By popular standards, June is the first month of summer and Chicago's streets are ready for it. It hardly seems possible to fit this much food, drinks, music and fun into one month, but get ready because street festival season is here!
Nothing says, "Summer's here," like 50,000 pounds of BBQ! The focus of Ribfest is quite obviously, 16 local restaurants will serve up their grilled meats and fight for the title of "Best Ribs," but there's more than just food! If ribs aren't your thing other barbeque gems like bacon sausage, pulled pork nachos and grilled chicken are on the menu and a great band lineup featuring the Kopecky Family Band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and many more take the stage! Feeling brave? Enter your name for the Ribmania eating contest on Friday evening!
Toted as one of the best loved neighborhood festivals of the summer, Midsommarfest draws nearly 50,000 fest lovers out for family and adult fun. Six stages of live music will rock the weekend including a Swedish Stage celebrationing the neighborhood's heritage which will feature various folk dance troupes and choirs. This year the $10 suggested donation is especially important as proceeds will go towards restoring the historic Andersonville water tower.
The 57th Street Art Fair celebrates Hyde Park's artistic minds for the 67th straight year this summer. Browse the work of more than 200 artists at this free festival and enjoy a sampling of local food and drink vendors while you're there!
It's one of Lakeview's wildest weekends and you better believe the fun won't fall short for its 30th anniversary this year. Belmont-Sheffield Fest has all the makings of a great street festival: pina coladas served in pineapples, great shopping and a slew of cover bands to jam out to.
The giant Puerto Rican flags that hang over Humboldt Park's surrounding streets stand a little more proud this weekend. For Chicago's Puerto Rican community (and those who support it), this is the place to celebrate summer. From the food to the performances, everything about this four-day festival is authentically Caribbean. Don't miss the fest's centerpiece parade down Division St. on Saturday, stepping off at 2 p.m.
Once a neighborhood festival applauded for its restaurants, Taste of Randolph has been double trouble in the past two years with music lineups that rival some of the larger scale music festivals in the area. This year the talent includes the Kaiser Chiefs, Minus the Bear and Dumpstafunk, The Giving Tree Band, Dog 1 and many more. And, like we mentioned, the food here is delish. Area restaurants BellyQ, Publican Quality Meats, Pork Chop and others will be present. For all this, the $10 suggested donation seems more than worth it.
A beautiful display of 250 artists' work set against the scenic Old Town neighborhood is what has been bringing people back to the Wells Street Art Festival for 40 years. Art isn't limited to paint mediums either. You'll find photography, ceramics, woodwork and more here. Two full days of live music keep things rolling at this art-centric summer celebration.
It's happening. Barbeque and pro wrestling are combining forces at this summer festival! In addition to bringing pounds upon pounds of smoky, saucy goodness back for the fourth year, this Northwest fest is putting on a wrestling show that's sure to get the crowd rumbling. Former WWE superstars like Trent Barreta and Tatanka will face off and it's all hosted by famed local creepshow extraordinaire Svengoolie. That's not all though! 6 Corners also hosts two full days of live music which will include acts like the Four Star Brass Band and Bloodshot Records artist Ha Ha Tonka.
West Loop rock ‘n' roll hideout the Cobra Lounge leads the charge on this festival which combines a motorcycle/car show and rockabilly bands. The Detroit Cobras, Krank Daddies and more are set to rock the outdoor stage! Tickets are on sale for $10 per day.
Art fairs can often be daunting but this nationally recognized Gold Coast affair is accessible to art lovers of all walks of life, with creations ranging from $25 in price to $25,000! Over 350 artists will descend on Butler Field in Grant Park this weekend to show off their stuff. Family-friendly entertainment like live art demos and speed painting exhibitions will also run through the two-day festival. Admission is free.
Chicago's LGBT Pride celebration has grown so large that it's been expanded to two weekends! First, a two-day, indoor-outdoor party down Halsted street between Belmont and Addison and then the famous Pride Parade the following weekend. If past years have taught us anything, expect a warm, joyous occasion filled with sweet, summer drinks and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing! Come on back to Lakeview the following Sunday (June 29) for the parade, expected to draw close to 750,000 people. It steps off at noon at Montrose and Broadway! For an up-to-date parade route, click here.
Each year it seems like the Wicker Park/West Town-area streets fests all square off to see who can book the best bands. Each year it's hard to declare a winner but, really, we're all winning when it comes to these lineups! In 2014 this eco-conscious festival brings bands like Guided By Voices and Moon Taxi to the stage while focusing on teaching fest-goers how to reduce their carbon footprints! A $5 donation at point of entry is requested.
"Arts" takes on a broad meaning with this Logan Square bash. What started as a festival focused on art in the more traditional sense of the word has grown into an outstanding showcase of musical performance art as well. This year local rapper Psalm One (aka Hologram Kizzie), Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Archie Powell & The Exports and many more will dominate the stages. More than a half dozen local artist collectives will also be on display this year.
If you're a glutton for ‘90s music, this year's big block party and annual Old St. Pat's Church fundraiser is a must see. Guster, G. Love and the Special Sauce and Third Eye Blind all round out the two-day party's lineup. Throw in a hefty helping of beer and a "Pot O' Gold" raffle (The grand prize winner will be vacation bound to Ireland OR wind up with $25,000 in cash!) and everyone is sure to have a great time. Buy tickets now for $40 per day or $70 for both nights.
Find yourself celebrating summer in the heart of Lincoln Park at this returning festival. It has all the makings of a perfect block party: food, sing-a-longs a la some of Chicago's best cover bands, libations and good times. Home to some of the city's best loved restaurants, bars, architecture and institutions (Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Meseum), Summerfest is a great place to kick off a fun afternoon in LP.