Chicago Events and Festivals

(Chicago, Illinois - IL, USA)

Chicago Events, Festivals and Things to DoThe residents of Chicago like to party and there are many exciting events that are held throughout the year in Chicago. The popular events in Chicago include numerous lively street fairs, carnivals, parades, festivals and numerous sporting events. Many of the events and festivals in Chicago draw enormous crowds of both participants and spectators.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Third Monday in April - Patriot's Day (Massachusetts)
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Chicago Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Chicago Boat, Sports and RV Show - early to mid-January, one of the city's largest public events, held at McCormick Place
  • Chinese New Year Parade - late January / early February - this popular festival takes place along Wentworth Avenue in Chinatown


  • Azalea and Camelia Show - held at Lincoln Park Conservatory, with many beautiful flowers
  • Bridal Show of the Year - late February, teams of wedding professionals gather at the New Orleans Museum of Art, with almost 100 vendors showcasing their wedding dresses and gowns, cake-making and catering skills, and limousine services. If you are getting married locally and looking for a suitable venue or perhaps some caterers, this event will certainly help you weigh up the options available


  • St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 17th, the large parade starts at Dearborn Street and Wacker Drive and the Chicago River is colored green
  • Spring Festival of Dance - late March to early June, this dance festival is held in the Shubert Theater and at other venues


  • Spring and Easter Flower Show - this colorful flower show is held in Lincoln Park's large conservatory


  • Art Chicago - second week in May, the annual Art Chicago event is a exhibition of contemporary art, held in the Navy Pier's Festival Hall
  • Buckingham Fountain Re-Opening - celebrations as the famous fountain is started
  • Viva - late weekend in May, this Latin Music Festival is held in Grant Park in both the afternoon and evening


  • Blues Festival - first weekend in June, held in Grant Park both in the afternoon and evening
  • Gospel Festival - second week in June, held in Grant Park both in the afternoon and evening
  • Old Town Art Fair - second week in June, this popular event is the oldest art fair in Chicago and is held at Lincoln Park West and New Orleans Street
  • Grant Park Music Festival - mid-June to mid-August, this music fest is mainly classical music and is held in Grant Park during the evenings
  • Chicago Country Music Festival - last weekend in June, held at Grant Park
  • Taste of Chicago - end of June to mid-July, this 10-day food festival features more than 60 food stands from many of the city's best restaurants


  • Fourth of July - with fireworks on the lakefront and celebrations in most neighborhoods


  • University of Chicago Summer Opera Festival - held on the university's campus, this opera fest is well attended
  • Gold Coast Air Fair - mid-August, this jazz, blues and gospel festivals is an open-air even in the North Pullman District
  • Jazz Festival - late August to early September, this jazz fest is held in the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park


  • Venetian Night - first Saturday of the month, this popular event features a procession of boats at Navy Pier
  • Berghoff Oktobervest - mid-September, this street festival takes place outside of the famous German restaurant


  • Chicago International Film Festival - this film fest is held at many theaters and cinemas throughout the city
  • Chicago Bears - the start of the American football season, there are many opening concerts in the Civic Center for Performing Arts


  • Magnificent Mile Lights Festival - from mid- to late November, this festival is held on North Michigan Avenue and side streets nearby
  • Lighting of the Christmas Tree - late November / early December, held at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago
  • Christmas Parade - late November / early December, this popular Christmas parade takes place along Michigan Avenue


  • Christmas Flower Show - seasonal flower show held at Lincoln Park's large conservatory
  • New Year's Eve Celebrations - parties and general festivities take place throughout, culminating in many spectacular fireworks displays