Summertime Chi might be coming to an end, but there’s no shortage of events for the month of September. It’s packed with unique festivals, mind-blowing concerts, and all-around fun. And the good news- no heat to beat! So, if you’re looking for dynamic ways to close out your Summer, look no further. Here are 10 events you should look out for: 

30th Annual African Festival of the Arts – September 1 – Washington Park 5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave. 

Kicking off during Labor Day Weekend, this vibrant, colorful festival serves to educate the public about Africa through the arts, literature, cuisine, and more. This year, there will be interactive spaces centered around themes like health and wellness, African Spirituality, African Heritage, and more. With an array of street vendors, you can expect to pick up something unique and handmade to take home. And don’t sleep on the celebrity artists which include Wale, Rotimi, Donnie McClurkin, Ohio Players and more.  Find more information and purchase tickets here


A Celebration of Black Composers and Dance- September 6- 1301 W. 52ndSt.

Chamber music collective D-Composed and the South Chicago Dance Theatre (SCDT) are collaborating for a celebration of black composers and dance.  Audience members can learn about unsung Black composers while enjoying modern dance. This all-ages event is FREE.

Old-School Hip-Hop Reunion at Midway Plaisance – September 7 – Midway Plaisance – 1130 Midway Plaisance

On September 7, pull up to Midway Plaisance for the first ultimate Hip Hop reunion. The event will feature Chicago’s hottest DJ’s while they spin 8 hours of non-stop Hip Hop sounds. Bring a lawn chair to sit outside and enjoy the food trucks, dance floor, and graffiti wall! Find more information about the event here.

We Move First Ladies of Chicago Run/Walk at Oakwood Beach – September 7 – 1200-5700 Lake Shore Drive

This 5k Run/Walk is co- presented by the City of Chicago and First Ladies Health Initiative to encourage Chicagoans to live a healthier lifestyle. The Walk begins at Oakwood beach, followed by a free health fair fitness demos, health screenings, and healthy food sampling! Friends and family are welcome to come along, as there will be short fitness classes, a kid’s recreational area, then a surprise musical guest. Come out and get moving! Find out more about the event here

21st Annual World Music Festival- September 13- 29 – Chicago Cultural Center – 78 E Washington St. 

Here in Chicago, we celebrate the colorful and rich cultures that exist in our city. That’s one of the reasons we welcome the 21st Annual World Music Festival with open arms. Kicking off at the Chicago Cultural Center, through the month of September you can catch these lively concerts at some of our favorite venues in the city. The best part about it? – it’s free! From The Promontory, all the way to the Old Town School of Folk Music, each night, the performances celebrate a different culture. You should definitely pick a night to hit your favorite venue and spend the  night dancing and experiencing the diverse sounds of music. Find more information here.

Whiskey Festival Chicago

Whiskey Festival on the beach – September 20 – Shore Club on North Avenue Beach – 1603 N Lakeshore Drive 

Come and bring your girlfriends along to experience a chill night on North Avenue Beach for this year’s Whiskey Festival. Attendees will be able to taste a variety of whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches, while hanging out and enjoying the good vibes of the Shore Club. What better way to end the summer season than having one last beach day? Sounds good to us! Find more information and purchase tickets here

Chicago Gourmet: Lights, Camera, Napkin! – September 27- 29 – Millennium Park

Celebrating its 12th year in the city, the Chicago Gourmet: Lights, Camera, Napkin, is here to celebrate all things food. Taking place in Millennium Park, this culinary festival features food, drinks, entertainment, and more food! Join some of the city’s leading chefs to showcase the best food and culinary talent that our city has to offer. In addition to the event at Millennium Park, throughout the week the festival will be hosting other events, -(including after parties) in various venues across the city. Find more information and purchase tickets here


Hyde Park Jazz Festival: The Alexander/McLean Project – September 28 – Sept. 29 – International House at the University of Chicago – 1414 E 59th St.

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is a free, two-day long event that features the finest jazz artists, ranging from local, national, and even international. All day long, you can come with your family and friends to enjoy diverse performance venues, dance floors, vendors, and food and beverages. This festival acts as a platform, bringing people of the South Side together by working with jazz artists to celebrate the genre’s rich history and traditions. Come celebrate this beautiful art form and share the experience with jazz-lovers everywhere. Find more information here.

Smart Funny and Black- U Kno The Vibeonics Tour- September 28- Chicago Theatre

After last year’s soldout performance, Smart Funny and Black returns to the Chi.  Seales presents (and hosts) Smart, Funny & Black (SFB) – U Kno The Vibeonics 101 Tour. SFB is a competition where contestants test their knowledge of black history, black culture and the black experience. The winner will be crowned the as the “Master Blackspert.” And of course, there is a live band. Actor/comedian Spice Adams is on deck as Chicago’s Blackspert.  Expect shenanigans.

Tickets available at Ticketmaster.

Lizzo – September 28 – Aragon Ballroom – 1106 W Lawrence Ave. 

With her all-female crew of dancers in tow, hip/hop, indie, and pop sensation, Lizzo will be bringing her #BlackGirlMagic to the Aragon Ballroom . The Michigan native recently killed the VMA stage with her carefree, black girl vibe and catchy pop hits, and is sure to rock the stage in Chicago. This is truly a show you don’t want to miss! Find more information and purchase tickets here


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