With the 2018 holiday season quickly approaching, it might be hard to think about special events beyond your New Year’s Eve plans.

Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) believes there’s no time like the present to consider what’s on tap next year across the city when it comes to music, festivals, parades and other family fun. Over the course of each year, DCASE is the presenting entity for 2,000 free-admission cultural arts programs and events, including more than 700 neighborhood festivals.

So here’s a look at some highlights of the 2019 DCASE programming dates:

May–October: Daley Plaza Farmers Market (open May 9, 50 W. Washington; and neighborhood markets across the city)

May 4: Chicago Kids and Kites Festival (Cricket Hill, Lake Shore Dr. and Montrose)

May 25: Chicago Memorial Day Parade (on State Street, from Lake to Van Buren); Solemn wreath-laying ceremony at Daley Plaza

Memorial Day Weekend: Chicago House Music Festival (Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; and other citywide locations)

The Hubbard High School JROTC in Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade, Saturday, May 28th, 2016. The 2019 celebration is slated for May 25. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

May 31-June 1: Chicago Gospel Music Festival (Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington)

June 7–9: Chicago Blues Festival (Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph)

June–August, 2019: Millennium Park Summer Music & Film Series (Millennium Park Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph)

June 27–August 24, 2019 (Wednesdays–Sundays): Chicago SummerDance (Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan and other Chicago Park District locations)

July 10–14, 2019: Taste of Chicago, Grant Park (Jackson and Columbus Dr.)

August 17–18, 2019: Chicago Air and Water Show (North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.)

August 23–September 1: Chicago Jazz Festival (Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; and other citywide locations)

September 13–29: World Music Festival Chicago (Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph; Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; and other citywide locations)

September 19, 2019  – January 5, 2020: Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; and other citywide locations)

December 8: Dance-Along Nutcracker, Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington)

For a complete list of 2019 events and more information visit cityofchicago.org/dcase

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the 2018 Chicago Air & Water Show. | Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform at the 2018 Chicago Air & Water Show. | Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times