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5 Upcoming Chicago Area Events You Won't Want to Miss

By Hailey Robinson

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There is more to the Windy City than great food, blustery weather, and the Sears Tower. This Midwest gem is home to a host of exciting annual events that you don't want to miss. There is an event to to thrill every sort of personality, so pack up the car and get ready to enjoy.

Chicago Air and Water Show

This annual event is celebrating 55 years of spectacular feats on land and sea. On August 16 and 17, 2014, you'll have the opportunity to watch the professional pilots of the Navy's Blue Angels team, as well as the talented individuals of the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

For the best views of the action, head to the Show Center on North Avenue Beach, the Michigan Lake waterfront between Oak Front Beach and Fullerton, or Ohio Street Beach. You'll be far from alone; over two million visitors come to watch the show every year.

One of the coolest things about the show is the price of admission: free. Hence, you won't have to feel guilty about spending a few dollars on the delicious food and neat souvenirs offered by vendors at the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Chicago Jazz Festival

August 28-31, 2014, the Cultural Center at Chicago's Millennium Park will come alive with the soul-touching sounds of jazz music. Immerse yourself in the musical artistry of talents that include the Bobby Boom Trio, Tomeka Reid Quartet, Kurt Rosenwinkle, and many others.

The Chicago Jazz Festival is four days of free fun, so it is bound to draw quite a crowd. Leave your car at your hotel and take public transportation to the park so traffic doesn't swallow you.

Taste of Polonia Festival

While you're in the city to enjoy the Chicago Jazz Festival, make sure you also make a stop at the Taste of Polonia Festival at the Copernicus Center August 29-September 1, 2014. It is four days of fabulous that features live music on four stages; a casino and full bar; kid-friendly activities; carnival games and rides; and a host of delicious Polish food and beer.

Even if you don't have a drop of Polish blood in you, this cultural festival is a worthy stop when you're in Chicago. People who do have a Polish heritage, however, have that much more reason to attend and get in touch with their roots. If you want to attend but you live in another state and worry about the wear and tear on your vehicle, considering finding a rental car through a reputable service like Carrentals.com. You can arrive in high style without sending the number on your car's odometer to the moon.

Chicago Marathon

It is 26.2 miles of endurance for participants—and 26.2 miles of excitement for spectators. Whether you're an athlete looking to strut your stuff or a sports fan looking for a unique experience, don't miss the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12, 2014.

If you are there to cheer someone on, watch from Grand Avenue or State Street at the beginning of the race. If you're more interested in seeing what happens near the end, go to the Bank of America Cheer Zone on Michigan and Roosevelt. You can also attend the 27th Mile Post Race Party.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

If you're a holiday enthusiast, you're bound to enjoy the HMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival that takes place on November 22, 2014. It is a full day of celebration that ends with a dazzling evening show that includes lights galore and fireworks. Families can enjoy the activities on Lights Festival Lane, the concerts on the BMO Harris Bank Stage, and a Tree-Lighting Parade led by Mickey Mouse himself. 

Headed to Chi-Town? Chicago is worth exploring any time of the year, and its awesome events only offer more reason to get cozy with this urban hub of activity. If you are a foodie, a music addict, an athlete, or any other brand of human, there is an upcoming Chicago event that will bring a smile to your face.  

Published on Aug 09, 2014

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