A GUIDE TO BERWYN’S 2016 SUMMER & FALL FESTIVALS
Berwyn’s highly anticipated summer festivals carry the same traits as its people: diverse, ebullient, and fun. Whether you’re in the mood for live music featuring world-renowned artists, embarking on a one-and-a-half mile culinary trek down Cermak Road to sample savory bites from Italy to Mexico, or taking in awe-inspiring, cultural experiences, Berwyn’s 2016 festival lineup promises a scene of boundless energy and lots of sizzle. Check out our guide to maximize your outdoor summer thrills here at home—nothing like a suburb!
FitzGerald’s 35th American Music Festival
June 30-July 1, 4:30 PM
July 2-3, 1 PM
FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Berwyn has recently become an entertainment hub of sorts, but when it comes to live music, the city is home to FitzGerald’s American Music Festival, the longest standing event of its kind in the Midwest and one of the most acclaimed music festivals in the country. What makes the American Music Festival so great? We’ll start with the musical genres, featuring everything from rock to soul, rockabilly, country, blues, jazz and folk. Then there’s this year’s star-studded lineup, led by Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas. Other notable acts include Willie Nile, James McMurtry, Terrance Simiem, Donna the Buffalo, Sarah Borges, Toronzo Cannon— as well as up-and-coming artists Parker Millsap, The Roosevelts and The Wild Reeds, among others.
July 5, July 19, August 2 & August 16, 6 PM – 9 PM
Depot District, Windsor Ave & Grove Ave
This summer, head to Berwyn’s Depot District on Tuesday nights to enjoy Cruise Nites, a giant block party featuring cool displays of cars, scooters and motorcycles as well as food and drink specials from local establishments for a fabulous night out with the family.
Trophies are awarded to the coolest vehicles. If you want to bring your car, scooter or motorcycle, just show up. No registration is necessary. The events serve as a prelude to the city’s highly anticipated Berwyn Rt 66 Car Show, taking place August 27.
July 3, 8:30 PM
Morton West H.S., 2400 Home Avenue
On Sunday, July 3, Morton West High School Stadium will be the place to come and celebrate our nation’s 240th birthday, with a spectacular fireworks display that will leave you breathless! After a seven-year hiatus, World’s Largest Laundromat brings back the pyrotechnic show that will dazzle you as it lights up the sky.
Groovin On The Grove: Art and Music in the Streets
July 16, Noon-10 PM
North Depot District, Stanley & Grove Ave.
Transport yourself to a world of creativity featuring artists at work and eclectic music plus exquisite bites at the Groovin on the Grove: Art & Music in the Streets Festival in Berwyn’s North Depot District. The all-day affair features live music, art, food, artists and vendors. If you feel like flexing that artistic muscle yourself, the newly-launched arts center Outtaspace will host interactive live art for adults. Prepare to dance the night away. Open to all ages, and pet-friendly.
2nd Annual BAM (Berwyn Arts & Music) Fest
July 23, 9 AM-5 PM
Bring your budding artists to the 2nd Annual Berwyn Arts & Music (BAM) Fest, the mid-summer party at Proksa Park. The youth-inspired event will feature live music by local talent, youth art galleries, art creation stations, a battle of the bands, a teen lounge with live DJ’s, art workshops and other fun activities. From hands-on art and theatre workshops to dance and music projects, BAM is really the place for youth year-round. More than just an entertaining experience, the 2nd Annual BAM Fest is essential to the growth of local talent. How? You’ll have to stop by to find out.
Crosstown Classic Pub Crawl
July 23, 2 PM-8 PM
V Bar, 2717 Ridgeland Avenue
The Crosstown Classic Pub Crawl is raising funds for Berwyn families in need. Purchase your favorite teams bracelet for $10.00. If your team sweeps the series the following week, bring your winning bracelet to one of the participating pub crawl bars and redeem for 1 free beer. Also, for every drink you purchase you will receive a raffle ticket. Raffle will be held at V Bar around 7pm. Participating venues include: V Bar, My Uncles Place, Tipsy Tap, Fill Up Station, Cermak Beach, Nine-30-Ten, Tapp City, For Old Times Sake and Wagners Lounge.
Taste of Main Street on Cermak Road
July 28, 5 PM – 9 PM
Harlem Avenue to Lombard Avenue
Sample more than 50 small plates and sweets, including a fine assortment of the Spanish, Italian, American, Czech and Mexican varieties, at this culinary blowout along Cermak Road celebrating Berwyn’s diverse ethnic makeup. The $15 pass includes food samples and an after-party featuring live music from Latin collective Caliente Old School starting at 9 PM at Wagners Lounge.
Big Guys 5th Annual Sausage Fest
August 13, 8 AM – 5 PM
Big Guys Sausage Stand, 7021 W. Roosevelt Rd.
It’s known for its wide variety of homemade sausages and sandwiches, but Big Guys Sausage Stand’s 5th Annual Sausage Fest promises to bring more than just its regular, mouthwatering smorgasbord, offering an admission-free block party that features live music, kids games, a meat raffle, and best of all, a sausage eating contest. Dance along the revamped Veltway while munching on favorites such as the Smoked Hot Link or Berwyn’s Best Burger 2016 finalist Big Guy Burger.
Fiesta Nuestras Raíces
August 20, Noon – 9 PM
North Berwyn Park District, 1619 Wesley Ave.
The North Berwyn Park District, Berwyn North School District 98, Berwyn Development Corporation and the City of Berwyn come together for a celebration of the rich diversity in our community. On August 20, engulf yourself in rich and ethnic culture at the launch of Berwyn’s Fiesta Nuestras Raíces, a celebration of the city’s vibrant Latino community complete with music, food and games. The fun-filled activities begin at noon with a live Mariachi band and a dance that will fuel the crowd at this unique cultural experience. And if you’re looking for entertainment for the kids, look no further as this fiesta includes a Kids Zone, featuring pony rides, a rock climbing wall, a giant slide and even a petting zoo. You’ll want to partake in these activities yourself.
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
August 27, 7 AM – 4 PM
Ogden/Route 66, Starting at Oak Park Avenue through Ridgeland Avenue
Stroll through hundreds of vintage cars and other motor vehicles at the 2016 WeatherTech Berwyn Rt66 Car Show, Berwyn’s largest car show. Sponsored by Paisans Pizzeria & Bar and entering its 26th edition, the event attracts more than 30,000 visitors and features over 550 vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles. Soak up the classic car culture of Historic Route 66 and enjoy demonstrations of Automobile Flamethrowing by Roamin’ Chariots Car Club and a Cacklefest with nitro fueled funny cars and dragsters. Don’t try this at home!
September 16, 6 PM – 11 PM
September 17, 12 PM – 11 PM
Without a doubt Berwyn’s signature event, this year’s Oktoberfest — the Bavarian volkfest that has become a fall favorite around the world — will boast an international food court, live bands with 1980s headliners 16 Candles and Wedding Banned, crafters, and even a carnival. And let’s not forget the Beer Garden, featuring special Oktoberfest seasonal selections. But this event is not just about beer guzzling. Saturday, the family pavilion will include an entertainment stage and music from two of the most popular local children’s bands in the region, The Boogers and Istvan & His Imaginary Band. Berwynites, get ready to take in the postcard perfect fall foliage while sampling some of the best bier and wursts. Prost!
October 1, 1 PM – 5 PM
Proska Park, 3001 Wisconsin Avenue
From 1pm to 5 pm on Saturday, October 1, the third annual Berwyn Brew Fest will take over Proksa Park. Discover your love for beer by sampling over 40 different variations from craft breweries from around the country. Beyond brews, get down to the sounds of live music and munch on delicious food as well. Tickets will go on sale this summer on BerwynBrewFest.com.
October 22, 5 PM – 11 PM
Roosevelt Road, Starting at Culver’s
Bid adieu to the season in style by taking part in Berwyn’s 7th Annual Roosevelt Road Zombie Walk & Pub Crawl on Saturday, October 22. Re-enact your favorite Walking Dead episode at the zombie parade and join in the pub crawl and after-party if you dare. For $25, enjoy exclusive drink specials for the zombified, make-up, and free eats at the after-party. The first 100 zombies to purchase tickets will receive a FREE special edition commemorative t-shirt.