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Summer festivals in Chicago for 2012

Jennifer Hudswill headline Petrillo Music Shell July 11 as part 2012's revamped Taste Chicago lakefront festival.  |  Dom

Jennifer Hudson will headline the Petrillo Music Shell on July 11 as part of 2012's revamped Taste of Chicago lakefront festival. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 2, 2012 9:51AM



Memorial Day weekend heralds the beginning of summer and with that comes the outdoor festival season.

From downtown Chicago to city neighborhoods and the suburbs, outdoor festivals abound.

Although a few have disappeared due to tough economic times, new fests have stepped up to the plate, so there is no shortage of choices.

The biggest news on the fest scene is changes to 2012’s Taste of Chicago in Grant Park.

The Taste is later in the summer and shorter — July 11-15 — and there will a charge for concerts ($25) for seats in the Petrillo Music Shell (3,000 seats). The 30,000 lawn seats remain free.

Along with those changes come enhancements to the culinary component of the Taste via the new Celebrity Chef du Jour program, five sit-down three-course meals ($40) and a “pop-up” restaurant program. Food ticket prices remain the same: $8 for strips of 12.

“We really feel that the five-day model allows for more restaurants to apply,” Taste of Chicago manager Mary Slowick said.

“It controls the operating budget for the event, and we don’t want to burden anyone with paying for a much larger event.

“And we thought that this would be, especially in these financial times, a little bit more of a responsible thing to do in an effort to still showcase Chicago’s great culinary community, all of our great entertainment and really provide something for everyone that is in a manageable time period.”

Celebrity Chef du Jour will showcase a different renowned Chicago chef each day with cooking demonstrations, a booth that vends one of the chef’s signature items and a three-course meal prepared by the chef on Buckingham Fountain Plaza (dinner July 11-13, lunch July 14-15).

The featured chefs are Carlos Gaytan (Mexique), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia), Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot) Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat) and Jimmy Bannos Sr. (Heaven on Seven).

Though still in the planning stages, the pop-up restaurant program will allow 20 restaurants (four different ones each day of the fest) to participate in Taste for one day only.

Slowick said the program will be managed by WTTW-TV’s “Check, Please!”

These eateries will operate just like restaurants participating for all five days. Menu boards will again feature icons denoting healthful food choices.

Headliners so far at the Petrillo Music Shell are Jennifer Hudson (July 11), Death Cab for Cutie (July 12), Chaka Khan (July 14) and Dierks Bentley (July 15); the July 13 performer has yet to be announced.

“At Petrillo Music Shell … we have a concerted effort to really highlight some national acts at the event,” Slowick said.

“Over the last couple of years I think there have been some mixed messages about whether or not, you know, is the focus on the food? Is the focus on the music?

“We’re focusing on both this year, and we’re very proud of the lineup that we have for the Petrillo Music Shell.”

Radio Disney will present a free family show at 11:30 a.m. July 14 at the Petrillo, and the Bud Light Stage will showcase local performers, including Kids These Days, Robbie Fulks and My My My.

The Taste also will showcase Chicago’s popular SummerDance program, a new feature, along with popular standbys such as the Dominick’s Cooking Corner, the Family Village with interactive children’s activities and the Humana Race to the Taste (6:15 p.m. July 12).

Slowick said tickets for the chef-prepared meals and Petrillo concerts will go on sale at tasteofchicago.us in late May. If tickets don’t sell out, they’ll be available at the event.

Taste of Chicago opens at 11 a.m. July 11-15 in Grant Park, Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway.

Admission is free; food tickets are $8 for strips of 12. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit tasteofchicago.us.

The Taste, of course, isn’t the only festival this summer. Check out a few of the following this summer.

MAY

MAY 26-27, BARRINGTON ART FESTIVAL: Cook and Station streets, Barrington. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

MAY 26-27, BELMONT-SHEFFIELD MUSIC FESTIVAL: Sheffield Avenue between Belmont Avenue and School Street, Chicago. Admission: $5. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

MAY 26-SEPT. 1, NAVY PIER SUMMER FIREWORKS: 600 E. Grand Ave, Chicago. Hours: 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 10:15 p.m. Saturdays. special Fourth of July fireworks at 9 p.m. July 4. Call (312) 595-7437 or visit navypier.com. Free.

MAY 26-27, JUNE 23-24, JULY 28-29, AUG. 25-26, SEPT. 29-30, RANDOLPH STREET MARKET FESTIVAL: 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago. Admission: $10 for adults ($8 in advance), $5 for students ($3 in advance), free for ages 12 and younger. Call (312) 666-1200 or visit randolphstreetmarket.com.

MAY 27, BAHA’I CHORAL FESTIVAL: Baha’i Temple, Sheridan Road and Linden Avenue, Wilmette. Concert times: 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Call (847) 853-2330 or visit www.bahai.us/bahai-temple. Free.

MAY 31-JUNE 3, MAYFEST CHICAGO 2012: Lincoln Square, Lincoln and Leland avenues, Chicago. Mayfestchicago.com. Free.

JUNE

JUNE 1-3, DO-DIVISION STREET FEST AND SIDEWALK SALE: Division Street between Damen Avenue and Leavitt Street, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (312) 850-9390 or visit do-divisionstreetfest.com.

JUNE 1-3, CHICAGO EASTSIDE MILLENNIUM ART FESTIVAL: Lake Street at Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

JUNE 2-3, SAUSAGE FESTIVAL: Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street, Chicago. Admission: $5. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 2-3, 57TH STREET ART FAIR: 57th Street between Kenwood and Kimbark avenues, Chicago. Call (773) 234-3247 or visit 57thstreetartfair.org. Free.

JUNE 5-AUG. 28, RUSH HOUR CONCERTS: St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., Chicago. Hours: 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays. Call (773) 338-9480 or visit rushhour.org.

JUNE 7-SEPT. 9, RAVINIA FESTIVAL: 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. Admission: varies. Call (847) 266-5100 or visit ravinia.org.

JUNE 8-10, CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL: Grant Park, Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive, Chicago. Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit chicagobluesfestival.us. Free.

JUNE 8-10, RIBFEST CHICAGO: Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Berteau Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 525-3609 or visit ribfest-Chicago.com.

JUNE 9-10, PRINTERS ROW LIT FEST: Dearborn Street between Congress Parkway and Polk Street, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Visit printersrowlitfest.org. Free.

JUNE 9-10, OLD TOWN ART FAIR: Lincoln Avenue and Wisconsin Street, Chicago. Admission: $7, free for ages 12 and younger. Call (312) 337-1938 or visit oldtowntriangle.com.

JUNE 9-10, WELLS STREET ART FAIR: Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission: $7. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 9-10, ANDERSONVILLE MIDSOMMARFEST: Clark Street between Foster and Catalpa avenues, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

JUNE 9-10, BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS AND WEBER CHILL AND GRILL FESTIVAL: Waveland Park, Recreation Drive and Waveland Avenue, Chicago. Tasting card: $12 online, $15 at event; admission is free. Visit bhgchillandgrill.com.

JUNE 11-15, BIKE TO WORK WEEK: Various events and activities. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit bikechicago.us. Free.

JUNE 11-OCT. 26, MOVIES IN THE PARK: Various Chicago Park District parks. Hours: Movies begin at dusk, weather-permitting. Call (312) 742-1134 or visit chicagoparkdistrict.com. Free.

JUNE 13-AUG. 18, GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL: Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Monroe and Randolph streets, Chicago. Call (312) 742-7638 or visit grantparkmusicfestival.com. Free.

JUNE 14-24, ENSEMBLE ESPANOL’S 36TH AMERICAN SPANISH DANCE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL: Various locations and admission prices. Call (773) 442-5916 or visit ensembleespanol.org.

JUNE 15-16, SCOTTISH FEST & HIGHLAND GAMES: Hamilton Lakes, Thorndale Avenue and Illinois 53, Itasca. Admission: $5-$20. Call (708) 447-5092 or visit chicagoscots.org.

JUNE 15-17, TASTE OF RANDOLPH STREET: Randolph Street between Peoria Street and Racine Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $10. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit tasterandolph.com.

JUNE 16-17, CUSTER’S LAST STAND FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS: Main Street and Chicago Avenue, Evanston. Admission: $1. Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Call (847) 328-2204 or visit custerfair.com.

JUNE 16-17, CHICAGO PIZZA FEST: Wilson Avenue and Broadway Street, Chicago. Admission: $5. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 21-24, CHICAGO GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL: Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (June 21), Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. (June 22), and Ellis Park, 37th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue (June 23-24), all in Chicago. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit chicagogospelmusicfestival.us. Free.

JUNE 21, MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO: Musical performances at 100 public spaces throughout Chicago culminating in a grand finale from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. James Cathedral Commons, 65 E. Huron St. Call (773) 850-0662 or visit makemusicchicago.com. Free.

JUNE 21-22, SUMMER ON SOUTHPORT: Southport Avenue at Waveland Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

JUNE 22-23, CHICAGO PRIDE FESTIVAL: Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $7. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 24, CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE: Montrose and Clark streets to Broadway Street, Chicago. Noon. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com. Free.

JUNE 22-JUNE 24, LONG GROVE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Old McHenry Road and Robert Coffin Parker Road, Long Grove. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com. Free.

JUNE 23-24, GREEN MUSIC FEST: Damen Avenue between North Avenue and Schiller Street, Chicago. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Admission: $5. Call (773) 384-2672 or visit greenmusicfestchicago.com.

JUNE 23-24, CHICAGO SUMMERFEST: Lincoln Park, Clark Street and Armitage Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

JUNE 23-24, FOUNTAIN SQUARE ARTS FESTIVAL: Church Street and Sherman Avenue, Evanston. Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: $5. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 23-24, ART CENTER’S FESTIVAL OF FINE CRAFT: Sheridan Road and Park Avenue, Highland Park. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

JUNE 23-24, PROMENADE OF ART: Vail Avenue and Campbell Street, Arlington Heights. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

JUNE 29-JULY 1, CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL: St. Michael in Old Town, 1633 N. Cleveland Ave., Chicago. Admission: $5 (general) or $75 (craft beer tastings). Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JUNE 29-JULY 3, NAPERVILLE RIBFEST: Knoch Park, on South West Street, Naperville. Admission: $10-$25, free for ages 11 and younger with paying adult. Call (630) 779-2702 or visit ribfest.net.

JUNE 29-30, OLD ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH WORLD’S LARGEST BLOCK PARTY: Madison and Des Plaines streets, Chicago. Hours: 5:30-10:30 p.m. Admission: to be announced. Call (312) 648-1021 or visit worldslargestblockparty.com.

JUNE 30-JULY 1, GOLD COAST ART FAIR: Grant Park’s Butler Field, Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit gcartfair.com. Free.

JULY

JULY 2-SEPT. 2, FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL: Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph Street and Columbus Avenue, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Call (312) 742-1168 or visit millenniumpark.org. Free.

JULY 4-7, GRANT PARK ORCHESTRA INDEPENDENCE DAY CONCERTS: Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Monroe and Randolph streets, Chicago. Hours: 6:30 p.m. July 4, Independence Day Celebration; 6:30 p.m. July 6 and 7:30 p.m. July 7: “Sleepers and Dreamers” world premiere. Call (312) 742-7638 or visit grantparkmusicfestival.com. Free.

JULY 6-8, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN ART FESTIVAL: 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Parking: $20. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com.

JULY 7-8, WEST FEST: Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street, Chicago. Hours: noon to 10 p.m. Admission: $5. Call (312) 850-9390 or visit westfestchicago.com.

JULY 7-8, LINCOLN PARK ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL: Racine Avenue between Fullerton and Webster avenues, Chicago. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Admission: $5. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JULY 7-8, ROCK AROUND THE BLOCK: Southport Avenue at Waveland Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

JULY 11-15 AND JULY 19-SEPT. 16, SUMMERDANCE: Grant Park, Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway, Chicago (July 11-15), then Chicago Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago (July 19-Sept. 16). Hours: 6-9:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 4-7 p.m. Sundays. Call (312) 742-4007 or visit explorechicago.org. Free.

JULY 12, BASTILLE DAY 5K WALK, RUN AND BLOCK PARTY: Lincoln Park, Cannon Drive and Fullerton Parkway, Chicago. Registration: $30-$40; block party admission, free. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

JULY 13-15, IRISH AMERICAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Admission: $8 through July 11 or $15 at the door; free for ages 12 and younger. Call (773) 282-7035 or visit irishfestchicago.com.

JULY 13-15, PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL: Union Park, Ashland Avenue and Lake Street, Chicago. Admission: $45. Visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

JULY 15, CHINATOWN SUMMER FAIR: Wentworth Avenue between Cermak Road and 24th Place, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com or chicagodragons.com. Free.

JULY 20-22, TASTE OF RIVER NORTH: Ward Park, Kingsbury and Erie streets, Chicago. Admission: $5. Visit rnrachicago.org.

JULY 20-22, OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC’S SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL: Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson avenues, Chicago. Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and ages younger than 12. Call (773) 728-6000 or visit oldtownschool.org.

JULY 21-22, BUFFALO GROVE INVITATIONAL ART FESTIVAL: Lake Cook Road and Illinois 83, Buffalo Grove. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

JULY 26-29, FIESTA DEL SOL: 1400 W. Cermak Road, Chicago. Call (312) 666-2663 or visit fiestadelsol.org. Free.

JULY 26-29, NEWBERRY BOOK FAIR: 60 W. Walton St., Chicago. Call (312) 255-3501 or visit newberry.org. Free.

JULY 27-29, NORTH SHORE FESTIVAL OF ART AT OLD ORCHARD: 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

JULY 28-29, WICKER PARK FEST: Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Wood Street, Chicago. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Admission: $5. Call (773) 384-2672 or visit wickerparkbucktown.com.

JULY 28-29, TASTE OF LINCOLN AVENUE/LILL STREET CRAFT FAIR: Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood avenues, Chicago. Admission: $7. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

AUGUST

AUG. 3-5, LOLLAPALOOZA: Grant Park, Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway, Chicago. Admission: only Aug. 5 tickets are available ($95). Visit lollapalooza.com.

AUG 4-5, GLENCOE FESTIVAL OF ART: Hazel Road and Park Avenue, Glencoe. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

AUG. 4-5, WRIGLEYVILLE SUMMERFEST: 3300 N. Seminary Ave., Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

AUG. 9-12, TAYLOR STREET FESTA ITALIANA: Taylor Street at Ashland Avenue, Chicago. Admission: price to be announced. Call (312) 243-3773 or visit festaitaliana2012.com.

AUG. 9-12, WOOD DALE PRAIRIE FEST: Town Square, Wood Dale Road and Commercial Street, Wood Dale. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com. Free.

AUG. 11, BUD BILLIKEN PARADE AND PICNIC: 39th Street and South Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call (773) 536-3710 or visit budbillikenparade.com. Free.

AUG. 11-12, ART AT THE GLEN TOWN CENTER: 1800 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

AUG. 11-12, NORTHALSTED MARKET DAYS: Halsted Street between Belmont and Addison avenues, Chicago. Admission: $7. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Call (773) 868-3010 or visit chicagoevents.com.

AUG. 11-12, RETRO ON ROSCOE: 2000-2300 W. Roscoe St., Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

AUG. 17-19, GLENWOOD AVENUE ARTS FESTIVAL: Glenwood and Morse avenues, Chicago. Visit glenwoodave.org. Free.

AUG. 18-19, LINCOLNSHIRE ART FESTIVAL: Milwaukee Avenue and Old Half Day Road, Lincolnshire. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

AUG. 18-19, CHICAGO AIR & WATER SHOW: Lakefront from Fullerton Parkway to Oak Street with North Avenue Beach as central location. Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit chicagoairandwatershow.us. Free.

AUG. 18-19, LONG GROVE FINE ART & WINE FESTIVAL: Archer Municipal Lot, Robert Parker Coffin Road near Fountain Square, Long Grove. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 634-0888 or visit longgroveartfest.com. Free.

AUG. 20-25, CHICAGO DANCING FESTIVAL: Various venues. Call (773) 609-2335 or visit chicagodancingfestival.com. Free but tickets must be reserved in advance.

AUG. 24-26, TASTE OF HIGHLAND PARK/PORT CLINTON ART FESTIVAL: Central Avenue and First and Second streets, Highland Park. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

AUG. 24-26, THE BOULEVARD: Logan Square, Logan Boulevard and Kedzie Avenue, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

AUG. 25-26, BUCKTOWN ARTS FEST: Senior Citizens Memorial Park, 2300 N. Oakley Ave., Chicago. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Call (312) 409-8305 or visit bucktownartsfest.com. Free.

AUG. 30-SEPT. 2, CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL: Cultural Center (Aug. 30), Millennium Park (Aug. 30-31) and Grant Park (Sept. 1-2). Call (312) 744-3316 or visit chicagojazzfestival.us. Free.

SEPTEMBER

SEPT. 8-9, UKRAINIAN VILLAGE FESTIVAL: Superior Street between Oakley Boulevard and Leavitt Street, Chicago. Admission: $5. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit explorechicago.org.

SEPT. 8-9, DOWNTOWN DOWNERS GROVE ART FESTIVAL: Main and Curtiss streets, Downers Grove. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

SEPT. 15-16, HIGHWOOD LAST CALL ART FAIR: Walker Avenue and Sheridan Road, Highwood. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (847) 926-4300 or visit amdurproductions.com. Free.

SEPT. 21-27, WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL: Various locations. Call (312) 744-3316 or visit explorechicago.org. Free.

SEPT. 28-30, LONG GROVE APPLE FEST: Throughout Long Grove. Admission: $5. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

SEPT. 29-30, HYDE PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL: Various Hyde Park locations. Admission: price to be announced. Call (773) 665-4682 or visit starevents.com.

SEPT. 29-30, DESIGN HARVEST FESTIVAL: Grand Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street, Chicago. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Call (312) 850-9390 or visit design-harvest.com. Free.

Jennifer Burklow is a local freelance writer.



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