Chicago’s in a festive mood for July

From the Saturday, July 2, editions of The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …

Chicago’s in a festive mood for July


July 2, 2011

There’s only one thing that I don’t like about summertime.

And that’s how just as the season finally begins, it has this curious way of seeming as if it’s already flown by.

For example, the Fourth of July is upon us and just like every year, it seems to have arrived prematurely. Unlike Christmas, which can seemingly loom in the distance for an eternity even after the calendar flips to December, July 4 is a holiday that races toward you.

Perhaps it feels that way because after the Fourth, there’s not another major holiday until September (Labor Day), as August is the lone month of the year without one (ever notice that?).

Or perhaps all of this is just me.

Either way, in order to milk the most out of your summer, here are some Chicago street festivals that you should consider this month.

July 1-3: Wrigleyville Block Party

Some would say that during baseball season, Wrigleyville is a block party.

But they’d be wrong.

After all, Wrigleyville includes much more than just one block.

While the team continues to struggle, the Cubs organization has connected with at least one hit this season in the Wrigleyville Block Party.

Last month, the first of three scheduled block parties was held along Clark Street outside Wrigley Field during the Yankees series, and from the Wrigley beer vendors to the cover bands to the congenial crowds, it was a home run.

The second Block Party is taking place this weekend for the White Sox series and is ongoing from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Sunday, featuring music, food and drink. Unlike Wrigley itself, admission is free.

July 9-10: Roscoe Village Burger Fest

Chicago is known for its pizza, its Italian beef and its hot dogs.

But if the second annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest has anything to say about it, the Windy City will be famous for its burgers too.

Offering up patties made of everything from veggie and turkey to ground beef and steak, the event at the corner of Belmont and Damen avenues and featuring some of Chicago’s finest restaurants and live music is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days.

Participating burger vendors include Goose Island brewpubs, Select Cut Steakhouse, and 2010 “Best Burger” winner John’s Place, plus many more. A $6 suggested donation benefits the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, visit

July 15-16: Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party

For the 27th consecutive year, Madison Street and Des Plaines Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop is playing host to the so-called “World’s Largest Block Party,” benefitting outreach activities for Old St. Pat’s church. The event annually draws an average of 18,000 attendees and claims that more than 70 couples have married after meeting during it.

This year, the party runs from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. each night with Cobra Starship and Plain White T’s headlining on Friday and Matt Nathanson and Barenaked Ladies on Saturday.  Tickets cost $40 for a one-night pass, $70 for two.

For more information, visit

July 22-23: Wicker Park Fest

If you’re looking to prep for Lollapalooza (Aug. 5-7), wind down from Pitchfork Music Festival (July 15-16) or simply don’t have the money for either, Wicker Park Fest could be music to your ears.

From noon to 10 p.m., you can listen to more than three dozen musical acts at the corner of Milwaukee and North avenues in Chicago’s eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood and observe the curious fashion combinations of its hipster residents.

All for just five bucks.

For more information, visit