Chicago events simmer into August with a menu of wonderful festivals and celebrations. Find Chicago's annual August events here.
Highlights: Lollapalooza | Grant Park Music Festival | Chicago Air and Water Show | Bud Billiken Parade | Chicago Bears Training Camp | Chicago Triathlon
- Grant Park Music Festival - Through August
Free and beautiful concerts for 75 years. Bring your own blanket. (Read a brief history of the Grant Park Music Festival.)
- Illinois Shakespeare Festival - Through August 29
Normal, IL hosts the 32nd festival of bard Will. All plays are staged in an open-air theater. Picnics are encouraged.
- Gold Coast River North Art Fair - Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2
The long-running Gold Coast Art Fair merged with the River North Art Fair to produce this free admission, juried art fair.
- NortHalsted Market Days - Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2
This is billed as the largest two-day street fair in the city. This year the Village People close the event with a performance on Sunday night on the Roscoe stage. (C'mon, everybody, "It's fun to stay at the . . .")
- Retro on Roscoe - Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2
Live music, food, vendors, kids' stuff in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood.
Fiesta del Sol - Through August 2
Pilsen's family-friendly, alcohol- and tobacco-free festival.
- Chicago Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon - Sunday, August 2
Live local bands every two miles during the first six miles and every half mile for the last 7. Rock out while you work out.
- Caribbean Festival and Jamaican Independence Celebration - Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9
This family celebration gives Union Park a jubilant Caribbean jolt every summer.
- Lollapalooza - Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9
An incredible line-up that sprawls across Grant Park and brings some of the biggest name in music to the lakefront.
- Bud Billiken Parade - Saturday, August 8
This South Side parade was thrown originally in 1929 by the Chicago Defender newspaper for the kids who sold their papers. Now, it's grown into a beloved community tradition.
- Arlington Million - Saturday, August 8
Horse racing at its finest chasing the huge purse carrot.
- Taylor Street Festa Italiana - Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9
Mangia, mangia in the community where mama loves you so. Pasta, music, good eats. Go.
- Ginza Holiday Festival - Friday August 7, 2009 to Sunday August 9
For more than fifty years, the Ginza Festival has injected the spirit of Japan into its Old Town setting.
- Annual Black Harvest International Film Festival - Friday, August 7 to Thursday, September 3
The Gene Siskel Film Center's annual celebration of the black experience on film and video.
- Illinois State Fair – Friday, August 14 to Sunday, August, 23
County, state, and family traditions unfold over this ten day event in the heart of the state.
- Croatian Fest (Velika Gospa) - Saturday, August 15
This festival, which celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, has been held in Bridgeport for more than 100 years.
- Chicago Air and Water Show - Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16
The uber-popular airplane and watercraft extravaganza expands to three days this year.
- Chicago Turkish World Festival - Friday, August 15 and Saturday, August 16
A rich exploration and celebration of the Turkish, Balkan, and East Asian cultures.
- Out at the Ballgame - Sunday, August 16
This LGBT event celebrates gay pride and the Cubbies at Wrigley Field every year. Sponsored by the Chicago Free Press. 1:20 start vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Chicago Dancing Festival - Tuesday, August 18 to Saturday, August 22
A newbie festival in just its third year on the Chicago scene, showcases dancers from 16 of the top dance companies in the nation.
- 60th Annual Greek Festival - Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23
The festival with loukoumades and carnival rides.
- Body, Mind, Spirit Expo - Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23
Rehab your kharma and prana at this holistic event. Takes place at the North Shore Performing Arts Center in Skokie.
- Chick-Ago Social - Saturday, August 23
This brand new annual event in Andersonville is especially for "chicks that dig chicks."
- Pearl Fest 2009 - Sunday, August 23
Little Black Pearl, the popular arts and design center in Kenwood, hosts this free day-long celebration in Mandrake Park. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Bucktown Arts Fest - Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30
"A neighborhood celebration of the arts" that seeks to be more about community and the arts than it is about "commercialization." It turns 24 this year.
Taste of Romania - Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30
Enjoy Romanian food and musical treats at Addison and California.
- Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival - Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30
One of the last Grant Park music festivals of summer spices up the back half of August every year.
- American Craft Expo - Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30
More than 150 juried artisans land at this Evanston-based expo, which also supports breast and ovarian cancer research.
- Accenture Triathlon - Sunday, August 30
Swim. Bike. Sprint. Or, watch people doing that.
- 12th Annual Ferrari Fest - Sunday, August 30
This fest, which is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Italian Village restaurant, benefits Children's Memorial Hospital. Read a review of the Italian Village Restaurant.
- Latino Theatre Festival - TBD
The Goodman Theatre brings Latino companies from all over the country to their local stage for this annual celebration.
- Chicago Reggae Festival - Postponed until 2010
This newer music festival lively ups Union Park every year, but will take a hiatus in 2009 due to the dismal economy. Sorry to see them go, but wish them a speedy return.