If you haven’t checked out Chicago Neighborhood festivals (page 18), it’s high time to do so. For the next three weeks, Chicago turns out to be a permanent festival joint, music performances as well as artistic exhibitions and social meetings. Most of them are free.
Week: May 24th-30th
Chicago Turkish Festival: Demonstrations of art (calligraphy and ceramics), film, dance (whirling dervishes) and food to celebrate Turkish culture in Chicago.
When? May 23rd-26th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where? Daley Plaza on Washington Street between Clark and Dearborn.
Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade: This is one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country, featuring marching bands, veteran groups and current soldiers.
When? May 29th at 12 p.m.
Where? State St. from Lake to Van Buren
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival: If you want more music after Dillo Day, check this two-day musical festival attracting regional and local bands. It is usually considered as a springboard for new musical talents.
When? May 29th (12 p/m to 10 p.m) -30th (12 p.m to 9 p.m)
Where? North Sheffield and Belmont
Price? Free (a suggested donation of 5 dollars)
Week: May 31st- June 6th
Mayfest: Not the Dillo Day organization. Originally the German celebration of the arrival of spring (as Oktoberfest is in the fall), this festival has a mix of traditional music, beer tasting and German folk art.
When? June 3rd-6th (Thursday 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
Where? Lincoln Square
Music without borders: World music on Thursday nights in Millenium Park.
When? June 3rd- July 22nd (6:30 p.m.)
Where? Millenium Park
Eastside Millenium Art Festival: Enjoy colorful food, art works and kids’ activities in Millenium Park.
When? June 4th-6th (Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Where? Millennium Park
Do Division Street Festival: This street festival in Wicker Park features live music selected by the Empty Bottle and the Subterranean. The street sidewalks are left open to food and craft retailers. Hipsters, it’s the place to be.
When? June 5th-6th (12 p.m to 10 p.m)
Where? Division Street, from Ashland to Leavitt.
Price? A $5 donation is suggested.
Chicago Gospel Music Festival: Two days of gospel music performances in Millennium Park welcoming local and international gospel talents.
When? June 5th-6th (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Where? Millennium Park (Jay Pritzker Pavillion and Walgreens Day Stage)
Week: June 7th-13th
Chicago Blues Festival: It’s the world’s largest free jazz festival. A nice venue (5 stages) and event (more than 70 blues performers) to celebrate the end of finals week.
When? June 11th-13th (11 a.m to 930 p.m)
Where? Grant Park
Wells Street Art Festival: An art fair presenting a great variety of crafts such as ceramics or paintings. It also features music entertainment and Wells street restaurants’ food.
When? June 12th-13th (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Where? North Wells Street, between North Avenue and Division Street (Old Town)
Price? $7 suggested donation before 7 p.m. and $10 after.
Andersonville Midsommarfest: This Swedish neighborhood festival is a good occasion to discover this neighborhood’s heritage by walking along the Sidewalk Sale with food and art vendors.
When? June 12th-13th (11 a.m to 11 p.m)
Where? North Clark Street and Foster Avenue
Price? 5 dollars.