Festival listings: July
* FREE Movies in the Park Mon 2–Sun 8. Various Chicago Park District locations; see website (312-742-7529, chicagoparkdistrict.com). Grant Park movies are long gone, but the Chicago Park District has since picked up the slack by beefing up its neighborhood outdoor movie series. More than 100 local parks get their own big screen for a night or two. All movies begin at dusk.
* Naperville Ribfest Mon 2, Tue 3, noon–10pm. Knoch Park, 724 S West St, Naperville (ribfest.net). $10–$25 (depending on evening’s headliner), kids under 11 free. For more than two decades, this pork party has been serving up grilled grub along with rock- and country-flavored tunes. This year, headliners include Steve Miller Band, Joe Walsh and ZZ Top. Independence Day fireworks explode overhead on Jul 3.
* Milwaukee Summerfest Tue 3–Sun 8, noon–midnight. Summerfest Grounds, 200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI (414-273-2600, summerfest.com). Weekends and after 4pm $16, weekdays $9, kids 10 and under and seniors $4; additional fee for Marcus Amphitheater concerts. For the 45th year of the “World’s Largest Music Festival” you’ll have 11 days to line up for headliners or save money with up-and-comers. Headliners include the Roots, Robyn, Aerosmith, Lady Antebellum and many others.
Taste of Lombard Tue 3, 5–11pm; Wed 4, noon–11pm; Thu 5, Fri 6, 5–11pm; Sat 7, noon–11pm. Madison Meadows Park, 600 E Madison St, Lombard (tasteoflombard.com). $3, kids under 10 free. Sample the best this western suburb has to offer from local restos and food vendors, live entertainment and a carnival. Fireworks blast off on Jul 4 around 9:30pm.
* African Caribbean International Festival of Life Wed 4, Sat 7, Sun 8, noon–10pm; Thu 5, Fri 6, 3–10pm. Washington Park, 55th St and Cottage Grove Ave (312-427-0266, martinsinterculture.com). $15 after 5pm, $10 before 5pm, kids and seniors $5, kids under 6 free. The 20th annual fest is getting together to feel irie. Jamaica’s 50th year of independence gets feted with food, arts and crafts, and live reggae and calypso. This year's lineup includes veteran reggae artists, including Rita Marley, Beres Hammond and Third World.
FREE Fourth of July Fireworks Wed 4 at 9pm. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave (navypier.com). Navy Pier’s annual pyrotechnics show puts you in a summer state of mind with bright lights and loud noises. A patriotic soundtrack is synchronized to erupting fireworks.
Glen Ellyn’s Fourth of July Fireworks Wed 4 at 1pm. Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Rd, Glen Ellyn (630-858-2462, glenellyn4thofjuly.org). 1–4pm $3 wristband for activities, all other events free. Celebrate Independence Day with a parade, carnival games and fireworks at dusk.
* FREE Grant Park Music Festival Wed 4, Fri 6 at 6:30pm; Sat 7 at 7:30pm. Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, 205 E Randolph St (312-742-7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com). Pack a picnic and stretch out on the Great Lawn or grab a chair in the Seating Bowl as you listen to the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus serenade packs of Chicagoans. Food and drink, including alcohol, are permitted. (Yes!)
FREE Itasca’s Fantastic Fireworks Wed 4, 4–11pm. Hamilton Lakes Office Campus, Park Blvd at Thorndale Ave, Itasca (630-773-0835). Witness colorful explosions in the sky at one of Illinois’s largest fireworks displays. Live music starts around 6pm, and fireworks begin shooting around 9:30pm.
Lake Forest Festival & Fireworks Wed 4, 3–10pm. Deerpath Park, Deerpath Rd at Hastings Rd, Lake Forest (773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com). $10, kids 5 and under free. Ride into the “Danger Zone” at this suburban fireworks festival headlined by Kenny Loggins.
Bristol Renaissance Faire Sat 7, Sun 8, 10am–7pm. 12550 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI (847-395-7773, renfair.com/bristol). $19.95, advance $17.95, kids $9.50, advance kids $7.50. Have a jolly olde time and butcher your favorite European accent as you engage in live-action fantasy play, enjoy interactive riddles, cheer on your favorite jousting knight or revel in period performances from 1574. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September.
FREE Cherry Pit Spit Sat 7, 10am–3pm. Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm, 9351 E Eureka Rd, Eau Claire, MI (877-863-3276, treemendus-fruit.com). Don’t worry about being rude; hone your spitting skills for this 39th annual international competition. Qualifying rounds begin at 10am with the championship at 1pm. Cherry picking, cherry eating and pony rides are available for the expectorate-challenged.
Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival Sat 7, noon–10pm; Sun 8, noon–9pm. Racine Ave between Fullerton and Webster Aves (773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com). $7. See more than 80 juried artists along with live music from Sister Hazel and Nikka Costa.
Rock Around the Block Sat 7, noon–10pm; Sun 8, noon–9pm. 3200 N Lincoln Ave (773-665-4682, starevents.com). $5. More than 30 bands play on three stages at this Lakeview fest.
West Fest Sat 7, Sun 8, noon–10pm. Chicago Ave between Wood St and Damen Ave (312-850-9390, westfestchicago.com). $5. This West Town fest features three stages of DJs and bands selected by Empty Bottle Presents. Kids and pets have their own fests. The Black Lips headline.