Chicago’s CumbiaSazo Party Celebrates 5 Years With a Massive Outdoor Festival

Lead Photo: Photo courtesy of CumbiaSazo
Photo courtesy of CumbiaSazo
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It’s not truly #SummertimeChi unless you’re eating, dancing, and soaking up the sun that so seldom graces the city of Chicago.

Chicago throws hundreds of outdoor summer events every year – and though they’re all entertaining and enjoyable to most, so few serve the POC communities that make up Chicago’s diverse landscape.

This weekend, the crew behind CumbiaSazo – Chicago’s monthly inclusive and creative underground music movement – are celebrating their five-year anniversary as a collective with their biggest event yet. This celebration has all of the aforementioned summertime Chicago essentials and plenty of Latinx love to go around.

CumbiaSazo Family Fest will be a free, all-ages event highlighting the best of CumbiaSazo but on a grander scale, with a background location of Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park – the hidden city gem that practically puts Grant Park to shame.

The event – which is totally free of corporate sponsors, a rarity for big festivals – has a jam-packed schedule of events made for and by the Chicago creative community.

Music acts such as Chulita Vinyl Club (of Texas), DJ Gio Chamba, and Southside-based cumbia band Quinto Imperio will be headlining the DJ stage and curating the evening’s soundtrack while festivalgoers can ride kayaks along the park’s river, eat the best tamales in town (shoutout to Pilsen’s Yvolina’s), and shop the dozens of creators and artisans who will be selling goods that night (Get there early, because we know local craft business Rowdy Corazon’s “chingona” pencils will sell out).

The fest also is more than just another excuse to dance and eat (though that’s important); it’s a physical representation of the Chicago that most of the world doesn’t see. It’s proof of a joyful Chicago. A Chicago in celebration, rather than mourning. It’s family and friends and colleagues and creatives coming together to celebrate who they are, where they’ve come from, where they are now, and even through rockier times, the fact that no one can take this city’s pride away.

CumbiaSazo Family Fest takes place July 2 at Ping Tom Park (18th Street and Wentworth) from 3-8 p.m. Free admission, all ages welcome. CumbiaSazo Family Fest is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series. Check out the flyer below: