2016 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

Chicago summers are filled with all kinds of festivals -- food to music to drinks -- and we have your ultimate guide.

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Randolph Street Market Festival - When: May 28-29, June 25-26, July 30-31, Aug. 27-28, Sept. 24-25; Where: Chicago’s Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington St.; Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Admission: $8+, Children under 12 are free; Why go: Shop indoors and outdoors from 300+ vendors selling an array of fun and unique antiques.
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Taste of Little Village: Flavors of Mexico - When: June 3-5; Where: 3000 W. 26th St. (26th & Sacremento); Hours: Fri., June 3, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., June 4 & Sun., June 5, 12-10 p.m.; Admission: Free; Why go: It’s Chicago’s “Taste of Mexico,” there will be food from a dozen Chicago restaurants, non-stop music, cooking demonstrations, carnival ride, crafts and more.
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Do Division Street Fest - When: June 3-5; Where: Division Street from Ashland to Leavitt Street; Hours: Fri., June 3, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., June 4 & Sun., June 5, 12-10 p.m.; Admission: $5 suggested donation; Why go: The street fest spans 10 city blocks, featuring two live music stages, food, drinks, kid’s activities, a DO Fashion with a runway and DJs; plus a Division Street merchants’ sidewalk sale.
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Lincoln Park Greek Fest - When: June 5-7; Where: 2701 N. Sheffield, between Diversey & Schubert Street; Hours: Fri., June 3, 5-11 p.m.; Sat., June 4, 12-11 p.m.; Sun., June 5, 12-10 p.m.; Admission: Donations; Why go: The smells, tastes, sounds and traditions of Greece come to Lincoln Park. Enjoy a weekend full of Greek hospitality with food, music, dancing and more.
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Andersonville Midsommarfest - When: June 10-12; Where: Clark Street, from Foster to Catalpa; Hours: Fri., June 10, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., June 11 & Sun., June 12, 11-10 p.m.; Admission: $10 donation, seniors and kids under 12 are free; Why go: Join over 50,000 people in three nights of music, dancing, kids’ entertainment and food at the Andersonville Midsommarfest. There will be vendors, local shops, restaurants, dance troupes, DJs and bands from around the region.
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Ribfest - When: June 10-12; Where: Lincoln Avenue, from Irving Park Road to Berteau Avenue; Hours: Fri., June 10, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., June 11 & Sun., June 12, 12-10 p.m.; Admission: $5 suggested donation; Why go: Recognized by many as one of the best fests, Ribfest continues to delight guests with more than 30 Chicagoland rib and non-rib vendors and premier music entertainment.
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Chicago Blues Festival - When: June 10-12; Where: Grant Park, between Jackson & Columbus; Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Admission: Free; Why go: The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival and largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals. There will be five stages with the best blues performers all three days.
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Spring Awakening Music Festival - When: June 10-12; Where: Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W 14th St.; Hours: 1 p.m.; Admission: $199+; Why go: Get ready for one of the hottest electric music festivals in Chicago. This year’s lineup includes deadmau5, Jamie XX, Zeds Dead, Crystal Castles and more.
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Pilsen Food Truck Social - When: June 11-12; Where: 1200-1300 W. 18th St. (between Racine and Throop); Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Admission: $5 optional donation; Why go: Over 25 Illinois Food Truck Owner Association affiliated trucks will be in lined down the treats offering guests mobile eats. There will also be live music, local artisans, retailers, Pilsen vendors and exhibitors, family friendly activities and more.
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Puerto Rican Festival & Parade - When: June 16-19; Where: Humboldt Park (Division Street & California Avenue); Hours: Thurs., June 16 & Fri., June 17, 3-10:30 p.m.; Sat., June 18 & Sun., June 19, 12-10:30 p.m.; Admission: TBD; Why go: Puerto Rican Festival brings four days of food, fun and festivities, plus a parade.
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Chicago Women's Funny Festival : When: June 16-June 19; Where: Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont; Hours: Thursday: 7:45 p.m., Friday: 6:45 p.m., Sunday: 1:45 p.m.; Admission: Thursday: $37.50, Friday: $47.50, Saturday: $33, Sunday: $57.50; Why go: Experience a great laugh from various forms of comedic arts including stand up, solo, improvisational, musical and more. The festival celebrates the talents by women in comedy from around the country.
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Chicago Ale Fest - When: June 17-18; Where: Buckingham Fountain, 301 S. Columbus Dr.; Hours: Fri., June 17 6-10 p.m.; Sat., June 18 2-6 p.m.; Admission: $50; Why go: The Chicago Ale Fest features more than 20 beers from over 100 American craft breweries, live music and food from some of Chicago’s favorite spots.
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Green Music Fest: When: Saturday, June 18- Sunday, June 19; Where: Wicker Park, on Damen Avenue between North and Schiller; Hours: Saturday-Sunday 12-10 p.m.; Admission: Suggested $5 donation; Why go: This unique fest leads by example in taking into consideration our environmental impact. The fest will have a people-powered bicycle stage, ecologically-crafted brews and information on leading a sustainable lifestyle. Food vendors are required to use disposable items to serve food for guests.
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Brew to Be Wild - When: June 17-18; Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr.nHours: 6-11 p.m.; Admission: $49+; Why go: Enjoy a selection of more than 75 specialty brews from over 35 local and regional breweries, alongside the animals during the zoo’s after hours. The event will also feature lawn games, a DJ and food for purchase.
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Windy City Lake Shake - When: June 17-19; Where: First Merit Bank Pavilion, Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Dr.; Hours: 2-11 p.m.; Admission: $99.50+; Why go: Whether you come for three days or one, experience country on the lake at the Windy City Lake Shake. Top performers include Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw.
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Taste of Randolph: When: Friday, June 17-Sunday June 19; Where: 900 W. Randolph St.; Hours: Friday: 5-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 12-10 p.m.; Admission:A $10 donation is suggested for the West Loop Community Organization; Why go: Guests will have the opportunity to try food and drinks from the restaurants on Randolph. Artisans and diverse musical offerings will accompany the delicious food selection.
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Village of Villa Park
Villa Park Summerfest: When: June 17- June 18; Where: Ardmore Avenue and Park Boulevard; Hours: Friday: 6 p;.m.-11 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Admission: All day wristbands are $10; Why go: The 11th annual Summerfest has great local food, local bands, arts and crafts fair, business vendors and kids attractions for the family to enjoy together. A car show is scheduled for Friday night.
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6 Corners BBQ Fest - When: June 18-19; Where: Six Corners/Portage Park, 4000 N. Milwaukee Ave; Hours: Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Admission: Free, $5 suggested donation; Why go: Celebrate Father’s Day weekend at Portage Park’s neighborhood fest fill of food, music, kids’ activities and shows.
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Elgin Ribfest
Elgin Ribfest: When: June 18-June 19; Where: 132 S. Grove Avenue; Hours: Friday: 5-11p.m., Saturday: 11a.m.-11p.m., Sunday: 12-9p.m.; Admission: $5, $7.50 three-day pass, Kids under 10-years-old with paying adult are free; Why go: Fathers are sure to enjoy the car, truck and motorcycle show held on Sunday. Each day provides delicious food and drinks from various vendors.
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Chicago Pride Fest - When: June 18-19; Where: 3200 N. Halsted St.; Hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Admission: $10 suggested donation; Why go: Come together to celebration achievements in the LGBTQ community for a two-day street festival. Chicago Pride Fest is proud to announce performances by Jordin Sparks, Daya, Dumblonde and many more.
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Elston Avenue Sausage & Music Fest - When: June 25-26; Where: 3800 N. Elston Ave. Hours: 12-10 p.m.; Admission: Free, $5 suggested donation; Why go: Encased meats are the things to eat this weekend and the 2nd annual Elston Avenue Sausage and Music Fest. There will also be indie music performances, arts and crafts and fun for the kids.
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Chicago Food Truck Fest - When: June 25-26; Where: U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th St.; Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Admission: $5+; Why go: With the rising popularity in food trucks, Chicago has organized a festival just for them. The event features some of the best food truck in the city along with love music and activities planned for the whole family to enjoy.
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African/Caribbean International Festival of Life: When: July 1-4, 2016; Where: West Loop, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Hours: Noon- 10 p.m.; Admission: Free for all children under 12 years old. $15 in advance for adults, 4-day advance pass $45, VIP advance pass $50, advance VIP $190.; Why go: The 24th International Festival of Life showcases the diversity from the various nations within the continent. Entertainment, food vendors, cultural performances, contests and celebrity guests are just some of the great things this festival has to offer.
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Taste of Chicago 2016 - When: July 6-10; Where; Grant Park, Jackson & Columbus, Chicago; Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Admission: Free; Why go: Taste of Chicago is one of the city's biggest outdoor food festivals showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community.
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Roscoe Village Burger Fest - When: July 9-10; Where: Clybourn Avenue (Diversey to Barry)nHours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Admission: $10 suggested donation; Why go: This summer just got hotter with the Chicago’s best burger spots firing up their grills in Roscoe Village for the annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest. There will also be musical entertainment on two stages, a kids’ activity zone, and arts and crafts vendors.
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Taste of Lakeview - When: July 11-12; Where: 3200 N Lincoln Ave; Hours: Saturday, 12-10 p.m.; Sunday, 12-9 p.m.; Admission: $5 donation; Why go: Foodies unite as some of Chicago’s iconic neighborhoods come together to serve up their favorite tastes.
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Windy City Smokeout - When: July 15-17; Where: 560 W. Grand Ave; Hours: TBDnAdmission: $30+; Why go: The best BBQ and beer in Chicago has paired up with country music for a weekend you won’t want to miss. Top performances include Chase Rise, Billy Currington and Old Dominion.
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Pitchfork Music Festival - When: July 15-17; Where: Union Park; Hours: TBDnAdmission: $65+; Why go: Experience one of Chicago’s best music festivals. This year Pitchfork welcomes Beach House, Carly Rae Jepsen, Miguel, Jeremih, Blood Orange and more.
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Taste of River North - When: July 22-24; Where: Ward Park, corner of North Kingsbury and West Erie; Hours: Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 12-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Admission: $5 donation; Why go: River North has a full lineup of entertainment and food perfect to fill your weekend.
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Wicker Park Fest - When: July 23-24; Where: Milwaukee Avenue, from North Avenue to Paulina Street; Hours: 12-10 p.m.; Admission: $10 donation; Why go: Wicker Park is putting on a party with cutting edge music, food from local restaurants and an unbeatable neighborhood culture.
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Fiesta del Sol: When: July 28-31; Where: 1400 W. Cermak Ave; Hours: Thurs., July 28 5 p.m.- 10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., July 29-30 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.; Sun., July 31 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Admission: Free; Why go: Fiesta del Sol is the largest festival in the Midwest. Food, art, carnival rides, a children area, soccer games and much more make up for a fun-filled weekend.
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Chicago Margarita Festival - When: July 30-31; Where: South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr.; Hours: 12-8 p.m.; Admission: Varies. Tasting tickets are purchased separately. Why go: Come out for margaritas and other tasty drinks while enjoying a weekend with food, games and music.
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Chicago Hot Dog Fest - When: Aug. 5-7; Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St (Clark and Lasalle); Hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-8p.m.nAdmission: Free; Why go: Celebrate one of America’s signature dishes in this expanding three-day festival. There will be new adding topping this year, music entertainment, and kids’ activities.
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Wrigleyville SummerFest - When: Aug. 6-7; Where: 3300 N. Seminary Ave. (School Street and Seminary Avenue); Hours: TBD; Admission: Free, $5 suggested donation; Why go: Enjoy a weekend of food, music and family fun. Neighborhood vendors and restaurants will serve up their favorite dishes. Proceeds benefit Resurrection Lutheran Church, RLC Preschool, Lakeview Pantry and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
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Steve Covault
Northalsted Market Days - When: August 13-14; Where: North Halsted Street, between Belmont and Addison; Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Admission: $10 suggested donation. Why go: This unique street festival features an array of talent, vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink. In its 35th year, Northalsted Market Days is said to be the biggest and best yet.
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Edison Park Fest - When: Aug. 19-21; Where: Edison Park Chamber-Commerce, 6730 N. Olmsted; Hours: TBD; Admission: $5 donation; Why go: One of the most popular neighborhood street festival returns with more food, entertainment and fun.
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Festa Italiana - When: Aug. 18-21; Where: Ashland Avenue & Taylor Street; Hours: Thurs., Aug. 18 & Fri., Aug. 19 5-10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 20 12-11 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 21 12-10 p.m.nAdmission: $5; Why go: Fill your senses with all things Italian. From food and performances to games, eating contests and craft vendors the weekend will be full of lots of food and fun.
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Taste of Greektown - When: Aug. 27-28; Where: West Loop, 400 S. Halsted St., ChicagonHours: 12-11 p.m.; Admission: Free; Why go: Helllenic pride takes over this weekend in Chicago’s West Loop. There will be food and drinks from the local restaurants, as well as entertainment and activities.
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38th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival - When: Sept. 1-4; Where: Chicago Cultural Center & Millennium Park; Hours: TBD; Admission: Free; Why go: Chicago Jazz Festival is a Labor Day weekend favorite. Come out for a weekend filled with all forms a jazz for free. The fest showcases some of Chicago’s best jazz talent.
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Great American Lobster Fest - When: Sept. 2-3; Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.nHours: 12-10:30 p.m.; Admission: $32+; Why go: The Great America Lobster Fest is the Midwest’s largest lobster and seafood festival, featuring live lobster from the East Coast, live music, games, activities, craft shopping, food, beverages and more.
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North Coast Music Festival - When: Sept. 2-4; Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.nHours: Fri., Sept. 2 3pm; Sat., Sept.3 & Sun., Sept. 4 1 p.m.; Admission: $180.95+nWhy go: North Coast Music Festival is a place to come together in the merging of all music and life.
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Taste of Polonia - When: Sept. 2-5; Where: Copernicus Center; Hours: Fri., Sept. 2 5-10:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept 3 & Sun., Sept. 4 12-10:30 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 5 12-10 p.m.; Admission: $5 before 5 p.m., $10 after 5p.m.; Why go: This annual Labor Day weekend festival offers non-stop live music, varieties of Polish food and beer, a cultural stage, folk dancing and more.
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Africa International House
African Festival of the Arts: When: September 2-5; Where: Washington Park Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Admission: $15 in advance or $20 at the gate, Seniors 65+ are $10, Children under 12 are $5 ; Why go: It is considered the largest African-centered event in the USA. AFA is a series of festivals within itself that engages in African art, music, dance, history, pursuits and current interests. Shopping, food and drink are all available for guests to enjoy.
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Riot Fest & Carnival - When: Sept. 16-18; Where; Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.; Hours: TBA; Admission: $100+; Why go: The Original Misfits are performing their first show in over 30 years. Stay tuned for the full lineup.
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Chicago Craft Beer Week - When: May 19-29; Where: Various Venues; Hours: Varies; Admission: Varies; Why go: Explore the city through its beer venues. With more than 300 venues participating, the events goal is to attract people to explore the vast variety of local craft beer. The event also includes epical events, such as Welles Park Craft Beer Fest, Saturday, May 28 which begins at 1 p.m. and tickets are $60.
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Mayfest - When: May 20-22; Where: Lakeview, 3100 N. Ashland Ave.; Hours: Frday, 5-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Admission: $10 at gate; Why go: Enjoy good music, entertainment and cuisine and bring your family for Chicago Kids Day or your pet for the Chicago Pet Pageant Expo.
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Christina Miralla, NBCDFW.com
Lincoln Park Wine Festival - When: May 21-22; Where: Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.; Hours: 1-6 p.m.; Admission: $50+; Why go: A perfect weekend for wine lovers with tastings, food pairings, music, artists and more.
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