clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Four of the Best Street Fests To Hit This Weekend

New, 1 comment

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Summertime in the city means many things: bikes on the lakefront, rooftop pool-hopping, steamy nights after a long day at the beach and festivals galore. The summer street fests and quirky neighborhood affairs are quintessential Chicago charm. Hence, since y'all are true blood Windy Citizens, here are four spectacular not-to-miss (pants-off dance-off) street festivals that you must hit this weekend.

What we once referred to as 'The Neighborhood of the Future' for 48th consecutive year celebrates its heritage with drinking, shopping, and loud music. The neo-Gayborhood and design community touting stores like Brimfield, Haymaker, Room Service Chicago, Milk, and Scout expects more than 50,000 people at Midsommarfest 2013.

The [biggest crock of shasta for this year is a] suggested $10 donation at the festival gates which partially goes to the Andersonville Development Corporation (could they have chosen a worse name?). Anywho, it's always a fantastic time as many shops run promotions, sales, hire performers and stay open a little later. Catch The Chicago Spirit Brigade, The Spazmatics, ABBA Salute, the awesome Nordic Folkdancers, 16 Candles and the Gay Swedish Men's Chorus. The style here is trendy 'granola-gay hipster'.

LIT FEST The Printers Row Lit Fest, sponsored by Chicago Tribune is a staple in the Loop fest scene. Find author readings, signings, rare and antique books for sale, printing press accoutrements and a multitude of independent publications. Sting will be there, as well as healthy eating aficionado Rea Frey and Style Rookie Tavi Gevinson. The style here is 'geeky-chic'.

BLUES FEST The Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park and Grant Park for years now has been the largest free blues festival in the world. Compared to the other power players in the music scene, Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, Blues Fest remains the largest.

The three-day fest on five stages draws 500,000 people, pop-up shops, brand experiences and street vendors. This year headliners are Otis Clay, Uvee Hayes, The Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd, and Billy Branch. The style here is 'relaxed flowy/casual' (preferably in a graphic print).

OLD TOWN ART FAIRThe Old Town Art Fair is split into two parts. The main part, and taken as more for serious artists and art collectors happens in the Old Town Triangle north of North Avenue. The main, more boozy part where all the shopping is, happens on Wells, south of North Ave..

Shops in the neighborhood include Racked 38 Members Greer, Luxury Garage Sale, as well as Handle With Care, Cityblue, thomas + henry, and Sara Jane. to enter the fair, a donation of $7.00 is requested. There is no donation requested for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit a host of local youth groups, schools, and neighborhood preservation projects. Gates open on both Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 6PM. The style here is 'quiet sophistication'.


5219 North Clark Street, , IL 60640 (773) 271-3501 Visit Website

Luxury Garage Sale

1658 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 773-360-7293 Visit Website


1657 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60614 Visit Website

Millennium Park

201 East Randolph Street, , IL 60602 (312) 742-1168 Visit Website

Grant Park

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 742-3918 Visit Website