A Guide to Chicago Street Festivals for 2019
When the weather in Chicago finally starts to turn warm, you can count on a different street festival taking place every single weekend. You probably know about the bigger ones, but we wanted to highlight the street festivals that are their neighborhood's pride and joy.
Beyond the typical draw of festivals—being able to enjoy booze, food truck fare, and local bands—these festivals show off their neighborhood's culture and heritage, doubling as an opportunity to have fun while exploring a new part of Chicago.
From now until September, in all corners of the city, here are the festivals that anchor their neighborhood.
May 31 - June 2: Do Division
Harkening back to Wicker Park’s early days as a rock mecca, a $10 donation is all it costs to see bands like Russian Circles, The Skatalites, and Meat Puppets at the Do Division Street Fest on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt. You’ll also find family activities and fashion shows featuring local designers.
June 1-2: Hyde Park Brew Fest
Located in the heart of its eponymous neighborhood, Hyde Park Brew Fest includes city favorites like Revolution Brewing and global superstars like Sam Adams Brewing. This festival combines the best of the beer-making world with local musical acts. The event is held at 53rd and Harper, admission is free and tickets for beer sampling start at $25.
June 8-9: Pilsen Food Truck Social
You can either pay the $5 donation to get into the food truck festival, or opt for a $20 “sampler ticket” that gets you six sample-sized portions from participating food trucks and restaurant vendors. Food trucks roll in from all around the city, and vendors include Pilsen favorites like Dusek’s and Honky Tonk BBQ.
June 8-9: Printers Row Lit Fest
The highlight of the summer for the city's bibliophiles, Printers Row Lit Fest pays homage to the neighborhood's literary history with two days of booksellers, author panels, and local publishers. Most events are free but some can run up to $35. The fest is from June 8-9 and will be located throughout the Printers Row neighborhood.
June 13-16: Puerto Rican Festival and Parade
A neighborhood parade is the culmination of Humboldt Park's celebration of Caribbean culture. This year, the festival will feature an area to watch Puerto Rican films, visiting authors, a cultural fair, and a blood drive. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 15th.
June 22-23: Chicago Pride Fest
Regarded as one of the city's most boisterous festivals, Chicago Pride Fest takes over the Boystown neighborhood for two days of dancing, drinking, and pride. Admission is a $10 suggested donation, and the fest will be held on Halsted Street from Addison to Grace Street. The Pride Parade is held the weekend after (Sunday, June 30) at noon.
June 22-23: Ravenswood On Tap
Entering its third year, Ravenswood on Tap joins the ranks of Chicago street festivals celebrating the city's favorite summer pastime—drinking outdoors. The event is held on Ravenswood and Bertreau Avenues. For just a $5 donation, you can have access to the neighborhood's surging number of local breweries.
July 13: FIGMENT Chicago
Originally a one-day event on Governors Island in New York, this festival has since moved to Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Billed as a festival where "anyone can be an artist," participants can play, dance, and paint at the festival's interactive areas. FIGMENT is free and will be held in Logan Square's Mozart (Amadeus) Park.
July 12-14: Irish American Heritage Festival
A three-day festival that celebrates the city's unapologetic devotion to all things Irish, this event includes traditional Irish music, food, drink, and dozens of vendors. The festival is held July 12-14 on the grounds of the sprawling Irish American Heritage Center, located in Irving Park. Tickets purchased in advance are $10.
July 5-7: West Fest
Since debuting in 2004, West Fest has established itself as one of the city's most dynamic festivals. Featuring acts like Los Campesinos! and John Maus, West Fest focuses on supporting local vendors and restaurants. The festival also hosts Pet Fest and Kid Fest, providing festival fun for the entire family. The event will be held July 5-7 in West Town on Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street.
July 20: Chalk Howard Street Festival
On July 20, Howard Street in Rogers Park will become a canvas for internationally renowned 3D street artists and local 2D chalk artists. Come for the mind-blowing artwork, but stay for the live music, global cuisine, drinks, and the vibrant personality of Howard Street. This family-friendly festival is free, so everyone can enjoy this one-of-a-kind Chicago art experience.
July 21: Chinatown Summer Fair
Entering their fourth decade in the city, Chinatown Summer Fair takes place in its eponymous neighborhood and features dance processions, artisans, and the neighborhood's classic cuisine. Live bands, martial arts displays, and Taiko drums will also be a part of this iconic celebration. This free event will be held July 21 in Chinatown.
July 19-21: Colombian Fest Chicago
The El Gran Festival Colombiano (a.k.a. Colombian Fest) in Hermosa is the biggest two-day celebration of Colombian culture in the city. Everything comes with an authentic flair, from the live music to the carnival rides to the cuisine. Kelvyn Park will be the epicenter of Colombian culture for the weekend.
July 25-28: Fiesta Del Sol
What started out as a block party to celebrate Pilsen, Fiesta Del Sol is now one of the largest festivals in the Midwest, drawing over a million people. They come for the live entertainment, local art, food, carnival rides, sporting events, and more. All revenue goes back to the Pilsen community.
July 27-28: Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Sprawling across several blocks of Lincoln Park, this festival features more than 250 vendors, lots of food, and over 30 musical acts on four stages. All the money raised goes to fund grants for local charities, schools, parks, and neighborhood improvements. Since it began the festival has raised over $2.2 million for the community.
August 2-4: Jeff Fest
Colloquially known as Jeff Fest, this northwest side neighborhood party in Jefferson Park isn't one of the biggest in Chicago, but its intimate setting makes it an ideal spot for enjoying live music from local bands as well as touring acts. There's also sure to be kids' activities, artisans, and plenty of vendors.
August 10-11: Northalsted Market Days
Claiming to be the largest street festival in the Midwest, this LGBTQ-centric, two-day event takes over Lakeview—particularly the Boystown and Wrigleyville areas—with food, booze, arts and crafts, and entertainment (performers this year include Daya and Icona Pop). A $10 donation benefits the Northalsted Business Alliance and The Legacy Project.
August 23 - September 1: Chicago Jazz Festival
A Labor Day Weekend tradition since 1979, The Chicago Jazz Festival takes place in Millennium Park at the Chicago Cultural Center. Showcasing both national and international talent, the 10-day celebration will also feature an art fair as part of the festivities. Admission is free.
September 6-8: Little Village Fest
Celebrate Mexico's Independence Day in Little Village. On Sunday of this weekend-long event, the festival is the end location of the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade. Before that, the fest offers food, music, arts and crafts, and carnival rides. Admission is free.
August 30 - September 2: Taste of Polonia Festival
Located in Jefferson Park, the Taste of Polonia Festival highlights Polish culture and features an assortment of Polish foods and beers. Offering live music, cooking classes, and carnival rides, Taste of Polonia is a community event the whole family can enjoy. Prices are $5 before 3 p.m. and $10 after 3 p.m. Kids 12 and under get in free.