This weekend's fest lineup comes with a bit of a PSA: No need to duck and cover, that whooshing noise overhead is just the Air & Water Show back for a 55th year along Lake Michigan's shores. In addition to fighter jets and parachuters along the lakefront, you'll also find a full lineup of smaller fests around the city from Little Italy to Edison Park. Listen to some global music, dig into fresh East Coast lobster or stake out a prime beach spot for the aerial spectacle with a lineup of seven fests. @redeyeeatdrink


Each week, we're issuing a mini-challenge to help you make the most of your festival days and nights and asking you to tag your Instagrams with the hashtag #getfested. We love these colorful videos @leo31july captured at Northalsted Market Days last weekend. This week, show us an awesome aerial shot of the Air & Water Show, and don't forget the hashtag.

Chicago Air & Water Show

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Show can be seen from the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as its focal point.

How much: Free to attend

Don't miss: Schedules are determined the morning of the show by pilots, but expect aerial maneuvers from military and civilian forces, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Red Bull Helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron and more. Head to the lakefront path or beaches for a front-row view, or post up in a rooftop bar downtown. Stuck farther west? Find a friend with rooftop access and look east.

Festa Italiana

When: 5-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday

Where: Taylor Street at Ashland Avenue

How much: $5 suggested donation

Don't miss: Little Italy toasts its heritage at this eighth annual fest where meatballs, wine and pasta take center stage. Vendors, including Conte Di Savoia, Davanti Enoteca, Francesca's on Taylor, Ferrara and Three Aces, will dish out food for purchase (do not ignore Three Aces' bolognese fries or the Conte Di Savoia cannoli). Unfortunately for all you wine grape-stomping fans, that iconic activity will not take place at this year's fest—have another cannoli to soften the heartbreak.

Festival Cubano

When: 2-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Riis Park (6100 W. Fullerton Ave.)

How much: $10 before 5 p.m.; $15 after 5 p.m.; Discounted passes available at

Don't miss: It's the fifth anniversary for this Latino festival, which this year brings musical headliners El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico (8:30 p.m. Sunday), Palo (6:40 p.m. Sunday) and Rey Ruiz (8:30 p.m. Saturday) to the Northwest Side. Food, arts and crafts, a dominos tournament and other family-friendly activities also are on the docket for the three-day fest.

Great American Lobster Fest

When: 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

Where: Navy Pier Grand Ballroom and East End Plaza (600 E. Grand Ave.)

How much: $15 general admission ($10 online before 5 p.m. Friday) does not include food

Don't miss: Fan of lobster? Good. Bring your appetite to Navy Pier, where your meal ticket to this inaugural seafood fest includes your choice of a whole lobster meal, a jumbo lobster roll or three lobster tacos (all meals $38), all served with pretzel crisps, watermelon, coleslaw, lemon and drawn butter. All lobster is flown in daily from New England Seafood Company's dock in Boston. Purchase additional a la carte food and drinks while listening to music on one indoor and one outdoor stage, including performances from DJ Ryan Pullano (midnight Saturday night), Netherfriends (9:30 p.m. Saturday) as well as cover bands. Navy Pier also offers impressive daytime views of the weekend's Air & Water Show.

Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest

When: 6-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Glenwood Avenue at Morse Avenue

How much: Free to attend

Don't miss: A Rogers Park summer tradition since 2002, this arts fair kicks off Friday night with a Cobblestone Jam featuring rock-funk band Babybrutha, energetic rock quartet Expo '76 and soul singer Renaldo Domino. Music continues Saturday and Sunday with more than 40 acts booked across three stages, plus photography, mixed media, prints, paintings and more from 100-plus artists and exhibitors.

Edison Park Fest

When: 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Edison Park Metra Station (6730 N. Olmsted Ave.)

How much: $5 suggested donation

Don't miss: This neighborhood festival expects to draw approximately 15,000 people this weekend, offering a lineup of live music, beer, food, bags tournaments, carnival games and more. Snack on classic fest food like funnel cake and corn dogs, sign up for a cash prize bag toss tournament ($50 per team registration fee; check in between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday) and see performances from country duo Brother Trouble (8 p.m. Friday), No Doubt tribute band Don't Speak (8 p.m. Saturday) and hip-hop party band Too White Crew (8 p.m. Sunday).

Albany Park World Festival

When: noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday

Where: Lawrence Avenue at Kimball Avenue

How much: $5 suggested donation

Don't miss: Albany Park's ethnic diversity is on display for two days of global food and music, carnival rides and vendors. Look for Persian food from Noon O Kabab, Latin American fare from Tortuga's Cantina and Eastern European grilled sausages from Cevapcici Chicago. Expect an equally eclectic mix of music, from Asian drumming to Brazilian beats to Colombian salsa and cumbia.


See RedEye's full summer festival schedule: