Celebrate the end of summer in Chicago on the sunny shores of Lake Michigan. Enjoy the season’s last long weekend by taking in the Chicago Jazz Festival, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Soul Train, celebrating at an ethnic neighborhood festival or cheering on a Cubs game.
Don’t miss this chance to discover Chicago’s many vibrant communities with Urban Excursions: Explore Chicago, the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture’s summer initiative showcasing hundreds of treks, tours and urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods.
Groove for four days straight at the 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival at multiple locations from September 1 to 4. Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion hosts the opening night concert on Thursday with Randy Weston and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble featuring the arrangements of Melba Liston.
The Soul Train festivities culminate with a spectacular Labor Day concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Don Cornelius, founder and host of Soul Train, will be in attendance and honored as the evening’s special guest.
From September 1 to 5, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Chicago-based Soul Train – the longest-running, nationally syndicated program in television history – the Soul Train Photo Exhibition at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph Street) features a never-before-seen collection of more than 55 rare photographs of the biggest names in music, all of them taken right on the Soul Train stage. On September 2, feel like you just stepped onto the Soul Train set at an after-work “Friday Night Groove” at Expo 72 with local DJ Bob Abrahamian.
Celebrate African culture at the 21st Annual African Festival of the Arts from September 2 to 5. This Labor Day weekend event transforms Chicago’s Washington Park into an authentic African village, complete with three stages of spectacular entertainment, an African Marketplace showcasing authentic art and culture, luscious African cuisine, cultural pavilions, and family fun.
Find an array of helpful resources for planning a trip to Chicago at www.ExploreChicago.org.
For more information about top events in Illinois take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois.