Chicago’s spring, summer festivals back on track for 2022 — in pre-pandemic size and scope

The Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Air and Water Show, World Music Festival Chicago and more are all scheduled to return as in-person events this year.

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People purchase and enjoy various food items at the Taste of Chicago To-Go in Austin Town Hall Park on Chicago’s west side in July 2021.

People purchase and enjoy various food items at the Taste of Chicago To-Go in Austin Town Hall Park on Chicago’s west side in July 2021.

Patrick L.Pyszka, Samuel Sotelo-Avila/City of Chicago

Chicago’s major city-sponsored spring/summer festivals and cultural programming are returning as in-person events and in pre-pandemic size and scope.

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Following a two-year, pandemic-driven hiatus, restructuring or virtual pivots, events such as the Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, Farmers Markets and more have been officially scheduled, according to an announcement Thursday by Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

“Chicago’s spring and summertime programming is cherished by our residents and bolsters our tourism, hospitality and creative industries,” the mayor said in the announcement. “I am thrilled that we can bring back our iconic music and food festivals, as well as hundreds of other events. This will help to bring a sense of normalcy back to our city and revitalize the local economies of our neighborhoods.”

Spectators watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform during a half-hour air show event that replaced the annual Chicago Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach in 2021. The show is scheduled to return in a two-day, full-on event this summer.

Spectators watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform during a half-hour air show event that replaced the annual Chicago Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach in 2021. The show is scheduled to return in a two-day, full-on event this summer.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Among the highlights of the in-person events are a two-day Chicago Air and Water Show; a full-on (38 Sundays) Maxwell Street Market; and Taste of Chicago featuring food and music events in three Chicago neighborhoods in June and a “mini” Grant Park version spanning three days in July with nearly 40 eateries and food trucks expected to participate and three mainstage concerts.

The Chicago Blues Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival (all-virtual events in 2020 and one-night only concerts last year) are both set for four days of music sets at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and various neighborhood concerts.

Here are the dates for 2022 spring/summer festivals and special events:

Updates and more information will be available throughout the coming months at Chicago.gov/DCASE.

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