Like the fleet of marathon trainers running up and down Lake Shore Drive, summer festival announcements mean warm weather is coming soon! From stadiums to basements, parks to parking lots, Chicago loves festivals so much that it hosts at least one each weekend. Kick off summer with some of Chicago’s favorite early-season festivals:
Hit up the first big street festival of the summer, Mayfest, a re-introduction to sandal weather. Returning for its 18th year, Mayfest is sure to ignite the desire for outdoor drinking and greasy festival grub. Chicago’s best local bands play throughout the festival, and there is even entertainment for children. Mayfest starts up on Friday, May 16th in Lakeview for the small price of $10.
Round out May with the Millennium Art Festival, located centrally in Millennium Park. This free festival features over 130 artists and artwork of almost every medium. Enjoy live music while browsing, then grab tasty bites at any of the neighboring downtown restaurants.
Enter full summer mode at the 16th annual Ribfest in North Center on June 6th. Featuring over 20 bands and 30 barbecue vendors, this festival offers all the food of the Taste of Chicago without as many sweaty bodies. The best part? This festival is free (although a $5 suggested donation is always welcome, and proceeds benefit North center’s community).