One of the best parts about living in Chicago is that when the weather is warm, there’s never a shortage of things to do. Street festivals and neighborhood festivals happen nearly every weekend, and they cover all sorts of different ground—from festivals that celebrate a certain type of food to ones that showcase local music or art, there’s something for everyone all over the city. And best of all, these festivals are dog-friendly, so you can bring man’s best friend along for the ride. Let’s check out some of the best dog-friendly festivals in Chicago for 2016.
Windy City Ribfest – July 2
Head on down to Lawrence and Broadway for Chicago’s most meat-heavy event. This festival draws more than 40,000 people and features a rib competition, activities for the kids, live music, and local vendors.
West Fest – July 8-10
Located in Ukrainian Village, this festival is the perfect mix of local bands and DJs, eclectic vendors and artisans, great food, art, children’s activities, and more. Entrance is a $5 suggested donation, and thanks to the fest’s central location for a lot of popular neighborhoods, it’s a great mix of people and their dogs.
PAWS Chicago’s 14th Annual Beach Party – July 14
PAWS Chicago Annual Beach Party is in its 14th year and going strong. Hosted at Castaways North Avenue Beach Boathouse on Lake Shore Drive, this event takes place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 11, with tickets sold at $150 per person and $50 per dog. Lounge by the beach and drink summer cocktails from the open bar, enjoy a dinner buffet, check out silent and live auctions, and treat your pup to the Dog Spa, which features dog massages and “paw-di-cures.”
EdgeFest – August 6-7
Edgefest celebrates all things Edgewater and is located on Broadway and Thorndsale Avenue. It’s in its fifth year, and feature great food, awesome music, karaoke, art, and, of course, dogs.
West Loop Art Fair – September 17-18
If you love art and finding great gifts, home goods, jewelry and more, West Loop Art Fair is right up your alley. See an amazing lineup of 167 artists showcasing their craft. This fest also features local food and craft vendors and live music, giving attendees a taste of what the West Loop is about.
Oktoberfest Chicago – September 23-25
Finally, we have one of Chicago’s oldest churches celebrating its German roots. Oktoberfest is hosted at St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview, and is an outdoor fest that features things like brats, beers, and live music. Bring the pooch and spend the day hanging out with friends.
What to Know About Bringing Your Dog to Festivals
Making sure t hat you and your dog have a great time at street festivals in Chicago this year is easy. You will want to make sure that you have the essentials on you, like pick-up bags, a bottle of water and a bowl, dog treats, and dog booties/shoes (if the concrete or asphalt is hot). Expect that the festivals you bring your dog to will be very crowded, and plan accordingly—your dog may not react well to the loud music or bustling crowds, and you’ll want to watch out for kids who rush up to pet your dog. If you’re concerned about potential issues, it might be best to visit the festival during its slower hours. Keep in mind that they can get overheated very quickly, too, so have a reliable way to find your way home in case they start to act tired or overly thirsty.
Chicago is great for dog-friendly events, and with a little bit of planning, you and your pooch can have a fun time outdoors! If you’d rather leave your pup at home, though, make sure you have a plan set up to ensure they get a chance to go outside for a walk while you’re out having fun!
What’s your favorite fest to bring your dog to?