Summer is coming quickly around the corner. All over Chicago, art exhibits, dining, and music will transition to outdoor spaces, making the most of the midwest’s momentary yet beautiful weather. On the north side, street festivals are common, getting many residents out of their homes and engaging with the local talent and community. Here are the best Lakeview festivals this year you’ll need to visit to make this summer unforgettable.
Many Chicago residents are familiar with the lively pride parade at the end of June. But the prelude to the city’s massive festival is another essential street fest, full of music, art, and drag.
The Chicago Pride Fest is a street event that happens the weekend before the city’s pride parade. The fest celebrates the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community by showcasing impressive local drag, DJs, and an abundance of Chicago artists. Over 100 vendors will be a part of the fest selling their arts and valuables, while food and drink trucks line the street with delectable options.
The fest lasts from Saturday, June 18h to Sunday, June 19th, starting in the late morning and ending at 10 pm each night. You’ll find the festival on Chicago’s busy Boystown cross-section of Waveland and Halsted. Check out more about the pride event here: https://chicagoevents.com/events/chicago-pride-fest/
A few blocks away from Lakeview, you’ll find Chicago’s renowned outsider art festival. The Old Town Art Fair, an integral fest for a summer in the city, hosts hundreds of artists from around the country, highlighting sculptors, painters, textile workers, and more.
The festival can be found in the Old Town Triangle, a bustling intersection of bars, stores, and high-end restaurants. The triangle will be flooded with thousands of art-enjoyers from far and wide, ready to see the exciting new trends of these modern-day artists. There will be live music, a garden walk, and a food court for attendees to enjoy.
The Old Town Art Fair always ensures that a range of artistic styles are showcased, from drawing to photography to mixed media. With so many imaginative creations, it’ll be impossible not to feel inspired at this local street fest. Find out more about the art fair’s times and dates here: https://www.oldtownartfair.org/
Though this festival starts in early fall, the heat of Chicago’s August often extends for a couple more weeks, making September an honorary summer month. To conclude, the city’s beautiful summertime is Lakeview’s unbeatable Taco Fest.
The festival has been going on in Lakeview’s vibrant Southport Corridor for nine strong years. Many local vendors will come out to highlight their tastiest, innovative taco dishes. Traditional tacos are more than available at this street fest, but many attend for the unusual taco toppings like goat, duck, and inventive vegan substitutes.
Find out more about the yearly Lakeview Taco Fest here: https://chicagoevents.com/events/lakeviewtacofest/
The Southport Art Fest might not receive the same press as the Old Town one, but don’t let that fool you. The Southport Corridor’s yearly art festival was bursting with creativity and was named one of the “Best Festivals in Chicago,” according to TimeOut magazine.
The Southport Art Fest will be held on Southport Avenue in Wrigley Field on July 9th. The festival will have a mix of sophisticated art, providing a platform for Chicago talent to showcase their work. Sculpture, woodworking, oil and acrylic painting, photography, and jewelry are just a few art categories represented at the festival. There will also be a children’s area with interactive games so the whole family can join in on this artistic celebration.
For more about the Southport Art Fest, check out their website:
Though Chicago’s Pride Fest gets the majority of attention regarding queer summer events, Market Days are just as special.
Market Days is an LGBTQ+ street celebration that happens yearly in Boystown. Bars on the strip all have their own stall outside their establishment, usually equipped with speakers, dancers, and DJs. Market Days is an all-weekend event, with musical performances from sun up to sundown. The whole fest is a half-mile long, populating Boystown’s lively Halsted Avenue.
Performs have yet to be announced, but 2021’s lineup consisted of famous LGBTQ+ performers like Trixie Mattel and Todrick Hall. To find out more information about Market Days’ booths and performers, check out the North Halsted neighborhood website: https://northalsted.com/marketdays/
Chicago has plenty of street events to attend this summer. While many were on a hiatus over the past few years, 2022 will bring back some local festival favorites. If you’ve been suffering during Chicago’s brutal months, then make sure to check out these fantastic Lakeview festivals for optimal summertime fun.