Chicago events calendar for July 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

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July 2015

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do in July 2015 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Frontier Days

July 1 - 5, 2015

26 miles NW

Frontier Days Festival has family activities, live music, a carnival, July 4 parade, and weekend craft market at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights. Free.

Oak Fest

July 1 - 5, 2015

26 miles SW

OakFest offers live music, a carnival, food vendors, bingo, July 4 fireworks, and a Sunday car/bike show at 5420 159th Street in Oak Forest. Free.

Classical music festival

July 1 - Aug. 27, 2015 (begins June 1)

Chicago locations

Grant Park Music Festival is an outdoor classical music series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park. Free.

American music festival

July 2 - 4, 2015

10 miles west

FitzGerald’s American Music Festival brings 40 Americana/roots bands to 3 stages in Berwyn.

Hot-air balloons & fireworks

July 2 - 4, 2015

28 miles west

Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival has colorful hot-air balloon launches, flights, and evening balloon glows. Also add a carnival, food court, craft booths, a kids’ area, live music, and nightly fireworks. Cost.

Naperville RibFest

July 2 - 5, 2015 (uncertain)

31 miles SW

Naperville RibFest has great food, plenty of music, and fireworks on the Fourth of July at Knoch Park in Naperville. Cost.

Festival of Life

July 3 - 5, 2015

2 miles west

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life [website has sound] has arts, crafts, food, soccer, and 50 acts from reggae to gospel at Union Park. Cost.

Windy City RibFest

July 3 - 5, 2015

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.

Japanese animation festival

July 3 - 5, 2015

16 miles NW

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

Fireworks

July 4, 2015

Chicago area (more cities)

Best Fourth of July fireworks shows:

Music & dance picnic

July 4, 2015

9 miles south

Dance to soulful house music (both live and DJ) at The Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic in Jackson Park. Cost.

Glen Ellyn Fourth of July

July 4, 2015

27 miles west

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

Highland Park festival

July 4, 2015

27 miles north

Fourth Fest includes a children’s bike and pet parade at 9:30, parade of floats and bands at 10 a.m., carnival rides, food and music at 11 a.m., battle of the bands at 6 p.m., and fireworks at dusk. Free.

Botanic Garden Art Festival

July 4 - 5, 2015 (members July 3)

24 miles north

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

Millennium Park movies

July 7 - Aug. 25, 2015 (Tuesdays, starts June 23)

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.

The Taste

July 8 - 12, 2015

1.5 miles south

Taste of Chicago features 40 restaurants selling food, a beer hall, a wine garden, a kids’ zone, and first-rate music that’s free if you sit on the lawn in Grant Park.

French day run/walk

July 9, 2015

3 miles north

Celebrate the French with a 5K or 8K run/walk plus an after-party at the nature museum at Bastille Day 5K & 8K Run, Walk & Block Party in Lincoln Park. Cost.

Railroad Days

July 9 - 12, 2015

35 miles west

West Chicago Railroad Days [sound] has a car show, carnival, kids’ activities, live music, beer garden, Sat. fireworks, Sun. parade at Reed-Keppler Park. Free.

Irish fest

July 10 - 12, 2015

9 miles NW

Irish American Heritage Festival has Irish music and dance on 5 stages, a folk tent, food vendors, beer & wine, clothing & jewelry artisans, contests, and family activities at Irish American Heritage Center. Cost.

Scavenger hunt

July 11, 2015

Downtown Chicago

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

Parade of boats

July 11, 2015

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.
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West Town street fair

July 11 - 12, 2015

3 miles west

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

Hamburger festival

July 11 - 12, 2015

5 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 Belmont at Damen. Donation.

Taste of Lakeview

July 11 - 12, 2015

5 miles NW

Taste of Lakeview [sound] has food, music, arts and crafts on N Lincoln Ave at Belmont. Donation.

African art festival

July 11 - 12, 2015

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.

County fair

July 15 - 19, 2015

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. Cost.

Half marathon & fitness expo

July 17 - 19, 2015

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 is Sunday in Grant Park, followed by an after-festival at Butler Field.

Taste of River North

July 17 - 19, 2015

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.

Family festival

July 17 - 19, 2015

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.

Greek festival

July 17 - 19, 2015

15 miles NW

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

Pole dancing contest

July 17 - 19, 2015

41 miles west

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

Dance at the museum

July 17, 2015 (also June 19 & Aug. 21)

9 miles south

Dance to celebrity DJs at Steppin’ Under the Stars at DuSable Museum. Bring chairs or reserve a table.

Family art festival

July 18, 2015

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.

Pet expo

July 18, 2015

21 miles west

Windy City Pet Expo has vendors, adoptions, demos in the Odeum Expo Center. Free except parking.

Craft beer fest

July 18 - 19, 2015

3.5 miles NW

The Chicago Craft Beer Festival features beer tasting and live music at N Sheffield Ave. & Webster. Cost.

Sheffield Avenue festival

July 18 - 19, 2015

3.5 miles NW

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

Southport street fair

July 18 - 19, 2015

6 miles north

Summer on Southport [sound] is a mellow event with live music, vendors, food, and a children’s festival on N Southport Ave. at Waveland. Donation.

Clark Street festival

July 18 - 19, 2015 (uncertain)

10 miles north

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

Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival

July 18 - 19, 2015

13 miles north

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

Dearborn Garden Walk

July 19, 2015

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. Cost.

Chinatown Summer Fair

July 19, 2015

3 miles south

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

Art and music festival

July 24 - 26, 2015

10 miles NW

Jeff Park Arts & Music Festival (Jeff Fest) offers live music, art, food, craft beer, and a kids’ corner in Jefferson Memorial Park at 4822 N Long Ave. Cost.

Disability Pride Parade

July 25, 2015

1 mile south

The Disability Pride Parade goes up Dearborn from Van Buren to Daley Plaza. Free.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 25 - 26, 2015

3.5 miles north

Shop 250 vendors, hear 35 music acts on 3 stages, see juried art, and take the kids to a free afternoon carnival with pony rides and a petting zoo at Taste of Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton to Wrightwood. Donation.

Greek Festival

July 25 - 26, 2015

8 miles west

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

North Shore art festival

July 25 - 26, 2015

17 miles north

North Shore Festival of Art has 120 artists, live music, and art projects for kids at outdoor Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Free.

Band and fireworks

July 29, 2015

20 miles SW

Bring a blanket or chairs to watch Summer Concert and Fireworks at Saint Xavier University. Free.

Lollapalooza

July 31 - Aug. 2, 2015

1.5 miles south

Lollapalooza is a three-day music festival with more than 100 popular alternative rock, punk rock, heavy metal, and hip hop bands; comedy and dance; and craft booths in Grant Park. Cost.

Electronic music festival

July 2015 (undated)

2.6 miles NW

Hear electronic music along the shore of the Chicago River at the debut of Riverwest Music Festival. Cost.

Basketball tournament

July 2015 (undated)

3 miles south

Watch teams compete on 52 courts at the NIKE National Invitational at McCormick Place. Cost.

Downtown art festival

July 2015 (undated)

0 miles

Shop from 200 of the best painters, sculptors, and jewelry makers along eight blocks at the North Michigan Avenue Art Festival at Pioneer Court. Free.

Lincoln Square music festival

July 2015 (undated)

8 miles NW

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

Fun obstacle course

July 2015 (undated)

5 miles south

Race through 12 giant obstacles like a water slide, moon bounce, and Tarzan swing on the 5K Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge (ROC) at U.S. Cellular Field.

Bikes & beer festival

July 2015 (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. Free entry.

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 2015 (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. Cost.

Garden walk

July 2015 (undated)

11 miles NW

See charming gardens on the Forest Glen Garden Walk, and then visit the cafe for a snack. Cost.

Movies at the zoo

July 2015 (undated)

2.5 miles north

Zoovies are free outdoor movies at Lincoln Park Zoo at dusk.

Thursday jazz

July 2015 (undated)

0.5 miles south

Hear a concert every Thursday at Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz in Millennium Park. Free.

Beer on the farm

July 2015 (undated)

58 miles west

Sample craft beer and BBQ at Kuipers Family Farm Orchard Ale Fest in Maple Park. Bring age 21 ID.

Wicker Park music festival

July 2015 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

Wicker Park Fest brings cutting-edge local and national acts to three stages on Milwaukee Ave. from North Ave. to Paulina St. Go early for the best shopping and best-behaved crowd. Donation.

Craft-beer festival

July 2015 (undated)

1 mile east

Beer Camp Across America features tastes from more than 100 craft brewers plus live music at Navy Pier.

Bloody Mary festival

July 2015 (undated)

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.

Latino festival

July 2015 (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.
Next month:August 2015
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July 2015 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.     steve.cook@events12.com