Chicago Summer 2012: Major Events Calendar from Blues Fest and Lollapalooza to the Air and Water Show.

Chicago Summer 2012: Major Events Calendar from Blues Fest and Lollapalooza to the Air and Water Show.
Watching the Air and Water Show from North Avenue Beach.

Chicago, Wednesday, March 28, 2012. The countdown to Summer 2012 has started. The city has released the dates and some of the headliners for this summers major festivals--so get your calendars ready.

Chicago Blues Festival.
June 8 through 10, 2012, Grant Park.

Grammy® winner Mavis Staples headlines the 29th annual Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, June 8-10. Celebrating the genre’s rich past and its promising future, the FREE festival is three days of the finest blues music in the world. Other headliners include Texas Johnny Brown and Floyd Taylor. Last year the blues world experienced the loss of past festival performers and friends: David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Tributes to these legendary performers will be staged by the genre’s present day talent, and other artists being honored this year include: a centennial celebration of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and Howlin’ Wolf.

The Grant Park Music Festival.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               June 13-August 18, 2012,  Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

The nation’s only FREE, outdoor classical music series of its kind, the Grant Park Orchestra led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus led by Chorus Director Christopher Bell, the festival will present its 78th season of concerts this summer at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Highlights include the 50th anniversary of the Grant Park Chorus, the release of the Chorus’ first-ever a cappella recording, and outstanding guest conductors and artists.

The Chicago Gospel Music Festival.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              June 21-24, 2012, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center, Bronzeville.

The 27th Chicago Gospel Fest returns in 2012 with multiple stages of FREE entertainment at Millennium Park, in the Chicago Cultural Center, and in its new home - Chicago’s beautiful Bronzeville neighborhood. Headliners include:  Fred Hammond, Mary Mary, Blind Boys of Alabama and Take 6.

Taste of Chicago.  July 11-15, 2012, Grant Park.

Taste of Chicago, the long-running FREE food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community will be taking place in a new and more compact time period this season. Note the new dates in 2012 are July 11-15, Taste of Chicago will be serving up a delicious array of food and be complemented by live music entertainment and activities for the entire family at its lakefront home in Grant Park. Also new this year, the festival is adding “Pop Up” restaurants, which allows local eateries to participate for just one day and gives hungry visitors more offerings and unique options each day of the festival.

Chicago SummerDance.   July 19-September 16, 2012, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park.

For eleven weeks each summer, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into an urban dance space for SummerDance. The FREE series, which runs Thursdays to Sundays, July 19-September 16, offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing.

Lollapalooza.  August 3-5, 2012, Grant Park.

However you say it, Lollapalooza is a mecca for music lovers from all over the world.  The highly-anticipated three-day extravaganza returns August 3-5 with live music and local eats, as well as interactive fun for all ages. Having put down roots in the gorgeous green spaces of Grant Park in 2005, the festival has grown over the years – now spanning over 115 acres, multiple stages, and an ever-more diverse array of 130+ artists from hip-hop, electronica, indie, rock and more.

The Chicago Air and Water Show.  August 18-19, 2012, Chicago Lakefront centering from North Ave. Beach.

The 54th annual Chicago Air and Water Show rocks the lakefront August 18-19 with the largest FREE show of its kind in the United States. One of the city’s longest running events bringing millions to the shores of Lake Michigan annually – from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. Strong in tradition and one of the world’s premier aviation events, the show includes a wide array of military and civilian acts thrilling spectators each summer.

Chicago Dancing Festival.  August 20-25, 2012, multiple downtown venues.

The Chicago Dancing Festival features the best of Chicago and national dance companies through a diverse showcase of works. This FREE celebration of dance has taken place in multiple venues in the heart of Chicago and will continue in that tradition in its sixth year August 20-25.

Chicago Jazz Festival.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      August 30-September 2., 2012, Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Grant Park.

The longest running of the city's lakefront music festivals, Chicago Jazz Festival has been a Labor Day weekend tradition for the past 30 years and this year will take place August 30-September 2. Known for its artistic creativity, the festival promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through FREE, quality live musical performances at venues across the city including the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park and Grant Park.

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