A List of the Top 2012 Chicago Street Festivals & Events
Now that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, summer in Chicago has officially begun. There’s no doubt everyone loves the warm weather and the numerous Chicago beaches, but what truly makes summertime in downtown Chicago special are the dozens of street festivals and outdoor events happening all throughout each neighborhood during the June, July and August months. Believe it or not, Chicago will be hosting over 400 neighborhood street festivals, parades, food tastings and music concerts in 2012, so keeping track of this rather extensive summer schedule can certainly be a daunting task.
To help you decide which Chicago street festivals to attend in 2012, I’ve compiled a list of just a few can’t miss events happening all around the Windy City’s north side this summer. In most cases, each street fest listed is an annual event, but as each year passes, the crowd, the food, and everything in between seems to just get better and better. So without further ado, I give you the top Chicago Street Festivals in 2012 (Listed in order by date):
1) Ribfest Chicago (North Center): North Center’s Ribfest began in 1999 and has blossomed into one of Chicago’s most popular summertime events. Along with over 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ from over 30 local Chicago restaurants, Ribfest also showcases great live music from a variety of Indie, pop, Indie Rock, and Alternative Country bands from across the Midwest. Chicago Ribfest 2012 is expected to draw over 50,000 people and will run from Friday, June 8, 2012-5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Saturday, June 9, 2012-12 p.m.-10 p.m. As mentioned the Chicago Ribfest will be happening around the North Center neighborhood on Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park and Berteau Avenue and a $5 donation is requested.
2) Andersonville Midsommarfest (Andersonville): Now in its 47th year, the 2012 Andersonville Midsommarfest is happening on June 9th and 10th from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Midsommarfest is one of Chicago’s most popular summer street festivals as over 50,000 people will walk down Clark Street at Foster Avenue to experience an array of international food, live entertainment on 4 stages, and over 100 local artists showcasing their work. In addition, all of Andersonville’s quaint boutique shops will be open during the event, so this is also a great time to check out some of the offerings each includes.
3) Taste of Randolph Street (West Loop): Randolph Street is arguably one of Chicago’s best and most famous restaurant rows. So it’s no surprise that each local eatery gets an opportunity to showcase some of their best dishes at the Taste of Randolph Street at this highly anticipated street festival. The 2012 Taste of Randolph Street will take place from Friday, June 15th through Sunday, June 17th.
4) Chicago Summerfest (Lincoln Park): The Chicago Summerfest takes place just off the shores of Lake Michigan in the lively Lincoln Park neighborhood. This two-day Lincoln Park event features awesome live music, a chic art show, fabulous food and drink vendors, and a fun-filled family area full of various games and entertainment. The event is located right next to the Lincoln Park zoo and will kick off on Saturday, June 23rd.
5) Windy City RibFest (Uptown): Chicago loves its ribs so much that only hosting one rib festival simply isn’t enough. Along with the Chicago Ribfest in North Center, Uptown also hosts a street festival centered on delicious smoked BBQ ribs. The Windy City RibFest takes place in the heart of Chicago’s historic Uptown neighborhood and features some of the most recognized local and national ribbers to-date. Along with yummy eats, the Windy City RibFest also boasts arts and crafts and a great line-up a live music from popular artists from around the country.
6) Square Roots (Lincoln Square): New to the summer street festival line-up is the inaugural Square Roots Fest in Lincoln Square. Square Roots marks the first ever craft beer and music event in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood and will take place from Friday, July 20th, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. to Sunday, July 22nd, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. The festival will be located on Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson with a suggested donation of $10 per person.
7) Summer on Southport (Lakeview): Located on one of Chicago’s most highly sought after stretches for Lakeview condo buyers, Summer on Southport is truly a one-of-a-kind food and music street festival. Featuring great fun-filled events for kids during the day, Summer on Southport also boasts fabulous food, drinks and live music geared for adults in the evening. The 2012 Summer on Southport event will happen on July 21-22 from 11 a.m. -10 p.m on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
8) Wrigleyville Summerfest (Wrigleyville): It’s only natural for Chicago’s most lively summertime neighborhood to host a summer street festival. So as we enter the dog days of summer in the hot month of August, Wrigleyville will kick off the annual Wrigleyville Summerfest. Included will be all sorts of live entertainment and even the Wrigleyville Summerfest Kids’ Zone, which features a wide variety of interactive activities for children of all ages. So come out and get your face painted, ride carnival rides, and have a blast on all sorts of inflatables at the 2012 Wrigleyville Summerfest on August 4th through the August 5th.
9) Retro on Roscoe (Roscoe Village): Retro on Roscoe is one of Chicago’s best summertime street festivals. A total of 3 main stages will feature live entertainment and music and while tons of local merchants will create a shopping experience that’s unlike any other you’ll see at the hundreds of other Chicago street fests. Fun for the whole family awaits at Retro on Roscoe so come out and enjoy everything this lively, tree-lined street in Roscoe Village has to offer. This year’s event is on August 6th and 7th from Noon to 10:00 p.m.
10) Bucktown Arts Fest (Bucktown): As one of the most celebrated art festivals in the country, the Bucktown Arts Fest is an annual, neighborhood celebration of the creative and performing arts. Over the past 27 years, the Bucktown Arts Fest has been a neighborhood favorite among Bucktown residents, with the 2012 event featuring works from an expected 200 participating artists. Along with all the creative art works, countless musicians, dancers, poets, and performers will be on hand for live entertainment, so the festival should be an exciting time in this exceptional downtown Chicago neighborhood. The 2012 Bucktown Arts Fest will kick off Saturday, August 25th and run until Sunday, August 26th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.