Cute, funny happy glass of beer and hot dog

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Favorite Festivals Kick-Off Summer Season!

Cute, funny happy glass of beer and hot dog

We’re not wasting any time here in Chicago as our first weekend in June is packed with our favorite festivals kicking off the summer season!  There’s no time to waste so let’s get started.

Celebrating the influence of this genre born in our great city over 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival kicks off summer in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage (201 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop this Saturday (12 p.m.-9 p.m.).  This free inspirational music festival offers a roster of choirs and contemporary artists for a day of family-friendly music.  This year’s lineup of top talent includes the award-winning RIZE Youth Company, Grammy winners Karen Clark Sheard and Tye Tribbett, and more!  For a full line-up, visit the festival’s website.

The Midwest’s oldest juried art fair will celebrate its 76th year at their annual 57th Street Art Fair located along 57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood Avenues in the Hyde Park neighborhood this Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.).  This art fair features nearly 200 artists offering art lovers the opportunity to view and shop original works of art from around the country for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as well as speak with the artists about their creations.  Plus, live music will be presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends, a Food Court will be presented by the Ray School PTA, and there will be lots of activities for the children as well!  You’re sure to find something special, handmade, and one of a kind at this art fair!!

The Lincoln Park neighborhood will be celebrating Hellenic culture at their popular annual Lincoln Park Greek Festival on the grounds of St. George Greek Orthodox Church (2701 N. Sheffield Ave.) this Saturday (12 p.m.-11 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.).  Once again, this fest will bring the aromas, sounds, tastes, and traditions of Greece to all Chicagoans along with authentic flavorful food, great music, dancing, a craft fair, and pure fun!  Everyone will proudly be Hellenic for at least one day – OPA!

Another summer festival season opener is the Do Division Street Fest located on Division Street between Damen Avenue and Leavitt Street in the Wicker Park neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.).  Catch performances on two stages programmed by local live music venues the Empty Bottle (booking talent for diverse and cutting-edge music for the east stage), and Subterranean (booking current and popular bands for the west stage).  Plus, check out the food trucks, a fashion show (Do Fashion), vendors for shopping, and the Family Fun Fest offering kids’ activities such as a petting zoo, mega slide, rocking kids’ music, and more!  There’s something for everyone at this fest as well!!

Chicago’s original German neighborhood will be celebrating Maifest this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) at 4700 North Lincoln Avenue at Leland Avenue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.  This free fest welcomes in the street festival season with outstanding German and American food and beer.  So, grab a pretzel or full dinner, enjoy some lederhosen- and dirndl-costumed dancers, hoist a stein, and kick back for some great German and American bands providing entertainment throughout the fest!

The 2nd annual Windy City Hot Dog Fest takes place this Saturday and Sunday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) at Six Corners (4000-4080 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in the Portage Park neighborhood.  Some of Chicagoland’s favorite hot dog stands will be competing for who has the best hot dog, as voted on by the festgoers.  In addition to tasty dogs, there will be live entertainment, arts & craft vendors, a kid’s area, a top dog parade on Sunday (show off your fur-baby), and a hot dog eating competition (down as many hot dogs as you can in 5 minutes) where the winner walks away with bragging rights and a trophy!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago