Memorial Day Vector illustration with american flags on the sides

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Memorial Day Weekend Kicks-Off Summer!

Memorial Day Vector illustration with american flags on the sides

It’s the weekend we’ve been waiting for when we kick-off the “unofficial” start of summer this Memorial Day Weekend here in Chicago!

This three-day weekend begins with the Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony & Parade on Saturday with a wreath being laid at the eternal flame in Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) at 11 a.m. in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.  Then at Noon, the Parade will proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street in The Loop.  Rear Admiral Zeita Merchant of the U.S. Coast Guard will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal who was born in Chicago and has become the first African American female promoted to flag rank in U.S. Coast Guard history.  Come join the crowds lining the parade route as they pay their respects while waving flags.  It’s a Chicago tradition dating back to 1870!

The weekend then continues with the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest celebrating the beginning of Chicago’s iconic summer festival season this Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) at 3200 North Sheffield Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood.  This 39th annual street festival features top Midwest and local tribute bands on the main stage near Roscoe Street, great eats, libations of beer and wine, and artisans.  A second stage near Belmont Avenue features eclectic entertainment with fun neighborhood music acts, DJs, and other performers.

Begyle Brewing and Dovetail Brewery are hosting their 8th annual Mayfestiversary street fest this Saturday (11 a.m.-10 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-9 p.m.) at 1800 West Belle Plaine Avenue in the North Center neighborhood.  This event offers beer, food, music, and camaraderie featuring over 60 beers (expect some special beer tappings), food vendors, 15+ local bands, and DJs.  Plus, consider giving a donation which will benefit the neighborhood food pantry, The Friendship Center, which has been serving the Northwest side since 1969.  It’s a great way to have fun and give back at the same time!

Savor a variety of regional and specialty mole dishes at this year’s Mole de Mayo Street Festival this Saturday (12 p.m.-10 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.-9 p.m.) at their new location on 18th Street between Morgan and Halsted Streets in the Pilsen neighborhood.  Over 20 popular food vendors will partake in the mole cook-off with each bringing their own savory, sweet, or spicy version of mole.  In addition, two main music stages will feature a variety of music styles from top local, national, and international acts.  Plus, an open-air market full of vendors will be offering a variety of goods and wares for all ages.  And lastly, the must-see festival highlight of Mexican style lucha libre wrestling with high-flying aerial maneuvers and colorful masks takes place both days from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  I wonder who will be this year’s People’s Choice and Best Mole Winner!

Finally, end your Saturday at 10 p.m. with Navy Pier Fireworks.  Enjoy this beloved sky spectacle show every Wednesday night (9 p.m.) and every Saturday night (10 p.m.) from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  These stunning visuals are accompanied by a mix of popular and dramatic music as well as some special occasion soundtracks.  It’s an experience everyone will cherish!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago