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If and when fests do return, they’ll look different than they did before the pandemic. (Credit: Amdur Productions)

The 2020 summer festival season was a bust, thanks to COVID-19, but local organizers say they’re feeling hopeful about the return of neighborhood street festivals and art shows this year. Here’s what to expect.

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The Blue Angels are a fan favorite of Air and Water Show observers. (Courtesy of Blue Angels)

Will two massive summer events take place this year amid an accelerated rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine — and the possible end to the pandemic? Or can Chicagoans expect another round of “re-imagined festivals” in 2021, with virtual concerts replacing in-person events?

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The Blue Angels are a fan favorite of Air and Water Show observers. (Courtesy of Blue Angels)

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Chicago’s cultural landscape, and that pain is likely to continue into 2021, Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said during Thursday’s budget hearings.

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The Windy City Coop Tour showcases Chicagoans’ backyard chickens. (Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts / Facebook)

Chicagoans are raising chickens, growing food and experimenting with all sorts of sustainable-living practices — all in their urban backyards. See how it’s done during this weekend’s annual Windy City Coop and Eco-Yards Tour. 

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The Windy City Coop Tour showcases Chicagoans’ backyard chickens. (Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts / Facebook)

Organizers are moving forward with the outdoor event, which showcases urban livestock and agriculture in its many forms. Prospective hosts have until July 26 to apply to be part of the September 2020 tour, no chickens required.

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Navy Pier summer fireworks in 2011. (Michael Mayer / Flickr)

The annual display gives way to some virtual celebrations in 2020. Not that the holiday will be short of illegal booms, crackles and pops, if recent weeks are any indication. 

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(EMR / Flickr)

This year’s summer festival season will look a little different, with large outdoor festivals canceled or moved online, including Lollapalooza.

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(HaiRobe / Pixabay)

In the latest sign that the coronavirus pandemic will reshape summer in Chicago, city officials informed aldermen Tuesday that no permits will be issued for block parties through May 31 — banning the popular parties on Memorial Day weekend.

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Windy City Ribfest, 2018 (Courtesy of Special Events Management)

Summer in Chicago is synonymous with neighborhood street festivals, outdoor concerts and art shows. But what will the season bring in 2020? We asked some local organizers for their take on festival season in the COVID-19 era.

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(Photo by RickMajewski / Northalsted / GoPride)

A Halloween parade, immersive plays, fried dough and plenty of games usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Special Events Management)

Gear up for nature walks, art shows and holiday markets of all sizes across Chicago and the suburbs. 

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(Photo courtesy of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Scaly creatures, a Dia de Los Muertos celebration, graveyard performances and a beer-centric conference usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Photo by James Richards IV)

An evening parade, baked goods, architectural gems and a paranormal conference usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Courtesy of The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival)

Jack-o’-lanterns, historic homes, cured meats and elite runners usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Couleur / Pixabay)

Fall flavors, a community art project, pumpkin patches and a scary film series usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Photo by Special Events Management)

German brats and beers, aerial acrobats, monster trucks and a bungalow tour usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.