Chicago goes all out when it comes to summer festival season, drinking in any opportunity for activities and outdoors-y events. From lively music to a barbecue bash, here are two summer festivals to check out this summer in this Midwestern metropolis.
Windy City Smokeout, Chicago: Mid-July
Year after year, Chicago’s Windy City Smokeout gets bigger, better and beefier. Considering the vast amount of barbecue, country music and beer, it’s easy to see the crowd-pleasing appeal. The festival is back July 14-16, with a whopping 30 acts set to take the stage with performances from Kip Moore, Jake Owen, the Eli Young Band and more. Come hungry, because this year’s roster includes restaurants from Chicago and across the U.S., including Texas’ famed Salt Lick, Phoenix’s Little Miss BBQ and Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. To drink, 45 beers will be poured from 21 different breweries across the country.
Northalsted Market Days, Chicago: Mid-August
The Midwest’s biggest street festival, this two-day spree is a joyous gathering of dancing, singing and eating in Chicago’s colorful Boystown. A celebration of the Midwest’s LGBTQ community, Northalsted Market Days, features three music stages, where performers run the gamut from Gloria Gaynor and Olivia Newton-John to Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue. Local vendors line Halsted Street with food, drink and merchandise as well.
Where to stay: you have four Kimpton hotels with Midwest charisma to choose from.