- Grant Park Music Festival - Independence Day Evening Celebration - Fireworks - Thursday, July 3
The classic Chicago way to spend our country's birthday. Complete with fireworks and the 1812 Overture.
- Related Reading: Navy Pier Fireworks Schedule
- Taste of Chicago - through Sunday, July 6
Gomez, Bonnie Raitt, Alejandro Escovedo, Joss Stone. Oh, and there are a lot of great things to eat, too.
- Benin - Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria - Opens Thursday, July 10
The Art Institute unveils an exhibition of the royal arts of the Benin kingdom in south-central Nigeria. This will be the collection's only North American stop.
- Chicago Celebrates Bastille Day - Saturday, July 12
Celebrating the French national holiday Chicago style on Navy Pier with the French troupe Transe Express.
- 2008 NASCAR Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway - Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12
Because this is just about as close as Chicago gets to NASCAR.
- Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago on Saturday, July 12
High energy African and African-American dance troupe bounds into the Harris Theater for one night only.
- Soldier Field Cornhole Classic on Saturday, July 12
Get your bag game on.
- Chicago Folk and Roots Festival - Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13
The Old Town School of Folk Music's summer gift to Chicago.
- Chicago's Outdoor Film Festival - Opens Tuesday, July 15
All About Eve opens the fest, which runs every Tuesday night through August. The Odd Couple and The Blues Brothers will also play this month.
- Pitchfork Music Festival - Friday, July 18 to Sunday, July 20
Like a smaller scale, indie Lollapalooza only better.
- Great Performers of Illinois at Grant Park - Friday, July 18 to Sunday, July 20
Includes a Buddy Guy tribute on Sunday.
- Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - Historic 100th Running - Saturday, July 19
The Mac is the longest, freshwater sailing race in the world. Be part of the start of its historic 100th run.
- Sheffield Garden Walk - Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20
Forty years old and one of the matriarchs of summer fests in Chicago.
- Chinatown Summer Fair - July 20
I'm so sorry to see a hamburger chain's clown sticking his big red feet into the procession that launches this festival. At least great Chinese food will still win the day at just about any of the neighborhood's locally-owned restaurants.
- Wicker Park Fest - Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27
Bands, art, music in a popular, hipster neighborhood.
- Fiesta del Sol - Thursday, July 31 to Sunday, August 3
Pilsen's wildly popular family-friendly summer event.