Hello, Chicago! The weekend is finally here, and there's a mix of the best food, music, and entertainment for all to enjoy. Show your true colors at Pride Parade or swing, waltz, and cha-cha at this year's Chicago Summerdance. If you're looking for some fun this weekend, we've got you covered!
June 23-August 21 // Ticket prices vary
Come see what The New York Times calls "A rich new play" at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (1650 N Halsted Street). The play Between Riverside and Crazy tells the story of an ex-cop "Pops" and his ex-con son Junior revealing the glorious contradictions that make up human nature. If you're into rowdy, dark comedies then this is the place to be!
June 24-25 // FREE
Galerie F will be showcasing one of the most influential and highly collectible rock poster artists of the past century, Jim Pollock. Pollock's posters have been the choice of jam bands such as Umphrey's McGee, The Disco Biscuits, Primus and music festivals such as North Coast Music Festival, 10,000 Lakes Festival, and more. The showcase will present the largest retrospective exhibition ever assembled of Pollock's posters, featuring over 500 original works by the artist.
June 24-September 11 // FREE
Join in the kickoff weekend of the largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series in the United States — which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! The event includes an introductory, one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by more live music and dancing. Chicago SummerDance sets up its dance floor in Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden (601 S. Michigan Avenue). Dancers of all ages are invited to show off their skills.
June 25 // FREE
Join 10,000 visitors expected to attend the 16th annual Chicago Dragon Boat Race at Ping Tom Park (1700 S. Wentworth Avenue). The race involves thirty dragon boat race teams competing in beautifully decorated dragon boats, each consisting of 20 members: 18 paddlers, 1 drummer and 1 flag catcher. Sounds fun, right? Along with watching the exciting races, guests can enjoy riding a Free Chinatown Trolley, which will travel from the park and loop around Chinatown throughout the day.
June 25 // Starting price: $40
Enjoy great food and live music at one of Chicago's premiere summertime events. The World's Largest Block Party has been alive for over 30 years and continues to bring the fun. The lineup of big-name bands include: Passion Pit, JD McPherson, and 7th Heaven. The funds from the party go towards the social justice initiatives, outreach programs locally and abroad, and strengthening the mission of Old St. Patrick's. Join in the fun-loving atmosphere and support a good cause.
June 25 // $15
Soak in the beauty of nature while enjoying a light summer tea on the balcony of the Hotel Florence during the 21st Annual Garden Walk hosted by the Historic Pullman Garden Club. You will tour six private and public gardens in the Pullman Historic District via a self-guided tour map or with a guided tour group. Begin your step back in time at the Pullman Visitor Center (11141 S. Cottage Grove) where you will pick up a ticket brochure/map.
June 25-26 // FREE (recommended $5 donation)
Adding to the weekend's happenings is the Elston Avenue Sausage and Music Fest just two blocks north of the busy intersections of Addison Street and Elston Avenue. Entertainment includes arts & crafts, activities for kids, and indie music acts with headliners Local H and Murder By Death. Sausage vendors in the spotlight are Paulina Meat Market, Greek Delights, Genoa Italian, The Kate & Jan food truck, and Home Bakery.
June 26 // FREE
Celebrate Chicago's LGBTQ community throughout the Lakeview and Boystown neigthborhoods at its 47th annual Pride Parade featuring floats, decorated vehicles, and marching groups representing organizations, groups, businesses, elected government officials and individuals. Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot!
If you can't wait for the parade on Sunday, Navy Pier Pride 2016 is the perfect way to start your prideful weekend on Saturday, June 25 featuring a kickoff parade led by the Lakeside Pride Marching Band, performances by the legendary Milly's Orchid Show, outdoor dancing, and more.
The fun doesn't stop there! For more huge events in Chicago, check out the 2016 LGBTQ Chicago Pride calendar.
Find more July festivals in our complete event guide, or check out our roundup of top Chicago food fests and music fests happening this summer.
Additional photo courtesy of Galerie F.