Photo: Courtesy of Square Roots
CHINATOWN SUMMER FAIR Free!
7/21 A dragon and lion dance procession kicks off this annual fest featuring food, live music, and dance. 10–8. Free. Wentworth from Cermar and 24th Pl. chicagochinatown.org.
FIESTA DEL SOL Free!
7/25–28 The four-day fundraiser for the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council has grown into one of the largest festivals of its kind. Get ready for carnival rides, cheap Mexican eats, and live music. Thu 5–10, Fri–Sat 11–11, Sun 11–10. Free. 1400 W Cermak. fiestadelsol.org.
RANDOLPH STREET MARKET FESTIVAL
7/27–28 In addition to browsing hundreds of vendors plying everything from artisanal cheese to vintage jewelry, you can trade old vinyl treasures for new ones at the fest’s vinyl swap. 10–5. $25. $20 in advance. 1350 W Randolph. randolphstreetmarket.com.
7/3–7 Former Guns n’ Roses guitar man Slash headlines Naperville’s annual ode to the barbecued pig, which features a rib contest sponsored by local vendors, carnival rides, and fireworks. Wed 4–10, Thu–Sun 12–10. Free (kids under 12) to $15. Knoch Park, S West St. ribfest.net.
SHEFFIELD GARDEN WALK & FESTIVAL
7/20–21 Admire the horticultural creativity of some of Lincoln Park’s most dedicated green thumbs at this fest. There’s also live music, pony rides, and beer. Sat 12–10, Sun 12–5:30. $7. $10 after 3. 2200 N Sheffield and 1000 W Webster. sheffieldfestivals.org.
SQUARE ROOTS Critic’s Pick
7/12–14 Back for a second year, the Lincoln Square festival distinguishes itself from its peers with its stellar alt country and world music lineup . The craft beer vendor list is pretty impressive too. Fri 5–10, Sat 12–10, Sun 12–8. $10 suggested donation. Lincoln between Montrose and Wilson. squareroots.org.
TASTE OF CHICAGO
7/10–14 The food portion of the fest may be hit-and-miss, but the music headliners, including Jill Scott, Fun, and Robert Plant, are talented enough to make a visit worth your while. 11–9. $25 for concert tickets. Lawn free. Grant Park, Jackson and Columbus. cityofchicago.org.
7/13–7/14 With venerable punk rock institution the Empty Bottle helming the main stage and a stage exclusively for house DJs, this West Town shindig is worth hitting up. There’s a kid fest and pup fest, too. 12–10. $5 donation. Chicago between Wood and Damen. westfestchicago.com.
WICKER PARK FEST
7/27–28 One of the city’s best-known festivals secures its Pitchfork-reader sensibility with headliners Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and dream pop duo Cults. A visual arts showcase (12:30–8) will take place for a second straight year. 12–10. $5 donation. Milwaukee from North to Paulina. wickerparkfest.com.