Don’t-miss picks for July 26 through August 1, 2018
1 Josiah McElheny
Art:This Brooklyn-based sculptor won a MacArthur “genius” grant for his spellbinding installations of handblown glass, which appeared in the Art Institute’s medieval art galleries 20 years ago. His newer work riffs on the history of designer goods, from space-age chandeliers to customized modernist architecture, as a commentary on the slick but sometimes false promises of consumerism.
FREE Through 8/4. Corbett vs. Dempsey. corbettvsdempsey.com
2 46th Annual Fiesta del Sol
Festival:This popular street fest returns to Pilsen for the 46th time. This year visitors can expect to find more than 100 booths showcasing the tastiest tamales and tacos, along with several carnival rides—including a famed, brightly lit Ferris wheel.
FREE 7/26–29. Cermak between Ashland and Morgan. fiestadelsol.org
3 Newberry Book Fair
Festival:Bookworms unite! Newberry Library hosts its annual used-book sale, featuring more than 130,000 books in 70 categories, including history, political science, fiction, classics, and children’s literature. All proceeds will go directly to keeping the Newberry alive and well.
FREE 7/26–29. Newberry Library. newberry.org
4 Wicker Park Fest
Festival:This year’s acts range from rising rock stars Snail Mail (the project of songwriter and current toast of the blogosphere Lindsey Jordan) to indie stalwarts Porches (veteran purveyors of dreamy synth-pop) and hard-to-classify crowd pleasers Turquoise Jeep (a semiserious hip-hop collective).
7/27–29. $10 donation. Milwaukee from Ashland to North. wickerparkfest.com
5 Bantu Fest
Festival:Now in its fourth year, this celebration of cultural exchange and unity returns to the Midway Plaisance. The family-friendly event will run throughout the day and feature food, art, and live music from more than 20 countries.
FREE 7/28 at 10 a.m. Midway Plaisance. cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/nghdfest81.html
6 Chicago Margarita Festival
Food:Welcome to two woozy days of margarita tastings, food-truck fare, and a variety of live music by salsa, merengue, and bachata groups, among others.
7/28–29. $20–$65. Navy Pier. chicagomargaritafestival.com
7 Chicago Poetry Block Party
Literature:This annual celebration of poetry mixes workshops, readings, music — and even an open mike. It’s free and open to literature lovers of all ages. Read more here.
FREE 7/28 at 3 p.m. Austin Town Hall. poetryfoundation.org
8 South Loop Beer & Cider Festival
Festival:Liven up your Saturday afternoon with the rousing South Loop Beer & Cider Festival, where you can taste more than 100 beers and ciders from Illinois and beyond. And although guests’ stomachs may be reeling from all the beer, make sure to save some room for some of the delicious food from all over the city. VIP ticket holders ($79) will receive an additional hour of tasting and access to a selection of rare beers.
7/28 at 4 p.m. $30–$79. 18th and Indiana. southloopbeerfest.com
9 Foo Fighters
Rock:Continuing a tour of major stadiums, these eminently popular rockers will bring their stable of hits to Wrigley Field for a pair of shows. Expect a lengthy, rollicking show, with Dave Grohl and his crew finding time for all the fan favorites.
7/29–30. $50–$99. Wrigley Field. mlb.com/cubs/tickets/concerts/foo-fighters
10 Terror Jr
Pop:This trio (David “Campa” Benjamin Singer-Vine, Lisa Vitale, and Felix Snow) first drew attention in late 2016 when online conspiracy theorists speculated that reality TV star Kylie Jenner was secretly a member. It didn’t help that the band, which had just formed that year, was slow to correct this false assumption. Eventually, the music prevailed—minimalist, haunting pop for the Gen-Z set.
8/1 at 8 p.m. $18. Schubas. lh-st.com