Advertise with us

Enjoying this blog? Check out the rest of the Travel & Culture Channel Subscribe to this Feed

The Chicago Traveler

Weekend Festivals

by Matt B on June 14th, 2007

chicago flagHappy Flag Day folks! The city of Chicago actually has its own flag, made up of two horizontal blue stripes on a white background. Between the stripes are four six-pointed, red stars. The top blue stripe represents the North Branch of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, while the bottom stripe symbolizes the River’s South Branch and the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Each of the four stars represents a significant event in Chicago history: the first, the Fort Dearborn Massacre of 1812; the second, the Great Chicago Fire in 1871; the third, the World’s Fair in 1893; and the fourth, the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933-34, celebrating Chicago’s centennial.

This weekend is packed with fun stuff to do. The Chicago SummerDance Festival begins today and runs all summer long. The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park turns into an outdoor 3,500-square-foot dance space, and professional instructors offer one-hour dance lessons. You can learn anything from Latin to ballroom to swing. After the lessons, folks can practice their newly-learned moves to two hours of live music from over 40 different bands. And best of all, it’s free! There’s food and beverages available also, and plenty of seating in case you need to rest your feet. And just in case you can’t make it to Grant Park, festivities are also being held in Athletic Field Park, Jackson Park, Humboldt Park, and Garfield Park. Look for the complete schedule online.

puerto ricoYet another example of Chicago’s great ethnic neighborhood celebrations takes place this week also. The Fiestas Puertorrique'as in Humboldt Park are a great way to discover the art, music, and food of Puerto Rico. There are vendors from all across the country and three stages of live music. On Saturday, the 42nd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade kicks off at noon, beginning at Columbus and Balbo, proceeding north to Monroe. Both event s have free admission, and millions of people from all backgrounds come out to honor this rich culture.

The Grant Park Music Festival is the country’s only remaining free, outdoor classical music series and begins on Friday. The Festival has been providing free classical music every summer for over 70 years. For admirers of this genre, this is the cream of the crop with performances by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus and a long list of international guests. Traditionally, as the name suggests, the Music Festival took place in the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, but now most of the Festival’s (free!) concerts are in the new Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, just around the corners from America’s Dog and the Palmer House. The Pavilion’s sound system, architecture, and open-air canopy make it the first permanent outdoor structure of its kind.

Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts is not just any ordinary street fair. This Saturday and Sunday, the streets of Evanston will be buzzing with art, music, antiques, dancing, and food. Over 300 artists will be displaying and selling collectibles, art, jewelry, pottery, paintings, photographs, ceramics, and more. More than 30 vendors offer an incredibly diverse selection of affordable entrees. Each of the three stages offers great entertainment, including jazz quartets and Native American dances. There are plenty of attractions available that are family-friendly: animals, street performers, theatre shows, etc.

Summer Dance Festival: Grant Park (601 S Michigan Ave); 312-742-4007
June 14 - August 26
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 1, 2, 3, 4, X4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 26, X28, 126, 127, 146, 147
Red Line train (Harrison)
Orange/Purple/Pink/Brown Line train (Library)
Metra (Van Buren)

Fiestas Puertorrique'as: Humboldt Park (1400 N Sacramento Ave); 773-292-1414
June 14 - 17: 2:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Public trans: Bus # 52, 70, 72

Puerto Rican Day Parade: 300 E Balbo Dr; 773-292-1414
June 16: 12 noon
Public trans: Bus # 1, 2, 3, 4, X4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 26, X28, 126, 127, 146, 147
Red Line train (Harrison) or Metra (Van Buren)

Grant Park Music Festival: Millennium Park (100 N Michigan Ave); 312-742-7638
June 15 - August 18
Public trans: Bus # 2, 3, 4, X4, 6, 10, 14, 20, X20, 24, 26, 29, 36, 56, 60, 62, 124, 127, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 157
Orange/Purple/Pink/Green/Brown Line train (Randolph, Madison)
Red/Blue Line train (Washington, Monroe) or Metra (Randolph)

Custer Street Fair ($1 donation): 900 Chicago Ave (Evanston); 847-328-2204
June 16 - 17: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Public trans: Bus # 200, 205 or Purple Line train (Main) or Metra (Main)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POSTED IN: Art, Collectibles and Hobbies, Entertainment, Events, Shopping

2 opinions for Weekend Festivals

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
    Jun 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    [...] May 31 through August 31, the Art Institute (located right next to Millennium Park) has free admission on Thursday and Friday evenings, from 5:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m. Otherwise, [...]

  • Weekend Festivals
    Aug 2, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    [...] don’t forget about the Chicago SummerDance Festival and the Grant Park Music Festival, which are still going on all summer long, as well as the Bristol Renaissance [...]

Have an opinion? Leave a comment: