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Riot Fest is set to return to Douglass Park in September. (Riot Fest / Facebook)

Where some see the return of Riot Fest as a step in the right direction for Chicago’s reopening, others say closing their neighborhood green space for a “riot for rich people” is a “slap in the face” to communities traumatized by COVID-19.

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The Taste of Lincoln Avenue returns July 24-25, 2021. (Courtesy of Special Events Management)

Neighborhood street festivals, art shows, outdoor concerts — including Lollapalooza and the Taste of Chicago — are returning this summer as the Chicago area prepares to fully reopen. Here’s your guide to summer fun. 

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(HaiRobe / Pixabay)

Full-capacity block parties will return to the city’s streets starting July 5 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane — but bounce houses will not be allowed, officials announced Thursday. Applications for the street gatherings will be accepted starting June 6.

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Summer is just around the corner and with it comes the return of neighborhood street festivals, art shows and outdoor concerts, including Lollapalooza. We asked some local organizers for their take on the 2021 summer festival season.

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Lil Pump on stage at Lollapalooza on Aug. 4, 2018. (Scott Witt / Lollapalooza 2018)

The massive four-day music festival that Mayor Lori Lightfoot says is “synonymous with summer” will return this year after being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The lineup will be announced at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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A new citywide music festival in 2021 will replace the Blues Fest, pictured, Jazz Fest and Gospel Fest with one night honoring each music tradition. (Courtesy Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, a plan takes shape for a number of Chicago events this summer and fall, the “latest step in our mission to fully restore a sense of normalcy within our city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

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(WTTW News)

The United Center will be allowed to operate at 25% of its normal capacity, allowing fans of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls to cheer on the teams in person.

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Lil Pump on stage at Lollapalooza on Aug. 4, 2018. (Scott Witt / Lollapalooza 2018)

Chicagoans who are vaccinated against COVID-19 could get a “Vax Pass” allowing them to attend summer events and concerts like Lollapalooza, Chicago’s top doctor said Tuesday.

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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.