If we had any doubts that summer was in full swing, this week's heat has certainly put them to rest. While air conditioned apartments may be hard to part with, we know you'll appreciate these summer memories when you're flipping through your photo albums dreamily next weekend. So shed some layers, rally the troops and hit up some of the city's coolest festivals this weekend.
Each Friday throughout the summer, HuffPost Chicago will be sharing our five picks for that weekend's must-go festivals. This weekend offers a host of international art, music and more to peruse from the comforts of your own city. Scroll down to see more of our post-Independence Day weekend picks.
Need still more options? The city maintains a relatively thorough calendar of neighborhood festivals throughout Chicago.
Have another favorite you'll be hitting up that we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Great Midwest Uke Fest
Love ukulele music? Interested in hearing some, performing some, or just learning more about the instrument? (Hint: it's more than just a mini-guitar.) Mosey on down to the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/373760589337919/" target="_hplink">Chicago Ukulele Cabaret's third annual Midwest Uke Fest</a>, an all-day festival that's part curated showcase, part open-mic and all fun. Pros will be offering workshops, too, but be sure to sign up for their classes before they fill up.<br> <em>1 p.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday, July 7 at Chief O'Neill's, 3471 N. Elston $10</em>
Love West Town? Then get out and celebrate it this weekend at <a href="http://www.westfestchicago.com" target="_hplink">the annual West Fest</a>, a street fair that reflects the neighborhood's eclectic style. Check out their 3 stages with constantly-rotating DJs and bands, kid- and puppy-centric events, food and drink from local restaurants, vendor booths and more.<br> <em>12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 on Chicago Ave. between Damen and Wood $5 donation</em>
Chicago Tribune North Michigan Avenue Art Festival
Michigan Avenue has always been lined with boutiques packed with beautiful artwork, but for one weekend you can take in handicrafts and sunshine at the same time--this weekend, at<a href="http://www.artfestival.com/Festivals/Chicago_Tribune_North_Michigan_Avenue_Art_Festival_in_Chicago_IL_July.ASPX/" target="_hplink"> the Chicago Tribune's North Michigan Avenue Art Festival</a>. Now in its 21st year, the fest highlights the work of hundreds of artists, for perusal or purchase.<br> <em>10 a.m. - 6 p.m Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, July 8 at Pioneer Court Free</em>
International Festival of Life
Billed as "an event of global proportions," <a href="http://martinsinterculture.com/ifol.html" target="_hplink">the African Carribbean International Festival of Life</a> is expected to bring 150,000 people to share in a wide variety of rich cultural experiences in Washington Park. Now in its 20th year, the last 3 days of the fest this weekend will include performances by Queen Ifrica and and Garif.<br> <em>Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8 at 5500 S. Cottage Grove Ave. $10 in advance, $15 at the gate</em>
Rock Around The Block
Three stages will blast the music of 30 different bands during the weekend <a href="http://starevents.com/events/rock-around-the-block/" target="_hplink">Rock Around The Block fest</a>, now in its 17th year. Artisans, craft vendors, street performers, food, drink and more will be sure to keep 40,000+ expected visitors entertained between sets.<br> <em>12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 7 and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 8 at 3200 N. Lincoln Ave $5 donation</em>
Flickr photo by Runder