Wilmette, Community

Record Roundup: Summer fests are right around the corner

Summer is on the horizon, so mark your calendars for the hottest concerts, festivals and events happening within the North Shore.

Let us know if we missed anything by emailing newsroom@therecordns.org.

(Fourth of July and Memorial Day events not included)


Winnetka Music Festival: June 14-15, Downtown Winnetka (Lincoln Avenue between Elm and Prospect)

Led by Band of Horses, more than 24 musical artists over two days and across four stages, as previewed by The Record in March. Don’t miss the beloved tradition that brings big name bands to the North Shore. Visit Winnetka Music Fest online for more information.

Concerts in the Woods (free): 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Old Green Bay Road

Enjoy free live music every Wednesday night throughout the summer. Bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the warm summer night with friends and family. Concerts run June 19-Aug. 28, weather permitting. Visit Winnetka Park District online for more information. 

Lloyd Beach Bash: 6-10 p.m. Friday, June 21, Lloyd Beach, 799 Sheridan Road 

What better way to kick off summer than a party on the beach. Book your babysitters, grab your friends and neighbors, and head down to Lloyd Beach for our second Lloyd Beach Bash with live music by Panic at the Costco!, lawn games and a bonfire. Alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and food will be available for purchase at the adult-only event (ages 21+). All registrants will be entered into a raffle to win a one-year family beach pass. Visit Winnetka Parks online for more information.


Sounds of Summer series (free): June 23-Aug. 14 at Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park

All shows are free and open to the public. The Gillson Beach parking lot will open 30 minutes prior to Wallace Bowl shows, and no beach parking permit required for the evening. Shows will be canceled during inclement weather. Visit the concert series webpage for a schedule and more information.

Back the Bowl Bash (aka Beach Bash): 6-10:30 p.m. June 22, Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park

The Back the Bowl Bash (formerly Beach Bash) will feature six local bands, cold drinks, dancing and local food with all proceeds going to support the Ouilmette Foundation’s campaign to renovate the Wallace Bowl, which the foundation says is greatly in need of repairs. View the registration page for more information and to sign up for this fun event.

Wilmette Art Fair: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 3-4, Downtown Wilmette (Central and Wilmette avenues)

The second Wilmette Art Fair is a go from Amdur Productions. Enjoy thousands of paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewelry and more; become living art with face painting; and make your masterpiece with a live painting classes. There will be a live music stage, and be sure to look for Kid’s Art Stops and Live Art Demo signs to get interactive with the artists. Visit the event’s webpage for more information.

THE Wilmette Block Party: noon-10 p.m. Sept. 7, Downtown Wilmette (Central and Wilmette avenues)

The third installment of this event was recently announced and more details are to come in June on the Wilmette Park District website. In previous years, the event featured a main stage with multiple live music acts throughout the day. Local organizations, such as school dancer and musicians, also perform during the event. The block party typically shuts down the area to traffic, but local businesses remain open.

Highland Park

Bitter Jester Music Festival: June 7-8, 14-15 and 29 at Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park

This free, family-friendly concert series has been taking place in downtown Highland Park since 2006. What started as a small “battle of the bands” for local performers has evolved into the Midwest’s largest showcase for emerging artists. With performers coming from nearly a dozen states and vying for $3,500 in cash prizes, the Bitter Jester Music Fest is a must-see event. Visit the Bitter Jester Foundation online or call (847) 433-8663 for more information.

Taste of Highland Park: 5-10 p.m. June 21-22, The Lot, 525 Central Ave.

Described as Highland Park’s premier food and music festival, the event returns with more music and more food this year. Special dishes and select beverages are available from Highland Park restaurants, and enjoy live music from 1990s and 2000s favorites Nine Days, Dishwalla and Spin Doctors.

Port Clinton Art Festival: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 24-25, Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park

The Port Clinton Art Festival will return to Highland Park to offer fine art from more than 250 of the world’s most celebrated artists. Throughout the weekend festivalgoers will have the opportunity to enjoy interactive art demos and original artwork offered by master artists from around the world. In addition to 250 juried artists, there will be an emerging artist section. The Port Clinton Art Festival is produced by Highland Park-based company Amdur Productions. Visit Amdur online for more information on the festival.

Food Truck Thursdays: 4:30 p.m.-dusk, June 6-Sept. 26, Jens Jensen Park, 486 Roger Williams Ave.

The lineup of food trucks changes weekly, and vendors include Highland Park restaurants, North Shore favorites and Chicago eateries. Visit the event’s webpage for a music schedule and more information.


Music on the Esplanade: June 5-Aug. 28, Glencoe Botanic Gardens, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Watch the sunset, and unwind with live music on the esplanade. Bring your own chairs. Picnicking is welcome during evening concerts. In the event of inclement weather, check online for daily cancellation updates. Cook County Forest Preserve District regulations prohibit the consumption of alcohol not purchased on the premises. The gardens music events are no additional costs; though, regular parking and garden admission fees apply for nonmembers. Visit the event’s webpage for more information.

Glencoe Art Festival: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 20-21, 700 Vernon Ave., Glencoe

This Glencoe fest will feature 100 artists, art, food, and fun. Enjoy thousands of paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and more. Stop at the Kids Art Zone for fun art projects and face painting. Take a break with a cold beer or tasty wine, and choose from a mix of festival snacks. Enjoy the live music stage and be sure to look for the live art demo signs to get interactive with the artists. Visit the event’s webpage for more information.


Food Truck Mondays: 5-7:30 p.m. June 3-July 29, Kenilworth Assembly Hall lawn, 401 Kenilworth Ave.

Join the Kenilworth Park District and Kenilworth neighbors for a cornhole league, bocce ball league, margaritas and family fun at these free community events. Visit the park district online for more information.

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Alexa Burnell

Alexa Burnell is a Wilmette resident who has been covering the North Shore for the past seven years, previously for The Wilmette Beacon and its sister newspapers.

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