Engage with vital communities throughout Chicago at these July events

With July now upon us, Chicago Ideas is once again highlighting a series of events that aren’t just fun, but actively engage with vital communities throughout Chicago. Of course, this is just a snippet of your options, as there’s an unending stream of events worth attending, but these are a few we think deserve special attention.

Disability Pride Parade

The Disability Pride Parade is now in its fourteenth year, and the annual, volunteer-run event serves as a way for disabled people of all backgrounds to bolster their voice and increase their community’s visibility. Taking place on July 22, the Disability Pride Parade starts at 401 S. Plymouth Court before making its way up to Daley Plaza. All people that wish to march in the parade have to register, which is free, but donations of all kinds are encouraged to help offset costs and keep the parade going for years to come. More information on the Disability Pride Parade can be found here, and for a detailed look at the organization’s goals, its mission statement is well worth reading.

Fiesta Del Sol

Started in 1972 by the Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council, Fiesta Del Sol is the largest Latino festival in the Midwest. In that time, it’s grown from a block party to an event that both celebrates and supports its community. Not only has Fiesta Del Sol remained committed to keeping the event family friendly, for 18 years it has included a scholarship program that aspiring students can apply for, and this year features an expungement workshop to help the formerly incarcerated. This echoes the work that PNCC does year-round to advocate and support its community, and Fiesta Del Sol is a weekend-long celebration (July 27-30) of that mission.

Tour De Fat

Since 2000, Tour De Fat has seen the New Belgium brewery putting together a beer-focused event with live music that, above all, champions sustainability. This year, the event takes place at Northerly Island on July 29, which sees artists such as The Roots and or Chicago’s own Ric Wilson—who participated in this year’s Ideas Day—performing at a show that all goes to support West Town Bikes. Tickets are available now, and come ready to participate in the annual slow-speed bike race.

Fed Up Fest

While there are many music festivals happening in Chicago throughout the summer, few put the focus on voices that have, until very recently, lacked support by the wider music world. This July 28-30, Fed Up Fest will once again put its focus on queer, transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex people and the music they make. This year, Chicago House—who Chicago Ideas highlighted last month—will be there doing free rapid HIV testing on Saturday, with other panel discussions taking place throughout the festival. A full list of bands and activities can be found at the event’s Facebook page.

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