The problem is not finding things to do over Labor Day Weekend in Chicago, it's figuring out how to do it all. Lucky for us the weather is looking picture perfect for outdoor events--of which there are many--and we have four days to fit everything in.
Here are Show Me Chicago's 7 picks for Labor Day Weekend 2016.
Chicago Jazz Festival
The biggie for Labor Day weekend is the Chicago Jazz Festival. For the past 38 years Chicago Jazz Festival has served as the grand finale for summer filling Labor Day Weekend with free live performances featuring Chicago's outstanding jazz talents along with national and international jazz legends and artists.
Headlining this year's fest are: Oliver Lake and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra (Friday); The Bad Plus, the Anat Cohen Quartet, Eric Alexander/Harold Mabern Quartet (Saturday); and on Sunday its Candido’s 95th Birthday Celebration featuring M.F. Production’s Latin All Stars.
Performances take place at Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), Grant Park and Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) from September 1-4.
North Coast Music Festival
More music with the North Coast Music Festival filling Union Park with the sounds of folk, rock, hip hop and more. Here's a preview.
Are you ready? Calling itself the last stand of summer, the North Coast Music Festival heads to Union Park promising a good time for all. September 2 through September 4. $60. Kicks off 3:45 p.m. Friday, North Coast Festival, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
Great American Lobster Fest
Get your bibs ready, Chicago, for the 3rd annual Great American Lobster Fest clawing its way into Navy Pier this weekend with live music, live lobster and libations. The “Maine” event is lobster. There’s lobster rolls, lobster mac & cheese, lobster tacos, Surf & Turf, lobster bisque, lobster on a stick all freshly flown in from Boston. Friday, September 2 and Saturday, Sept. 3 at 600 E. Grand Ave., Click above for hours and tickets $42-$140.
Chicago Fringe Festival
The 7th annual Chicago Fringe Festival will feature a variety of entertainment from 50 groups in about 200 performances at venues scattered throughout the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Fest goers can expect inventive theatre, comedy, dance, musicals, performance art and more. From August 31 – September 11, various locations in Jefferson Park. Get your tickets online or at Fringe Central, 4801 N. Milwaukee Ave.
African Festival of the Arts
Another great Chicago Labor Day Weekend tradition for many is the African Festival of the Arts that holds court in Washington Park on the South side of town. The fest features replica African villages, music, arts, crafts, great eats and more. Highlights include a special Drum Village where visitors can learn techniques from master drummers. September 2-5, Washington Park from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday - Monday, 5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.; $5-$15.
Why go to Taste of Polonia? Over 30 bands, kielbasa, pierogi, beer, a kid's zone--and if things get too hot outdoors, a good bet is to head indoors to the Casino. A Chicago favorite, Taste of Polonia has it all from cultural performances, a marketplace, carnival rides and four stages of live music plus Polish and American food. What not to miss: The Polka Bands--nowhere else this side of Poland will you find such a lineup. Copernicus Center 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. Kicks off today, Friday, September 2 from 5 to 10:30 pm; Saturday hours noon to 10:30 pm; Sunday: 12 to 10:30 pm and Monday: 12 to 10 pm.
Navy Pier Fireworks
End the summer season with a bang, not a whimper, at the final Aon Summer Fireworks display. Final night, Saturday, September 3, 10:15 pm. However there are more fireworks to come including a special fireworks show presented by Miller Lite on 9/10 and a Halloween display (Oct. 29) and more, TBA.
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