A Guide to Chicago’s Best Festivals and Events

Visiting Chicago is an exceptional idea if you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a family road trip. It’s the third most populous city in the States. It is home to almost 9 million residents. With that many people, you better believe there is exceptional entertainment. 

Chicago Blues Festival

For centuries, Chicago has had deep roots in blues music. The Great Migration from the South brought many black Americans to the North to escape Jim Crow Laws. With them, they brought their talent, voices, and stories. The festival started in 1984 after the death of McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters. He is widely considered “the father of Chicago blues.”

The overall mission of the festival is to bring together artists, performers, and music enthusiasts. Each year, they pick performers that feature new and old blue sounds. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear the music you may have never heard. There are activities for music fans of all ages. Event coordinators set up workshops, cultural demonstrations, and educational programs for anyone interested.

As the years go on, the festival has taken on many genres. Blues music has influenced soul, hip-hop, gospel, and rock. Many genres today have blues, jazz, and bluegrass to thank for their existence. Witness all of these types of music represented at the Chicago Blues Festival.

The Taste of Chicago Festival

One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Taste of Chicago, is a foodie’s dream event. The event is held in Grant Park. Not only are there food vendors from all over the city, but there are performers and activities to enjoy too. “The Taste” – as it’s called for short – features food from over 70 restaurants in the city boasting over 300 dishes. If you’re a newcomer to Chicago, you’ll learn quickly that The Taste has folks waiting all year. 

The Taste was started in 1980 by a group of restauranteurs looking for a way to showcase the collective cuisines of Chicago. Not only can you get yourself a Chicago-style pizza or hotdog, but you have the opportunity to try food from dozens of cultures. Now, it is the largest outdoor food festival in the United States.

This alone may be enticing enough for readers to start looking at Chicago apartments for rent. We know that food is not only a way of nourishing our bodies, but it makes us happy and brings us together! This year the festival will probably be held in July as in previous years, but dates have not been released yet. 

Chicago Air and Water Show

Lake Michigan is a huge attraction for travelers and water sportsmen. This particular event, the Chicago Air and Water Show, is an annual event held every summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. And once again, the event is one of the largest free air and water show in the country. Its glorious start was in 1959 as “Family Day.” It was initially a fun day planned for Chicago Park District’s day camp program.

By 1960, the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds and Golden Knights Parachute Team performed a spectacular show, and became a tradition ever since! The event is free to attend which results in quite the turnout each year. If you plan on attending, make sure you bring some earplugs if you’re sensitive to sound. The low-flying planes are quite loud. 

For those who moved to Chicago, you’re going to find there are a lot more events than just these three. Chicago is consistently bustling with over 2 million residents. The city is consistently looking to entertain and delight residents and visitors so you can expect plenty of activities.