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Events in Chicago, Illinois
Snow Days Chicago - A free, three-day festival located at Grant Park. The festival features a snow sculpting competition, dog sled demonstrations, and kids activities. This annual event takes place each January.
Celtic Fest - The Celtic Festival takes place each May at Millennium Park. The festival showcases Celtic dance, instruments, and a parade.
Chicago Gospel Music Festival - This event takes place in June at Millennium Park. The festival features more than 50 performances. There is also a gospel art fair for visitors to enjoy.
Blues Festival - The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the World. Which is no wonder why Chicago considers themselves to be the "Blues Capital of the World." Visitors will enjoy three days of live, free music.
Jazz Festival - For the past 30 years, the Jazz Festival has been a Labor Day weekend tradition in Chicago. This festival features local, national and international musicians. This event is free and takes place each September at Grant Park.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival - This lights festival takes place each November and kicks off the holiday season in Chicago. The magical procession is led by Mickey Mouse as he and his friends illuminate one million lights on 200 trees.
Chicago Air & Water Show - This air and water show is the longest ongoing event of its kind in North America. Join 2 million spectators as they watch military aircraft perform amazing stunts. Located at the lakefront, begins the 3rd Saturday of August.
Ravinia Festival - Ravinia Festival hosts outdoor concerts all summer long. The concerts are held from June to September at Ravinia Park.
Taste of Chicago - This ten-day lakefront festival showcases some of the best cuisine in Chicago. More than 200 different food items are featured and available for purchase. Takes place each summer.
St. Patrick's Day Parade - For the past 40 years, the Chicago River is dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. There is also a parade to add to the celebration. The parade features colorful floats, marching bands, bagpipers and more.
The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art - This international contemporary and modern art fair is held annually in September. Art includes paintings, photography, drawings, prints, sculptures, and videos.
Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival - The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival is an annual event the features the best local, national and international sketch comedy troupes. During the two week festival, 125 shows will be performed. Along with performances, they also offer workshops and children's programming.
Gardens of the Magnificent Mile - From June through September, visitors can enjoy summer concerts in the Gardens of the Magnificent Mile. The beautiful blooming gardens provide a great backdrop for top musical artists.
26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade - Celebrate Mexican Independence at this parade in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. Spectators will enjoy floats, street dancing and mariachi bands. In addition, mexican food and merchandise will also be available for purchase. Takes place each September.
ZooLights - ZooLights begins the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. Lincoln Park Zoo decorates with lots of lights and bright displays to help celebrate the holiday season. They also offer opportunities to meet Santa, ice carving demonstrations and much more! This event is free admission for all.
Christkindlmarket - Christkindlmarket is a German American holiday festival in Chicago. It opens the end of November until Christmas Eve. Visitors will enjoy a unique shopping experience, German food and drinks, and entertainment. Located at Daley Plaza. Admission is free.
Chinese New Year Parade - This Chinese New Year Parade takes place each February and includes floats, marching bands, lion teams, mystical dragons, and Miss Chinatown.
Chicagoween - Chicagoween happens each October as the city of Chicago celebrates the spooky season. Parks, buildings and streets are all decorated and filled with activities. Features pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and scary theatre.
Columbus Day Parade - The Columbus Day Parade features floats, local politicians, and plenty of activities in the heart of the city.