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The 10 Best Festivals in Chicago According to Park Forest Residents

Nestled in the heart of the South suburbs yet close enough to the city of Chicago, Cedarwood Housing Cooperative, in Park Forest, Illinois, is in an ideal location for festival-goers. We asked our residents what their favorite events of the year are in the Chicagoland area. Here they are:

1. Ravenswood On Tap

From "The stretch of Ravenswood Avenue that calls itself "Malt Row" hosts this annual festival, which prominently features the neighborhood's diverse craft brewing scene. You'll find beer from Band of Bohemia, Begyle Brewing, Dovetail, Empirical, Half Acre and more, in addition to food from local restaurants and live music."

2. Bristol Renaissance Faire

"Our Faire is 30 acres of pure fun! 20 stages offer variety entertainment all day long. In addition, we dazzle you with a fully armored joust, the Queen and her glittering Court, amazing arts and crafts, delicious food, fine spirits, music, dance, parades, rides and games, and entertainers in the streets all day long." from website

women laughing at fair in park forest

3. Chicago Gospel Music Festival

"Celebrating the great influence of the music genre born in this city more than 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival will present the top gospel artists in the country. Over the years, the festival has featured traditional choirs to contemporary urban gospel mixed with hip-hop and house music." Caption from

4. Kids and Kites Festival

"The city of Chicago will provide kite kits for children to build, decorate and fly, while supplies last. Other activities include face painting, balloon artists and crafts. Kids can look forward to the Big Kite Candy drop when a piñata-like kite drops candy from the sky... professional kite flyers will demonstrate their skills with oversized and uniquely-shaped kites." Caption from

kites in sky in illinois

5. African Festival of the Arts

"Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s Washington Park come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, and the African Marketplace." Caption from Africa International House

6. Lincoln Park Wine Fest

"After Chicago’s brutally cold winter, spring’s warm breezes will be a welcome relief when the glorious grape, along with smooth tunes, artisans and tasty edibles, set the stage for this 5th annual wine happening. Lincoln Park Wine Fest will again transform the tranquil two-acre Jonquil Park into an open-air market featuring wine and food pavilions. The highlight is ticketed wine tastings where scores of varietals will be showcased. Beyond samplings, wine connoisseurs will also appreciate hearing the expertise of brand ambassadors and sommeliers. And enhancing the fest will be a mellow live music lineup, food-wine pairings, artisans, and the products/services of wine-related vendors." Caption from website.

group of people cheering with wine

7. Skokie Festival of Cultures

"Since its inception in 1991, the Skokie Festival of Cultures has become one of the premier ethnic festivals in Illinois, attracting more than a half-a-million visitors and dozens of cultures, all representing Skokie's tremendous diversity. Attendees will take their free 'Tour of the World,' enjoying two days of ethnic folk music and dance, a wide range of food and beer, unique arts and crafts, a merchandise bazaar, and dozens of cultural booths and displays." Caption from Skokie Culture Fest

8. Taste of Randolph

"Commemorating the iconic street festival’s 22nd Anniversary, Star Events and WLCO will bring together the biggest and brightest names in Chicago dining, featuring over 18 restaurants exemplary for delectable menus and irresistibly unique flavors. Silver Wrapper ​has curated a list of the nation’s hottest up-and-coming bands and musicians, as well as the biggest names in Chicago house music, performing on two stages and a DJ stage, to entertain guests on their culinary adventure." Caption from The City of Chicago

9. The Taste of Chicago

"Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront has been home to the world's largest food festival." Caption from City of Chicago

artisan food vendor at market

10. Lollapalooza

"Taking over Grant Park for four days each summer, Lollapalooza is Chicago's largest music festival, attracting an estimated 100,000 attendees each day. This year, the Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys headline the fest, topping a bill that includes acts like St. Vincent, Franz Ferdinand, Tyler, the Creator and more. With more than 180 artists, grub from local eateries and plenty of beer, this is the kind of weekend that Chicago summers were made for." Caption from TimeOut Chicago

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