennium Park
Through March 5, 2017  

Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival
January 5 – 15

Tomorrow Never Knows Festival
January 11 – 15

Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show
January 11 – 15

Chicago Cubs Convention
January 13 – 15 

Fillet of Solo Festival
January 13 – 29

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival
January 19 - 29

Rhinoceros Theater Festival
January 21 – February 25  

SoxFest
January 27 – 29 

Chicago Restaurant Week
January 27 – February 9

Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration
January 28 - February 12

Randolph Street Market Festival
January 28 – 29

 

FEBRUARY 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: February

Chicago Restaurant Week
Through February 9

Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration
Through February 12

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink in Millennium Park
Through March 5, 2017  

Lunar New Year Parade
February 4  

Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade 
February 5

Chicago Theatre Week
February 9 – 19

University of Chicago Folk Festival
February 10 – 11

Chicago Auto Show
February 11 – 20

Randolph Street Market Festival
February 25 - 26 

 

MARCH 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: March

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink in Millennium Park
Through March 5, 2017  

Chicago's Best WingFest
March 5  

St. Patrick's Day Downtown Parade & River Dyeing
March 11

Southside Irish Parade
March 12

Northwest Side Irish Parade
March 12 

Good Food Festival
March 16 – 18  

Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier
March 18 - 26

Randolph Street Market Festival
March 25 - 26  

Macy's Flower Show
March 26 – April 9 

McDonald's All American Game
March 29

Baconfest Chicago
March 31 - April 1 

 

APRIL 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: April

Chicago Dance Month
April 1 - 30

Baconfest Chicago
Through April 1

Macy's Flower Show
Through April 9 

NCAA Frozen Four
April 6 & 8

Chicago White Sox Opening Day at Guaranteed Rate Field
April 3  

Chicago Cubs Opening Day at Wrigley Field 
April 10

CIMMfest: The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival
April 20 - 23  

C2E2: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
April 21 – 23

Randolph Street Market Festival
April 29 - 30 

One of A Kind Show and Sale | Spring Show
April 28 - 30 

 

MAY 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: May

James Beard Foundation Awards
May 1

Navy Pier Summer Fireworks
Memorial Day through Labor Day

Chicago Zine Fest
May 5 - 6

Chicago Kids and Kites Festival
May 6 

Greektown Mediterranean Wine Festival
May 6 - 7 

Mayfest
May 19 - 21

Frank Lloyd Wright Trust presents Wright Plus Housewalk
May 20

Lincoln Park Wine Festival
May 20 - 21

Mole de Mayo
May 26 - 28

Chicago Memorial Day Parade
May 27

Randolph Street Market Festival
May 27 - 28 

Bike the Drive
May 28

 

JUNE 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: June

Navy Pier Summer Fireworks
Through Labor Day

Millennium Park Music Series
June through August

Grant Park Music Festival
June through August

Chicago Gospel Music Festival
June 2 - 3

Do Division
June 2 - 4

Lincoln Park Greek Fest
June 2 - 4   

57th Street Art Fair
June 3 - 4 

Andersonville Midsommarfest
June 9 - 11 

Ribfest Chicago
June 9 - 11

Chicago Blues Festival
June 9 - 11

Spring Awakening Music Festival
June 9 - 11  

Pilsen Food Truck Social
June 10 - 11  

Wells Street Art Festival
June 10 - 11

Brew to Be Wild
June 16 - 17 

Chicago Pride Fest
June 17 - 18

Gold Coast Art Fair
June 17 - 18  

Millennium Park Summer Film Series
June 13 - August 29

Chicago Ale Fest
June 23 - 24  

Country LakeShake Music Festival
June 23 - 25  

Chicago SummerDance
June 23 - September 10  

Ravenswood on Tap
June 24 - 25

Randolph Street Market Festival
June 24 - 25  

 

JULY 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: July

Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series
Through August

Chicago SummerDance 
Through September 11

Chosen Few Picnic: House Music Festival
July 1 - 2  

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life
July 1 - 4 

Windy City RibFest in Uptown
July 1 - 3

Fourth of July Fireworks at Navy Pier
July 4

Taste of Chicago                             
July 5 - 9 

Millennium Art Festival
July 7 - 9 

Ruido Fest
July 7 - 9 

West Fest
July 7 - 9  

Irish American Heritage Festival
July 7 - 9 

Chicago Margarita Festival
July 8 - 9 

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
July 8 - 9 

Windy City Smokeout
July 14 - 16

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 14 - 16

Chicago Open Air Music Festival
July 14 - 16

Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
July 15 

Southport Art & Music Fest
July 15 - 16

Chinatown Summer Fair
July 16

Dearborn Garden Walk
July 16

artfest Michigan Avenue
July 21 - 23   

Taste of River North
July 21 - 23 

Fiesta del Sol
July 27 - 30 

Wicker Park Fest
July 29 - 30  

Randolph Street Market Festival
July 29 - 30


AUGUST 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: August

Chicago Hot Dog Fest
August (TBA) 

Wrigleyville SummerFest
August (TBA)  

Taste of Greektown
August (TBA) 

Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series
Through August 29

Chicago SummerDance
Through September 11

Lollapalooza
August 3 - 6  

Edge Fest
August 5 - 6

Reggae Fest Chicago
August 11 - 12 

Ginza Festival Chicago
August 11 - 13

Retro on Roscoe
August 11 - 13

Bud Billiken Parade
August 12

Northalsted Market Days
August 13 - 14 

West Loop Art Fair
August 16 - 17   

Clark After Dark
August 17  

Festa Italiana
August 18 - 20

Edison Park Fest
August 18 - 20 

Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest
August 18 - 20 

Windy City Carnival
August 19

Chicago Air & Water Show 
August 19 - 20 

Randolph Street Market Festival
August 26 - 27

Transamerica Chicago Triathlon
August 27

Chicago Fringe Festival
August 30 - September 10  

Chicago Jazz Festival
August 31 - September 3 


SEPTEMBER 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: September

Great American Lobster Fest
September (TBA) 

City Made Fest
September (TBA)

Chicago Jazz Festival
Through September 3  

Chicago SummerDance 
Through September 11

Chicago Fringe Festival
Through September 10 

North Coast Music Festival
September 1 - 3 

African Festival of the Arts
September 1 - 4

Taste of Polonia
September 1 - 4 

Windy City Wine Festival
September 8 - 9

World Music Festival Chicago
September 8 - 24 

EXPO Art Week
September 13 - 17 

EXPO Chicago
September 13 - 17

Riot Fest & Carnival
September 15 - 17    

Ravenswood ArtWalk
September 16 - 17

Chicago Architecture Biennial
September 16 - January 7, 2018

West Loop Art Fest
September 17 - 19 

Chicago Gourmet
September 22 - 24

Logan Square Food Truck Social
September 22 - 24

AAHH! Fest by Common
September 23 - 24

Randolph Street Market Festival
September 23 - 24

 

OCTOBER 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: October

Chicago Architecture Biennial
Through - January 7, 2018 

West Town Food Truck Social
October 6 - 7 

Chicago Marathon
October 8

Columbus Day Parade
October 9

Chicago International Film Festival
October 12 - 26   

Open House Chicago presented by Chicago Architecture Foundation
October 14 - 15

The Halloween Gathering Festival & Parade
October 21

Randolph Street Market Festival
October 28 - 29  

Northalsted Halloween Parade
October 31

 

NOVEMBER 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: November

Chicago Architecture Biennial
Through - January 7, 2018  

SOFA Art + Design Fair
November 2 - 5 

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Millennium Park
November 17

Christkindlmarket Chicago
November 17 - December 24

Randolph Street Holiday Market
November 18 - 19   

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
November 18

McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade
November 23

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
November (TBA) - January 1, 2018

 

DECEMBER 2017


Chicago Festivals Guide: December

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Through December 24 

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Through January 1, 2018   

Chicago Architecture Biennial
Through January 7, 2018

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
December 1 - January 7, 2018

IKC Dog Show
December (TBA)

One of A Kind Show and Sale
December 7 - 10  

Randolph Street Holiday Market
December 16 - 17

New Year's Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier
December 31

Chi-Town Rising: NYE Celebration
December 31

 

  The Ultimate Chicago Bucketlist

Don't Stop There!

The sheer variety of festivals, fairs and events that fill the calendar make for a one-of-a-kind itinerary for every visitor. See the Chicago River dyed emerald green. Dig in at the ultimate food festival. Parade the streets with gay pride flags. Bike beautiful Lake Shore Drive with 20,000 cyclists; fill the sky with hundreds of kites; or even race against teams of Chinese dragon boats.

But Chicago is a year-round place to be, with incredible sights — think a 110-ton "Bean" and 42-foot-long T.rex — plus an incredible array of live music clubs, showstopping theaters, beautiful beaches and more. Not to mention food... street food, late-night eats, sweet treats, chef-driven cuisine, ethic food... every type of food! Plan your visit around one of the mega fests above and pair that with this ultimate Chicago bucket list.

 

Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit individual event websites for details and the latest updates.

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