Now is when Chicago’s celebrity scene gets interesting.
Some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports will soon visit our city on vacation (NBA stars especially like to do this) or because they live here part-time (you can count on plenty of Vince Vaughn and John Cusack sightings this time of year). But most of the bold-face names coming our way will be here for performances, appearances or to film a movie or TV show.
Here’s a look at the events that will bring in the most and biggest stars to Chicago this summer — from a world-famous music festival to a lesser known 5K race that will get a boost of “tiger blood” this year:
Lollapalooza at Grant Park (Aug. 3-5)
Celebs: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Jack White, Black Sabbath, Florence and the Machine, Bloc Party
The headliners aren’t for everybody, but that won’t keep everybody from attending. Friday and Saturday tickets are already sold out.
Just For Laughs Chicago (June 12-17)
Celebs: Vince Vaughn, Conan O'Brien, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Smith, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Ross
This lineup is so strong it's hard to pick which shows to attend and which to skip. In other words, it's what this year's Lollapalooza should have been.
Ravinia Festival at Ravinia Park (June 7-Sept. 9)
Celebs: Demi Lovato, Steve Martin, Santana, Seal, Train, Gavin DeGraw, Macy Gray
The 19-year-old Lovato will add youth to a lineup that is more VH1 than MTV (you know, when VH1 and MTV used to show music videos).
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (Aug. 9-12)
Celebs: William Shatner, Nina Dobrev, Hayden Panettiere, Tom Felton, Joey Lawrence, Melissa Joan Hart, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
If Ravinia is VH1, that makes this convention Syfy. Or is it TV Land?
Taste of Chicago in Grant Park (July 11-15)
Celebs: Jennifer Hudson, Death Cab for Cutie, Chaka Khan, Raphael Saadiq, Dierks Bentley
Will Taste visitors pay $25 for a seat at shows that used to be free for all? Who knows? But booking Hudson, one of the city's most beloved celebs, improves the odds.
Sports Collectibles Convention at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (June 29-July 1)
Celebs: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Mike Ditka, Deion Sanders, Brian Urlacher, Pedro Martinez
Meet your favorite sports stars and get your sports memorabilia signed, or skip it and wait for everyone else to put their memorabilia on Ebay the next day.
“Relanxious” filming (dates TBD)
Celebs: Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, Brie Larson
Remember when Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston dated while filming “The Break-up” in Chicago? It could be like that, only with Sudeikis and Wilde.
The Brothers of the Sun tour at Soldier Field (July 7)
Celebs: Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jake Owen
This is the “Watch the Throne” of country music concerts.
An Evening with Reese Witherspoon at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago (June 23)
Celebs: Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Payne
This Gene Siskel Film Center benefit is known for booking A-listers — including Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx and Nicole Kidman — and doesn’t disappoint this year.
Dash for Detection 5K Walk/Run at Grant Park (June 2)
Celebs: Charlie Sheen, Joan Cusack
Sheen and Cusack are expected to take part in this 5K for Pancreatic Cancer Research. If both run, who ya got? Cusack is slightly older but Sheen, well, you know …
“Boss” filming (ongoing through July 11)
Celebs: Kelsey Grammer, Sanaa Lathan, T.I., Kathleen Robertson, Jonathan Groff, Mario Van Peebles
Unlike “The Playboy Club” and “The Chicago Code,” Starz’s “Boss” made it to a second season. Great news for Chicago’s Film Office, and for Spacca Napoli in the Ravenswood neighborhood — Grammer’s restaurant of choice.
B96 Summer Bash at Toyota Park (June 16)
Celebs: Flo Rida, Gym Class Heroes, The Wanted, Big Time Rush, Sean Paul
If you liked 103.5 KISS FM's Fantabuloso concert last Friday, you'll enjoy this show. Four artists from Fantabuloso will perform at the Summer Bash.
Wade's World Weekend (August 25-27)
Celebs: Dwyane Wade
Details have yet to be announced, but the Miami Heat star's past charity events included appearances by Common, Gabrielle Union, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Paul and Estelle.
Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert at The Metro (June 14)
Celebs: The Smashing Pumpkins, Theo Epstein, Jeff Garlin, Mike O’Malley, Joel Murray, Peter Gammons
Not only did Epstein help bring two World Series titles to the Boston Red Sox, but he can also play guitar. What can’t the Cubs’ president of baseball operations do? Wait, don’t answer that.
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