Chicago events calendar for July 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
July 2017
July 2017

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Cardboard boat regatta

July 1, 2017

26 miles west

Watch crazy cardboard boats float or sink at the Cardboard Regatta on Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn. Bring a picnic or buy food and beer. Free.

Comedy festival

July 1 - 2, 2017 (begins June 26)

Old Town & Lake View

Snubfest invites dozens of comedians who were rejected by other festivals to do sketch comedy, stand-up, and storytelling at Zanies and Under the Gun.

Windy City RibFest

July 1 - 2, 2017 (begins June 30)

6 miles north

Windy City RibFest in Uptown has food, beer, wine, bands, arts & crafts, and afternoon kids’ activities at W Lawrence Ave. & Broadway. Donation.

Naperville RibFest

July 1 - 3, 2017 (uncertain from June 30)

31 miles SW

Naperville RibFest has great food, plenty of music, and free fireworks at Knoch Park in Naperville.

Frontier Days

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 30)

26 miles NW

Frontier Days Festival has family activities, live music, a carnival, a parade, and a weekend craft market at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights. Event guide. Free.

Oak Fest

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 29)

26 miles SW

OakFest offers live music, a carnival, food vendors, bingo, a Sunday car/bike show, and July 4 fireworks at 159th & Central Avenue in Oak Forest. Schedule. Free.

Northwest festival

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 30)

35 miles NW

Northwest Fourth-Fest has carnival rides, music, a craft fair, fireworks, and a parade at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. See schedule.

Fireworks

July 3 - 4, 2017

Chicago area (more cities)

The dates for fireworks below are confirmed.

Music & dance picnic

July 4, 2017

9 miles south

Dance to soulful house music (both live and DJ) at The Chosen Few DJs Music Festival, formerly called The Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic, in Jackson Park.

Glen Ellyn Fourth of July

July 4, 2017

27 miles west

Fourth of July in Glen Ellyn includes a morning run, noon parade of floats and bands, afternoon carnival, bands, dancing, and fireworks at dusk. Free.

Lincoln Square music festival

July 7 - 9, 2017

8 miles NW

Square Roots Festival offers a mix of music from local indie rockers to world stars. Enjoy nightly dance parties, open jams, 30 selections of craft beer, local food, and family activities on Lincoln Avenue (Montrose to Wilson). Donation.

Irish fest

July 7 - 9, 2017

9 miles NW

Irish American Heritage Festival [sound] has Irish music and dance on multiple stages, a folk tent, food vendors, clothing, jewelry, beer, wine, and family activities at Irish American Heritage Center.

Japanese animation festival

July 7 - 9, 2017

16 miles NW

Anime Midwest features a costume masquerade, vendors, video games, concerts, dances, guest speakers, and panels at Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Pole dancing contest

July 7 - 9, 2017

41 miles west

Great Midwest Pole Dance Convention has workshops, contests and vendors at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

Scavenger hunt

July 8, 2017

0.9 miles NW

Teams run around the city solving clues to win prizes in the Chicago Challenge, which ends at a bar for awards and a costume contest.

African art festival

July 8 - 9, 2017

9 miles south

The Arts and Crafts Festival at DuSable Museum features traditional, ethnic, and experimental fine arts and crafts with African-American themes. Free.

Renaissance fair

July 8 - Sept. 4, 2017

49 miles north

Watch knights joust, shop an artisan market, mingle with costumed minstrels, play games, and attend shows at Bristol Renaissance Faire in 16th century England (i.e. Kenosha, WI).

Basketball tournament

July 10 - 12, 2017

3 miles south

Watch teenage teams compete on 60 courts at the Tournament of Champions at McCormick Place.

Half marathon & fitness expo

July 14 - 16, 2017

Chicago locations

The free Health and Fitness Expo is Fri. & Sat. at McCormick Place. The 5K is Saturday, and the Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon & 10K are Sunday in Grant Park, followed by an after-festival at Butler Field.

Country BBQ

July 14 - 16, 2017

1.5 miles NW

Windy City Smokeout features barbecue, country bands, and beer at 560 W. Grand Ave. on the river.

Parade of boats

July 15, 2017

1 mile east

Watch hundreds of boats leave for the ritzy Race to Mackinac at the Ashore Thing party at the east end of Navy Pier. Free.

Clark Street festival

July 15 - 16, 2017

10 miles north

Enjoy multi-cultural food, art, music, and dance at Celebrate Clark Street Festival [sound] on N Clark St. from Morse to Estes. Kids’ activities. Donation.

Dearborn Garden Walk

July 16, 2017

2 miles north

Dearborn Garden Walk admits you to 20 award-winning gardens (some with live jazz or classical music), a garden exhibition, and an architectural walking tour of historic Dearborn Street.

County fair

July 20 - 23, 2017

41 miles west

Kane County Fair is an old-fashioned fair with farm animals, a petting zoo, midway, live music, bull riding, truck pull, and fair food in St. Charles.

Disability Pride Parade

July 22, 2017

1 mile south

The Disability Pride Parade goes from the library to Daley Plaza for a 12:30 post-parade event. Free.

Family art festival

July 22, 2017 (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1 mile south

Make art and explore special activity stations during Kaleidoscope Family Festival in the Ryan Education Center at the Art Institute of Chicago. Free.

Beer festival

July 22 - 23, 2017

4 miles NW

Chicago Craft Beer Festival features beer tasting and live music at Sheffield Ave. and Webster Ave., at the same time and location as Sheffield Music Festival.

Sheffield Avenue festival

July 22 - 23, 2017

4 miles NW

The Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk features two stages of live music, self-guided tours of 80 gardens, guided architectural tours, food and drink, and kids’ activities at N Sheffield Ave. & Webster. Donation for tours.

Pet expo

July 22 - 23, 2017

28 miles NW

Windy City Pet Expo has vendors, adoptions, and demos at Schaumburg Convention Center. Free entry.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 29 - 30, 2017

3.5 miles north

Hear 20 music acts on two stages, see juried art, shop vendors, taste wine, and take the kids to an afternoon carnival on Altgeld Street with games, pony rides and petting zoo at Taste of Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton to Wrightwood. Donation.

Bloody Mary festival

July 30, 2017

28 miles north

Buy samples and then vote for your favorite at Bloody Mary Fest, which includes food vendors, live music, kids’ activities, and a 5K race in Highwood.

Classical music festival

July 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

Grant Park Music Festival is an outdoor classical music series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The rear seats are free, or bring a blanket or lawn chairs.

Green home tour

July 2017 (undated)

Chicagoland

See 13 sustainably built and energy-saving homes on the self-guided GreenBuilt Home Tour.

Movies in the Parks

July 2017 (undated)

Chicago locations

See 250 Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.

Free foreign films

July 2017 (undated)

0.4 miles south

See a different comedy film each week at International Screenings Program at Chicago Cultural Center. Free.

Millennium Art Festival

July 2017 (undated)

0.5 mile south

The Millennium Art Festival features juried artwork, food from local restaurants, and live music on Lake Street at Michigan Avenue. Free.

Millennium Park movies

July 2017 (undated)

0.5 miles south

Get a seat or sit on the lawn to see films on a 40-foot screen at Millennium Park Summer Film Series. Free.

French celebration

July 2017 (undated)

0.7 miles SW

Bastille Day features French music, entertainment, snacks, and a kids’ corner at Daley Plaza. Free.

Millennium Park music

July 2017 (undated)

0.7 miles SE

Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.

Hamburger tasting

July 2017 (undated)

0.8 miles north

A ticket to Battle of the Burger includes samples from the top contestants and two Guinness beers at Museum of Contemporary Art Sculpture Garden for age 21+.

Historic sailboats

July 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Board historic sailing ships at Tall Ships Chicago, which begins with a Parade of Sail at Navy Pier.

Taste of River North

July 2017 (undated)

1.5 miles NW

Enjoy food from local restaurants, shop from local vendors, and hear live music at Taste of River North at Ward Park (Kingsbury & Erie). Donation.

The Taste

July 2017 (undated)

1.5 miles south

Taste of Chicago has 40 restaurant booths, food trucks, a beer hall, a wine garden, a cocktail lounge, and first-rate concerts (free if you sit on the lawn) in Grant Park.

Festival of Life

July 2017 (undated)

2 miles west

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life features arts, crafts, food, soccer, and 50 acts from reggae to gospel at Union Park.

Jazz at the aquarium

July 2017 (undated)

2 miles south

Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium.

Hip hop festival

July 2017 (undated)

2.4 miles west

Chicago Hip Hop Day Festival features emcee battles, B-Boy and B-Girl (breakdancing) exhibits, graffiti artists, and turntablism on N. Loomis Street. Free.

Adult zoo night

July 2017 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment if you are age 18+. (Cash bars are available for age 21+.)

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 2017 (undated)

2.5 miles west

The free-spirited Pitchfork Music Festival features alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, electronica, and dance music in Union Park.

Chinatown Summer Fair

July 2017 (undated)

3 miles south

Chinatown Summer Fair features a lion dance procession, food vendors, artisans, live music, martial arts, and a children’s area on S. Wentworth Ave. at Cermak Rd. Free.

West Town street fair

July 2017 (undated)

3 miles west

West Fest has cutting-edge music on 3 stages, a kid fest on Wolcott Ave., a pet fest, and local vendors on W Chicago Ave. from Damen to Wood. Donation.

Wicker Park music festival

July 2017 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

Wicker Park Fest brings cutting-edge local and national acts to three stages on Milwaukee Ave. from North Avenue to Paulina Street. Go early if you want to avoid crowds. Donation.

Latino festival

July 2017 (undated)

4 miles SW

Fiesta del Sol delivers live entertainment, local art, diverse cuisine, carnival rides, but no alcohol on W. Cermak Rd. between Morgan and Ashland. Free.

Latin American festival

July 2017 (undated)

4.5 miles NW

Taste of Latin America is a neighborhood festival with cooking demonstrations, food, world music, beer and wine tents, a kids’ area, and arts & crafts on Division Street (California to Rockwell). Free.

Hamburger festival

July 2017 (undated)

5.3 miles NW

Enjoy fine beef, veggie, and turkey burgers with toppings or BBQ, plus music, arts & crafts, and a kids’ zone at Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Clybourn Avenue (from Diversey to Wellington). Donation.

Bikes & beer festival

July 2017 (undated)

6 miles NW

Parade on bicycles through the city, hear bands, dance, and drink beer to support charity at Tour de Fat at Palmer Square.

Family festival

July 2017 (undated)

6 miles NW

BenFest serves food, beer, music, and activities for kids on the grounds of St. Benedict’s parish, with a vendor market on the adjacent street. Donation.

French films

July 2017 (undated)

6 miles north

See the best in recent French cinema at Chicago French Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre.

Southport street fair

July 2017 (undated)

6 miles north

Southport Art Festival is a mellow event with live music, artists, food, and a kids’ area on N Southport Ave. at Waveland. Donation.

Get painted as you run

July 2017 (undated)

6.1 miles north

Wear a white shirt and get bombarded by color as you run the Color in Motion 5K at Montrose Beach.

Greek Festival

July 2017 (undated)

8 miles west

Assumption Church serves Greek food, music, dance, and children’s activities at the Greek Festival.

Festival of Colombia

July 2017 (undated)

9.8 miles NW

Colombian Fest has top musicians, DJs, arts & crafts, cultural exhibits, vendors, a kids’ zone, food, beer, and wine at the Copernicus Center. Children 12 and younger are free.

American music festival

July 2017 (undated)

10 miles west

FitzGerald’s American Music Festival features 40 Americana/roots bands and BBQ in Berwyn.

Margarita tasting

July 2017 (undated)

10.1 miles south

Chicago Margarita Festival [sound] promises live music, dancing, games, and margaritas (6 ounces) and beer (6.4 ounces) for sale at South Shore Cultural Center.

Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival

July 2017 (undated)

13 miles north

Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival offers international songs, dance, art, and food in Dawes Park. Free.

Greek festival

July 2017 (undated)

15 miles NW

The Big Greek Food Fest of Niles features authentic Greek food, live music, and dancing in Niles.

North Shore art festival

July 2017 (undated)

17 miles north

North Shore Festival of Art features juried artists, live music, and art projects for kids at outdoor Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Free.

Ravinia music festival

July 2017 (undated)

23 miles north

See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Northbrook arts festival

July 2017 (undated)

23.7 miles north

Art in the Park has juried art, live music, food, and hands-on kids’ art activities at Village Green in Northbrook. Free.

Botanic Garden Art Festival

July 2017 (undated)

24 miles north

Browse 100 booths of botanic-inspired arts and fine crafts offered by juried artists in pretty gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival in Glencoe. Members’ day is Friday. Free except parking.

Glencoe art festival

July 2017 (undated)

24 miles north

Glencoe Festival of Art offers fine works from 110 artists, live music, kids’ activities, and food vendors in downtown Glencoe. Free.

Film festival

July 2017 (undated)

25 miles NW

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) screens dozens of bold and innovative films with new and exciting story elements at AMC Randhurst 12 in Mount Prospect.

Prairie festival

July 2017 (undated)

25 miles NW

Wood Dale Prairie Fest offers live music, carnival rides and games, food vendors, bingo, and Saturday fireworks at the Town Square in Wood Dale. Free.

Hot-air balloons & fireworks

July 2017 (undated)

28 miles west

Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival has colorful hot-air balloon launches, flights, and evening balloon glows, as well as a carnival (starts Wednesday), food court, craft booths, a kids’ area, live music, and nightly fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

Vegetarian festival

July 2017 (undated)

30 miles west

Veggie Fest features a food court, kids’ activities, demos, exhibits, speakers, and music in Lisle. Free.

Railroad Days

July 2017 (undated)

33 miles west

West Chicago Railroad Days [sound] has a carnival, kids’ activities, live music, a beer garden, fireworks Saturday at dusk, and a parade Sunday at 1 p.m. in West Chicago. Free.

Wine tasting in southern suburbs

July 2017 (undated)

34 miles south

A ticket to Festival of the Vine (see their page 4) gets you three tastes of wine, a jazz band, and an art fair at Sergeant Means Park in Olympia Fields for age 21+.

Ale festival

July 2017 (undated)

36 miles west

Naperville Ale Fest showcases 200 craft beers with live music and restaurant food on the beautiful grounds of Naper Settlement.

Puerto Rican festival & parade

July 2017 (undated)

42 miles west

Aurora Puerto Rican Heritage Festival has live music, Caribbean cuisine, and arts & crafts at RiverEdge Park, plus a parade Sunday at noon in downtown Aurora.

Watch football practice

July 2017 (undated)

59 miles south

It’s free to attend the Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

Rooftop fireworks

July 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Get a rooftop view of the Fourth of July fireworks above Navy Pier at Freedom Fest, which has DJ music, BBQ for sale, and a cash bar. Standing room only, except VIP.

Festival in Mount Prospect

July 2017 (undated)

24.2 miles NW

Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival is a big carnival with food vendors, a beer and wine tent, evening entertainment, a car show July 2, and fireworks June 30 and July 4 at Melas Park. Schedule.

Highland Park festival

July 2017 (undated)

27 miles north

Fourth Fest includes a children’s bike and pet parade at 9:30 a.m., parade of floats & bands at 10 a.m., carnival rides, food and music at 11 a.m., battle of the bands at 4 p.m., and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free.
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© July 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-07