Maybe it’s August’s approach, signaling the beginning of the end of summer, or maybe we’re just overdue for our share of turkey legs alfresco. Whatever the reason, street-fest season seems to reach fever pitch this weekend, with enough options to suit any summer-loving Chicagoan. Here, three of our top picks:
For Music Junkies:
Wicker Park Fest (Damen Avenue between North Avenue and Schiller Street; 773-384-2672) hosts continuous indie music on two stages Saturday, July 28th and Sunday, July 29th, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. Headliners include alt-hip-hop’s Prefuse 73, Portland punk rockers The Thermals (both at 9 p.m. Saturday), and heavy metal trio High on Fire (9 p.m. Sunday); plus, look for up-and-comers including local art-rock trio Pit er Pat (6:45 p.m. Sunday) and East Coast experimental outfit Man Man (7:55 p.m. Saturday). Suggested donation, $5.
With fest-circuit regulars Hairbangers Ball (6 p.m. Sunday) and Mike & Joe (8 p.m. Sunday) as headliners, the 24th annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton to Wrightwood; 773-868-3010) isn’t breaking any new musical ground. But if chowing outdoors and ogling Lincoln Park eye candy are your speed, head here. The fest also features a wine garden and 300 or so vendors, and runs from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Suggested donation, $7-$10.
Treat the kids to some culture at Pilsen’s Fiesta del Sol (Cermak Road between Loomis and Morgan Streets; 312-666-2663), an alcohol- and smoke-free fair featuring main-stage Latin music headliners Sonora Dinamita (9 p.m. Friday), Reencuento (10 p.m. Saturday), and Los Cadetes de Linares (9 p.m. Sunday). There are also carnival rides; games, DJs, and more music; plus live dance performances and traditional street-fest vendors. The fest runs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Entry is free.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week
• Following a sold-out run in New York, stand-up comedian Judy Gold performs 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, a monologue fusing the results of more than 50 interviews with her own experiences as a single, lesbian, Jewish mother of two. The show runs Thursday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 5th at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts (9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie; 847-673-6300). Tickets are $37.
• Seats are still available for the final weekend of Mirror of the Invisible World at the Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800). The play, directed by Tony-winner Mary Zimmerman and set to a musical backdrop, is based on a largely unknown 12th century poem about the Persian king Bahram Gur, who marries seven princesses from around the world, then learns their theories on love. Tickets run $20 to $68. Remaining showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
• Short chicks unite. In The Big Adventures of Little Women, performers Martie Sanders and Gloria Coco riff on power, body type, and being shorter than most. The show runs Friday, July 27th and Saturday, July 28th at 8 p.m., and August 3rd, 4th, and 24th at 7 p.m. at Live Bait Theater (3914 N. Clark St.; 773-871-1212). Tickets are $10.
• “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is only the beginning. For The Baseball Music Project, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra performs a selection of the 1,200 songs written about America’s favorite pastime, set to projected videos of baseball’s greatest moments. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29th at Ravinia Festival (418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park; 847-266-5100). Reserved tickets are $30; lawn seating is $10.
• Dust off that soapbox. It’s time for the Bughouse Square Debates in Washington Square Park (901 N. Clark St.; 312-255-3700). Everyone from poets to the merely rankled scores an open mic; plus, expect food, live music, and a culminating debate on immigration (3 p.m.), in which participants share their views in 60 seconds or less. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28th.
• Bean baggers, take note: the city is offering a far better playing field than your rat-riddled alley. The first-annual Windy City Cornhole Classic welcomes all levels; top placers earn prizes, but everyone can try the food and drink. The tourney runs Saturday, July 28th from noon to 9 p.m. (registration starts at 10 a.m.) in the south parking lot of Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.; 773-718-1444). Entry fees range from $20 for beginners to $150 for competitive doubles.
• This year, try to keep that boat envy in check; hey, a good attitude is in keeping with the theme, “Chicago’s Finest Moments.” The annual parade of illuminated vessels known as Venetian Night begins at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28th in Monroe Harbor (100 N. Harbor Dr.; 312-744-3370) and culminates with fireworks set to music. Don’t want to fight for a spot on the lakeshore? Snag a seat with a view at the Shedd Aquarium (1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 312-692-3156); from 7 p.m. to midnight, the venue offers a champagne reception, dancing, and appetizers for $125.
• This is way better than Biology 101. Artist Margaret Lazzari layers images of naturally occurring phenomena, like star clusters, aerial landforms, erosion patterns, and flocks of birds, with fractal diagrams from da Vinci’s notebooks. The exhibition, Wild Biology, is on view at the Gwenda Jay/Addington Gallery (704 N. Wells St.; 312-664-3406) through August 31st.
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