Mayor Lori Lightfoot is grand marshal of the rainbow-bedecked Chicago Pride Parade, which kicks off at noon on June 30. Huge crowds are expected for this fabulous, fun event. Parade route: Halsted and Broadway between Montrose and Diversey. Visit chicagopridecalendar.org. Iggy Azalea, Steve Aoki, Tamar Braxton and Taylor Dayne are among the performers at Pride in the Park beginning at 1 p.m. June 29 in Grant Park’s Butler Field, 377 E. Monroe. Tickets: $55. Visit prideintheparkchicago.com. The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and Storytelling with Drag Queens are highlights of Navy Pier Pride, an all-ages, free event beginning at noon June 29 at Navy Pier, Grand and Lake Michigan. Visit navypier.org.
Fourth of July
Celebrate July 4 in the heart of the city when The Grant Park Music Festival presents its rousing Independence Day Salute featuring Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and the “Armed Forces Salute.” At 6:30 p.m. July 4, Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph. Free. Visit gpmf.org. At 9:30 p.m., turn your attention to the always fabulous Fireworks at Navy Pier. Visit navypier.org
Music: American Music Festival
American roots music in all its variations is celebrated at FitzGerald’s American Music Festival where more than 60 national and local acts perform on three stages. Now in its 38th year, the roster includes Alejandro Escovedo, JD McPherson, C.J. Chenier, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, The Cactus Blossoms, NRBQ, Tab Benoit, Robbie Fulks, Nikki Hill, The Suffers, Blackfoot Gypsies and more. From July 3-6, FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn. Tickets: $50/day, $150 festival pass. Visit fitzgeraldsnightclub.com.
Art: ‘Portraits in Jazz’
The spirit of jazz is captured in “Portraits in Jazz,” an exhibit of William Horberg’s paintings now on display at Firecat Projects. Horberg, also a jazz musician, writer and film producer, creates small-scale intimate portraits of the jazz artists who have inspired him. Among the artists portrayed are Fred Anderson, Eric Dolphy and Toshiko Akiyoshi. To August 25 at Firecat Projects, 2124 N. Damen. Admission is free. Visit firecatprojects.org.
Food and Drink: Chi Town Hot Sauce Expo
More than 40 hot sauce makers from around the world gather for the Chi Town Hot Sauce Expo. This tribute to all things hot and spicy includes a pepper-eating contest and a fiery cocktail competition. There are also food vendors, craft beer and specialty cocktails available for purchase. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 29-30, SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 Harlem, Bridgeview. Admission: $7- $10. Visit chitownhotsauceexpo.com.
Museums: ‘Fantastic Bug Encounters!’
With a collection of 17 million insects, the Field Museum certainly knows its bugs. Now earth’s smallest creatures are the stars of “Fantastic Bug Encounters!,” an exhibit that’s a larger-than-life version of their hidden world. In this hands on experience, discover how insects are changing the world through interactives, larger-than-life models and the Live Bug Zoo, which offers a chance to meet some live bugs up-close and even hold a few. From June 28-April 19, Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore. Admission: $21-$38. Visit fieldmuseum.org.
Family Fun: Festivals
- The International Festival of Life features African/Caribbean music, food and vendors, July 4-7, Washington Park, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Visit internationalfestivaloflife.com. Balloons brighten the sky at Lisle Eyes to the Skies, July 4-6, Lisle Community Park, 1825 Short, Lisle. Visit eyestotheskies.org. Billy Idol and Flo Rida, Brantley Gilbert and Bad Company are the headliners at Naperville Ribfest, July 3-6, 724 S. West St., Naperville. Visit ribfest.net.
- Find fine art and crafts at the Millennium Art Festival, June 28-30, Michigan and Lake. Visit amdurproductions.com. There’s fun for the entire family at Logan Square Arts Festival, June 28-30, Illinois Centennial Monument on Logan Square. Visit logansquareartsfestival.com.
- Find good eats and music at Windy City Ribfest, July 4-6, Lawrence and Broadway. Visit chicagoevents.com.
- World-class ensembles perform at the Chicago Mariachi Festival, June 30, Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph. Visit millenniumpark.org.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.