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top 20 USA events

Top 15 Chicago Illinois USA Events and Festivals

View the Top Events USA selection of the main Chicago Illinois events and festivals (from January through to December) taking place in Chicago, USA.

For events in the rest of Illinois, visit

Two of the main Chicago Illinois USA events and festivals are the Chicago Chinese New Year Parade at the end of January, and Lollapalooza in early August featuring over 130 bands on 8 stages.

See below for a complete list of the main Chicago Illinois events and festivals.

Chicago Chinese New Year Parade
end January
Chicago, Illinois

One of the main top 15 Chicago Illinois USA events and festival complete with traditional dragon dances, lion dancers, elaborate floats, martial arts teams and a marching band, the Chinese New Year Parade is one of Chicago's most popular and most colorful parades. This free event is all about the celebration of the Chinese culture and the welcoming of the new year according to the Chinese calendar. There is plenty of delicious Chinese food to sample along all parts of the route.

For more information about the Chinese New Year Parade visit:

Chicago Underground Film Festival
early March
Chicago, Illinois

top film festivals in the USAOne of North America’s top film festivals for almost 20 years, the Chicago Underground Film Festival is an annual event showcasing independent, documentary and sometimes shocking films from around the world attracting film makers and film fans from all over the USA and from around the world. Unlike other well known film festivals, the Chicago Underground Film Festival concentrates more on the artistic, aesthetic and fun aspects of independent filmmaking.

For more information about the Chicago Underground Film Festival visit:

Chicago St Patrick’s Day Parade
mid March
Chicago, Illinois

Top St Patrick's Day Events in  the USAOne of the top 15 Chicago USA events and festivals, attracting more than 400,000 spectators, Chicago hosts one of the largest St Patrick’s celebrations in the country – some attracted to see the Chicago River turned green with an environmentally-friendly dye for the occasion. The actual parade, the first performance of which was more than a 170 years ago in 1843, is a massive collection of Irish-inspired floats and dancers.

For more information about the Chicago St Patrick’s Day Parade visit:

Chicago Gay Pride Parade
late June
Chicago, Illinois

top gay pride events in the  USAe USAOne of the main gay oriented events of the year, the Chicago Gay Pride Parade attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight people, to revel in the fun of things a touch bawdy but principally joyful and harmless. An important part of the year for the gay community for more than 40 years, the Chicago Gay Pride Parade features more than 250 colorful floats, partakers in flamboyant and somewhat crazy costumes. The magic of the event is that although it has an important message promoting rights and acceptance, it is principally a fun event and everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information about the Gay Pride Parade in Chicago visit:

Taste of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Attracting 1.5 million visitors each year, Chicago’s biggest event, the Taste of Chicago is a celebration of the city's eclectic food culture. This event features everything from extravagant gourmet menus to fast food takeaways. Highlight of the festivities is the program of live entertainment ranging from music to cookery demonstrations.

For more information about Taste of Chicago visit:

early August
Chicago, Illinois

Featuring over 130 bands on 8 stages, with a diverse lineup of artists in Rock, indie, electronic and hip hop, the increasingly popular Lollapalooza festival, one of the main top 15 Chicago Illinois USA Events and Festivalstakes place over 120 acres across Grant Park on multiple stages. Making the event even more popular and entertaining is the elaborate farmers market, food stands offering everything from easy snacks to gourmet meals, and a market offering handmade arts and crafts.

For more information about Lollapalooza visit:


Chicago Air & Water Show
mid August
Chicago waterfront, Illinois

top airshow events  in the USAThe Chicago Air & Water Show is the largest two-day spectator event in the United States and the longest ongoing show of its kind in North America. Highlighting the show each year is one of the US military's high-speed, precision jet teams, featuring the US Navy Blue Angels and an array of other military aircraft and hardware.

For more information about the Chicago Air & Water Show visit:


Chicago Jazz Festival

late August / early September
Millenium Park - Chicago, Illinois

top jazz events nd jazz festivals in the USA USAFor over 30 years, the Chicago Jazz Festival, a popular Labor Day weekend event appealing to a jazz audience of all ages has showcased all types of jazz music with local, national and international talent. Originating as a festival to honor Duke Ellington, the Chicago Jazz Festival now attracts more than 150,000 fans each year and is considered one of the most extensive free jazz festivals in the world.

For more information about the Chicago Jazz Festival visit:

Chicago Marathon
mid October
Chicago, Illinois

top marathon events in the USAOne of five World Marathon Majors, rated as one of the top 20 Washington USA events and festivals, recognized by the IAAF (International Association of Athletes Federations) in their list of Marathon and Road Races, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon attracts more than 50,000 running enthusiasts from all across the USA and over 100 countries. A major and popular Chicago event for more than 30 years watched by more than 1.5-million spectators, the Chicago Marathon takes in many different neighborhoods, passing by some major Chicago attractions, and follows a relatively flat course with no significant hills, and so is generally completed in faster times than other major marathons in the USA. The events conclude with the popular 27th Mile Post Race Party which offers food, drinks, and live entertainment. Also, the Chicago Marathon is a “qualifying race” that requires a qualifying time from another marathon before a runner can take part

For more information about the Chicago Marathon visit:

Chicago International Film Festival
mid October
Chicago, Illinois

top film festivals in the USAPresenting hundreds of feature films, feature-length documentaries, films by first-time filmmakers and short subject films from over 55 countries, the ever-popular Chicago International Film Festival features world-renowned directors like Martin Scorsese (USA), Peter Weir (Australia), Mike Leigh (UK), Gregory Nava (USA), Bertrand Tavernier (France), Jan Troell (Sweden), Joe Swanberg (USA), Tsai Ming-Liang (Taiwan), and Wim Wenders (Germany).

For more information about the Chicago International Film Festival visit:

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

mid November
Chicago, Illinois

The largest evening holiday celebration in the USA, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival offers a full day of fun activities for all the family and live concerts by top musical artists. Festivities conclude with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue led by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, the illumination of one million lights on 200 trees and a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.

For more information about the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival visit:

Aquatic Experience
mid November
Chicago, Illinois

Proud to be the first show of aquatic events in the USA to combine all things aquatic under one roof, the new Aquatic Experience in Chicago showcases everything from saltwater to freshwater aquatics to pond and aquatic reptiles, as well as educational seminars, fish auctions and a thriving show floor. The Aquatic Experience event is set to appeal to everyone from all enthusiasts in the general public to the most sophisticated aquarium keepers as well as livestock and equipment experts. 

For more information about Aquatic Experience in Chicago visit:

The newly updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.


• Alabama
• Alaska
• Arizona
• Arkansas
• California- Los Angeles +
• California- San Diego +
• California- San Francisco +
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• Delaware
• Florida - Central
• Florida - Fort Lauderdale +
• Florida - Keys
• Florida - Miami +
• Florida - North
• Georgia
• Hawaii - Big Island
• Hawai - Kauai
• Hawaii - Maui
• Hawaii - Oahu
• Idaho
• Illinois - Chicago
• Illinois - West/Southwest
• Indiana
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Kentucky
• Louisiana - Baton Rouge
• Louisiana - New Orleans
• Louisiana - West
• Maine
• Maryland
• Massachusetts
• Michigan - Detroit
• Michigan - North/NorthWest
• Minnesota
• Mississippi
• Missouri
• Montana
• Nebraska
• Nevada
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New Mexico - Albuqueque +
• New Mexico – Santa Fe
• New York City Area
• New York State West/North
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• Ohio - Cincinatti Area
• Ohio - Cleveland Area
• Ohio - Columbus Area
• Oklahoma
• Oregon
• Pennsylvania
• Rhode Island
• South Carolina
• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Texas - Austin +
• Texas - Dallas +
• Texas - Houston +
• Texas - San Antonio +
• Utah
• Vermont
• Virginia
• Washington
• Washington DC
• West Virginia
• Wisconsin
• Wyoming


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