Fun things to do this summer in the West Loop

Old St. PatsIn the bustling, lively neighborhood of the West Loop you will find a tremendous amount of activities to do this summer to stay busy and enjoy the weather while it lasts!

The West Loop is a historic, ever-thriving, urban neighborhood with the Eisenhower Expressway bordering the south, Lake Street on the north, Ashland Ave. on the west and Monroe Harbor on the east. The area is a well-sought-after spot for its outstanding lofts, as well as its restaurants, shops and galleries.

As with years past, the summer season brings a variety of entertainment in the West Loop, and in 2013 the tradition will continue with the kickoff of the annual Randolph Street Market, the Pitchfork Music Festival, the North Coast Music Festival, and the Chicago Marathon.

The Randolph Street Market is back this year with a beer garden, vintage carnival games, face painting, and rainbow-themed food and drinks in support of this year’s Gay Pride Parade and the latest Supreme Court ruling against DOMA. Food trucks that will encase the area include Tamale Spaceship, BellyQ, and Jerk 31.

Conveniently held both indoors and outdoors, Randolph Street Market features 200+ select purveyors of high quality, reasonably-priced items for your home and collection. On about the last weekend of every month from July until December, this upscale street market features furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles, and much more. This urban market is the locale of the famous Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago and the Holiday Market.

The Randolph Street Market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 27 & 28, August 24 & 25, September 28 & 29, October 26 & 27, November 23 & 24 and December 14 & 15, 2013.

Also on the lineup for Chicago events in the West Loop is the Pitchfork Music Festival. Held in Chicago’s idyllic Union Park, this internationally-recognized fest presents over 40 bands in R&B, indie, house and many other music genres. Some of the artists in this year’s lineup include Bjork, Belle and Sebastian, R. Kelly, Solange, Mia, and Yo La Tengo. Reasonably priced, Pitchfork has been running since 2006 and hosts attendees of all ages from 45 states and 26 countries, according to pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

But there’s more at Pitchfork than just the music. With specialty fairs and 50 individual vendors brought into the neighborhood, the fest supports local businesses and economy, and promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole.

Pitchfork Music Festival runs July 19, 20 and 21. For tickets, click here.

Another music festival on tap this summer in the thriving West Loop is the North Coast Music Festival. This summer, nicknamed “Summer’s Last Stand,” is run by independent promoters in Chicago who put on a talented, eclectic lineup of electronic, hip hop, jam band and indie rock musicians including El Ten Eleven, Nas, Skream, Lotus, Wu-Tang Clan, Afrojack and many more in 2013.

North Coast Music Festival runs through Labor Day weekend from August 30 to September 1, 2013 in Union Park on 1501 W. Randolph Street. For tickets, click here.

And last but not least, returning in October to the West Loop for their 36th year is the Chicago Marathon! Runners from 50 states and more than 100 countries will be participating this year in the race, according to chicagomarathon.com.

Many participants will run on behalf of their charity. In 2012, over 10,000 charity runners participated in the Chicago Marathon on behalf of more than 160 local, national and global causes, according to the site. Some of this year’s official charities are the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will utilize the streets of 29 neighborhoods starting at Columbus and Monroe, where it will loop around as far north as Addison as far west as Damen, as far south as 35th Street and back to the Columbus. It runs for a total of six hours and 30 minutes, at which time the roads will be reopened for vehicular traffic. The course has produced four world records and several national records since it started in 1977 under the name “Mayor Daley Marathon.”

Each year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon brings in millions of spectators lots of funding for our city. For a complete schedule and information on viewing areas, click here.

The Chicago Marathon is held on Sunday, October 13, 2013 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To view the course map, click here.

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Data last updated: 03/27/2017