July 2021 Chicago Festivals Guide & Schedule


Neighborhood street festivals, art shows, outdoor concerts — including Lollapalooza and the Taste of Chicago — are returning this summer as the Chicago area reopens. As with most things this year, the coronavirus pandemic has put its stamp on summer events: some have been postponed until later in the season, some outright canceled for 2021; others are finalizing dates and details. But, improving coronavirus numbers have made more summer festivals in Chicago possible. And the city has given the green light for festivals and “general admission outdoor spectator events” to welcome 15 people for every 1,000 square feet. With that, here are the latest updates on July’s Chicago festivals guide for 2021.

July 2-Aug. 21: Grant Park Music Festival

Jay Pritzker Pavilion | 201 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL

The Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago is the nation’s only remaining free, outdoor classical music series. Each summer, the Festival is committed to providing free classical music to all of Chicago.

July 2-Aug. 27: Water Colors

600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL

A live jazz music series presented on the shore of Lake Michigan in Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns Lake Stage.

July 7-11: Taste of Chicago | Various locations

Grant Park | 337 E Randoplh St, Chicago, IL 

The next event on our Chicago festival guide is the Taste of Chicago. The festival features free admission and has been held for more than 35 years. The festival is known as one of the greatest food festivals in the world.

July 8-11: Windy City Smokeout

United Center | 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL

Windy City Smokeout combines all those things into one legendary Chicago weekend. The outdoor fest takes place in the shadow of the iconic United Center, with an impressive musical lineup featuring country superstars and up-and-coming talent.

Purchase tickets here.

July 10: Bastille Day Chicago

Lycée Français de Chicago | 1929 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL

Chicago celebrates the French National Day in style on Montrose Beach. The Windy City festival, which observes 1789’s Storming of the Bastille, includes fun for the entire family. It starts with a picnic and music and continues with pétanque, a movie, and more.

July 10-11: Southport Art Fest

Wrigleyville | W. Waveland Ave. & N. Southport Ave, Chicago, IL

Chicago’s iconic Southport Corridor blooms to life next summer when Southport Art Fest takes over Waveland and Southport in July of 2021. Featured in TimeOut Chicago as one of the “Best Festivals in Town,” the event will feature an assorted mix of fine art, setting the environment for a picture-perfect Chicago neighborhood street festival.

July 10-Aug. 28: Outdoor Summer Concert Series 

Copernicus Center | 5216 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL

Beginning Saturday, July 10th music lovers of all ages can come to enjoy live bands at the Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy your summer nights under the stars, attend the Outdoor Summer Concert festival in Chicago. The festival will feature your favorite bands and a local kitchen. Doors open 5 pm $10 General Admission.

Purchase tickets here.

July 11-Sept. 12: Sundays on State 

Chicago Loop Alliance | 55 W Monroe St #2660, Chicago, IL

Chicago’s most iconic street, State Street, will close to traffic from Lake to Madison on select Sundays this summer and transform into an open street full of surprises. Come together with neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond for this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, retail, bars, restaurants, and local attractions. Experience everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop, like never before! 

Sign up here to be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Loop staycation package!

July 15: Taco Crawl (Rogers Park) 

Clark Street

Local restaurants will be serving their signature tacos while you stroll Clark St. and get to know the community. The crawl will take place along Clark St. between Devon Ave. and Rogers Ave. Rain or shine. Buy tickets in advance for $20 and the day of for $30. 

Purchase tickets here

July 16-18: Millennium Art Festival 

Millennium Park | 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Popping up for a three-day weekend, the top-ranked art and design show Millennium Art Festival brings the art of happiness to the heart of downtown Chicago. Millennium Art Festival embodies Amdur Productions’ dedication to crafting an experience of art exploration. An array of artwork, including paintings, ceramics, photography, and furniture, showcases the talents of more than 110 juried artists who participate in this city-centric festival. Millennium Art Festival infuses a creative spirit into Chicago’s urban streets.

Make free reservations here

July 16-18: Tacos y Tamales Festival 

16th & Peoria, Pilsen, Chicago, IL

From traditional mariachis, song & dance, to the very best of Latin pop-rock… the entertainment elements of the Tacos y Tamales Festival will be second to none. Patrons can expect a full weekend lineup on the performance stage and into the streets where the music is as authentic as the food, culture, and pulse of the fest itself. For more information on Tacos y Tamales festival, check out our article on it here

July 17: Volleywood Electric Beach 

North Ave. Beach | 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL

Volleywood Electric Beach is Chicago’s only beachfront music festival, featuring 8 hours of music, 5 artists on 1 stage. 

Purchase tickets here

July 17-18: Bucktown Neighborhood & Garden Walk

Meander through the neighborhood and view their 98 urban gardens, listen to music, watch a visual artist create their art, stop at your favorite neighborhood store for a BNGW special, and learn about everything that makes Bucktown great.  Here you will find a guide of urban gardens, “Garden Happenings” our music, artist, and local businesses weekend programming, public art, landmarks, schools, churches, parks, gardens, and other notable places for Chicago residents and visitors to view at their leisure. 

July 17-18: Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest

On Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe St. | 3200 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL

No matter when held, expect to have a blast at this popular 36th annual street happening on Sheffield Avenue in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood (and just steps from the Belmont El station). Don’t miss top local tribute bands on the main stage (near Roscoe), great eats, libations (beer and wine), and artisans. Also expect an eclectic “community” entertainment stage near Belmont filled with fun neighborhood music acts, deejays, and other performers.

July 17-18: Chinatown Summer Fair

2200 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL

This iconic event is one of the most ethnically unique outdoor events in Chicago and the Midwest. Attracting more than 40,000 people from throughout the region, Chinatown Summer Fair is a true celebration of Far East beauty and culture including food, art, and music located on Wentworth Avenue from Cermak Avenue to 24th Place in Chicago. 

Saturday will be from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.  This neighborhood street festival will open with a lion dance procession at 12:30 p.m., a welcome at 1 p.m. on the main stage, followed by Asian performances, kung fu demonstrations, samplings from Chinatown’s restaurants & unique gift shops, arts & crafts exhibits, street vendors with an array of merchandise, and a children’s area.

July 23-25: Lincoln Square Greek Fest 

The Greek Festival that is held in Lincoln Park, Chicago, is a fiesta of Greek culture and tradition. During the festival’s days, the visitors can enjoy Greek live music, authentic Greek food, a lot of activities for children, art and handmade crafts stands, and more.

July 23-25: Wicker Park Fest 

As one of Chicago’s most anticipated summer festivals, and dubbed “Chicago’s Best Street Festival of the Summer ” by the Chicago Tribune, Wicker Park Fest is one of Chicago’s top-drawing festivals, attracting visitors from across Chicagoland and the country with its fantastic music line-up. Wicker Park Fest reflects the neighborhood’s rich musical heritage, vibrant nightlife, and acclaimed restaurants. Building on the area’s unique character, the weekend celebrates the neighborhood with eclectic music, great local food, arts and crafts, a kids’ area, and retail vendors. 

July 24-25: Taste of Lincoln Avenue 

Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Chuch of Chicago | 2727 W Winona St, Chicago, IL

In a city of street fests, one would be hard-pressed to find one more iconic than the 37th annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue. And like a fine wine, it has aged well (and expanded) over the years. It offers lots of fun things beyond its many food, arts/crafts, and other vendors.

July 24-25: Colombian Fest 

Kelvyn (William) Park | 4438 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago, IL 

Chicago’s summer festival celebrating the love for Colombian and Latin Culture through song, dance, food, and community.

Purchase tickets here

July 29-Aug. 1: Lollapalooza 

Grant Park

Lolla takes over historic Grant Park in Downtown Chicago, alongside the beautiful Chicago skyline and the shores of Lake Michigan. Take advantage of interactive areas with giveaways, merch, and more! With 8 stages, and 170+ bands from all over the world, every Lolla lineup makes hands wave, heads nod, and crowds holler. 

Purchase tickets here.

July 29-Aug. 1: Fiesta del Sol (Pilsen)

1000-1600 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 

Fiesta Del Sol is a free four-day family-friendly Mexican festival in the heart of one of Chicago’s most attractive communities – Pilsen.  This event spans an eight-block space down Cermak Road and can be seen from miles around because of the carnival’s Ferris Wheel and the bright lights of over 100 booths showcasing some of the best tacos, tamales, and tostadas in town.  

July 30-Aug. 1: Jeff Fest 

Jefferson Memorial Park | 4822 N Long Ave, Chicago, IL

The northwest side’s cozy Jefferson Park neighborhood throws its annual community party with food, music, arts/crafts, and activities for kids. The event costs $5 and the times are 5-10 p.m. Friday, 2-10 p.m. Saturday, 2-9 p.m Sunday. 

July 31: Wrigleyville Art Market 

Gallagher Way | 3635 N Clark St, Chicago, IL

Located right outside the famous Wrigley Field in Gallagher Way, the market will be lined with 50 unique artists showing DIY-themed pieces, beautiful jewelry, up-cycled, functional art for beer and wine lovers, and unique wearables. Unique pieces of art will be on display and available for purchase at a variety of price points. Artists will also be available throughout the day to talk about their DIY inspirations and to give insights into their artistic processes. Delicious local restaurants will be within walking distance for hungry art lovers as well!

Featured Image Credit: Taste of Chicago on Facebook



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