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Chicago is a city for all seasons, and no matter which month you choose to visit, you're bound to find something exciting going on. With a number of festivals, exhibits, and events, there's something for everyone in the Windy City. Check out our events calendar to find all the best things to do in Chicago every month!
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The Chicago Blues Festival is a great place to catch some smooth tunes.
As the weather gets warmer, a number of free outdoor festivals and events are held. The Chicago Blues Festival is a great place to hang out and catch some smooth tunes. Held annually since 1984, this free summertime Chicago event is perfect for the entire family. The festival is held over three days, and features some of the top blues performers from around the country.
For another fun, free event, head on over to the Chicago Air and Water Show, which features impressive displays from civilian and military aircraft, including displays from the U.S. military's parachuting teams.
Indie film-lovers will enjoy the annual Chicago Underground Film Festival which features a number of wonderful, and often shocking independent films from around the country and the world. Now in its 18th year, the cultural event is one of Chicago's top film festivals and is designed to make the film festival experience more accessible to the general public
And for a gay old time, don't miss Chicago's Pride Parade! Drawing both straight and gay people to the festivities, Pride Parade Chicago is one of the main events in the gay community. The parade is held on the last Sunday every June, and is always a good time. Every year, the colorful floats, crazy costumes, and plenty of gay pride draws thousands of revelers to the Chicago neighborhood of East Lakeview.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon draws runners from all over the world
Fall is one of the nicest times to visit Chicago. The weather has cooled down, and only a light coat is required. Speaking of coats, there are plenty of designer coats on display at the Fashion Focus Chicago event. This good-looking event features haute couture fashion, with everything from casual day-wear to elegant evening ball gowns parading down the catwalk. The week-long event features shopping exhibitions, high-end fashion shows, and brings in some of the biggest names in the fashion world.
Another big Chicago event during the Fall is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon which draws runners from all over the world. The 26-mile race winds through a number of Chicago neighborhoods and passes some of the major Chicago attractions. At the end of the race is the 27th Mile Post Race Party which offers food, drinks, and live entertainment.
Ghosts and goblins take over the city during the annual Chicagoween festival. The event is perfect for the entire family, and has plenty of live entertainment. Pick out your own pumpkin at the Fall Harvest farmer's market, and don't forget to scare yourself silly at one of the many haunted houses that are set up throughout the city.
Chicago's most famous street is decked out in more than a million sparkling lights
As the holidays begin to roll around, Chicago comes alive! There are a number of wonderful seasonal events that add a touch of sparkle and magic to the Windy City.
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a popular holiday event that begins the week before Thanksgiving. Chicago's most famous street is decked out in more than a million sparkling lights, adding a festive feel to the area. The month-long family-friendly event also features live musical entertainment, a parade, and fireworks displays.
A popular post-holiday tradition is the Chicago Winter Delights event which is held in January and February. Winter Delights celebrates all that the frosty season has to offer, with free ice skating rinks set up in Grant Park and Millennium Park, and more than 100 events including cultural exhibitions, musical performances, and arts and crafts fairs around the city.
The Chinese New Year Parade is one of Chicago's most colorful parades. Held towards the end of January and the beginning of February, this free event is all about the celebration of the Chinese culture. Lion dancers parade down the streets to welcome in the New Year, and there is plenty of delicious Chinese food to sample.