Enjoy free music, art, dance lessons, tours and more on the Riverwalk all summer long

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

Visitors can enjoy the Blues on the Riverwalk from 5 p.m. to 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.

The musical series “Sounds of the Riverwalk” will air at 1 p.m. select Sundays from June 19 through early October. It features musicians from the Chicago Band Roster, listed below:

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

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

Other works on display include You are on Potawatomi Land by Andrea Carlson, a series of five large-scale banners near Michigan Avenue; and works at the Columbus Below Bridge, Confluence, Community Market, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The International Music Foundation will host its annual “Make Music Chicago” event along the Riverwalk from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 21. People can listen to bluegrass and folk bands, showtunes and children’s DJing. Participants are encouraged 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 on the river beginning June 25 at the pier, 260 W. Wacker Dr. Park District educators will be on site from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Local performing arts theater Links Hall hosts “Dance on the Walk,” giving free performances and offering pre-show dance lessons on the Riverwalk in August and September. The dates will be announced soon.

Greeters from Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm, will lead hour-long walks through September 4 highlighting the architecture and history of the Riverwalk. Tours depart at 11:30 am Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Columbus Street Plaza.

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

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