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FREE Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival, Aug 1, 2 Dawes Park, Church St at Sheridan Rd, Evanston (cityofevanston.org). 11am–6pm. The annual Evanston art fair brings crafts to Dawes Park.
* Northalsted Market Days, Aug 1, 2 Halsted St between Belmont and Addison Aves (chicagoevents.com). 11am–10pm, $6. Gay men from around the country flock to six city blocks for one of the largest two-day street fests in the Midwest.
Retro on Roscoe, Aug 1, 2 Roscoe St at Damen Ave (starevents.com). Noon–10pm, $5. Roscoe Village turns back the clock with live music, arts and antique vendors, and an antique car show. Local restaurateurs and a chili cook-off with more than 25 chefs will keep you well fed.
World of Faeries Festival, Aug 1, 2 Vasa Park, Rte 31, South Elgin (theworldoffaeries.com). Sat 10am–7pm; Sun 10am–5pm; $10, seniors $8, kids 12 and under free. If you’ve ever fancied yourself a fairy (yes, as this fair proves, some people do) join your brethren from the Kingdom of Fae for magical arts and crafts, sword fights and live music.
FREE Belize Day in the Park, Aug 2 Washington Park, southwest side of the park between Garfield Blvd, 60th St, King Dr and Cottage Grove (chicagobelizedayinthepark.org). 10am–10pm. Belizeans take to Chicago’s South Side, bringing music, food and craft vendors to Washington Park.
FREE Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, Aug 6–9 Illinois Ave at Washington Ave, Mendota (sweetcornfestival.com). Thu 6pm–midnight; Fri 11am–12:30am, Sat 9am–12:30am; Sun 9am–6pm. Beer garden admission $4. Known for its sweet, golden corn, this festival also features live music, a variety of foods, craft vendors and a flea market, followed by a grand parade on Sunday afternoon.
* Wisconsin State Fair, Aug 6–16 Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S 84th St, West Allis, WI (wistatefair.com). Sun–Thu 8am–11pm; Fri–Sun 8am–midnight; final Sun 8am–9pm; $9, seniors and disabled $6, kids ages 7–11 $4, kids 6 and under free, parking $10. Everything you love about the state fair—traditional ag competitions, carnival rides, greasy-food booths and live animal birthing tents—will be back around for yet another year of summer fun.
Caribbean Festival, Aug 7–9 Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St (martinsinterculture.com). 10am–10pm; $10, kids ages 6–12 and seniors $5, kids under 6 free. Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Celebrate the occasion at this Caribbean culture festival with live music, food, crafts and dominoes.
* Ginza Holiday Festival, Aug 7–9 The Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W Menomonee St (midwestbuddhisttemple.org). Fri 5:30–9pm; Sat 11:30am–7pm; Sun 11:30am–6pm; $4, students and seniors $3, kids under 12 free. This festival pays tribute to Japanese culture with Tokyo craftsmen, folk dancers, taiko drummers, self-defense performances and traditional Japanese food and beverages.
* Lollapalooza, Aug 7–9 Grant Park, Jackson Blvd at Columbus Dr (lollapalooza.com). 11am–10pm; for ticket prices, see website. The king of pop-music festivals takes over Grant Park for three days. Depeche Mode, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, the Killers and others headline.
FREE Chicago Korean Festival, Aug 8, 9 Bryn Mawr Ave at Kedzie Ave (k-festival.com). Sat 11am–11pm; Sun 11am–10pm. A trip to this North Side strip feels like a trip to Korea all year long, but this festival really highlights the culture with displays of traditional art (visual and martial), dance, music and food.
Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival, Aug 8, 9 Racine Ave between Fullerton and Webster Aves (chicagoevents.com). Sat noon–10pm, Sun noon–9pm; $5. The first-time production brings two days of live music, food and crafts.
Wrigleyville Summerfest, Aug 8, 9 Seminary Ave at Roscoe St (starevents.com/wrigley). Sat noon–10pm; Sun noon–9pm; $5. This North Side street fest offers live music, food, beverages, craft vendors and family-friendly entertainment.
FREE Veggie Fest, Aug 8, 9 Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S175 Naperville Rd, Naperville (630-955-1200, veggiefestchicago.org). Sat 11am–8pm; Sun 11am–7pm. You won’t find any ribs smoking at this meat-lovers nightmare. But you will find some of the city’s hottest vegetarian restaurants and vendors offering cooking demos and meat-free samples.
FREE South Elgin Riverfest Express, Aug 13–16 Panton Mill Park, 10 N Water St, South Elgin (riverfestexpress.net). Thu, 5–10pm; Fri 5–11pm; Sat noon–midnight; Sun noon–10pm. Carnival rides, a craft show, a car show, trolly museum and nightly live music entertain at this riverside party.
Windy City Ribs Festival, Aug 14–16 Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St (chicagoevents.com). Fri 5–10pm; Sat, Sun noon–10pm; $7. Reggae and Southern rock bands accompany the sound of satisfied meat eaters chowing down at this ribs-themed festival. This year's festival will feature rib creations from seven vendors and a competition for best ribs in town. Bring some wet wipes.
FREE Edison Park Fest, Aug 14–16 Northwest Hwy at Oliphant Ave (edisonpark.com/epfest). Fri 5–11pm; Sat 9am–11pm; Sun 10am–10pm. Loads of live music, a beer garden and children’s entertainment join a bags tournament on Friday, a parade on Saturday and a dog show on Sunday.
* Illinois State Fair, Aug 14–23 Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave, Springfield (agr.state.il.us). 7am–midnight; $3, seniors $2, kids 12 and under free, parking $7. Thursday night kicks off with a street parade from downtown Springfield to the fairgrounds. This year’s theme is “the All-American Fair,” and activities highlight the things that make America great. Those things: tractor pulls, car races and plenty of greasy food.
North Side Summerfest, Aug 14–16 4050 N Lincoln Ave (starevents.com/northsummer). Fri 5–10pm; Sat noon–10pm; Sun 11am–10pm; $5. Live music, food and craft vendors from across the city gather near Lincoln and Irving Park to give you a proper introduction to the North Center ’hood.
Woodstock Festival, Aug 14, 15 Galt Airport, 5112 Greenwood Rd, Greenwood (tribute2woodstock.com). Fri 5–11:30pm; Sat 1–11:30pm. Fri $20, Sat $30, two-day pass $40. On this exact weekend 40 years ago, the original music and peace festival debuted. Join concertgoers as they keep the party going, serenading eight tribute bands that play like their 1969 counterparts—Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and others.
* FREE Carifete, Aug 15, 16 Midway Plaisance between Cottage Grove and Stony Island Aves (chicagocarifete.com). 9am–9pm. This Caribbean party shows off the music and dance of the region, with live reggae, punta, calypso and soca—and a lot of booty-shakin’ and razzle-dazzle costumes.
* FREE Chicago Air & Water Show, Aug 15, 16 North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lakeshore Dr (chicagoairandwatershow.us). 10am–4pm. Watch jets perform tricks against a backdrop of the Chicago skyline at America’s oldest and largest free air show.
* Green Music Fest, Aug 15, 16 Eckhart Park, 1350 W Chicago Ave (greenmusicfestchicago.com). Noon–11pm; $15, advance $10. The eco-conscious West Town community mixes music, green vendors and family-friendly activities to raise money for a makeover of historic Eckhart Park.
* FREE Chicago Dancing Festival, Aug 18–22 Several venues, including Millennium Park, Michigan Ave between Monroe and Randolph Sts (chicagodancingfestival.com). Times vary. The city’s top dance companies—the Joffrey Ballet and the Luna Negra Dance Theater among them—will work with world-renowned choreographers to create free dance performances for the public.
FREE Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest & Open Studio Walk, Aug 21–23 Glenwood Ave between Farwell and Lunt Aves (glenwoodave.org). Fri 6–10pm; Sat, Sun noon–8pm. Aside from artsy vendors, this annual fest offers three stages of live music and performing artists.
Buffalo Grove German-American Festival, Aug 22, 23 Schwaben Center, 301 N Weiland St, Buffalo Grove. Sat 3pm–midnight; Sun noon–1pm; $5, kids and seniors free. Take part in all things suburban-German: beer, brats, soccer games and children’s events.
Lake View Music Fest, Aug 22, 23 Sheffield Ave and Addison St (chicagoevents.com). Noon–10pm; $5 before 5pm, $7 after. Bordered by Wrigley Field on the east and a strip of popular sports bars and music venues on the west, this Wrigleyville festival displays all the neighborhood has to offer— live music, local restaurants, souvenir vendors and likely a bevy of drunken Cubs fans and college graduates.
FREE Bucktown Arts Fest, Aug 29, 30 Senior Citizen Park, 2300 N Oakley Ave (bucktownartsfest.com). 11am–7pm. Mingle among hipsters and young couples with newly born babies at this West Side art fest. After the festival on Saturday, the Chicago Film Brigade hosts a film festival.
* Taste of Romania, Aug 29, 30 California Ave at Addison St (tasteofromania.net). 11am–10pm, $10. Take it back to the Old Country at this street fest featuring grape stomping, traditional dance, folk music and a spit roast of pig, lamb and ox.
FREE Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival, Aug 29, 30 Grant Park, Jackson Blvd at Columbus Dr (vivachicago.us). 11am–9:30pm. Dance to the infectious beats of salsa, reggaeton, mariachi and norteña. We say: muy caliente.
Ferraris in the Loop, Aug 30 Monroe St between Clark and Dearborn Sts (italianvillage-chicago.com/events). 11am–2pm; $30, kids under 6 free. If the wine tasting and Italian buffet slow you down, more than 50 Ferraris on display will rev you up.
The best spots at Chicago’s summer fests | Index fun | How to dress for this summer’s festivals | Chicago’s summer ethnic festivals | Cheap drinks at Chicago’s summer festivals | Festival treats cost plenty of cash, calories | Cheap summer thrills | What and where to buy at this summer’s festivals | Volunteering at music fests can get you in free | Money-saving tips!