It’s perfect outside today (30% chance of rain, but the radar looks encouraging right now), which is fortunate because there’s a lot to do outside:

* The Blackhawks parade, which you’re probably aware of if you took (or tried to take) public transportation. On the other hand, colleagues report that the highways were clear, which is kind of nice.

* The Chicago Blues Festival kicks off today; here’s our critical guide to the 27th annual extravaganza.

* Ribfest kicks off this evening; today’s band lineup is shorter than Saturday’s or Sunday’s, but it does feature Mucca Pazza and the great Robbie Fulks.

* The Little City Used Book Sale, billed as the largest used book sale in the midwest, is ongoing at Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie.

* There’s going to be a BP flash-mob protest in Millennium Park early this afternoon; details—while it’s called a “flash mob,” there’s a specific set of rules—are here.

* And of course you may find our ice cream roundup and our outdoor dining guide handy.