Summer is on for Chicago: Jazz Fest, Taste of Chicago and full 2022 calendar announced

OK, yes, there’s a foot of fresh snow on the ground but we have bigger news: Summer is officially on in Chicago for 2022. Yes to Jazz Fest, yes to Blues Fest, yes to a full Chicago Air and Water Show. Yes to Taste of Chicago, sort of.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced the calendar of summer events for the city, starting more or less with the Memorial Day Parade and stretching into October. After a halfhearted return to live events last summer, with Chicago’s marquee music fests reduced to single days in Millennium Park, this is welcome news indeed.

“The most important message is that we will have plenty of opportunities for Chicagoans and visitors to come enjoy the city,” said Nancy Villafranca-Guzman, DCASE deputy commissioner for programming, in an interview late Wednesday. In a difference from last summer, COVID precautions are not playing much of a part in this summer’s plans. “We’re still keeping an eye on things,” she said. But compared to last summer, “I would not say it’s playing such a big role.”

That said, Taste of Chicago is not yet returning to its full, pre-pandemic extravaganza. Instead it will go the route of pop-ups and food trucks, similar to last summer, as a way of showcasing Chicago’s diverse restaurant community and including its neighborhoods. The pop-ups will include a stop in Grant Park, including bands and live music — look for the lineup and more information about other summer events in March.

Dance holds a special place in the calendar this summer, with 2022 designated the official Year of Chicago Dance. An initial lineup for some of those events have already been announced, with an eye on visibility for Chicago’s many dance companies, Villafranca-Guzman said.

Also already separately announced, the summer schedule for the Grant Park Music Festival. Stayed tuned for news about Lollapalooza and fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Schedule for summer 2022:

Maxwell Street Market at 800 S. Desplaines Street; Sundays from April 3 to Dec. 18;

Chicago City Markets citywide including Daley Plaza; May to October,

Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade (Daley Plaza and State Street); May 28.

Millennium Park Summer Workouts on the Great Lawn; Saturdays, May 28 to Sept. 3,

Millennium Park Summer Film Series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion; Tuesdays, July 12 to Aug. 30,

Chicago Gospel Music Experience at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; June 4,

Chicago Blues Festival citywide and in Millennium Park including Jay Pritzker Pavilion; June 9-12,

Taste of Chicago with popups citywide including Grant Park; Saturdays, June 11, 18 and 25 (neighborhoods) and July 8-10 (Grant Park) including an estimated 30 to 40 eateries and food trucks and three mainstage evening concerts,

Millennium Park Summer Music Series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion; June 20 to Aug. 18,

Chicago SummerDance citywide including pop-ups and special events, Night Out in the Parks events, programs at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park and the SummerDance Celebration in Millennium Park; July 6 to Sept. 17,

Chicago Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach and along the lakefront; Aug. 20-21 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; practice runs Aug. 19,

Year of Chicago Dance Showcase at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; Aug. 27,

Chicago Jazz Festival is citywide and in Millennium Park including Jay Pritzker Pavilion; Sept. 1-4,

Chicago House Music Experience at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; Sept. 16 plus more dates TBA,

SummerDance Celebration at Jay Pritzker Pavilion and throughout Millennium Park; Sept. 17,

World Music Festival Chicago is citywide; Sept. 30 to Oct. 9,