DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. For up-to-date information, go to choosechicago.com. JANUARY January 26–February 8 CHICAGO RESTAURANT WEEK Citywide, eatitupchicago.com During this culinary celebration, restaurants throughout Chicago and the nearby suburbs feature specially priced prix-fixe brunch, lunch and dinner menus. FEBRUARY February 8–18 CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK Citywide, chicagotheatreweek.com This celebration of Chicago’s acclaimed theater scene presents more than 100 shows from professional companies, at a reduced ticket price. February 10–19 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW McCormick Place, chicagoautoshow.com The largest auto show in North America features a huge range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks, plus an exciting collection of experimental cars. Don’t miss the celebrity appearances and autograph signings. February 16–March 4 CHINESE NEW YEAR Citywide, choosechicago.com/chinesenewyear Welcome the Year of the Dog during a citywide celebration that includes colorful parades, diverse cultural performances and a variety of special events. MARCH March 17 ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE/DYEING OF THE CHICAGO RIVER Columbus Dr., from Balbo Ave. to Monroe St., chicagostpatricksdayparade.org The Chicago River goes green in the morning, followed by a festive parade up Columbus Drive featuring floats, flags and bagpipers. MAY May 7 JAMES BEARD AWARDS GALA Lyric Opera of Chicago, choosechicago.com/jbf Culinary winners of the “Oscars of the food world” are celebrated. JUNE June 1–2 CHICAGO GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL Millennium Park, chicagogospelmusicfestival.us Renowned local, national and international gospel music performers fill Millennium Park with soulful melodies at this free festival. June 8–10 CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL Millennium Park, chicagobluesfestival.us This is the largest free blues festival in the world, with past performers including B.B. King, Ray Charles and Buddy Guy. Fest: June 16–17 Parade: June 24 CHICAGO PRIDE FEST & PARADE Boystown, chicagopride.gopride.com Chicago’s massive LGBTQ celebration weekend consists of a lively two-day festival followed by a worldfamous parade the following Sunday. JULY July 11–15 TASTE OF CHICAGO Grant Park, tasteofchicago.us This annual foodie fair features the best of Chicago’s booming restaurant scene, plus cooking demos and concerts. AUGUST August 2–5 LOLLAPALOOZA Grant Park, lollapalooza.com One of the largest outdoor music festivals in the world, Lollapalooza is a well-curated collection of emerging and established acts that keep the vibe intense and interesting. August 18–19 CHICAGO AIR & WATER SHOW North Avenue Beach, chicagoairandwatershow.us Dozens of aerial and water stunts are visible along the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street during this 60thanniversary show. August 20–September 2 CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL Millennium Park, chicagojazzfestival.us In honor of its 40th anniversary, this annual free event (known for attracting some of the biggest names in jazz) will kick off with five days of club concerts, followed by the festival in Millennium Park. SEPTEMBER September 26–30 EXPO CHICAGO Navy Pier, expochicago.com The annual EXPO CHICAGO returns to Navy Pier, hosting leading art galleries and showcasing the works of global artists. September 28–30 CHICAGO GOURMET Millennium Park, chicagogourmet.org Cooking demos, book signings, seminars, and food/ drink tastings enliven the Chicago Gourmet festival. OCTOBER October 7 BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON Grant Park, chicagomarathon.com Runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries race around the city to reach the finish line in Grant Park. October 13–14 OPEN HOUSE CHICAGO Citywide, openhousechicago.org This free public festival offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across Chicago, from soaring skyscrapers to opulent mansions. NOVEMBER November 16–December 24 CHRISTKINDLMARKET CHICAGO Daley Plaza, christkindlmarket.com Christkindlmarket is an open-air holiday market featuring gift items and tempting food and drink like Glühwein, a hot spiced wine. November–December CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY & HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS Millennium Park, millenniumpark.org Celebrate the holidays at the official Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting and sing holiday favorites at Caroling at Cloud Gate on Friday evenings. November 16–17 BMO HARRIS BANK MAGNIFICENT MILE LIGHTS FESTIVAL Michigan Ave., from Oak St. to Wacker Dr., themagnificentmile.com A constellation of lights illuminate Michigan Avenue during this celebration featuring live musical performances, a parade and spectacular fireworks. November 22 McDONALD’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE State St., from Congress Pkwy. to Randolph St., chicagofestivals.org From 8-11am, huge helium balloons, remarkable floats and award-winning marching bands make their way up historic State Street. DECEMBER November 30, 2018– January 6, 2019 WINTER WONDERFEST Navy Pier, navypier.org Find thrills without the chills at Winter WonderFest, an indoor winter playground featuring 170,000 square feet of rides and giant slides. December 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE Citywide, choosechicago.com/nye Greet 2019 in style in Chicago, where parties are held everywhere from glamorous downtown ballrooms to hip restaurants and nightclubs. 2018 CONVENTIONS & CONFERENCES Chicago hosts hundreds of conventions, conferences and trade shows throughout the city, with 2018 clocking in as a record-breaking year. Find a detailed calendar of 2018 conventions and conferences in Chicago at choosechicago.com/meeting-professionals/convention-calendar.
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