Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago

Join the holiday weekend fun in the Windy City.

Memorial Day is right around the corner, a day to honor the men and women who serve our country and signal the beginning of summer. There’s no better place to celebrate this important holiday weekend than in Chicago. Every corner is filled with different ways to celebrate the weekend, whether it’s patriotic fun or festivals with delicious food. If you’re in the area during the long weekend, stop into the city and see what the Windy City has in store for you.

Chicago's Memorial Day Weekend Events

Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony & Parade

No holiday is complete without a parade passing by! On May 28, the city will host a parade filled with patriotic floats to remind everyone why we celebrate. The event begins with a wreath-laying ceremony in Daley Plaza at 11 a.m. to honor those we’ve lost. At noon, follow the parade along State Street and see the legacy created by the Chicago residents who’ve served.

Memorial Wreaths | WhereTraveler
Memorial Wreaths (©David Clode)

Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest

One of the biggest events of the year in Chicago happens during Memorial Day weekend. The Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest is celebrating its 36th year in Lakeview, showcasing local acts, tribute bands and delicious beer and wine over the course of the weekend. Highlights will include a No Doubt tribute band, a demonstration from the Japanese Culture Center and a drag show revue.

Memorial Day Fireworks

Navy Pier is known for their fireworks shows every Wednesday and Saturday night throughout the summer. Memorial Day always marks the first show of the year, so stop by on May 28 at 10 p.m. and see beautiful displays of color over the water. If you miss them, you can always catch them again throughout the season until Labor Day. 

Chicago Fireworks | WhereTraveler
Chicago Fireworks (©Leon Wu)

Chicago Friday Night Flights

Chicago is a great city to find delicious breweries, and you can see them all in one spot at Chicago Friday Night Flights. When you visit Wrigleyville on May 27, you’ll find over 36 local breweries waiting for you to get a taste of their freshly made beer. Be sure to pair your new favorite drink with some local food vendors and the sounds of a live DJ. 

Mole de Mayo

Another Chicago neighborhood celebrating Latin culture throughout the weekend is Pilsen, thanks to Mole de Mayo. This food festival has been happening for 13 years, and you’ll find the city’s best Mexican food waiting to be eaten at local vendors. Be sure to stick around for the open-air marketplace, live entertainment and lucha libre wrestling ring! 

Tacos | WhereTraveler
Tacos (©Tai S. Captures)

Sueños Music Festival

Grant Park hosts Chicago’s first annual Latin music and reggaeton festival during Memorial Day weekend. Some of the biggest names in Latin music will be performing at Sueños Music Festival like J. Balvin and Ozuna. When you’ve finished dancing to your favorite songs, you can also keep the fun going by checking out the food vendors, multiple bars and ferris wheel.