Carl Sandburg may have described Chicago as the City of the Big Shoulders, but in July I think of it more as the City of Long Legs stretching out on the front porch of summer. Enjoy and check back often as new events are always being added.
Highlights: Grant Park Movie Festival | Fourth of July | Grant Park Music Festival | Fiesta del Sol| Race to Mackinac
- Grant Park Music Festival - Through August
Free and beautiful concerts for 75 years. Bring your own blanket.
- 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.
- Grant Park Music Festival - Independence Day Evening Celebration - Fireworks - Friday, July 3
The classic Chicago way to spend our country's birthday. Complete with fireworks and the 1812 Overture.
Related: Navy Pier Fireworks Schedule
- Taste of Chicago - through Sunday, July 5
One of the city's largest events of the year - an eating extravaganza.
- NASCAR Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway - Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11
Because this is just about as close as you can get to NASCAR racing in the Chicago area.
- LATE Ride - Saturday, July 11 to Sunday, July 12
This 25-mile benefit ride for Friends of the Parks begins at midnight on Saturday night and rides through sunrise on Sunday morning.
- Irish Fest - Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12
Chicago's massive Irish American Heritage Center hosts this summer fest of all things of the isle of green.
- Third Annual Ale Fest at Soldier Field - Saturday, July 11
Craft brewers descend on the city's flying saucer to partake in their drinking and ale-making traditions.
- Chicago Folk and Roots Festival - Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12
The Old Town School of Folk Music's summer gift to Chicago.
- First Taste of Little Village - Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12
26th Street in Little Village launches a brand new festival of food and sidewalk sales. Sponsored by the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.
- Chicago Celebrates Bastille Day - Tuesday, July 14
Celebrating the French national holiday Chicago style.
- Chicago's Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park - Opens Tuesday, July 14 - Sunset Boulevard
This year's fest kicks off with Sunset Boulevard and runs through August. (List of all the films ever shown at the Outdoor Film Fest.)
- City Treasurer's Annual Small Business Expo - Friday, July 17
This annual FREE forum helps small businesses learn how to get ahead in Chicago. Takes place at UIC Pavilion.
- Pitchfork Music Festival - Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19
Like a smaller scale, indie Lollapalooza only better.
- Blackhawks Convention - Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19
The second annual convention puck drops into the Chicago Hilton for the weekend.
- Soldier Field Cornhole Classic - Saturday, July 18
Get your bags game on.
- Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - 101st Running - Saturday, July 18
The Mac is the longest, freshwater sailing race in the world. Be part of the start of its 101st run.
- Sheffield Garden Walk - Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19
Forty years old and one of the matriarchs of summer fests in Chicago.
- Dearborn Garden Walk - Sunday, July 19
The 51st annual Dearborn Garden Walk allows you to play a flowery eye-spy in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood.
- Chinatown Summer Fair - Sunday, July 19
This colorful celebration takes place every year in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood.
- Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park - Tuesday, July 21 - Duck Soup
Chicago's beloved outdoor movie festival screens the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup. (List of all the films ever shown at the Outdoor Film Fest.)
- Newberry Library Book Fair - Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26
This will be the 25th annual book fair benefiting the Newberry Library and featuring thousands of books for sale. Bughouse Square debates will take place on Saturday from noon to 4.
- Venetian Night - Saturday, July 25
The annual parade of boats floats along Lake Michigan in this popular event.
- Wicker Park Fest - Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26
Bands, art, music in a popular, hipster neighborhood.
- Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park - Tuesday, July 28 - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Chicago's beloved outdoor movie festival screens the Tennessee Williams' classic featuring Paul Newman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (List of all the films ever shown at the Outdoor Film Fest.)
- Fiesta del Sol - Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2
Pilsen's wildly popular family-friendly summer event.
- Black Women's Expo - Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2
The Chicago Defender hosts this annual event and gala at McCormick Place.
- 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.