Credit: Steven Cohen

Descending once again upon Grant Park, the Taste of Chicago runs Fri 6/24 through Sun 7/3, dishing up food from nearly 60 restaurants and hosting a wide variety of music at the Petrillo Music Shell (northeast of Columbus and Jackson) and the Taste Stage (Columbus and Balbo). Four of the city’s free lakefront music festivals have been incorporated into the Taste of Chicago this year, and each gets a themed day. The big names are at Petrillo: Viva! Chicago Latin Music Day (Fri 6/24) features a performance by Los Horoscopos de Durango, on Gospel Music Day (Sun 6/26) Donald Lawrence & Company headline, the lineup for Celtic Music Day (Wed 6/29) includes fiddler Natalie MacMaster and the trio of Liz Carroll, John Doyle, and John Williams, and on Country Music Day (Fri 7/1) Loretta Lynn and the Court Yard Hounds both play. Among the other notable act at Petrillo are the Lemonheads (Tue 6/28), Natalie Cole (Thu 6/30), the Jayhawks (Sat 7/2), Greyson Chance (Sun 7/3), and an evening called Broadway in Chicago (Mon 6/27) with scenes from popular musicals like Beauty and the Beast, Million Dollar Quartet, and The Addams Family. The Taste Stage has the same four themed days as Petrillo plus a Rock/Pop Day (Sat 6/25) with California Wives, Empires, and more; a World Music Day (Mon 6/27) with the likes of Funkadesi and Black Bear Combo; a Singer/Songwriter Day (Tue 6/28) headlined by Jessica Lea Mayfield; and a pair of variety days (Thu 6/30 and Sat 7/2) featuring Gold Motel, White Mystery, Corey Wilkes’ Black Slang, JT & the Clouds, and others. Alligator Records celebrates its 40th anniversary at the Taste Stage on Sun 7/3 with performances by Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. The Family Village (Columbus and Jackson) offers activities like arts and crafts, bingo, a karaoke and dance challenge, and a giant Twister game. The Dominick’s Cooking Corner, where the biggest name this year is Food Network hotshot Giada De Laurentiis (Fri 7/1 at 2:30 PM), hosts book signings and demos from folks like Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, Keli Fayard of Vanille Patisserie, and Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig. Admission and all concerts are free. Food and drink are sold only by tickets, which cost $8 per dozen at the festival (Dominick’s is selling them for $6 per dozen through 6/23). Festival hours are 11 AM till 8:30 PM except on Sun 7/3, when closing time is 6 PM. For full lineups and more info, see Fairs & Festivals listings by day, call 312-742-4387, or visit