Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune
Some of Chicago’s biggest summer festivals are happening across the city this weekend. Blues and endless ribs? Just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re looking to get down, pig out, or reminisce over Judy Blume, we’ve got a loaded agenda for you.
Chicago Blues Fest
The self-proclaimed “largest blues festival in the world" kicks off on Thursday and rhythms continue until Sunday, with music phenoms Bobby Rush, Shemekia Copeland, and James Cotton all set to perform. The catfish from BJ’s Market and Bakery and food from five other vendors provide just the right amount of ammunition to keep you going.
- Where: Millenium Park
- Tickets: Free admission
- For more information: Blues Fest
Chicago’s north side neighborhood goes wild this weekend, with art vendors lining the sidewalks and ABBA cover bands like ABBA Salute providing groovy tunes to celebrate. Be sure to snag a free beer for shopping local and watch the kids scale the inflatable climbing wall. Hats off to the Swedes for doing it so well.
- Where: Clark Street from Foster to Catalpa
- Tickets: $10 suggested donation at the gate
- For more information: Andersonville Midsommarfest
Who doesn’t love a competitive eating competiton? Luckily, Ribfest understands that and is more than willing to provide (however grotesque the results may be). Ribmania IV is just a sideshow to the carnivorous weekend event where festgoers can sample ribs from more than ten different Chicago vendors, along with tons more gourmet comfort food. Just be prepared—with all the ribs flying around, people-watching at this one may not be a pretty sight.
- Where: Lincoln Avenue from Irving Park to Berteau
- Tickets: $5 suggested donation at the gate, $99 VIP Pass, on-sale now
- For more information: Ribfest
Printers Row Lit Fest
There’s never been a better time to be a nerd. Join Judy Blume and Art Spiegelman for lit discussions, and Rick Bayless for a cooking demo this year at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest. All events are free, in case you weren’t sold already, though a select number of presentations require reserved tickets.
- Where: Printer’s Row
- Tickets: Free admission, select reserved tickets
- For more information: Printers Row Lit Fest
Wells Street Art Fest
In its 39th year, this weekend fest returns to draw out the artist in you. A new “Student Artist Showcase” joins the 250 juried artists featured at the fest this year, along with a silent auction and very-much-not-silent music stage that’ll have you channeling all sorts of vibes.
- Where: Old Town
- Tickets: $7 suggested donation at the door
- For more information: Wells Street Art Fest