Chicago 4th of July weekend festivities will flow with some island rhythms during the 24th annual International Festival of Life, in Union Park at 1501 W Randolph, July 1 - 4. Reggae fans flock to this upbeat celebration of music, food and culture, which highlights Caribbean music and dance.
This year's line-up boasts an exciting schedule of popular reggae stars. On Saturday, July 2, roots reggae legend, Luciano, performs at 8 p.m. Noted for his sweet crooning and uplifting lyrics, the prolific artist is nicknamed "the messenger." He's produced 21 CDs over his 22 year-career and lends his commanding baritone to hits like "It's Me Again Jah," "Where There Is Love" and "Who Can It Be."
As the reigning queen of socially conscious reggae, Etana enjoys an enthusiastic following of fans who love her rich vocals. She performs at the fest on Sunday, July 3, at 8 p.m. Since her 2008 debut, the singer has stirred listeners with her positive lovers rock tunes. Her latest CD, "I Rise," made her the first woman to top the Reggae Billboard charts in over 20 years.
Reggae icon Beres Hammond tops off the festival with a show on Monday, July 4 at 8 p.m. Famous for silky vocals and evocative song-writing, the artist is a mainstay in reggae dance halls as Jamaica's answer to Marvin Gaye. His huge discography of hits promises a thrilling performance.
The International Festival of Life also features calypso, blues, high life, punta rock, reggaeton and hip hop on two stages. See the full schedule for the complete list of performers. Vendors selling specialty dishes and crafts should not be missed. Purchase advance tickets for $15. Admission is free for children 12 & under.
International Festival of Life
Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph
Dates: July 1 - 4
Daily Hours: 12 - 10 p.m.
Looking for more fun in Chicago this weekend? Check out the 4th of July events and the 2016 Festival Guide!
Photos courtesy of International Festival of life and Etana.