A Chicago summer is always filled with fests, concerts, and events, and in today’s team blog the CS team gives us a little insight into what they enjoy doing when they’re out of the office.

Dennis Culloton, President & CEO I love the neighborhood festivals instead of the big citywide events. So it makes no sense that I’ve missed the “garden walks,” art shows and “Taste of…” festivals for the likes of the major Grant Park Blues Fest.  We’re lucky in Chicago that there is always something every weekend at every turn for every taste. Since it’s my team and my blog, I can redefine this to also include Cubs games and concerts at Wrigley. At long last, the weather was great for the Billy Joel and Blake Shelton concerts and big home series like the Cardinal invasion. Thanks to the Ricketts family leadership and the efforts of Mayor Emanuel, plans for a major reinvestment and expansion in Wrigley Field have been approved.  We were proud to help secure that approval which will ensure that Wrigley can host great summertime events – and a World Series title or two – for generations to come.

Patrick Skarr, Senior Account Executive  The best summer festival to attend actually requires a quick trip over the Chicago Skyway. Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana is hands down one of the most entertaining, filling and interesting events in the Chicago area. Where else could you see a song and dance routine debating the existential question of how a Pierogi is best prepared  – boiled or deep fried –  set to the tune of “I Will Survive?”

 Pierogi Fest From the eclectic parade, the unique music and entertainment scene and more pierogi than you’ve ever seen in your life, this festival should be atop anyone’s list next summer.

In case you don’t believe me, on how much fun it is, you can check out the emcee of the event, Mr. Pierogi’s Facebook page and see all the wholesome fun and adventure that awaits in Whiting!

 Patrick O’Connell, Senior Intern  Summer in the city never disappoints, as it is, in my opinion, the best place to be with a wide variety of options to occupy your time. Whether it is going to North Avenue Beach or playing a quick 18 at Waveland golf course, Chicago has something for everyone to do. Personally when I am not hitting the links, my favorite summer pastime would have to be enjoying America’s pastime at the Friendly Confines. Waking up early and grabbing lunch in the neighborhood before heading inside Wrigley Field for a sunny 1:20 start is my idea of pure happiness. I make sure to catch a game, or ten, when I am back home from school. If you haven’t tried a ballpark dog topped off with an ice cold frosted mug, I highly recommend it before summer slips away!

Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President  We are lucky to live in an area that offers so many great opportunities for summer fun.  Since I am one of the lone suburbanites in our office, I thought I would feature the award winning Chicago Botanic Garden as my place to go over the summer months.  While aptly named “Chicago” it is actually in north suburban Glencoe.  More than 1 million people visit the garden each year, many simply strolling through the beautiful grounds, while others attend science and academic programs or the many wonderful public events offered throughout the year.  One of my favorite activities at the garden is attending the Monday evening Carillon Concerts by the water, where blankets and picnic baskets are the first order of business. It is also hard to beat a Sunday morning bike ride to the Garden through the forest preserve trails or planning a fall marathon training run that reaches its’ halfway point at the visitor’s center.  However you choose to get there, or whatever time of year, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a treasure not to be missed.

Julia Schatz, Senior Account Executive  Some of my favorite summer activities in Chicago are “Jazzin at the Shedd,” spending as much time as possible at the beach  or at any kind of lake house (being near any body of water will do) and eating at all of Chicago’s amazing restaurants that have rooftops and/or outside patios.

Angelica Munoz, Intern  Summer in Chicago is a privilege, and it is only right for any Chicagoan to take advantage of the many festivals and events the city has to offer. This summer I have enjoyed going to events such as the Taste of River North, Wicker Park Fest, and the Summer Film Series; which shows a free movie in Millennium Park every Tuesday night. In addition to the Summer Film Series, Millennium Park has had a jam packed schedule of free events, extending all the way into mid-September, that you can check out here. Millennium Park Monthly Schedule 

 Evan Jackson, Intern This year was the year for The World Cup tournament to make its appearance again. This event attracted several different crowds such as; soccer fanatics, patriotic supporters and those who mindlessly jumped aboard the bandwagon. And I was somewhere in between all three. As the USA team progressed further in the competition, major cities throughout the country set up sites for fans to cheer for the team. In Chicago, Grant Park and Soldier Field was where these massive viewing parties were held. Fans came out to support the team and watch the game on large projector screens. I was fortunate enough to make it to Grant Park for one of the games. It was an amazing experience to be a midst of US fans cheering and supporting our country for a positive reason and common cause.