Chicago 2013 Events, Festivals and Parades

Chicago Skyline and Fireworks

Chicago 2013 Festivals, Parades & Major Annual Events

Chicago is home to many great events each year and 2012 is no exception. Listed below are some of the more significant parades, festivals and major events that Chicago has to offer. See our Chicago Event Calendar for additional local events.

Mystic Blue Fireworks Dinner Cruises -For reservations, call 877.299.7783 or visit us online

VIP Views of the Fireworks : Eat. Drink. Dance. Kick back on the outdoor lounge for the best views.

2013 Major Chicago Events

Chicago Snow Days

Chicago Snow Days

The following festivals & events are produced by the Bureau of Special Events.

Chicago's Farmers Markets bring more than 70 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers to over 20 neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago.

Chicago's Memorial Day Parade

May 27, 2013 - State Street

The Chicago parade is considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation. Since 1870, Memorial Day parades have graced the streets of Chicago. In 1997, Mayor Richard M. Daley made it an annual tradition as a day to be thankful that we live in a country where freedom, justice and democracy are proudly defended.

Chicago Blues Festival

June 6-9, 2013 Grant Park

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago's Music Festivals.

Bike To Work Day

Bike To Work Day

Bike To Work Week

June 10-14, 2013 -Daley Plaza

Hosted at Daley Plaza – 50 W. Washington, the event celebrates the City’s commitment to make Chicago the best big city for bicycling.

Chicago Air and Water Show

August 17 - 18 -North Avenue Beach

The Chicago Air & Water Show is the largest spectator event in the United States and the longest ongoing show of its kind in North America.

Maxwell Street Market

Sundays Year-round -Des Plaines St. & Roosevelt Rd. -More Information

The Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with an international flavor.

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*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

Kids and Kites Festival

May 4, 2013 - Montrose Harbor

The entire family is invited to Montrose Harbor in Lincoln Park for Mayor Daley’s Kids and Kites Festival. Free kite kits will be available to make, decorate and fly.

Chicago Summer Neighborhood Festivals

April - September 

The office Special Events assists community organizations in producing more than 400 neighborhood festivals that showcase ethnic customs, music and food.

Irish American Heritage Fesitval
June 21, 2013
For 3 days, the Irish American Heritage Center will feature over 100 performers, showcasing the finest local and international Irish and American music, dance and family fun!

Farmers Markets


Chicago Jazz Festival
Aug. 29 - Sept. 1

Thursday, Aug. 29 - Begins at noon at the Chicago Cultural Center, then moves to Roosevelt Univeristy's Ganz Hall and Millennium Park
Friday, Aug. 30- Millennium Park - Performances by Ben Paterson Organ Quartet, Mike Smith Quartet and the Charles Lloyd Quartet
Saturday, Aug. 31 - The Frank Russell Band, Nick Mazzarella Trio, Jason Moran and Rudresh Mahanthappa's GAMAK
Sunday, Sept. 1 - Performances by Julie Wood Quintet, Papo Vazquez and Donald Harrison. 

The longest running of the city's lakefront music festivals. For the past 30 year's, the Chicago Jazz Festival has been a Labor Day weekend tradition.

Halloween Franken Plaza

TBD for 2013 - Daley Plaza

Halloween is more than a day in Chicago; it’s an entire season. The city, its parks, buildings and streets are decorated and filled with an array of activities for children and the child within you.

Veterans Day Ceremony

November 11-Soldier Field, Gate 0 (at the Doughboy Statue)

Ceremony Honoring Those Who Have Served in Times of Peace as well as in War. Show your support at the Chicago Veterans Day Ceremony.

Santa House

November (date t.b.d.)-December 24-Daley Plaza

Jolly Old St. Nick will again grace the plaza with his holiday cheer in his Midwest satellite workshop on Daley Plaza.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

November (date t.b.d.) -Daley Plaza

The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a highly-anticipated event drawing people of all ages to the heart of Chicago’s downtown “Loop.”

Downtown Parades

Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day Parade River Dyeing Ceremony

Families will enjoy watching the Chicago River dyed green before the St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 12th.

Dates: Mar 12, 2013, Hours: 10 am, Location: Chicago River

Wacker Dr & Columbus Dr Chicago, IL 60601

Admission: FREE

See City of Chicago site for more Downtown Parade details.


Neighborhood Parades


Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

February 6, 2013 -Wentworth from 24th to 22nd- Start Time: 12:30 pm

The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade celebrating the Lunar New Year, “Year of the RABBIT 4709” will include marching bands, floats, lion teams, a100’ Mystical Dragon, and Miss Friendship Ambassador.

Chinese New Year Chicago

Chinese New Year Chicago

Argyle Street Chinese New Year Parade

February 5, 2013-Argyle to Sheridan, Sheridan to Lawrence to Broadway and back to Argyle

Start Time: 1 pm

Celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional dragon dances, lion dances, elaborate floats, martial arts teams and a marching band.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

March 13, 2013-Raven from Neola to Northwest Highway to Harlem- Start Time: 11:30 am

The Northwest Irish Parade is a celebration of faith, family, and heritage on the Northwest side of Chicago.

Cinco De Mayo Parade

May 1, 2013-Cermak from Wood to Kedzie-Start Time: 12 Noon

The Cinco De Mayo Parade is held to remember the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May, 1862.

Jackie Robinson Little League Parade

May 15, 2013-Halsted from 119th to 107th, West on Morgan

The Jackie Robinson West Little League will officially open the 2012 season with the 41st annual season opening parade. A tradition in the South Side community, the parade has grown over the years into one of the largest in the city.

Puerto Rican People's Parade

June 18, 2013-Division from Western to Sacramento- Start Time: t.b.a.

Humboldt Park’s Puerto Rican community will celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the People’s Parade along Division Street.

Pride Parade

Pride Parade

Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade

June 26, 2013-Halsted from Belmont to Broadway/South on Broadway to Diversy-Start Time: 12 Noon

The 42nd annual Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade is one of the largest gay pride parades in the country.

Bud Billiken Parade

August 13, 2013-Martin Luther King Dr. from 35th to 55th-Start Time: 10 am

The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic is the oldest and largest African American parade in the United States. The focus of the parade is getting kids ready for school.

Ecuador Parade

August 14, 2013-Montrose from California to Kimball-Start Time: tba

The Ecuador Parade will take place in Albany Park and will feature a vibrant train of floats, along with Andean music and dancing from local folkloric troupes, all celebrating Ecuadorian independence.

India Independence Day Parade

August 20, 2013-Devon from Western to California-Start Time: 12 Noon

The India Independence Day Parade is a lively celebration of Indian independence on Devon Avenue in Rogers Park.

General Von Steuben Day Parade

September 10, 2013-Western from Irving to Lawrence-Start Time: 2 pm

The General Von Steuben Day Parade celebrates Baron Friedrich von Steuben, who came to this country as a volunteer offering his services to General George Washington. General von Steuben converted the revolutionary army into a disciplined fighting force, instilling in them much needed inspiration, confidence and competence.

Pilsen Mexican Independence Day Parade

September 10, 2013-Newberry & 18th St./West on 18th St. to Wolcott-Start Time: 12 Noon

Mexican Independence is celebrated in the vibrant Pilsen neighborhood.

26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade

September 11, 2013-26th Street from Albany to Kostner-Start Time: 12 Noon

One of the most colorful parade in Chicago, the 26th Street Mexican Independence Parade celebrates Mexican Independence with floats, mariachi bands and dancing in the streets.

South Chicago Mexican Independence Day Parade

September 11, 2013-Commercial Ave. from 87th to 100th Street-Start Time: 2 pm

Vibrant floats, mariachi bands, flamenco dancers and families will line Commercial Avenue in South Chicago to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

Central American Parade

September 11, 2013-Montrose from California to Kimball-Start Time: 12 Noon

The Central American Parade celebrates Central America's independence, Central America includes Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Double Ten Parade

October 8, 2013-Wentworth from 24th to 22nd-Start Time: tba

Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood will celebrate Chinese Independence, the 100th Anniversary of National Day in Republic of China. The parade will feature lion dances, Chinese patriots, marching bands, local school floats, and the 100 ft. mystical dragon.

Chicagoland Toys For Tots Motorcycle Parade

December 4, 2013-Western from 87th Street to Addison-Start Time: 9:30 am

Chicagoland motorcyclists have joined forces with the United States Marines, to assist their Toys for Tots program. The toys are then given to hospitals, orphanages, schools, and even private homes, wherever the need is the greatest.

See the City of Chicago site for more Neighborhood Parade details.


Neighborhood Festivals


Cinco de Mayo Festival

May 6-8, 2013-26th St. & S. Kostner Ave. , May 6: 6 - 11 pm; May 7 & 8: 2 - 11 pm

This inaugural three-day festival will feature plenty of live music, food, arts & crafts, activities for families and children and much more. Come out and enjoy a special Cinco de Mayo celebration!


May 20-22, 2013-3100 N. Ashland-May 20: 5 - 10:30 pm; May 21: 11 am - 10:30 pm; May 22: 11 am - 10 pm

Mayfest is located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood and draws about 15,000 people annually. Demographically one of the most appealing areas in Chicago, Lakeview provides the perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind festival.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

May 28 & 29, 2013-On Sheffield btwn. Belmont & School St., 12 Noon - 10 pm

The 27th annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, hosted by the Central Lakeview Merchants Association, is a reflection of the lifestyle of this area. Boasting some of the best local musical entertainment in the Midwest, this festival attracts young professionals from both Chicago and its suburbs.

57th Street Art Fair

June 4 & 5, 2013- Dorchester & Kimbark Ave., On 57th St. - June 4: 11 am - 6 pm; June 5: 10 am - 5 pm

Once again, during the first full weekend in June, artists and art lovers will reunite at Chicago’s oldest, juried art fair in the historic neighborhood streets of Hyde Park for a true celebration of art.

June Jam

June 4 & 5, 2013-3500 N. Hoyne-12 Noon - 10 pm

The 5th Annual June Jam is an end-of-the-school year celebration in Roscoe Village and partially on the grounds of Audubon School. The event will feature kid-friendly entertainment, food, games, local vendors, contests and other fun activities.

Chicago Ribfest

Chicago Ribfest

Ribfest Chicago

June 10 - 13, 2012-4000-4135 N. Lincoln Ave., June 10: 5 - 10 pm; June 11 & 12: 12 Noon - 10 pm

What ignited in the summer of 1999 as a community block party has exploded into Chicago’s most anticipated street festival. Averaging 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ from over two dozen restaurants, Ribfest Chicago 2012 is expected to draw more than 45,000 people.

Andersonville Midsommarfest

June 11 & 12, 2013-5200 N. Clark St.-11 am - 10 pm

Midsommarfest is one of Chicago’s most unique street fairs. Born out of Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, Midsommarfest retains its quaint, international flavor.

Wells Street Art Festival

June 11 & 12, 2013-On Wells St. from Division to North Ave.-10 am - 10 pm

Held in the center of the city's historic Old Town neighborhood, Wells Street Art Festival features approximately 300 fine art exhibitors.

Taste of Randolph

June 17-19, 2013-900 W. Randolph St-June 17: 5 - 11 pm; June 18: 2 - 11 pm; June 19: 2 - 10 pm

The Taste of Randolph is where the top-rated West Loop neighborhood restaurants come together with talented artisans and eclectic vendors for this three-day cross-cultural celebration. On the six-bock stretch of Randolph Street from Peoria Street and Racine Avenue, you can explore hand crafted and merchant goods.

6 Corners BBQ Fest

June 18 & 19, 2013-4000-4080 N. Milwaukee Ave.-June 18: 12 Noon - 10 pm; June 19: 12 Noon - 8 pm

The 6 Corners BBQ Fest welcomes everyone for a fun-filled weekend jam packed with delicious BBQ-style food, live music, vendors and children's entertainment. Dad and the family won't want to miss this exciting street festival over Father's Day weekend!

Chicago Pride Fest

June 24 & 25, 2013-3700 N. Halsted St.,June 24: 4 - 10 pm; June 25: 11 am - 10 pm

Pride Fest showcases an eclectic lineup of arts & crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages including one dedicated to some of Chicago's fine performers in the gay community.

Rock Around the Block

July 9 & 10, 2013-3200 N. Lincoln Ave-12 Noon - 10 pm

Join this music festival as 40,000 people ROCK out and experience Chicago’s ultimate music and culinary fare. If you enjoy having fun and listening to great music, then this event is a must do! Come out and Rock Around the Block!

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

July 9 & 10, 2013-On Belmont from Damen to Leavitt-12 Noon - 10 pm

Featuring tantalizing and mouth-watering burgers from some of Chicago's finest restaurants along with a fantastic musical lineup are only a few of the highlights of the annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Belmont at Damen.

Bastille Day 5K Run, Walk & Block Party

July 14, 2013-Cannon Drive & Fullerton Parkway -Start Time: 7:30 pm

The Bastille Day 5K Run, Walk & Block Party is a rather popular mid-summer Chicago event will again be a celebration of all things French as well as that country's Bastille Day national holiday.

Windy City RibFest in Uptown

July 15-17, 2013-On Broadway from Leland to Lawrence, July 15: 5 - 10 pm; July 16 & 17: 12 Noon - 10 pm

The Uptown Windy City RibFest is where all of the best local and national ribbers will mix it up with three days of classic and hot music acts at this third annual festival that's fast becoming an iconic summer event

Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival

July 16 & 17, 2013-On Racine from Fullerton Pkwy. to Webster, July 16: 12 Noon - 10 pm; July 17: 12 Noon - 9 pm

The Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival will feature some of the best in entertainment with top- music headliners, a kid’s area, food & drink and so much more.

Celebrate Clark Street Festival

July 23 & 24, 2013-Clark Street btwn. Morse & Touhy-1 - 10 pm

Delight all of your senses with various rhythms that are sure to make you dance. You'll also be able to take your taste buds for a ride as you enjoy rich flavors from around the world, all without leaving Chicago. Head over to Clark Street for this great celebration.

Sheffield Garden Walk & Festival

July 23 & 24, 2013-12 Noon - 10:15 pm; Gardens: 12 Noon - 5:30 pm; Kids Corner: 12 Noon - 5 pm

The Sheffield Garden Walk and Festival showcases a great deal of small events including more than 100 self-guided Gardens, 10 National and Regional Bands, and a Guided Architectural Tours of the Historic Sheffield Neighborhood. There's even a kids' corner with petting zoo, pony rides, amusement park rides, Entertainment, and other children's activities; Restaurants and Beverages.

Chicago VIP View of Fireworks

Chicago VIP View of Fireworks

Summer on Southport

July 30 & 31, 2013-3700 N. Southport-11 am - 10 pm

Summer on Southport is a unique event taking place this summer in Chicago and includes the 10th Annual Children’s Festival. There will be a large kids area that includes a balloon artist, face painting, a rock wall, an inflatable obstacle course, a jump house, and even mini golf!

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 30 & 31, 2013-On Lincoln Ave. btwn. Halsted St. & Wrightwood-12 Noon - 10 pm

Taste of Lincoln Avenue, one of Chicago's largest and most popular summer street fest, returns for its 28th year on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 & 31. Highlights include more than 40 music acts on five stages, a kids' carnival and plenty of food vendors.

Retro on Roscoe

August 6 & 7, 2012-2000 W. Roscoe St. , 12 Noon - 6 pm

Retro on Roscoe features Chicago’s top talent and entertainment on 3 main stages. Artisans, antique vendors, and cool merchants will provide a shopping experience that is second to none. Local restaurants fill the venue with summertime samplings and tasty treats.

Northalsted Market Days

August 13 & 14, 2013-On Halsted from Belmont to Addison -11 am - 10 pm

Northalsted Market Days feature a ton of adventure. These market days are full of fun, eclectic, and exciting events including people watching and a ton of booths. The annual Northalsted Market Days, also happen to be the largest two-day street fair in the Midwest.

Wrigleyville SummerFest

August 13 & 14, 2013-3300 N. Seminary-Aug. 13: 12 Noon - 10 pm; Aug. 14: 10 am - 9 pm

Move over Wrigley Field, because here comes Wrigleyville Summerfest! This is not, by any means your average festival. Wrigleyville Summerfest features a kid zone with interactive games, family-friendly activities, and live music. Head out to this fun summer event and have a ball!

Boulevard Bash

August 26-28, 2013-3000 W. Logan Square Blvd.-Aug. 26: 5 - 10 pm; Aug. 27: 12 Noon - 10 pm; Aug. 28: 12 Noon - 9 pm

The Chicago Boulevard Bash plans to be an incredible 3-day festival that will feature live music, artisans, and spectacular food and drink.

Festival de la Villita

September 9, 2013-26th St. & S. Kostner Ave.,Sept. 6 - 11pm; Sept. 10 & 11: 12 Noon - 11 pm

Chicago's Hispanic community will celebrate Mexico's independence from Spain--and South-of-the-Border culture--at the 22nd annual Festival de La Vilita (Little Village Festival) at 2600 S. Kostner in the Little Village neighborhood.

79th St. Renaissance Festival

September 10, 2013,79th Street btwn. Racine & Loomis, 10 am - 6 pm

The 6th Annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival is a one-day, fun event for the whole community.

Ukrainian Village Festival

September 10-11, 2013-Superior St. btwn. Oakley Blvd. & Leavitt St.,Sept 10: 1 - 11 pm; Sept. 11: 1 - 10 pm

This festival will be held on the grounds of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Catholic Church, which is located in the Ukrainian Village. Check out this incredible festival as it celebrates Ukrainian heritage.

Wells Street Fall Festival

September 10 & 11, 2013

On Wells St. btwn. North Ave. & Evergreen, Sept. 10: 10 am - 10 pm; Sept. 11: 10 am - 7 pm

What do you get when you mix a great music lineup on three stages, the tasty cuisine of neighborhood restaurants, a new showcase for more than 60 juried artists, an opportunity to sample and buy wine, and a mini carnival-like midway with fun games? Chicago's newest post-Labor Day street happening: Wells Street Fall Fest!

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

September 24 & 25, 2013 (Sept. 24: 12 Noon - 1 am; Sept. 25: 12 noon - 9 pm)

Various Hyde Park Venues

The 5th annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival will be a full day of FREE, nonstop jazz by some of Chicago’s greatest musicians. These artists will be performing in venues across Chicago’s Culture Coast. Head out to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival for what is sure to be an exciting and music filled celebration of one of music's most incredible and influential ages.