Chicago Summer Festivals and Events July 19 to July 22, 2012: From Race to Mackinac to the Taste of River North.

Chicago Summer Festivals and Events July 19 to July 22, 2012: From Race to Mackinac to the Taste of River North.

CHICAGO, Thursday, July 19, 2012. Who said that summer is winding down. No way, not with this weeks’ loaded calendar of events. Once again, we’ve tried to add a little sample of everything from city happenings, kid events, suburban stuff and early warnings as to what will be coming up in the next week or two. Feel free to add any other events that we may have missed in the comments section at the bottom of the post, on the SMC Facebook page or you can email us at


  • Lincoln Square Roots., July 20-22, Lincoln Square.
  •  Taste of River North: July 20-22, River North.
  • Summer on Southport: July 21-22, Lakeview.
  • Sheffield Garden Walk & Festival: July 21-22, Lincoln Park. Webster St. at Sheffield Ave. (773-929-9255,  $10, before 3pm $7. Take a DIY tour of more than 100 resident gardens in the historic Sheffield neighborhood. Plus 3 stages of music, food, art and more.
  • Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Fri 20, 4–11pm; Sat 21, Sun 22, noon–11pm. Milwaukee Ave between California and Kimball Aves. (773-278-4257, $5. Milwaukee Avenue will be rocking with art from more than 250 artists, three stages of live music, performance art, food trucks and family activities.
  • Roscoe Village Burger Fest, Sat 21, Sun 22, 11am–10pm. Belmont Ave at Damen Ave (773-868-3010, $6. The burger is king at this North Side neighborhood fest, which features patties from local restaurants for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.


  • Festival of the Lakes, Thursday, July 19–Sunday, July 22, Wolf Lake Memorial Park, 2938 S Calumet Ave, Hammond, IN (219-853-6378, Website: Festival of the Lakes.. The fest features music, a carnival, a beer garden and food vendors.
  • Kane County Fair, Thursday, July 19, noon–11pm; Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, noon–midnight; Sunday, July 22, noon–10pm. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S Randall Rd, St. Charles (630-584-6926,  Thu $5, Fri–Sun $8, kids under 5 free. It’s the 144th year for this highly-anticipated fair featuring a carnival, amusement rides, 4-H competitions, live music and fried foods to nostalgia junkies.
  • Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July, 22, noon–7pm. Dawes Park, Sheridan Rd at Church St, Evanston, 847-448-4311.  The flags of more than a hundred nations will be flown to celebrate diversity and pieces from over 125 artists represent several cultures plus food, dancing and two stages of music.


  • Grant Park Music Festival, Friday, July 20 at 6:30pm; Saturday, July 21 at 7:30pm. Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, 205 E Randolph St. 312-742-7638, Pack a picnic and stretch out on the Great Lawn or grab a chair in the Seating Bowl as you listen to the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus plus special guests. Free.
  • Loops And Variations summer series continues this Thursday, July 19 at 6:30p.m. in Millennium Park. Free.
  • Ravinia Festival, Ravinia Park, just North of Lake Cook on Green Bay Rd. in Highland Park. BoDeans, Friday, July 20, 8p.m. and Seal, Sunday, July 22, 7:30p.m.
  • Chicago SummerDance Thursday, July 19; Saturday, July 21, 6–9:30pm; and Sunday, July 22, 4–7pm. Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave 312-742-4007.  Annual series of couples dances featuring dance lessons for the first hour then dancing on your own.
  • Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Saturday, July 21.  Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria and more…1:30p.m., First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park.


  • The 
104th  Race to Mackinac
 sets sail from Navy Pier in a sailing competition hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club. Watch hundreds of boats as they start the first leg of their 333 mile race to the finish line at Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Navy Pier. 10am–2pm; free.



  • The Bard. Spectralia Theatre, in cooperation with Friends of the Parks and the Chicago Park District, presents a family-friendly, 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in parks around the city. While kids get an introduction to Shakespeare, plus some fresh air, parents are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and blankets or chairs. Spectralia’s Don Johnson directs.This week’s performances are Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 at Skinner Park (1331 W. Adams), Free.


  • The Dark Knight Rises.  The buzz around this Batman trilogy makes it a tough ticket which had some brokers listing tickets for the midnight opening on Craigslist for as much as $100–if you can wait till the buzz dies down you should have a problem getting tickets. Running time: 2:44. Opened: midnight Thursday, July 19–should continue for sometime at a theater near you.


  • 5th Annual Blackhawks Convention. If you don’t already have tickets for this year, you’re out of luck as the Friday, Saturday and Sunday event at the Hilton Chicago is sold out. Fans without tickets can catch the opening ceremonies on Comcast SportsNet & at 5p.m. Friday, July 20.


  • Movies in the Park continues this weekend with free movies in Chicago Parks. Bring a blanket or chairs and pack a picnic for a fun evening.  All movies begin at dusk.
  • Movies Under the Stars, a free movie series featuring classics and favorites projector screen in the great lawn at the center of MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Friday, July 20 at 9 p.m.


  • Lyle the Crocodile, the cheery, toe-tapping aquatic reptile will take children and their families on a musical adventure in the final production of the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University’s 2012 SummerStage season. Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday. TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or online at
  • How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular comes to the United Center,  Thursday, July 26.


  • The 
ComedySportz Tournament continues today through Saturday, July 21. 
The tournament features improv at its funniest with family-friendly and foul acts as 21 of its national club compete. ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont, 8p.m. and 10p.m. $25.


  • Lake Forest Sidewalk Sale, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Market Square, Downtown Lake Forest and West Lake Forest at Waukegan and Everett.
  • Winnetka Days Sidewalk Sale, Friday, Saturday.  All three Winnetka business districts: Hubbard Woods, West Elm Street and East Elm Street.
  • Downtown Oak Park Districts Sidewalk Sale and Free Trolley Rides. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Marion/Lake/Oak Park Ave.


  • Hemingway’s Poetry in Prose: A Birthday Celebration, Saturday, July 21.  The Hemingway Museum, at 200 N. Oak Park Avenue, 6p.m., poetry, live music, appetizers and cocktails, along with Absinthe tastings by Lucid Absinthe.
  • Striping at Hyde Park Center, Friday, July 20., 7p.m. .Stripping, a live audio-visual performance and physical performance is being  held in conjunction with the exhibition Hairy Blob, on display through July 29, 2012. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avene, 773-324-5520.


  • DuPage County Fair. Wed 25–Sun 29, 8am–11pm. DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Rd, Wheaton (630-668-6636, $8, kids ages 3–12 $3, kids 2 and under free. Demolition derbies, cook-offs, concerts, funnel cakes and more.  Entertainment is ticketed separately.
  • Lake County Fair. Wed 25, Thu 26, 8am–10pm; Fri 27, Sat 28, 8am–11pm; Sun 29, 8am–9pm. Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E Peterson Rd, Grayslake, 847-680-7200, $10, Wed–Fri $8, military and kids ages 5–12 $5, season pass $15–$35. Carnival rides, truck pulls, demo derbies, livestock competitions and more.
  • Fiesta del Sol: July 26-28, Pilsen.
  • Wicker Park Fest: July 28-29, Wicker Park.
  • Taste of Lincoln Avenue: July 28-29, Lincoln Park.

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