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2011 Major Chicago Events

The following festivals & events are produced by the Bureau of Special Events.

Snow Days Chicago

January 28-30
Navy Pier
    Snow Snow Days Chicago is a free three-day winter festival featuring a national snow sculpting competition, dog sled demonstrations, a snowboard rail jam and kids activities!

Maxwell Street Market

Sundays Year-round
Des Plaines St. & Roosevelt Rd.
More Information: The Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition of bargains and bargaining with an international flavor.

Kids and Kites Festival

May 7
Montrose Harbor
    The entire family is invited to Montrose Harbor in Lincoln Park for Mayor Daley’s Kids and Kites Festival.  Free kite kits will be available to make, decorate and fly.

Chicago Summer Neighborhood Festivals

    The office Special Events assists community organizations in producing more than 400 neighborhood festivals that showcase ethnic customs, music and food.

Bike Chicago 2011

    Bike Chicago 2011 is back with more reasons than ever to bike around the city. Making the choice to bike is one way to a healthier you and a greener city and planet.

Farmers Markets

    Chicago's Farmers Markets bring more than 70 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers to over 20 neighborhoods throughout the City of Chicago.

Chicago's Memorial Day Parade

May 28
State Street
More Information: The Chicago parade is considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation. Since 1870, Memorial Day parades have graced the streets of Chicago. In 1997, Mayor Richard M. Daley made it an annual tradition as a day to be thankful that we live in a country where freedom, justice and democracy are proudly defended.

Chicago Blues Festival

June 10 - 12
Grant Park
    The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago's Music Festivals.

Bike To Work Day Rally

June 17
Daley Plaza
More Information: Hosted at Daley Plaza – 50 W. Washington, the event celebrates the City’s commitment to make Chicago the best big city for bicycling.

Chicago Air and Water Show

August 20 & 21
North Avenue Beach
    The Chicago Air & Water Show is the largest spectator event in the United States and the longest ongoing show of its kind in North America.

Chicago Jazz Festival

September 1 - 4
Cultural Center & Millennium Park (Sept. 1)
Millennium Park (Sept. 2)
Grant Park (Sept. 3 & 4)
    The longest running of the city's lakefront music festivals. For the past 30 year's, the Chicago Jazz Festival has been a Labor Day weekend tradition.

Halloween Franken Plaza

October 28-30
Daley Plaza
    Halloween is more than a day in Chicago; it’s an entire season. The city, its parks, buildings and streets are decorated and filled with an array of activities for children and the child within you.

Veterans Day Ceremony

November 11
Soldier Field, Gate 0 (at the Doughboy Statue)
More Information     Ceremony Honoring Those Who Have Served in Times of Peace as well as in War.

Santa House

November tbd-December 24

Daley Plaza

    Jolly Old St. Nick will again grace the plaza with his holiday cheer in his Midwest satellite workshop on Daley Plaza.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Daley Plaza

    The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a highly-anticipated event drawing people of all ages to the heart of Chicago’s downtown “Loop.”
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