The 3 day July 4th Independence celebration runs Friday, July 3rd through Sunday July 5th in Union Park, located at 1501 West Randolph Street (Lake and Ashland) in downtown Chicago’s West Loop from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. 

The 23rd International Festival of Life is a full family festival with several components and activities to make for an enjoyable July 4th Independence celebration for all Chicagoland residents and visitors.

The International Festival of Life will showcase a great diverse lineup of world music acts, including some of Chicago’s most outstanding performers. Heading the lineup will be Tessanne Chin, season 5 winner of NBC’s “The Voice”; along with R&B Diva Chante Moore, R&B hit maker Al Hudson, and Oneway, Reggae Star Mad Cobra, top dancehall DJ Josey Wales, Blues great Duke Tumatoe, Belize Punta/Soca Star Lova Boy, Jazz Legend Diane Ellis and the Jazzy Ladies, and a host of other Caribbean, African, Latin, Gospel, Rock, Pop, Spoken Word, and other entertainers on three stages. Visit to see the full lineup.

Here is a list of activities for the weekend; in addition to the nearly 200 foods, arts, crafts and other exhibitors who will be branding, sampling, selling, and showcasing products and services.

Daily activities include:

* Friday, July 3rd – “Blues and Jazz meet Reggae, sponsored by Kingston Mines Blues Club, in memory of Muddy Water’s 102nd Birthday, Willie Dixon’s 100th Birthday and B. B. King’s 90TH Birthday. 

* Saturday, July 4th, Independence Day – “Reggae, Rock and World Music Freedom Day” in memory of Bob Marley’s and Peter Tosh’s (The Wailers) 70th birthdays.

* Sunday, July 5th – “R & B meets the Caribbean”, “Living Together As One” celebration day. 

* Carnival Rides and Games for kids and adults (slide down the 3- story Titanic slide, Ride the 75 foot Zip Line, water slides, leisurely paddle the boat in the lagoon; conquer/climb the 28 – foot wall and more)

* Emerging Star Contest (ages 12 and under and 13-20), click here to register.

* “Know Your Pan-American and African Heritage” contest (3 person teams, ages 12 and under and 13-20), click here to register.

* Health Awareness Pavilion (blood and other tests)

* Carnival of Nations of The Americas and Africa, with flags celebrating their country’s Independence

* Soccer 3 v 3 competition for children 12-16 years old. Click here to register

* Exhibit/Scrimmage for adults

* Steppin’ and Line Dancing, by DJ Sam Chatman and Casper- Mr. C.

* Dominoes, Checkers and other games

ADVANCE ADMISSION TICKETS: General advance tickets $17, on the day of the event: $20 at gate until 4:00 pm. $25 from 4:00 pm until close on day of event. (Full price $25). Children under the age of 6 are free; children ages 6 – 12 are $5, but must be accompanied by an adult. Season tickets are $39 (Full price $75); VIP daily tickets are $75 each (Full price $100) and VIP Season tickets are $180 (Full price $300). Senior Citizens above 65 years pay $10, with a valid State ID.  If tickets are purchased online, name and date of birth must match their IDs at the gate on day of event. 

Click here to purchase tickets. All prices are subject to change.

The event is sponsored by: Austin Weekly News, Chicago Park District, NBC 5 Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, Nissan Next, Urban Grind TV, Gift of Hope, JAMAICA (Jamaica Tourist Board), Country Financial, Rogers Park Fruit Market, Kingston Mines Blues Club, African Spectrum, Rasta Love Punch,, Chicago Crusader,, Northstar Party Rental and others.

 Visit or email: for more info. Phone 312-427-0266 or fax 312-427-0268 for complete information.