Looking forward

 

Chinese New Year (Photo by SnoStudios, LLC)
Chinese New Year (Photo by SnoStudios, LLC)

The year 2021 looked weird on the event calendar. Fun events and show openings were penciled in and then many were crossed out, erased or footnoted with wear a mask and bring the vax card.

It’s hard to predict if 2022 will be an echo but we can ruminate on these five annual happenings that may be experienced in person, on zoom, on TV or ordered and delivered.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

January is kind of quiet but the third weekend typically offers community service opportunities in honor and memory of Martin Luther King Jr. The official recognition day, a federal holiday, is Jan. 17. For more information visit MLK Day | AmeriCorps.

Chinese New Year

You have another chance to celebrate a new year. Food, dragon parades and most traditional observances start Feb. 1 in 2022 to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. They continue through Feb. 15 with the Lantern Festival. For more information visit Chinese New Year.

Groundhog Day
If you want to know how many more weeks of winter are ahead, ask a groundhog. A long time European folklore tradition of predicting the weather by watching animal behavior, the practice moved to the Pennsylvania area where it became a full-blown celebration in Punxsutawney known as Groundhog Day; observed on Feb. 2. Translated into a popular romcom written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis and directed by Ramis the movie was filmed in Woodstock, IL starring Bill Murray and Andie Macdowell. For Punxsutawaney info see Visit Punxsutawney. For the movie visit Groundhog Day 1993.

Super Bowl LVI

If traveling to southern California you need to know the Super Bowl and crowds will be hanging out Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium, the Rams and chargers home opened in fall of 2020. If watching on TV for the commercials and half time the show starts at 6:30 p.m. ET and is on NBC. Visit Super Bowl Sunday NFL.

Valentine’s Day

Feb. 14, known by some cynics as a Hallmark celebration because of all the cards sent, the day is a chance to say thank you with flowers, candy and dinner out. Some historic notes say the day is really St. Valentine’s Day for a Christian martyr and other sources say it dates to the Roman holiday Lupercalia.. Either way, the day is a chance to express affection. Visit Valentine’s Day/History.

Jodie Jacobs

Fun and interesting holiday outings

 

Ice skate amid van Gogh’s swirling colors. Down a mug of mulled wine or snack on a warm pretzel. Browse artisan goods. The holiday season is back with delightful choices for all ages.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. (City of Chicago photo)
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. (City of Chicago photo)

Ice skating

Tis the season for millions of twinkling lights to transform paths from the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum to Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos. But if looking for something different to do this year skate against a Chicago cityscape. Mask wearing is encouraged as well as social distancing.

Downtown Chicago area

Look below the “Bean” at Millennium Park at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue where skaters move to music and can take lessons at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Skating is free and available now through March 6. To avoid overcrowding, reservation tickets are needed. Visit  City of Chicago :: McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Just east of the McCormick Rink is the quarter-mile Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon where visitors can skate a top of van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers” thanks to a partnership of the Chicago Park district and “Immersive Van Gogh.” Open now thru March 13, 2022, reservation tickets are needed. Admission with your own skates is free Monday through Thursday and $5 Friday through Sunday and on holiday dates. Admission with skate rental is $16 Monday through Thursday and $20 Friday through Sunday and on holiday dates. Maggie Daley Park and Skating ribbon is at 337 E. Randolph St. Visit Gogh skating for more information and reservations. Maggie Daley Park

A bit further north and east (600 E. Grand Ave.), skaters will find indoor ice at Navy Pier’s Alpine Rink in Festival Hall. It’s part of the Pier’s Light Up the Lake Festival that features a beer garden and shopping through Jan. 2, 2022. https://navypier.org/

Further out

Wrigleyville

The Rink at Gallagher Way, a large community patch of lawn abutting the Chicago Cubs stadium, is frozen over for ice events such as bumper cars and curling but its main use during the annual Winterland at Gallagher Way is for ice skating and skate lessons now through Feb. 20, 2022.

Admission is free for skaters 12 years and younger and $6 for skaters 13 years and older. Visitors can bring skates or rent them there for $12. Bags can be checked for $2. For hours and more information visit Winterland at Gallagher Way

Rosemont

Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont’s fun entertainment district and the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink, hosts Skating in the Park now through Feb. 27,2022. Bring skates or rent them for $8. For hours and more information visit  Parkway Bank Park – It’s all here in Rosemont

 

Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza. (J Jacobs photo)
Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. (J Jacobs photo)

Unique Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone leaving holiday shoppers with time to search for something different for themselves and others.

The Christkindlmarket, a traditional, outdoor German marketplace, now open downtown at Daley Plaza and north at Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville, is a fun and tasty holiday destination. In town now through Dec. 24, 2021, admission is free but there is crowd control so there may be lines to get into the market. For Chicago hours and more information visit German Christmas in Chicago | Christkindlmarket. For Gallagherway see German Christmas in Wrigleyville | Christkindlmarket

To find interesting fashion and home décor items and yummy food, go to the Chicago Artisan Market at Fulton Market West Loop on Dec. 12. For more information and ticket reservations visit About – Chicago Artisan Market.

Jodie Jacobs

Chicago zoos sparkle for the holidays

 

Brookfield Zoo Tunnel of Light sponsored by Xfinity. (Chicago Zoological Society photo)
Brookfield Zoo Tunnel of Light sponsored by Xfinity. (Chicago Zoological Society photo)

Both Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos have upped the sparkle wattage with new light experiences. But with LED lights keeping cost down and ComEd on board as a co-sponsor for both holiday shows, what the popular destinations mention are estimates. Just expect more than one million lights.

In suburban Brookfield, IL wander among twinkling lights at Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic co-sponsored with ComEd by meijer.

The festival includes a new, two-mile Sea of Lights. But also take photos at a 41-foot-high magical tree and by an illuminated animal sculpture or as you approach the 600-foot Tunnel of Lights.

Just for fun, join in the Game of Gnomes to find 27 of these creatures at the zoo. Get a map of the zoo to help. All ages can play.

Zoo entry cost varies according to membership and age. As an example, rounded-off by five cents, a non-member senior 65 + may be about $20, an adult aged 12-64 is about $25 and a child age 3-11 is about $18.  Skating rink usage is a $7 add on. Passes from a Chicago Library may discount the tickets. Parking may cost $15.  Advance tickets needed.

Holiday Magic hours and dates: Friday through Sunday Nov. 26-28. Then Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 8-12 and Dec.15-19. They end Sunday through Friday. Dec. 26-31. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Animal residences stay open through 8:30 p.m.

Brookfield Zoo has two gates: 8400 31st St. and 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield, IL

For more information Read more on czs.org

 

Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo feature an Enchanted Forest and a Light Maze in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)
Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo feature an Enchanted Forest and a Light Maze in 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Zooights turned on its more than a million lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo Nov. 19, 2021 and will keep them on during select nights through Jan. 2, 2022.

Explore a twisting path at the Light Maze where you wear a pair of 3D Holospex® glasses to up the glow. Also, every age is welcome at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo section’s Enchanted Forest of butterflies, flowers and mushrooms.

See the zoo’s holiday tree at the recently redone Pepper Family Wildlife Center and do the Endangered Species Carousel and the Lionel Train Adventure through a sculpture garden and past whimsical animals.

Zoolioght entry is $5, free on Monday and Tuesday but there are additional charges of $3 per person at some of the sections and experiences. Advance tickets needed. Check the calendar for more program information.

The basic fee and extra charges help support the zoo’s animal care, global conservation efforts, and learning programs.

Co-sponsored by ComEd and Invesco QQQ, see Winter Wonders at the Zoo – Lincoln Park Zoo (lpzoo.org) for more information.

Jodie Jacobs

Holiday events now

 

Lights go on North Michigan Avenue trees during the Mag Mile Lights Festival Parade and stay on on holiday season. (City of Chicago photo)
Lights go on North Michigan Avenue trees during the Mag Mile Lights Festival Parade and stay on on holiday season. (City of Chicago photo)

It may be hard to believe we’re in the midst of the holiday season, already!

The Chicago Botanic Garden opened its paths at night for Lightscape. Santa is already listening to wishes at Macy’s where the famed holiday windows are ready for their close-ups. And, Christmas Around the world and Holiday of Light opens at the Museum of Science and Industry on its free day, Nov. 17, 2021.

But don’t miss the BMO Lights Festival – The Magnificent Mile this Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Folks line up two and three deep to watch lights go on as the parade moves south on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River and ends with fun fireworks.

A great place to view the action would be Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Ave.  You need to know, however, that the DuSable Bridge (formerly Michigan Avenue Bridge) closes at 3:30 p.m. But there are activities and food (smell Garrett’s? (It’s at 625 N. Michigan Ave.) along the Mile.

If you go downtown Friday, see the tree lighting at at Wrigley Building Centennial Plaza, 410 N. Michigan Ave. 4 p.m.

Related: Around Town: Two holiday doings to know about now – Chicago Theater and Arts

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

Around Chicago: October

 

Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)
Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)

From the city and Oak Park to Glencoe and Highwood, there are events worth posting on the calendar.

Highwood

In the past few years with the exception of COVID 2020 tiny, north suburban Highwood has been trying for a Guinness record of carved pumpkins. But what area residents and visitors like is that the town’s Great Highwood Pumpkinn Fest includes music, a charity run, food, games and rides.

The event opens Oct. 7 with pumpkin carving and music, then continues, Oct. 8-10 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. This year, it also includes free COVI D testing. Check the schedule for specific event times and ride cost.

Highwood snuggles east of Highland Park along Waukegan Avenue, Green Bay Road and Sheridan Road.

Glencoe

Merely strolling among trees, water features and gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden is worth the trip. However, CBG also holds the Night of 1000 Jack O’ Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Creative faces may spark ideas for home carving and are a terrific photo op (selfie?) Find more information at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden is just east of Edens Expressway at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe.

Wilmette

Chalet Nursery’s Scarecrow Making is sold out its garden is stacked with pumpkins, corn stalks and other decorations for October and Halloween. Plus it has some fun selfie areas.\

It’s events calendar includes the movie “Haunted Mansion” shown outside Oct 14 at 6:30 p.m. Registration needed and a “Howl-O Ween” Pet Parade, Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Chalet Nursery is at 3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette. Visit Events – Chalet Nursery for more information.

 

Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)
Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Oak Park

Poe’s dark side is perfect for the season. The Oak Park Park Theatre Festival brings “The Madness of Edgar Allan P:oe: A Love Story” to the Pleasant Home Foundation Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. where audiences can move from room to room for different scenes.

Pleasant Home is at 217 Home Avenue, Oak Park.For tickets and more information visit Oak Park Theatre Festival

Lisle

Fall is a great time to drive through the Morton Arboretum but there is also something doing among the trees for walkers. The Arboretum has “Walking Plays” of popular fairy tales. Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. Tales area abut 90 minutes and walks are less than two miles. To sign up and find more information visit Walking Plays/MortonArboretum.

Chicago

The whole city is open virtually in October through a Chicago Architecture Center app during Open House Chicago. There are trails, neighborhoods and treasures to explore. To see some of it in person, go Oct. 16-17. Registration needed. Visit Open house Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town: September Festivals

 

Several art and craft fairs, such as this one recently held in Lake Forest's Market Square are still scheduled for Fall 2021. (J Jacobs photo)
Several art and craft fairs, such as this one recently held in Lake Forest’s Market Square are still scheduled for Fall 2021. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Fall is for Festivals from toasting fall beer at Octoberfests and enjoying the fruits of the season at an Applefest to browsing fine art and crafts at art fairs and swaying to the blues in Millennium Park .

Here is a quick rundown of some of the fun outdoor fests to still catch in September in and around Chicago

 

Blues will be back at Pritzker Pavilion September 2021. (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events photo)
Blues will be back at Pritzker Pavilion September 2021. (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events photo)

Music

Sept. 17 Englewood Jazz Festival Sponsored by the Chicago Park District, the festival is at Hamilton (Alexander) Park, 513 W. 72nd St.  from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m..

Sept 18, Blues at Millenium Park  Part of Chicago in Tune, audiences can move to the music on the lawn or sit in in the Pritzker Pavilion (Fandolph Street east of Michigan Avenue.)

Sept. 25-26 Hyde Park Jazz Fest from 1 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25 and noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 Free but a $5 donation requested. Check Hyde Park Jazz Festival for locations around Hyde Park.

 

Octoberfest in Lakeview (Photo courtesy of Special Events Managements)
Octoberfest in Lakeview (Photo courtesy of Special Events Managements)

Beer and Food Fests

Sept. 16-26: Glendale Heights Oktoberfest in Camera Park, 101 E Fullerton Ave, Glendale will be all week. Hours are Mon-Thur 5 to 10 p.m., Fri, 5 to Midnight, Sat. Noon to Midnight and Sunday, Noon to 10 p.m. Admission $5 after 5 p.m., ages 16 and under free.

Sept. 18-19 Sam Adams Taco Fest Held in Lakeview on Southport Avenue between Addison and Roscoe, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info check Chicago events.

Sept. 19: Bloody Mary Fest Held in Everts Park, 111 North Ave. in Highwood a little city (just over a square mile) that is known for great restaurants, the drink (and food, and music)  event goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 23-26: Manteno Oktoberfest includes a carnival and parade that involves the whole town. Visit Manteo for details.

Sept. 23-26: Puerto Rican Festival Held in Humboldt Park, look for details of this food, arts and music festival at prfestchicago.com)

Sept. 24-25: Chicago Gourmet takes over the Harris Theatre Rooftop on Randolph Street at Millennium Park. It’s not all fancy food, so go for really good tacos and burgers. For tickets and details visit Gourmet.

Sept. 24-26: Oktoberfest Chicago Held in Lakeview at 1429 W. Wellington, the event is Fri,  5 to 10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Cost: $10 Friday and Saturday and $5 Sunday.

Sept. 24-26: Apple Fest is a popular Long Grove festival that is a chance to see the historic town while munching on apple cider donuts, chocolate and caramel dipped apples. Held downtown Long Grove at 308 Old McHenry Road and the Stemple Parking Lot, the hours are Fri noon to 11 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. cost is $5., ages 6 and under free.

 

Eye-catching art at an ACE booth at the Chicago botanic Garden. (IJ Jacobs photo)
Eye-catching art at an ACE booth at the Chicago botanic Garden. (IJ Jacobs photo)

Arts and crafts

Sept. 18-19: Riverwalk Fine Art Fair  is held in Naperville at Main and Jackson and along the river from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: Artfest Michigan Avenue An Amdur Productions juried art fair, about 70 artists will fill the courtyard space at 401 N Michigan Avenue between the former Tribune Tower and the Apple store, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: West Loop Art Fest  covers four blocks in the booming West Fulton Street, North Sangamon Street area from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: Renegade Craft Fair  A popular Wicker Park neighborhood festival, the booths will be up along Division Street  between Damen and Ashland Avenues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sept. 20-26: American Craft Exposition |Usually known by its initials, ACE features one of a kind exceptional works by about 100 artisits. Formerly held on Northwestern universityh’s Evanston campus and the at the botanic Garden in Glencoe, ACE has gone virtual this year of 2021. Find more information at American Craft Expo | An Exhibit and Sale of Fine American Craft.

Sept. 24-25: West Town Art Walk Art walks were once popular on Friday nights in towns across the country.  A few have moved, reinvented themselves where art galleries still exist or have moved in such as in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. This festival covers Division to Hubbard and Halsted to Kedzie but free Pedicabs are available to visit the galleries on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. For more details visit West Town Art Walk | West Town Chamber

 

Jodie Jacobs

Two fall ticketed events to get now

 

Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)
Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)

 

Ready for fall?

The signs are there. A few leaves are already floating on the wind, Cars are filling school parking lots, Theater billboards and marquees announce show openings. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the next full moon after this weekend’s large orb, is the Harvest Moon on Sept. 20, 2021.

It’s time to start marking the calendar with fun, fall activities. Just don’t let too many weeks go by without snagging tickets for events that sell out.

Two 2021 festivals that sell out before people on the go realize the tickets are gone, are the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns and Lightscape.

Jack o Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24, 2021

“A: Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns is one of our most popular events at the Garden and in 2019, we expanded this event to run for 10 evenings due to popular demand, “said Zombolo, associate vice president of visitor events and programs.

“I’ts become an annual fall tradition,” she said and added, that people are “ amazed by the artistically carved pumpkins.”  And it’s all “ in a beautiful fall setting,” said Zombolo.

According to Zombolo, the event adapted procedures to fit recommended pandemic protocols.  “Last year we implemented new procedures including limited capacity per timeslot, a one-way trail with a separate entrance and exit, and extra space between pumpkins. We will be continuing those procedures in 2021.”

Tickets are time and date sensitive. They go on sale to members Aug. 23, 2021 and to the public Aug. 27.  Adults: $16/$18, Children 3 – 12: $12/$14
Children 2 and under are free. A $20 parking fee applies to  nonmembers and must be purchased ahead, online. Members park for free.  The Garden closes at 5 p.m. during the event and reopens at 6 for ticketed event guests.

Lightscape Nov. 12, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

Now in its third year, the event’s famed winter cathedral will be back along with sing along musical trees but there will also be new features and a newly reworked, 1.25 mile path.

Tickets are already on sale for Lightscape. As with Jack o Lanterns, tickets are date and time sensitive. Ticket information for Lightscape.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Blue Angels to zoom across Chicago skies this weekend

 

Navy Blue Angels to fly over Chicago. (Photo courtesy of the US Navy Blue Angels)
Navy Blue Angels to fly over Chicago. (Photo courtesy of the US Navy Blue Angels)

 

Hopefully the full Chicago Air and Water show will return in 2022. But at least the show’s star, the  U. S. Navy’s Blue Angels, will brighten the city’s skyline midday Friday in a practice run and Saturday and Sunday as the scheduled show’s solo attraction.

Watch from the North Avenue Beach as  suggested by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events.  The beach, ground zero in past years, typically isn’t as crowded for the Friday practice.

North Avenue Beach is at the beach at 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.  Admission is free, however, the planes can also be seen between Oak Street and Fullerton Ave. A new show feature is audio accessibility.

The practice run is Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The  aerial demonstrations are Aug. 21 and 22 from noon to 1 p.m.

Or watch from the water. Several local cruises have scheduled the event. Among them is the new City Experiences’ City Cruises Chicago 

 

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town Part One: Chicago now has three opera companies and seasons

 

Opera Festival of Chicago adds different works and artists to the arts scene this summer. (Image by Cydney M Lewis)
Opera Festival of Chicago adds different works and artists to the arts scene this summer.
(Image by Cydney M Lewis)

Instead of the COVID-19 cutting back Chicago’s arts scene, it has inspired more opera and theater performances and more exhibits. Part One  spotlights opera. Part two looks at the exhibits on now and opening. Part Three draws curtains back from formerly dark stages.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago will welcome audiences back in 2021 to a refurbished Opera House with crowd pleasing, re-imagined favorites and its first mainstage season Spanish language opera.

The Chicago Opera Theater will be mixing a favorite with new and not heard here before operas in its 2021-22 season.

And let’s have a drum roll for the Opera Festival of Chicago, a newly formed group of artists who are already filling a summer festival void with three productions.

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Maestro Enrique Mazzola  opens the season with Verdi’s Macbeth Sept 17-Oct 9, followed by Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love Sept. 26-Oct 8. Then Mozart’s Magic Flute will be Nov. 3-Nov. 27 and Catan’s Florencia  en el Amazonas, Nov. 13-Nov. 28. More announcements will be made about the second half of the 2021-22 season.

Chicago Opera Theater

COT, as it’s popularly known, opens with Bizet’s Carmen Sept 16 and 18 at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, followed by Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus, Dec. 11, 17 and 19 at the Studebaker Theater. The season ends with Errolyn Wallen and Deborah Brevert’s Quamino’s Map  April 23, 29, and May 1,  also at Studebaker Theater.

Opera Festival of Chicago

Newly formed to introduce Chicago audiences to Italian operas they likely have not heard before, the artists hope to make the Festival an annual draw similar to those in Spoleto and Verona.

The Festival opened with Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna (Susanna’s Secret), July 24 at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Then it will do “Dante 700,” at Artifact Events  in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, July 28 and July 29. Inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” the program is a vocal salute to the famed poet, writer and philosopher on the 700th anniversary of his death.

The Festival ends  Aug. 5 with Puccini’s  Il tabarro (The Cloak) performed at Thalia Hall in Chicago’s Pilsner neighborhood.

Going to different neighborhoods is part of the Festival’s mission statement which reads, in part,  “we aspire to: generate an inquisitive operatic appetite within Chicago audiences; make our work – and its cultural context – accessible to a wide audience; provide a stimulating and inspirational environment of Italian opera for artists and audiences alike…

Jodie Jacobs

 

Upcoming concerts

 

Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)
Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)

 

Chicago’s famed Gospel , Blues and Jazz festivals won’t  happen until this fall (hey, it takes time to bring back their featured performers). To see who what and when visit Chicago festivals reimagined.

But the Chicago area will still be swinging, rocking and keyboarding the classics outdoors, this summer.

Check out Aurora for rock, the Grant Park Music Festival for classics and a 4th of July salute, the Windy City Smokeout bands and Ravinia Festival for all of that from rock to pop and classics.

Aurora

Just west of Chicago, Aurora  has a terrific rock concert line up this summer. There are a few tickets left for REO Speedwagon, July 1, 8 p.m. at the River Ridge Park. Then,  on July 16 there is Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. For tickets and more concert schedule info visit Aurora Pop/Rock.

Windy City Smokeout

The popular eat, drink and good band festival takes over Parking Lot C at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, July 8-11, 2021. Headliners include Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Brett Eldredge and Darius Rucker. For more info visit Windy City Smokeout.

Grant Park Music Festival

Held in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, the longtime Chicago summer concert series starts  July 2-3 with a mix of crowd pleasers from John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, Scott Joplin’s Overture to Treemonisha and a Robert Lowden arrangement of the Armed Forces Salute to pieces from Leonard Bernstein’s  West Side Story,  Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The Festival continues with such classics as Rossini’s Overture to Willian Tell on July 7 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 on July 9-10. For complete schedule and other information visit Grant Park Music Festival

Ravinia Festival

Located at the south east end of Highland Park, the historic music festival brings in world renown artists in classic, folk, pop and jazz genres, plus it is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The July schedule features  pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio playing Mozart on July 9 with Marin Alsop conducting the CSO, jazz/pop singer Kurt Elling  July 13 and Rock band Counting Crows, Aug. 19. For tickets, complete schedule and other information visit Ravinia.org.

Jodie Jacobs