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Greater Chicago
Annual Events

Greater Chicago has festivities taking place all through the year including concerts, festivals, fairs and sporting events.


Below is an overview of major annual events, some with links to more information on venues and related activity. To go directly to today's events, click here.

January
College Baseball
From the crack of the bat to the slide on into home, NCAA baseball packs a wallop of home run frenzy for what's oft called America's favorite pastime. Diamond action starts in January, continuing through most of June.
Chicago State Cougars, Illinois Illini, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, UIC Flames


Winter Celebration in Lights
View holiday lights and beautiful plants in the largest glass greenhouse in the U.S. Bring the kids and enjoy interactive events in the Elizabeth Mores Genus Children’s Garden. Located at The Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Avenue through the first week of January. Call (312) 746-5100 for more information.
Christmas Around the World
See how the world celebrates Christmas with Christmas displays from around the world. Located at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, through the first week of January. Call (312) 346-3278 for more information.
Talent Showcase
The South Chicago Elks Lodge spotlights solo artists, spoken word artists, and comedians along with food and fun. Call (773) 737-7617 for more information.
Winter Flower and Train Show
Check out the amazing flowers or take a train ride through a Christmas town at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2400 N. Stockton Drive, through the first week of January. Call (312) 742-7736 for more information.
February
Around the Coyote Winter Festival
Attend this annual studio walk and view works from over 400 artists including art performances in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. This event is sponsored by the resident artists and takes place during the first week of February. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest
Teams come out to compete at building a machine that takes an alloted number of steps to complete a certain task. Hosted by the Chicago Children’s Museum. Located at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, in the middle of February. Call (312) 527-1000 for more information.
Auto Show
Come to one of the country’s oldest expos of contemporary cars. Get a firsthand look at what’s new. Located at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive, for two weeks in the middle of February. Call (312) 791-7000 for more information.
March
Chicago Bike Show
Check out the annual bike show where bike manufacturers and bike clubs come together in one location. Located at the Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, usually held at the end of March. Call (312) 595-PIER for more information.
Comedysportz March Madness
For nearly two decades, Comedysportz has wowed audiences with comedy entertainment. March Madness, a competition where a 60-plus member ensemble divides into four-person teams, features bracketed tournament fun with winners crowned Chicago Bosses. Old School Players won by a single point over Wrath of Karl in a recent annual competition. Call (773) 549-8080 for more information.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Come out and join the fun at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For the past 40 years, the Chicago river has turned green in the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The parade begins at noon on Dearborn Street, between Wacker and Van Buren, then down the State Street Mall on March 17. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.
Academy Awards Party
Promoted by the Chicago Film Festival, RedEye and Metromix, the Academy Awards Party at Lincoln Park's Park West allows patrons to stroll up a red carpet to see favorite stars on two giant screens and a couple dozen monitors. Tickets include hors d'oeuvres, complimentary wine and beer. VIP seating available. Call (312) 683-0121 for more information.
Golf Around Chicago
Play miniature golf on this city like course with each hole depicting a Chicago landmark or Chicago's culture. All proceeds from the event benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. Located in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, 10 AM - 5 PM daily, later on the weekends. Usually held the second week in March. Call (312) 595-7437 for more information.
April
Major League Baseball
Nothing signals advent of spring more than baseball with a capital B, tightly meshed into American culture with historic firsts, icon performances, record-setting events, and traditions from hot dogs slathered in mustard to unexpected curveballs, and seventh-inning stretches. Books and movies about baseball are fine and dandy, but nothing beats Major League Baseball action, playing out each season from April through the World Series.
Chicago Cubs - To book seats to root for your Chicago Cubs, click here.
Chicago White Sox - To book seats to root for your Chicago White Sox, click here.


Major League Soccer
There's no end to the excitement each season as Major League Soccer teams from both the eastern and western conferences vie for glory in regular season matches, on to the play offs and cup finals.
Chicago Fire - To get in on the action, and book seats for the Chicago Fire click here.


April Fools Day; Easter/ Children’s Museum
Join storytellers as they help the children get acquainted with what the museum has to offer. There are games, too. Located at the Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, April 1 and 15, 10 AM - 5 PM. Call (312) 527-1000 for more information.
International Antique Poster Fair
Enjoy this annual exhibition of vintage posters. Hosted by The Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue. Usually held in the middle of April. Call (800) 856-8069 for more information.
Chicago Improv Festival
For nigh onto a decade, give or take a season or two, Chicago Improv Festival has made improvisational fun a must event series within the Windy City. Each year brings added dimension to the laugh-packed schedule. In 2005, the festival marked 50 Years of Improvisational Theater" with the legendary Compass Players, the company that later birthed Second City. Call (773) 935-9810 for more information.
Latino Film Festival
View the most current films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the U. S. at the Latino Film Festival. Hosted by the International Latino Cultural Center at Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan, starting the 3rd Friday April, from 6 PM - 11 PM each evening. Call (312) 431-1330 for more information.
May
Memorial Day Parade
Come out and honor our country’s veterans. Begin with a ceremony at the Logan Memorial (Grant Park, Michigan and 9th St.) at 11 AM. Then watch the parade starting at noon on Columbus Drive, between Balbo and Monroe Streets. Call (312) 744-5648 for more information.
Art Chicago
Visit 200 international galleries at this annual art fair. See contemporary and modern art. Located at Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue. This event is usually held in the middle of May. Call (312) 587-3300 for more information.
Comedy Festival
Laugh the night away with comedians from all over the world as they entertain you through improv, stand-up and sketches. Located at several venues including the Vic Theater, Chicago Theatre and the Apollo Theater. This event is held the last weekend in May. Call (847) 304-6624 for more information.
June
Chicago Blues Festival; Chicago Gospel Festival
Hear the most talented blues musicians in the world at the biggest blues festival. THis festival also coincides with the Gospel Festival. Located at the Petrillo Music Shells at Grant Park, Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard, the second week of June. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.
Internet Street Fair
See the latest in technology at this state of the art exhibition. This is the place for vendors, professionals and the public to view and discuss the newest technology. Enjoy live music and food from local restaurants. Located at Hubbard Street, between Noble and Armour Street, usually the third week in June. Call (312) 563-1750 for more information.
Pride Parade
Come out and watch the Annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade, during the last week in June. In addition, during the month of June, PRIDEChicago sponsors several events in a variety of venues. Call (773) 348-8243 for more information.
July
Taste of Chicago
This ten day festival is packed with food, activities and entertainment. Over 60 restaurants showcase their food. This is a festival you don’t want to miss. Located in Grant Park (Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard), the last week in June through the first week in July, daily from 11 AM - 9 PM. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.
Chicago Summerdance
Dance the nights away during this festival where approximately 40 different live bands will perform a variety of dance music and styles. Free dance instruction will be available. Located at the Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Avenue, between Harrison and Balbo. This event continues through the month of August. Call (312) 744-1424 for more information.
Gardens of The Magnificent Mile
From mid-July through mid-October, the Magnificent Mile, North Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street, is is decorated with public art installations in the Gardens and shops, supplied by art students and renowned master designers. Call (312) 642-3570 for more information.
Dearborn Garden Walk and Heritage Festival
Walk through some of the loveliest gardens in the Gold Coast neighborhood during this annual garden walk. Enjoy food, music and fun for the kids, too. Located at Dearborn Street, between Division Street and North Avenue, usually in the middle of July. Talk with award-winning gardeners about their blooms. Call (312) 944-1521 for more information.
Spike for Kids Volleyball Tournament
Towards the end of July, the Illinois Inter-Agency Athletic Association and Maryville Academy host a volleyball tournament between Chicago area players to benefit both children's charities at the Maryville campus in Des Plaines. Call (217) 785-5382 for more information.
August
Air and Water Show
Join two million spectators as they watch military aircraft perform amazing aerial stunts. Located at the Lakefront, Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street, beginning the 3rd Saturday of every August. Admission is free. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.
Underground Film Festival
Experience the largest underground film festival in the country. View independent features, documentaries and experimental films by film makers with an independent vision. Located at the Fine Arts Theatre, 418 S. Michigan Avenue, starting the 3rd week of August. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.
Ginza Holiday - A Japanese Cultural Festival
In mid-August, the Midwest Buddhist Temple hosts the region's largest Japanese cultural festival in Chicago's historic Old Town, featuring Japanese cuisine, taiko drumming, karate and other martial arts demonstrations by local schools, and much more. 435 West Menomonee Street. Call (312) 943-7801 for more information.
Annual Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival
Come out and enjoy the Latin beat. Dance to tropical, merengue, salsa and much more. In addition to the music, you'll find traditional food and merchants selling authentic Hispanic items including artwork and jewelry. Located at Grant Park, usually the last weekend in August. Admission is free. Call (312) 744-5648 for more information.
September
National Football League
If it's fall and you're ready for some football, count on the National Football League to deliver non-stop grid action, leading to playoffs, and the incomparable Super Bowl. The NFL has come a long way since its 1920 founding in Canton, Ohio at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile dealership. NFL action was first televised in 1939 when NBC broadcast within New York City. The NFL's Longest Day was on Christmas, 1971, in a playoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, and Miami's 17-0 Perfect Season unfolded the following year. But that's history, and prospects for new milestones start in September.
Chicago Bears - To book seats for cheering on your Chicago Bears, click here.


College Football
NCAA Football, created in 1997 to promote college football ideals, makes no bones about the importance of each game. Losing at any time during the season can thwart a team's chances for postseason action or an NCAA Championship. No wonder NCAA Football marketers have adopted a tagline of "NCAA Football: Every Game Counts."
Illinois Illini - To book seats for the Illinois Illini, click here.
Northern Illinois Huskies - To book seats for the Northern Illinois Huskies, click here.
Northwestern Wildcats - To cheer on your favorites and book seats for the Northwestern Wildcats, click here.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - To book seats for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, click here.


Chicago Jazz Festival
Enjoy the world’s largest jazz festival featuring local, national and international musicians. This event is free and is sponsored by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The event is located at Grant Park, on the first weekend in September. Call (312) 427-1676 for more information.
SuperSibs Golf Classic
In mid-September, the Marriott Oak Brook Hills Resort hosts a day of golf, cocktails, dinner and a live auction to benefit children with cancer. Call (630) 850-5555 for more information.
Chicago Luxury Home Tour
Here's dare to dream opportunity for exploration of 17 luxurious homes from premier custom builders. These masterpieces range in value from $1.3 to $3.1 million and are prime for touring. Call (866) 895-8912 for more information.
County Fair
Enjoy homemade jams, garden demonstrations, pony rides, pie-eating contests, face painting and live music. In addition, check out the Chapungu stone carving demonstration. Located in the Garfield Park Conservatory at 300 N Central Park Avenue, usually held the third week of September. Call (312) 746-5100 for more information.
26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade
Come out and celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Watch the floats, street dancing and mariachi bands. In addition, enjoy mexican food and merchandise. Lcoated at 26th Street from Albany Avenue to Kostner Street, usually in the middle of September. Call (773) 521-5387 for more information.
Chicago Chef Battle
Towards the end of September, Goose Island Beer hosts a competition between chefs where the award is given to the best pairing of the chef's creation with Goose Island Beer, at the Goose Island Beer Loading Dock, sponsored by Chicago public radio stations. Call (312) 948-4600 for more information.
October
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League's rough and tumble world packs a motherlode of milestones, from 1917's NHL opener, to when Maurice Richard was first to score 50 goals in one season in 1944-45, to when Clint Benedict was the first goalie to put on a mask after a shot knocked him unconscious, to when Manon Rheaume made headlines in 1992 as the first woman playing in one of the four major sports leagues, goaltending for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the St. Louis Blues. From October on, it's non-stop action in the world of hat tricks -- three goals in a game by a player -- and sudden death overtime.
Chicago Blackhawks - To book for the Chicago Blackhawks, click here.


SOFA Chicago
Ninety two international galleries and dealers will exhibit at the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art Exposition, bringing the decorative and fine arts together. Located at the Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand. This event is usually held around the second week in October. Call (312) 595-5200 for more information.
International Film Festival
View a collection of amazing feature films from all over the world. See works from promising new directors. This event is located at the Chicago and Music Box Theatres and at Loews Cineplex during the first two weeks in October. Call (312) 425-9400 for more information.
HR Technology Conference & Exposition
Human Resources executives flock to the HR Technology Conference, a leader on technology for HR professionals, staged at Navy Pier in Chicago. Call (800) 727-1227 for more information.
Supernatural Tours
Join Chicago’s professional ghosthunter, Richard T. Crowe, as he reveals Chicago’s haunted sites, ghosts and other unexplainable phenomena. The tours leave from the Goose Island Brewery, 1800 N. Clybourn Road, in the middle of October. Call (708) 499-0300 for more information.
November
National Basketball Association
Toronto, Canada was the site of the National Basketball League's first game on Nov. 1, 1946, with the Huskies hosting the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens. Thirteen original rules were drafted by Dr. James Naismith, creator of basketball. Pro basketball suffered in popularity in the early 1950's, but one rule change -- that of the 24-second clock -- transformed the sport from a dull, stalling game to an exciting, offensive showcase. Icons along the way, from Bob Cousy and Wilt Chamberlain to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, have immortalized what's now the National Basketball Association's game, creating long-standing rivalries from coast to coast.
Chicago Bulls - To book seats to root for your Chicago Bulls, click here.


College Basketball
First devised by James Naismith in 1891, with the first recorded collegiate game in 1893, legions testify there's no sound so soothing as a basketball whooshing through the net after a flick of the wrist. NCAA basketball brings grass roots hoop dreams to an entirely new level each fall, building toward March Madness, the NCAA Division Basketball Championships.
Chicago State Cougars, DePaul Blue Demons, Loyola Chicago Ramblers, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, UIC Flames, Illinois Illini, Loyola Chicago Ramblers
Chicago State Cougars - To book seats for the Chicago State Cougars, click here.
DePaul Blue Demons - To book seats for the DePaul Blue Demons, click here.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers - To book seats for the Loyola Chicago Ramblers, click here.
Northern Illinois Huskies - To book seats for the Northern Illinois Huskies, click here.
Northwestern Wildcats - To book seats for the Northwestern Wildcats, click here.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - To book seats for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, click here.
UIC Flames - To book seats for the UIC Flames, click here.


Pow Wow Tribute to All Veterans
Enjoy Native American dancing, authentic crafts and food at this three day festival. Located at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State Street, beginning on the 2nd Friday of every November. Call (312) 902-1500 for more information.
Pow Wow
Enjoy Native American singing, dancing and arts and crafts at the American Indian Center of Chicago’s annual Pow Wow. Located at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Pavilion, 525 S. Racine, in the middle of November. Call (312) 413-5740 for more information.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join thousands as they watch the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. See the 85 foot Christmas tree covered with hundreds of lights, beautiful ornaments and fancy, holiday bows. Check out the holiday marketplace and Santa Claus. Located at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, during the last week in November. Call (312) 744-3370 for more information.
December
Caroling to the Animals
Join local choral groups and sing to the animals at the zoo's annual Caroling to the Animals event. See Santa feed the animals, too. Located at the Lincoln Park Zoo, at 2200 North Cannon Drive, during the first week of December. Call (312) 742-2293 for more information.
Christkindlmarket
Visit this outdoor European village with over 44 original timber booths offering holiday items. Located at the Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, a few weeks before Christmas. Admission is free. Call (312) 644-2662 for more information.
Handel’s Messiah
Listen to the Apollo Chorus as they sing their version of Handel’s Messiah. Located at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, the week before Christmas. Call (312) 427-5620 for tickets or for more information.
Matzo Ball
From a humble start in a Boston bar, Matzo Ball bashes in more than a dozen cities including San Francisco and Washington D.C. have blowin into the Windy City at Betty's Blue Star Lounge as a holiday party for Jewish singles on the night before Christmas. Call (312) 243-1699 for more information.
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