Friday 7

High-speed demonstrations by Icelandic horses (they can gallop up to 30 miles an hour–faster than a thoroughbred), dressage by rare Andalusian stallions, a “Cavalcade of Horses” featuring a large variety of breeds, a drill-team show, and horsey games for kiddies will all be happening at the Mid-America Horse Festival, today through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Saint Charles, Randall Road south of Route 64. There are shows at noon and 7 PM daily; Friday admission is $1, free for children and seniors; Saturday and Sunday the charge is $3, $2 for children and seniors. You can drop off your entry in the World’s Biggest Carrot Contest at the carrot booth any time before the final performance on Sunday. Ticket sales will benefit the Northeastern Illinois Special Olympics; call them at 377-7250 for more information.

The Chicago Women’s Caucus for Art sponsors Mama and Herealism, an exhibit that opens with a reception from 5 to 8 this evening and continues through August 28 at Artemisia, 341 W. Superior. Jan Cicero, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, and Ronne Hartfield served as jurors, selecting 60 works by more than 40 artists from around the country. The caucus meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at Artemisia, with the next meeting planned for August 25. More at 751-2016.

A new addition to the summer music scene is the Woodstock Mozart Festival, which consists of two programs–the first will be performed at 8 tonight and tomorrow at the very lovely Woodstock Opera House and will feature Viennese violinist Elisabeth Weiss-Wechsler and the Woodstock Festival Orchestra, with Charles Zachary Bornstein conducting. Bornstein will perform as a soloist, conducting from the keyboard, during the second program, 8 PM August 14 and 15. Tickets are $15, $13 for students and seniors; details at 815-338-5300. The Opera House is located at 121 Van Buren Street in Woodstock.

Saturday 8

A jubilee celebration of the 25th anniversary of Jamaican Independence will take place today at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren, sponsored by Jamaican American Caribbean Quarterly. The festivities, which run 11 to 6, will include a talk by Kingston mayor Ralph Brown, performances by a West Indian Dance troupe, and food and crafts booths. Admission $10, $5 for children under 12. Call 346-1456 for more.

The Chicago Maritime Society sponsors the third annual Chicago Maritime Folk Festival noon to 6 today and tomorrow on the east end of Navy Pier, Grand and Lake Michigan. The motif will be a see-worthy look at the Great Lakes and their history, ecology, and more–such as boat-building demos, knot-tying workshops, cruises on the lake, underwater shipwreck divers, folk music, and a fashion show. Admission is free; information at 348-2017.

More nautical fun can be had many miles from the lake when Privateer performs sea ballads and sailor songs from 2 to 4 today and tomorrow at the Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st in Brookfield. The concerts will be given on the East 56 Mall, west of Roosevelt Fountain, and they’re free with zoo admission: $2.25, 75 cents for seniors and children 6-11. Details at 485-0263.

Sunday 9

The ninth annual Chinatown Summer Fair will be held from noon to 9 today, centered at the intersection of Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. The opening ceremonies will include a traditional dancing lion and fireworks, while a twilight parade climaxing the event will be led by a dancing Chinese dragon and capped off by a fireworks display. In between there will be lots of dance, music, and food. Free admission; 225-7276.

Rose Appleman discusses The Politics of AIDS at a forum from 6 to 9 at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington. Appleman is author, with Nancy Krieger, of the pamphlet of the same name, which looks at the disease and the social, scientific, and political response to it. $3 donation for the forum; refreshments will be sold. Information at 935-0642.

Monday 10

I’m personally always at a loss for an appropriate venue for celebrating the Queen of Thailand’s birthday. The Chicago Office of Fine Arts steps in to fill the void with a free program performed by the Thai Classical Orchestra and Dancers at noon today at the Daley Civic Center Plaza, Washington and Dearborn. Info at 346-3278.

Bass Desires is the unusually catchy title of tonight’s Ravinia offering–a program featuring Marc Johnson, John Scofield (Downbeat’s guitarist of the year), Bill Frisell, Peter Erskine, and David Darling. The concert of electric jazz is at 8 in the Murray Theatre and costs $14, with information at 728-4642; Ravinia is located at 1575 Oakwood in Highland Park.

Tuesday 11

“There never was a more starstruck movie or a greater dance musical,” wrote dance critic Arlene Croce of Swing Time, which is considered by many to be the absolute best of the ten Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies. It screens at 6 this evening at the Film Center of the Art Institute, Columbus at Jackson; stick around for Broadway Melody of 1940, in which Astaire is paired up with lovely Eleanor Powell (a tap-dance whiz in her own right), at 8 PM. The Film Center’s Amazing Astaire series continues Tuesday nights through September 1. Tickets are $4.50, $5.50 for a double feature; $2.50 and $3.50 for members: 443-3737.

The 32nd annual Charlie Parker Month at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase is upon us, and you can warm up for the big event–Dizzy Gillespie August 18-23–with the Red Rodney Quintet, performing at 8:30 and 10:30 tonight through August 16. Jazz Showcase is located at the Blackstone, 636 S. Michigan. A while back, Red Rodney replaced Miles Davis in the Charlie Parker Quintet. There’s a $10 cover, $12 on the weekend; details at 427-4300.

Wednesday 12

Apparently you have to get up with the birds if you want to see ’em. The Chicago Ornithological Society leads bird walks at 7 AM on Wednesdays and Fridays and 8 AM on Saturdays through August. They start at the bridge south of the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and South Lake Shore Drive, and they’re free. Details at 493-7058.

The A&O Films crew at Northwestern wind up their summer programming with a comedy wingding that starts tonight with Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov’s perversely witty Rating Raoul (6 and 8 PM), followed on Friday, August 14, by Terry Gilliam’s hilarious Brazil (7 and 9 PM) and on Saturday, August 15, by the wacko The Gods Must Be Crazy (7 and 9 PM). All three films will be screened in the Norris Center, 1999 Sheridan in Evanston. Admission is $2; 491-2379.

Thursday 13

Chicago filmmaker J.P. Somersaulter’s Donna Rosebud has its official Chicago premiere at 7 and 9 tonight and tomorrow at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport. It was a hit at the Cork (Ireland) and Edinburgh film festivals and a sellout in previews at the Film Center. The title character is clearly someone women of the 1980s can identify with–a mother, mayor, athlete, chemist, composer, and surgeon, “plagued by nightmares which threaten her many careers, her love affairs, and perhaps even her life.” Two animated shorts–The Silverfish King and Yo Yo the Clone–by Somersaulter will also be screened. $5 admission: 871-6604.

The Taneyev String Quartet appears for one performance only at 7:30 tonight in Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute, Michigan at Adams. The group, in residence at Leningrad’s Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Far East and makes its Chicago debut with this concert of works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Beethoven; encores will be pieces by American composers. Tickets are $15; more at 922-2110.