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September is probably one of my favorite months in Chicago. The weather cools off but the sun still shines, giving off those picture-perfect Indian Summer days with clear blue skies. And even though summer is winding down, Chicago is still vibrant with outdoor Oktoberfests and annual festivals such as Jazz Fest and the Guinness Oyster Fest. Here are some fun things to do this September 2011 in Chicago.
September 1 - 5, 2011 - 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival: The longest running of Chicago's lakefront music festivals, the annual Jazz Fest over Labor Day weekend attracts some of the world's best jazz musicians who play in both Millennium Park and Grant Park. Bring a picnic or enjoy food from some of Chicago's top restaurants. Admission is free.
September 2 - 5, 2011 - Labor Day Weekend: Check out our Top Picks for Labor Day weekend events in Chicago.
September 10, 2011 - Mexican Independence Day Parade: The parade starts at 12 p.m. and goes down Columbus Drive between Balbo and Monroe. (Be in the know: learn the history of Mexican Independence Day.
September 14 - 16, 2011 - The Berghoff Oktoberfest: The 26th annual Berghoff Oktoberfest kicks off Wednesday, September 14, through Friday, September 16, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn Streets. Enjoy Bavarian-style classic German food, beer, and live entertainment. Tip: The Berghoff is attempting to break the Midwest record for the longest brat and will be unveiling a 45 FOOT BRAT on Thursday, September 15, between 3 - 5 pm. Bites of the brat will be sold as a fundraiser for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.
September 16 - 17, 2011 - Guinness Oyster Fest: Just as the name implies, this festival in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood is all about oysters and pints of Guinness. Donation for admission.
September 23 - 25, 2011 - Oktoberfest Chicago: On the grounds of one of Chicago's oldest churches, St. Alphonsus, this Oktoberfest rounds out Chicago's outdoor festival season with bratwurst, beer, and German music. Donation for admission. (Planning a visit to Munich, Germany for the world's largest Oktoberfest? Check out our Tips for Your Oktoberfest Visit.)
September 23 - 25, 2011 - Chicago Gourmet 2011: Considered a more "upscale Taste of Chicago," this foodie festival promises samples and demonstrations from some of Chicago's best chefs, as well as sommelier-led wine seminars. Admission is $150 per day. Two-day passes are $250. Food seminars are included with each ticket. Other prices include, tickets for the Grand Cru event ($175) and tickets for the Hamburger Hop ($75). Prices do not include taxes. Ticket holders must be 21 years of age or older. Children 5 and under can attend for free with a paying adult.