When a city dyes its river green, you know they take St. Patrick’s Day seriously. Some avoid the festivities like the plague, others relish the crowds and day drinking. Join 400,000 other spectators downtown at 9am to watch as the Chicago River turns emerald green, then head over to Grant Park to see one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country.
Illinois Craft Beer Week (formerly Chicago Craft Beer Week) celebrates Illinois craft beer and craft breweries with hundreds of events in breweries, bars, and restaurants in Chicago and all over the state.
Held in the Hyde Park neighborhood every year on the first full weekend in June, this free two-day outdoor celebration of the visual arts is meant to connect art makers with art buyers. Up to 200 exhibitors showcase their original works in glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, digital arts, wood, ceramics, and fiber at Chicago's oldest juried art fair in the Midwest.
Photo courtesy of 57th Street Art Fair
June 12-Aug 17
All summer long, the Grammy® nominated Grant Park Orchestra and and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus host the nation's only free outdoor classical music series of its kind in Millennium Park. Grab a seat by Jay Pritzker Pavilion or spread a picnic out on the Great Lawn and enjoy live music under the stars.
Photo courtesy of Grant Park Music Festival
Chicago is loud and proud, which makes this two-day street festival celebrating diversity, equality, and the Chicago LGBTQ community that much more exciting. Around 100,000 people attend this love-filled celebration, held the weekend leading up to the Chicago Pride Parade in Boystown, America’s first recognized gay village. This block party features live music by popular artists on three stages, food and drink, vendors, DJs and dancing, drag shows, a pet parade, and more.
Photo courtesy of Chicago Pride Fest
July 10-14, 2019
Chicago's biggest food festival is also one of the premier outdoor food events in the country. This epic five-day eating extravaganza in the Loop downtown features food booths along the lakefront, rotating pop-up restaurants, local food trucks, and Celebrity Chef du Jour dining tents.
Photo courtesy of Taste of Chicago
BBQ, bands, and beer. Sample the finest finger-lickin’ BBQ from 20 of the world’s best pitmasters paired with an ice cold beer, while listening to country music by world-renowned artists and up-and-coming talent.
Photo courtesy of Windy City Smokeout
Pitchfork has an internationally known reputation unto itself as an indie rock-centric festival. Around 50,000 people attend the three day fest, held on the city's Near West Side in Union Park. The fest features alt-rock, rap and hip hop, electronica, avant-garde rock, and hardcore punk performances, as well as local vendors.
Photo courtesy of Pitchfork Music Festival
Lolla! You’ve already heard of this annual music fest, but have you been? Grant Park hosts the biggest names in music, from hip hop and electronica, to reggae, indie, modern roots, and more. Chow Town is the "food fest within a music fest" where you can grab gourmet grub. Kids are invited too! Kidzapalooza features activities like rockstar yoga, funky hairstyling, prop-filled photo shoots, hip hop workshops, and kid-friendly performances.
Photo courtesy of Lollapalooza
It’s the most wonderful time of the year when Chicago is all dressed up for Christmas, and Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival is the most wonderful place to find gifts for everyone on your list, while enjoying German food and drinks and holiday entertainment.
Photo courtesy of Chriskringle Market