West Fest

It’s July. Time to celebrate American
Independence and the fact that 2013 is half over. If you haven’t made it count
by now, you might want to start. What better a way to do that than to hit the
streets this month and mingle with Chicago’s finest. Watching top notch musical
acts and getting your taste buds on some of the city’s best local restaurants
isn’t a bad way to spend your time either. Luckily you can do so at these
street festivals. Enjoy!

International Festival of Life at Union Park (July 4 – 7)

African Caribbean Festival of Life

We love America,
but it doesn’t have to be the only culture you celebrate this 4th of July
weekend. This beautiful gathering welcomes people of all ages and colors to
celebrate African and Caribbean culture through song, food and art. Bring your
dancing shoes because there’s enough reggae, Latin and RB on the schedule
to get anyone moving. Adult tickets are $15 at the gate and $5 for kids.

Windy City Ribfest
at Lawrence and Broadway (July 5 – 7)


We realize that
after mentioning ribs you probably don’t need much more enticing to get you out
to this fest but in case you’re BBQ-ed out from the 4th you should know that a
great musical lineup including alt-country crooners Cracker, Dave Mathews cover
band Trippin Billies and this writer’s favorite local funk and RB band The
Right Now accompanies this rib-centric three-day affair. There is a $5
suggested donation at the gates.

Taste of
Lakeview at Lincoln and Belmont (July 6 – 7)

Everybody loves
Lakeview. It’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in the Chi and a big part
of that popularity comes from its food option. Taste of Lakeview will feature
popular eateries Jet’s Pizza, Old Crow Smokehouse, John Barleycorn and more.
Sing along to a generous handful of the city’s most popular cover bands.

American Heritage Festival (4626 N. Knox Ave.) (July 12 – 14)

Irish American Heritage Festival

it or not, Chicago doesn’t just celebrate Irish culture on St. Patrick’s Day.
Enjoy a weekend of traditional Irish fare, dancing food. And beer. No Irish
celebration would be complete without beer. Enjoy nationally acclaimed bands like
The Tossers, The Killdares and the Chicago Celtic Pipe Band. Tickets are on
sale for $8 per day – not bad.

Windy City Smokeout at Rush and
Illinois (July 12 – 14)

Windy City Smokeout

2012 Bub City debuted and simultaneously took over the River North barbeque bar
scene. Now its spreading the love with this first year downtown country-themed
street festival featuring its own BBQ and that of Smoque and Lillie’s Q.
They’re even bringing in nationally acclaimed restaurant The Salt Lick from
Texas. That plus a three-day lineup of rootin’ tootin’ country music will be
sure to make this one finger-lickin’ good fest. You can buy one day tickets for
$30 go all three for $60.

Square Roots Festival at Lincoln and
Montrose (July 12 – 14)

Square Roots

Square is one of the Northside’s most cherish and tightly knit communities so
it makes sense that the neighborhood comes together once a summer to throw a
big party for itself. Over 30 types of craft beer, local business showcases and
a truly eclectic musical lineup curated by the Old Town School of Folk Music
that will feature everything from country to reggae to Brazilian to house. The
festivals asks for a $10 donation upon entrance, $20 for families.

Roscoe Village
Burger Fest at Belmont and Damen (July 13 – 14)

Burger Fest

burgers. We love ‘em. We know you do too. So get out there and sample meaty
treats from Chicago’s leading burger spots like Butcher The Burger,
Rockit Burger Bar, 25 Degrees and plenty more. Check out bands like rockers The
Ivorys, Talking Heads cover act This Must Be The Band and ‘80s cover rockers
Wedding Banned. A $7 donation is suggested.

West Fest at Chicago and Damen
(July 13 – 14)

West Fest

Town is quickly becoming Chicago’s leading hipster ‘hood and this festival
showcases it perfectly. It’s got one stage full of today’s top indie acts like
Tortoise and Born Ruffians and another packed with dance inducing DJ sets. But
that doesn’t mean this neighborhood is too cool to have a little fun. There’s a
kid-friendly sector with activities like bean bag throws and balloon darts. Plus
— best of all — West Fest also encompasses Pup Fest! So bring your
four-legged friend (and don’t forget the $5 suggested donation).

Taste of River North at Kingsbury
and Erie (July 19 -21)

Taste of River North

cantinas, fondue. River North is a swank dining neighborhood and there’s no
better (or cheaper) way to sample all that it has to offer than this street
festival. Local veteran pop punkers Lucky Boys Confusion perform along with a
mess of other Chicago rockers. For a full list of restaurants and performers, check the website.

Fest at St. Benedict Parish (2215 W. Irving Park) (July 19 – 21)

Chicago’s best family-friendly summer festival by the Chicago Tribune, Benfest
is a block party that you won’t want to miss. Expect to find bands for kids and
adults, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a $10,000 cash raffle. Don’t forget
to have fun — as if we needed to remind you. Admission for parents is $7 and
$5 for kids.

Sheffield Garden Walk
Music Festival at Sheffield and Webster (July 20 – 21)

Garden Festival

a self-guided walk through Lincoln Park and check out the beautiful gardens
that help make it one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Chicago. With a nice
list of local bands to boot (our favorites are JC Brooks The Uptown
Sound, Poi Dog Pondering and Funkadesi) this is going to be a fun one. There is
a $10 suggested donation.

Celebrate Clark Street at
Morse and Estes (July 20 – 21)

Celebrate Clark Street

collide at this Rogers Park festival meaning it’s going to be and eclectic
lineup and food and music for the whole family to enjoy. Family activities like
face painting, art galleries and shopping will be on site. There is a $5
suggested donation per person or $10 for the whole family.

Chinatown Summer
Fair at Wentworth and Cermak (July 21)

Chinese culture summer celebration is one of the biggest in the Midwest and
provides a fun day for folks of all ages. You can enjoy traditional Chinese
arts, crafts, food and musical acts along with martial arts and dance
demonstrations. If you’ve got a hankering for good Chinese food, you need to
get to Chinatown this weekend.

Fiesta del Sol at Cermak and Loomis (July
25 – 28)

del Sol brings the largest Latino festival in the Midwest to the Pilsen
neighborhood every year. Attracting more than 1 million attendees this festival
is a combination of art, music, food, culture and more. Also, you’ll definitely
want to check out House of Sol — a mini festival within Fiesta del Sol that
celebrates Chicago’s house music traditions.

Fest at Lawrence and Long (July 26 – 28)

is the Jefferson Park neighborhood’s time to shine. And that they will if this
fest proves to be as fun as it looks. Two stages of live music, food trucks on
standby and an appearance by the Urban Folk Circuit — Chicago’s traveling
craft market. There’s a $7 donation for this one.

Taste of Lincoln
Avenue at Lincoln and Fullerton (July 27 – 28)

Taste of Lincoln

a block from DePaul University, Taste of Lincoln Avenue is now entering is celebrating
its 30th birthday this summer and its never been bigger. Forty musical acts
will hit the stage and 250 food and art vendors will be represented. Get
sidetracked at the Lillith Street Craft Fair or get your kiddos over to the
Kids Carnival. There are six blocks of entertainment to indulge in.

Wicker Park Fest at North and
Milwaukee (July 27 – 28)

Wicker Fest

the thing about Wicker Park Fest: we could tell you how great the Wicker Park
neighborhood is, about all the delicious food that will be there, how great the
shopping is. However, the simple truth is that there’s really just one thing
that drives tens of thousands of people to this festival every summer: the
music. Three stages packed with musical acts from across the country, Wicker
Park Fest is often called “the poor man’s Lollapalooza” — meaning you’ll see
much of the same quality in performers on the stage and save yourself about 300
bucks! This year acts like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Cults and the elusive
Meat Puppets top the bill. A $5 suggested donation is requested upon

Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we’ll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?