Market Days set to return in August; Chicago Pride Fest a 'possibility' for September

Tue. May 4, 2021 1:11 PM by Kevin Wayne

market days 2019

photo credit // steven koch

Chicago Pride Fest is out for June 2021, September is a 'possibility' according to organizers

Northalsted Market Days, the Midwest's largest street festival, is set to return in 2021 as vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening.

Northalsted Business Alliance, the group behind Chicago Pride Fest and Market Days, announced on Tuesday plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. 

Organizers are in full preparation mode.

“The committee is hard at work selecting performers, signing contracts, and making plans for an exciting weekend in Chicago this summer,” said chairperson Mark Liberson.

Northalsted Business Alliance President Ramesh Ariyanayakam shared similar optimism for hosting this year's event.

"We look forward to the possibility of welcoming neighbors and visitors alike to this iconic event,” he said. “While planning is underway, we will remain in continual contact with the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and monitor the CDC guidelines to be flexible in our approach to meet all necessary requirements to produce a safe event.”

First held in August 1982, Market Days has grown to a half-mile long, annual summer ritual on Chicago's north side, featuring all-day lineups of live music and international DJs on 5 stages, 300 vendors, arts, crafts, wares, summer food and drinks, dancing in the street, and more. The event draws nearly 100,000 people annually.

Market Days, along with Chicago Pride Fest, were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the lead time to prepare for Pride Fest in its regular form this June now exhausted, organizers confirmed to that September is a "possibility" for the two-day street festival. However, Market Days is behing considered a "stand alone event" and not a replacement for Pride Fest.

Northalsted Market Days 2021 is anticipated to take place August 6, 7, and 8 along North Halsted St. from Belmont to Addison. A $15 recommended donation for entry supports the festival entertainment cost, local charities, neighborhood programming, and maintenance in the community. 

A full entertainment schedule and updates are forthcoming and will be available at

Related: Pride in the Park returns in June

Related: Chicago Pride Parade 'highly unlikely' in June, hope remains for later in 2021