10 Cool Events And Festivals In Chicago, Illinois - Updated 2021

Festivals In Chicago

Chicago, Illinois is famous all over the world! This is one of the biggest cities in the United States that offers opportunities from employment to parties! Yes, that’s right! There’s always something special happening in Chicago, literally, many events took place in here from the Battle of Fort Dearborn, Treaty of St. Louis to World Music Festival and celebrity concerts. This is the home of many festive people, so don’t be shocked if someone buys you a drink or invites you to dance and sing. As you check out these mindblowing events, keep yourself cozy and comfy at the best Vrbo vacation rentals and top budget hotels in the city.

For more juicy information on the hippest festivals in Chicago, check out the list below!

1. Chicago Blues Festival

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user FlyingToaster used under CC BY 3.0

Chicago has such a vibrant arts and culture scene, and a part of it is all thanks to its supportive city government. One of the best festivals in Chicago hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is the Chicago Blues Festival. It is a three-day event held in June and features live performances from blues musicians, may they be all-time favorites or emerging artists. The city’s history with blues music roots from the era of Great Migration from the South. This cultural festival was first established in 1984 by Lois Weisberg, a former commissioner of Cultural Affairs in the city.

Chicago Blues Festival

Address: Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States

Website: Chicago Blues Festival

2. Chicago Air & Water Show

Chicago Air & Water Show
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Slooby used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

One of the most mesmerizing festivals in the city is the Chicago Air & Water Show. Established in 1959, this event is an air show held yearly on Lake Michigan and is hosted by the city government of Chicago. Admission to the event is free, and it is the biggest free show of its kind in the country. Some of the performances shown are parachute groups, formation-flying jets, daredevil pilots, and many more, featuring both military and civilian pilots. The exhibitions are visible from almost any point of Chicago’s lakefront.

3. Classic bacon and beer festival

Get wild and excited at this Bacon and Beer Festival in Chicago! This will be held on October 6, 2018, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Soldier Field & Field Museum. It’s a traveling escapade where you can feast on bacon and wash it down with an option of your favorite craft beers. Experience bacon like never before as you indulge creative dishes from bacon pancakes, bacon donuts to bacon marshmallows and ice cream — that’s crazy tasty! Wait, there’s more — enjoy the bacon-eating contest, the blind beer taste-test, and win for the best bacon-themed costumes. Plus, a fun bacon and brewing beer tour awaits you and discover where and when it all began.

This is not your ordinary bacon and beer — this is a bacon and beer to die for!

4. Oktoberfest Chicago

German-American Parade 2017
Source: Photo by Flickr user spablab used under CC BY-ND 2.0

One of the best festivals in Chicago has got to be Oktoberfest. Hack your way into the German side of Chicago with superb traditions and great foods! The event is from September 28 to 30, 2018 at St. Alphonsus. Oktoberfest is one of the most popular and fun Bavarian party in the city which celebrates fall with brats, beers, German acts, pretzels, and much more. A little side evening cruise in Chicago River will complete it all, where you can enjoy the festival atmosphere and multiple musical options. You’ll also be able to taste a traditional German dinner with awesome Oktoberfest brews.

This will be your October to remember!

5. The Arts in the Dark — a Halloween festival (from USD 75.0)

Halloween is the time where lost souls, artists, and party people come together! Be ready to be scared on October 20, 2018, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at State Street. Indeed, the Arts in the Dark is an enchanting nighttime parade that delights the audience with amazing floats, spectacle puppets and artistic performances that will be extraordinary dramatic. To add excitement to your freak night, this Haunted Chicago Segway Tour is a must experience! Discover and explore more about the city with a spine-chilling twist from stories of death to gruesome murder.

2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago

Duration: 2 hours

10 reviews

6. Farmers' Market Family Fall Fest

Celebrate Fall Fest at Evanston’s great Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market! This is a family event that celebrates the fall bounty, where you can come in a costume and participate in all fun activities. Exciting prizes await you in “guess the weight of Jack and Jill Pumpkins”, and the first 100 children under 12 years of age will get a free small decorative pumpkin. Of course, the market will be dressed in a festive atmosphere with exciting tent activities and a variety of goods and bakery items waiting.

Farmers' Market Family Fall Fest

Address: University Place at Oak Ave. Evanston, Illinois 60201

Duration: October 28, 2018 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

7. World Music Festival Chicago

The World Music Festival will captivate the earth with its diverse music from across the globe! A lineup of performers from famous artists and people from all walks of life gathers to Chicago for the annual World Music Festival. This festival is free and the largest and loudest festival of its kind. Of course, Chicago’s Beatdown Soundsystem, featuring Kinky P and Chuck Dubshine will join and shake the city with its bass-heavy mix of Jamaican dub, dancehall, hip-hop, and funk.

This is not only for music and party lovers — this is open to all no matter where you came from!

World Music Festival

Address: 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60626

Website: World Music Festival

Duration: September 7 - 23, 2018

8. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

festivals in chicago | magnificent mile lights festival
Source: amyp73 on Instagram

Yuletide season is coming and the best place to spend it is at Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in Chicago! Yes, you heard it right! Kick off to the holiday season with some shopping galore for the family and experience the superb restaurants in town and taste Chicago at its finest. The Magnificent Mile Lights festival presents a series of events that include a full-length party for everyone! A variety of events await you here — live musical performances, festive foods, and drinks, lightning parade, and a marvelous fireworks display over the Chicago River.

Don’t miss it for the world!

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Address: Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois,

Website: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Duration: November 16 - 17, 2018

9. The Annual Laternenfest & St. Martin's Parade

Posted by German International School Chicago on Friday, 6 October 2017

The Annual Laternenfest and St. Martin’s Parade is a friendly, tender, culturally rich atmosphere that’s great not just for kids, but for all young at hearts! The Lanternfest is a fun festival where children with lighted lanterns walk through their towns on the eve of St. Martin’s Day (Martinstag). The celebration consists of lantern-making and a variety of kid-friendly events, afterward, participants will join the lantern parade through Lincoln Square at sundown. Finally, a brat meal will complete the event at the Dank Haus.

The Annual Laternenfest & St. Martin's Parade

Address: 4740 N Western Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60625

Duration: November 11, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm

10. Christmas Spirit in Christkindlmarket (from USD 27.0)

festivals in chicago | christmas spirit in christkindlmarket
Source: www.viator.com

Experience a diversity of holiday tradition in Christkindlmarket Chicago! The Christkindlmarket outdoor market in Chicago Loop brings a treasured German and European tradition in one. This 16th-century inspired market offers traditional German delicacies and drinks, splendid Christmas ornaments, presents, and much more. Experience the magic on November 16 to December 24, 2018.

If you want the holiday to be memorable for you and your family, then you must try this Chicago, Illinois event. You’ll be able to ride the heated motor coach that will take you to the best displays in town, and of course to the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza for some shopping galore.

Chicago Holiday Lights Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Chicago is a one in all place for festivals

Indeed, Chicago embraces diversity and uniqueness, the reason why this is the coolest place to party more and create happy memories with your loved ones. There’s always something that Chicago offers from amazing tours to new and exciting events. Chicago welcomes you!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to go somewhere out of the country to spend with my love ones. I believe I am inherently artistic. :) God is good all the time- my motto in life!

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