Theater on the Lake

Eight Chicago theater companies reprise productions from the 2008-2009 season. Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore, (312)742-PLAY. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm. $17.50 per show or $110 for all eight shows.

July 1-5: “Improvised Shakespeare”
July 8-12: “Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night”
July 15-19: “These Shining Lives”
July 22-26: “Fun O’Clock: A Very Special ‘That’s Weird, Grandma’”
July 29- Aug 2: “Juno and the Paycock”


Music Without Borders
Fourth annual free international music series brings traditional folk and pop artists from around the globe in a series of eight free concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. For more information, visit All concerts start at 6:30pm except where noted. Free.
July 2: Oumou Sangaré, 8pm
July 9: Lura and Chiwoniso
July 16: Najat Aatabou, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara
July 23: Novalima and Issa Bagayogo

Naperville Ribfest
Hosted by the Naperville Park District and Exchange Club of Naperville with the City of Naperville, this Ribfest is one you won’t want to miss. Seventeen rib vendors from across the country are brought in competing to make the best BBQ and sauce. Live music featuring Blue Oyster Cult, Huey Lewis & the News. Fourth of July fireworks included, as well as games, cooking demos, carnival rides and food and beer. Knoch Park, 700 S. West, Naperville, Noon-10pm, through July 5. $10, free for kids 11 and under. Free admission for all after 7:30pm on July 4 but no admittance after 9:30pm.


African/Caribbean International Festival of Life
The seventeenth annual festival is hosted by Martin’s International Culture Inc. and will not disappoint. Bask in all things culturally African and Caribbean, including music such as reggae, calypso and gospel, food, arts and crafts and more. Washington Park, 5500 S. Cottage Grove. (312)427-0266. 10am-10pm. Through July 5. $10-$15, $5 for seniors and kids ages 7-12, free for kids 6 and under.

Chicago’s Independence Day Eve Fireworks
Show your pride in the stars and stripes at this firework spectacular, presented as part of the Taste of Chicago. The 85th Army Band will begin the celebration with a patriotic concert at the Petrillo Music Shell at 7:30pm. Firework displays set to music from 101.9 WTMX-FM. Grant Park, 300 S. Columbus. (312)744-3370. 7:30pm concert and 9pm fireworks. Free.


Edible Audio Picnic
Millennium Park’s new Monday lunchtime series features cutting-edge rock bands, sound artists, DJs and more. Mondays at noon. For more information, visit Free.
July 6: Experimental Sound Studio
July 20: Reggae Dub Sound Clash
July 27: Chicago Hip-Hop and It Don’t Stop
August 3: Third Coast International Audio Festival
August 10: Daedelus
August 17: Emily Wells
August 24: Dark Party and Caural & K-Kruz


Tuesdays on the Terrace
Weekly free outdoor jazz concerts paired with a pre-fixe menu from Puck’s Café available for $19. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, (312)280-2660. 5:30pm. Tuesdays through September. Free.
July 7: Corey Wilkes
July 14: Kevin Nabors
July 21: Henry Johnson
July 28: Fred Anderson


Bastille Day 5k Run, Walk & Block Party
Ring in the start of the French Revolution by running or walking in this 5k hosted by Niketown. Includes a t-shirt and gift bag. Post-race party features food, beer and live music. Oui! 1100 W. Jackson, (773)868-3010. 7:30pm. $27-$30, $5 block party only. Benefits the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.


Irish American Heritage Fesitval
More than just potatoes and beer, even though they are a big part of this cultural celebration. Featuring a singing contest, a mashed-potato eating contest, a matchmaking event, folk dancing, sing-alongs, kids vendors and other activities. Performances by Gaelic Storm, The Tossers, Searson, Screaming Orphans, Eileen Ivers, Immigrant Soul and more. Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, (773)282-7035 ext. 10. 6pm-12am. Also July 11 Noon-Midnight and July 12 Noon-11pm. $14, $8 before July 10, $7 for seniors, free for kids 11 and under.

Jeff Fest
Live music, food, drink and arts and crafts included in this eighth annual festival at Jefferson Park. Higgins and Milwaukee, 4850 N. Milwaukee, (773)868-3010. 6pm-10:30pm. Also July 11, Noon-10pm. $5 donation.

Magnificent Mile Art Festival
Shop the day away in true Mag Mile fashion at this festival, featuring artists from across the country. Sculptors, painters, jewelry makers and photographers present. Price ranges from $15-$15,000 on items. Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan, (954)472-3755. 10am-6pm. Through July 11. Also July 12, 10am-5pm. Free.

Old St. Pats World’s Largest Block Party
Sure to live up to its claims, this party boasts thousands of attendees. Includes food, drink and live music and five drink tickets (choice of beer, wine, bottled water or soda). Madison and Des Plaines, 650 W. Madison, (312)648-1590. 5:30pm-10:30pm. Also July 11. $35-$40.


Chicago Folk and Roots Festival
Have one folk of a good time! A variety of international music artists and bands are featured along with food and beer vendors, dance lessons, arts and crafts, kids’ entertainment and more. No dogs, bikes, coolers, bottles or recording devices. Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside, (773)728-6000. Noon-10pm. Also July 12. $8 suggested donation, $4 for kids and seniors.

DuSable Arts and Crafts Festival
This outdoor fest has several ethnic and cultural art showcases, as well as an emphasis on African American art depicting culture, history and identity. DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th, (773)947-0600. Noon-8pm. Also July 12. Free.

L.A.T.E. Ride
Dare the Chicago streets at night at the first half of the twenty-five-mile ride. Includes snacks along the bike route and a t-shirt for pre-registrants. Helmets required. Buckingham Fountain, 500 S. Lake Shore, (773)918-7433. $40, registration and route info at

Rock Around the Block
Enjoy music from thirty local bands, arts and crafts, food and street performers at this event benefiting the Festival Foundation. Lincoln and Belmont, 3600 N. Lincoln, (773)665-4682. Noon-10pm. Also July 12, Noon-9pm. $5.

St. Andrew’s 48th Annual Greek Festival
Celebrate Greek culture with traditional food, dance, music and art. Also includes an Orthodox book store, a silent auction, carnival rides and games. St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N. Sheridan, (773)334-4515. 2pm-11pm. Through July 12, Noon-11pm. $2, free for kids 12 and under.

Tour de Fat
The kick-off of New Belgium Brewing’s eleven-city event, in celebration of the bicycle, increasing awareness of this mode of transportation. Palmer Square, 3000-3200 W. Palmer. For more info visit

West Fest 2009
Listen to live local music and enjoy food, drink and more than 100 art vendors. Chicago and Damen, (312)850-9390. Noon-10pm. Also July 12. $5 donation.


Chicago Outdoor Film Festival
Kick back and relax watching free movies shown every Tuesday night at sundown. Severe weather conditions may stop screenings. No alcohol. Butler Field, Grant Park. 100 S. Lake Shore, (312)744-3315. Summer schedule:

July 14: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
July 21: Duck Soup (1933)
July 28: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
August 4: Born Yesterday (1950)
August 11: Psycho
August 18: Young Mr. Lincoln
August 25: Tootsie


Green City Market Chefs BBQ
Foodies consider this event, with about fifty-five chefs and beverage tables, to be the real taste of Chicago. The event always sells out, so buy tickets in advance ($60 adults, $15 children). 6pm-8pm, rain or shine.


Pitchfork Music Festival
Various bands and singers, including the likes of The Flaming Lips and Yo La Tengo. Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. 5pm. Through July 19. $35, two-day pass $60. For more information visit


Ethnic Arts Festival
Diversity is key at this festival, showcasing national and local artists, music and dance, ethnic food and art activities. Dawes Park, 1700 Sheridan, (847)448-8260. Noon-7pm. Also July 19. Free.

Mayor’s Cup Youth Soccer Tournament
Channel your inner soccer mom, even if you aren’t one at this game event. Five on five kids’ tournament features games on thirty-six fields. Also includes live entertainment, food and more. Montrose Harbor, 4400 N. Lake Shore, (312)744-3315. 9am-6pm. Free. Registration required for team participation.

River North Summerfest
This festival includes food, live entertainment and children’s and dog vendors benefiting River North Association and River North Residents Association. 630 N. Kingsbury, (312)645-1047. 2pm-10pm. Also July 19, 11pm-7pm. $5 suggested donation.

Sheffield Garden Walk
Appreciate nature and all it has to offer at the more than a hundred gardens featured. Includes tours, food, drink, a gardening contest and live music from Rusted Root and Funkadesi, plus more. Webster and Sheffield, 2200 N. Sheffield, (773)929-9255. Noon. $6-$10.


Chinatown Summer Fair
Experience the cultural splendor of Chicago’s premiere Chinese neighborhood. This fair has food from Chinatown restaurants, dance, live music, arts and crafts and a Chinese dragon parade. Chinatown, 2200 S. Wentworth, (312)225-6198. 10am-8pm. Free.


Newberry Library Book Fair
Who says bookworms can’t have any fun? Search indexes to your heart’s content at this fair, boasting 100,000 books. Most of the books cost $2 or less. Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, (312)255-3700. Noon-8pm. Through July 26, 10am-6pm. Free.


Disability Pride Parade
Show your support by seeing this parade, featuring the Americans with Disabilities Act Freedom Bus, floats and more. The parade starts at Clark and Van Buren moves west to Dearborn and north on Dearborn to Washington. 395 S. Clark, (312)640-2195. Noon. Free.

Dragon Boat Race for Literacy
Make reading fun! Decorated boats race in the Chicago River. Also with music, food, acrobats, dance, arts and crafts and more. The race benefits the Chicago Public School System. Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th, (312)326-5320. 8am. Free.

Newberry Library Bughouse Square Debates
Exercise your right to the first amendment and join others in this event celebrating free speech and debate. Hear live music and an open mic, as well as food and prizes for the best speakers. Washington Square Park, 901 N. Clark, (312)255-3700. 1pm-4pm. Free.

North Shore Festival of Art
View work from 150 national and international artists showcasing paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, glass, fiber, wood and mixed media. Enjoy live music and kids activities as well. Parking lot of Westfield Shoppingtown, Old Orchard, 34 Old Orchard Center, (847)926-4300. 10am-5pm. Also July 26. Free.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Eat your way down the six blocks of this food festival, which includes more than 350 food, beer and arts vendors. Live music including a performance by Sugar Ray is sure to bring on nineties nostalgia. Lincoln from Fullerton to Wrightwood, (773)868-3010. Noon-10pm. Through July 26. $7-$10 donation benefits the Wrightwood Neighbor Association.

Venetian Night
Take in some boats at this popular event, featuring thirty-five decorated and illuminated ship on Lake Michigan. Monroe Harbor, 460 S. Lake Shore, (312)744-3315. Free.

Wicker Park Fest
Take in the arts and crafts vendors, local food and live indie music at this sixth annual festival. Milwaukee between North and Wood, (773)384-2672. Noon-10pm. Also July 26. $5 donation.


An Arts Adventure
The eighth annual event features a variety of artists displaying their work. Superior and State, 750 N. State, (312)751-2500. 9am-5pm. Free.


Fiesta Del Sol
Que bueno! Celebrate Latin culture at the thirty-seventh annual festival with live music, DJs, food, carnival rides, dance classes and more. No alcohol or smoking. 1400 W. Cermak. 5pm-10pm. Through August 2, 11am-10pm.

Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz
Jazz comes back to Millennium Park, with six free concerts on Thursdays at 6:30pm. For more information, visit
July 30: Echoes of Dreams and Inspiration: Chicago Improvisers Orchestra presents Lincolniana and Sounds of Hope Suite
August 6: Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Chicago Legacy Ensemble featuring Bunky Green
August 13: Sketches of Brazil: Robert Irving III’s Orchestral Homage to Miles and Gil
August 20: Celebrating a Jazz Hero: Fred Anderson’s 80th Birthday with the Great Black Music Ensemble
August 27: Chicago Piano Showcase: Ron Perrillo and Willie Pickens
September 3: Benny Goodman Centennial Celebration with Jon Faddis & Columbia College Chicago’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble


Gold Coast Art Fair
The Gold Coast neighborhood hosts its fifty-second annual art fair with more than 350 artists and food and drink vendors. River North Gallery District, 700 N. LaSalle, (847)926-4300. Noon-6pm. Through August 2, 10am-6pm. Free.