Festival listings: July
* FREE Movies in the Park Mon 16–Sun 22. 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.
FREE Festival of the Lakes Wed 18–Fri 20, 5–11pm; Sat 21, Sun 22, noon–11pm. Wolf Lake Memorial Park, 2938 S Calumet Ave, Hammond, IN (219-853-6378, festivalofthelakes.com). Fete Indiana’s great beaches at this lake-centric fest 30 miles south of Chicago. It features music, a carnival, a beer garden and food vendors.
* FREE Grant Park Music Festival Wed 18, Fri 20 at 6:30pm; Sat 21 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!)
Kane County Fair Wed 18, 3–11pm; Thu 19, noon–11pm; Fri 20, Sat 21, noon–midnight; Sun 22, noon–10pm. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S Randall Rd, St. Charles (630-584-6926, kanecountyfair.com). Wed, Thu $5, Fri–Sun $8, kids under 5 free. The 144th (!!) go-around for this old-fashioned fair offers a carnival, amusement rides, 4-H competitions, live music and fried foods to nostalgia junkies.
FREE Chicago SummerDance Thu 19–Sat 21, 6–9:30pm; Sun 22, 4–7pm. Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave (312-742-4007, chicagosummerdance.org). Cut a rug, or at least learn how to at this annual series of couples dances Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. A professional instructor conducts dance lessons for the first hour before you bust a move on the Grant Park pavement.
Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Fri 20, 4–11pm; Sat 21, Sun 22, noon–11pm. Milwaukee Ave between California and Kimball Aves (773-278-4257, milwaukeeavenueartsfestival.org). $5. Milwaukee Avenue is outfitted with pop-up galleries from more than 250 artists, three stages of live music, performance art, food trucks and family activities.
Square Roots Fri 20, 5–10pm; Sat 21, noon–10pm; Sun 22, noon–8pm. 4400–4560 N Lincoln Ave (773-728-6000, squareroots.org). $10, seniors and kids under 12 $5. Tap into this new Lincoln Square fest that’s combining music from the Old Town School of Folk Music with local and regional craft beer. Jam sessions, dance parties, local restaurants and family activities fill out the festivities.
Taste of River North Fri 20, 5–10pm; Sat 21, noon–10pm; Sun 22, 11am–8pm. Ward Park, Kingsbury St at Erie St (facebook.com/tornfest). $5. Water taxi on down to this neighborhood fest where Chicago’s riverfront architecture sets the scene for local restaurants, live music, art galleries and merchants.
Bristol Renaissance Faire Sat 21, Sun 22, 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 Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival Sat 21, Sun 22, noon–7pm. Dawes Park, Sheridan Rd at Church St, Evanston (847-448-4311, cityofevanston.org/ethnic). The flags of more than a hundred nations will be flown to celebrate diversity and show that it’s a small world after all. Pieces from around 125 artists represent several cultures along with food and two stages of music and dancing.
Roscoe Village Burger Fest Sat 21, Sun 22, 11am–10pm. Belmont Ave at Damen Ave (773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com). $6. The burger is king at this North Side neighborhood fest, which features patties from local restaurants for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
* Sheffield Garden Walk & Festival Sat 21, Sun 22, noon–10pm. Webster St at Sheffield Ave (773-929-9255, sheffieldgardenwalk.com). $10, before 3pm $7. Take a DIY tour of more than 100 resident gardens in the historic Sheffield neighborhood. In conjunction with the fest, the 16th Annual Sidewalk Sale at the Armitage Halsted Webster corridor offers wares from 20 local businesses as well as the usual food, music and kids entertainment. Indie band Gomez rocks the gardens along with Cowboy Mouth and others.
Sound System Block Party Sat 21, noon–10pm. Milwaukee Ave at Evergreen Ave (773-278-7130, thesilverroom.com). $5. The Silver Room hosts its tenth annual dancecentric block party, which celebrates art, music and hip-hop fashion. Three stages of music keep this party going.
Summer on Southport Sat 21, 11am–10pm; Sun 22, 11am–9pm. N Southport Ave at Waveland Ave (773-665-4682, starevents.com). $5. Three stages of live entertainment, food and activities as well as the 11th annual Chicago Children’s Festival fill the streets adjacent to Chicago Cub’s historic Wrigley Field.