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Chicago is one of the nation’s largest melting pots for summer festivals, and they are just about to heat up. So if you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago this July, here’s a rundown of our favorite festivals you shouldn’t miss.

Chicago Margarita Festival July 8-9, Navy Pier

Really? Does it get any better than Margarita Fest?

Enjoy the summer view with a margarita (or 2) and listen to some great summer jams. There will be plenty of dancing, food and breathtaking views of Chicago at her best.

  • Things that are happening:
  • Margarita tasting (duh)
  • Live Island-themed music
  • Dancing
  • Fireworks on the lake
  • Wine
  • Games (outdoor Jenga and Corn Hole)
  • Gourmet food
  • Margarita Chicken lime marinated chicken breast with cilantro

Visit Chicago Margarita Festival for information on tickets, public transportation, and what food they’re serving to help you make it through those short hours of margarita tasting. Also note, 21+, sorry kiddos.

Windy City Smokeout July 14-16, River West

Hold onto your hats! If you like barbeque, beer and bands, this River West fest is going to blow you away.

It’s all firing up with some of the best pitmasters from across the nation including our very own Chicago natives, Smoque BBQ, Lillie’s Q, and Bub City. If you can BBQ it, it’ll be there.

What to wash it all down with? A host of brewmasters from California to Long Island will be hydrating the masses, including some of our favorite Chicago breweries: Moody Tongue, Local Option Bierwerker, Pipeworks Brewing Co., Burnt City Brewing, and Goose Island.

If the beer and BBQ wasn’t enough for you, Jake Owen, Kip Moore, and Lee Brice will be among the many country music stars performing all weekend long.

Be sure to check the Windy City Smokeout website for all the details you’ll need to plan the BBQ weekend of your dreams.

photo courtesy of @ereyayouknowme

Pitchfork Music Festival July 14-16th, Union Park

Has it really been 12 years? Union Park will again host one of our all-time favorite festivals for the 12th year this July. Expect the best music lineup of the summer with Solange, LCD Soundsystem, and A Tribe Called Quest leading the way.

In addition to the full lineup, Renegade Craft Fair will also be at the Festival with 50+ makers. Chirp Record Fair will also be joining Pitchfork at Union Park for all your vinyl needs.

This year, there will also be a collaboration with Saint Heron featuring:

  • Artist talks
  • Onsite art installation
  • Film screening
  • Late night jam sessions
  • Lots more

Take a look at Pitchfork Music Festival’s website for ticket info, transportation, sustainability efforts, and why you should incorporate orange into your weekend look.

Taste of River North July 21-23, Ward Park

Taste of River North returns to Ward Park for the 16th annual summer festival. The three day event will showcase fabulous food from local chefs and restaurants, music from area bands and pop-up shops of River North artisans and designers.

Things to do:

  • Morning workout sessions (compliments of East Bank Club)
  • Taste testing (you won’t believe the generous portions)
  • Non-stop music (all local legends)
  • Family friendly events (like Lurie’s Kid Activity Area)

Admission is free although a $5 donation is suggested. Check out the Taste of River North website for the full lineup of musicians and restaurateurs that will be there.

City of Chicago Summer Dance All Summer Long, Grant Park

For some fabulous free fun, you just can’t beat summer dancing.

Here’s what’s shakin’:

  • 48 different live bands throughout the summer
  • DJs
  • Dance lessons

Friday-Sunday the dances are at Grant Park. (4,900 square-foot, open-air dance floor)

Saturday & Thursday dances take place at parks all around the city

Waltz right over to one of the eight city parks that are hosting dances throughout the summer.  And if your dance moves need to improve, just show up early and join in the dance lessons.

For the complete schedule, click on to the City of Chicago website.

More HotSpot Picks to Come!

With all these summer festivities, you should have no problem getting your Chicago summer on. We’ll see you there! Also, check back in to see what we’ve got featured for August festivals or follow us on Facebook.

Hotspot Rentals is your go-to guide to finding the perfect apartment in the best Chicago neighborhoods. Drop us a line if you want some help finding your next downtown Chicago apartment.

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