By Jacqueline Runice

Who would have thought that the notion of patriotism could have so many different cherry-picking options at this edge of the 21st century? Whether you’re red, blue or a confused purple, celebrating our independence together can bring a tear to your eye, a hot dog to your mouth and hopefully, if you choose one of the following Chicago events, not one of your digits flying through the air via backyard fireworks.All Posts

36th Annual American Music Festival
6615 W. Roosevelt Road
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 788-2118

Date: June 30-July 3, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

It launched in 1981 with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble and Fitzgerald’s annual American Music Festival has become a tradition for many music fans over the independence Day weekend. This year, the celebratory four-day event features more than 50 bands on three stages in outside tents, plus Cajun and American barbecue and reasonably priced hard and soft drinks. Some of the fine Roots and Americana performers include Southern Culture on the Skids, The Pines, Robbie Fulks & Redd Volkaert, Western Centuries, Los Straitjackets with Marshall Crenshaw, Shemekia Copeland, The Waco Brothers, Dave Alvin, Marcia Ball Band and C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band.

The Capitol Steps
City Winery Chicago
1200 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9463

Date: July 2, 2017 at 7 p.m.

If one day of grilling wienies is not enough for you to feel the pangs of patriotism, let the political satire group, The Capitol Steps, grill some of your least favorite politician wienies because we all know there’s quite a bit of sausage being made in Washington D.C. Although it’s true – this stuff has practically been writing itself this year, it will be hilarious and timely to see what these insiders can spin into comedy gold. The current performers have worked in 18 Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience and their most recent album is entitled, What to Expect When You’re Electing. Tickets start at $42.

Grant Park Music Festival
Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 606

Date: July 4, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

While not the fourth of July party it once was, the Grant Park Music Festival still brings out the big tubas to insert a big dose of patriotism in your heart. See and hear the annual concert on the fourth on a warm summer night in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Expect all the patriotic favorites, including Stars and Stripes Forever, the 1812 Overture, God Bless America and more. If you’re not keen on crowds, attend the encore performance  held on Wednesday, July 5 at 6:30 PM at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive. The 37th Annual Taste of Chicago takes place July 5–9 in Grant Park.

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Navy Pier
700 E. Grand
Chicago, IL 60611

Date: June 30-July 4, 2017 at 2 p.m.

While the fourth annual Freedom Fest takes place on July 4th on Navy Pier’s 27,000 square foot rooftop (tickets start at $39),  the Miller Lite Beer Garden is partying all Fourth of July Weekend. Situated right on the lakefront at the East End of Navy Pier, the beer garden presents live entertainment courtesy of local bands paired with your choice of beer, cocktails, frozen drinks, beer-soaked brats, burgers and hand-tossed pizza. There’s even pre-fourth Happy Hours on Friday, June 30 and Monday, July 3 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Specials include $3 Miller Lite drafts, $4 Blue Moon Belgian White drafts, $6 Smirnoff Vodka Lemonade, $7 Bacardi Mai Tai, $6 loaded French Fries, $4 Cheese Pizza and a $7 Popcorn Shrimp Basket. Grab your seat to see the fireworks at Navy Pier on Saturday, July 1 at 10:15 p.m. and Tuesday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m.

Live on Lincoln
3200 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 773-7773

Date: July 1-2, 2017 at 12 p.m.

Just because it’s Independence Day weekend, that doesn’t mean the summer street fests ebb as evidenced by Live on Lincoln, a brand new street festival at Lincoln and Belmont. Performers include Minneapolis synth-pop band, Polica, Eliot Moss, The Dig and Auto Body on Saturday and Flow Tribe, The Tomorrow People and Colorado funk band, The Motet, on Sunday. Admission is $10 which benefits West Lakeview Neighbors, a neighborhood organization or $50 gets you a VIP pass allowing reserved viewing stands and lounge seating, private restroom trailers, discounted beer and  other  amenities.

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