Dispatches from the Windy City: What could be better than #SummerTimeChi?

New York may have better public transportation. Los Angeles may have better year-round weather. Miami may have a better tan. But nothing beats Summertime in the city of Chicago.

It’s hard to believe I’ve called Chicago my home for over 15 years now. I’ve hosted lots of visitors during that time, and have provided many informal tours of the City of Big Shoulders—I have never had a dissatisfied customer during the Summer months.

Are the winters here treacherous? Yep! But it’s because of how trying those months are that Chicagoans are expert at taking full advantage of tolerable outside temperatures. If it’s above 65, spending time indoors becomes inappropriate.

Chicago has an extensive street festival calendar during the Summer. In addition to large, tent-pole events like Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza, most neighborhoods throughout the city host one (or more) local streetfests between June and September. By my count, there are 112 such events scheduled this year!

Most fests offer food and drinks, live music, and family-oriented activities for the kiddies to enjoy. Many also have specific themes. Already this year my family and I have visited the Taste of Little Village (where we ate lots of tacos), Do Division Fest (where our daughter rode a pony for the first time, just a few blocks from our home) and the Pilsen Food Truck Social (where we ate chorizo french fries, Jamaican meat patties, and some delicious elotes). Here are some other upcoming fests that sound intriguing to me:

  • Windy City Ribfest
  • Rocoe Village Burger Fest
  • Fiesta del Sol
  • Taste of Polonia

Not only do street fests help me achieve one of my most important life goals (eat a lot of food, always), but they ensure I stay connected to all the cultural riches the city has to offer.

At a recent retreat the Kone Consulting team made it part of our organizational purpose to experience joy during our work with clients. We are a fun-loving group that values time well-spent. We want our work to be meaningful, rewarding, and enjoyable. For all its warts (which are admittedly plenty), Summertime Chicago offers many opportunities for joy. Just as long as it’s not raining outside.