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Enjoy Free Music, Art, Dance Classes, Tours And More On The Riverwalk All Summer

Musical performances and lessons, art installations, fishing and ecology classes and architecture tours are among the city's free programs running until October.

The Riverwalk.
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DOWNTOWN — A full slate of summer events is coming to the Chicago Riverwalk.

Visitors can enjoy Blues on the Riverwalk 5-6 p.m. Friday, between Franklin and Lake Streets, according to a press release from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. There will be performances by Harmonica Hinds Duo, Vino Louden Duo, Gerry Hundt and Fruteland Jackson.

“Sounds of the Riverwalk” music series will run 1 p.m. on select Sundays from June 19 to early October. It features musicians from the Chicago Band Roster, listed below:

  • June 19: Mike Dangeroux (Blues)
  • June 26: Fumee (Jazz)
  • July 10: David Chiriboga (World/Traditional/Indigenous)
  • July 17: Wright Gatewood (Country/Americana/Folk)
  • July 24: Shi An Costello (Classical)
  • Aug. 7: La Tosca (Jazz)
  • Aug. 14: Lapis Trio (Jazz)
  • Aug. 21: Luna Blues Machine (World/Traditional/Indigenous)
  • Sept. 11: Freedom Song Leaders (Gospel/Spiritual)
  • Sept. 25: Friends of the Gamelan (World/Traditional/Indigenous)
  • Oct. 2: 5th Wave Collective (Classical)

Art on theMart, a large digital projection on the Chicago River-facing side of the former Merchandise Mart building, will have installations throughout the summer. They are on view nightly at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the jetty between Wells and Franklin Streets.

Other art on display includes Andrea Carlson’s You are on Potawatomi Land, a series of five large-scale banners near Michigan Avenue; and works features at the Columbus under bridge, The Confluence, the Community Marketplace and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The International Music Foundation will host their annual “Make Music Chicago” event throughout the Riverwalk 12-3:30 p.m. June 21. People can listen to bluegrass and folk bands, showtunes and kids DJing. Attendees are invited to bring an instrument to play, or take free guitar, kazoo or harmonica lessons. All ages are welcome.

The Chicago Park District will offer fishing and ecology classes about the river starting June 25 at the Jetty, 260 W. Wacker Dr. Park district educators will be on site 12-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Local performing arts theater Links Hall is organizing “Dance on the Walk,” giving free performances and offering pre-show dance classes on the Riverwalk in August and September. Dates will be announced soon.

Greeters with Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm, will lead one-hour walks through Sept. 4 highlighting the Riverwalk’s architecture and history. Tours leave 11:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Columbus Street Plaza.

City officials also said they are encouraging people to patronize restaurants along the Riverwalk, and go out on the water for kayaks and cruises.

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