Odesza plays at this weekend's North Coast Music Festival. Credit: TONJE THILESEN

Here are the Reader’s top recommendations for letting loose during the three-day Labor Day weekend:

Through 9/4: This year’s Chicago Jazz Festival began Thursday night at the Chicago Cultural Center, then dissipating across various venues in and around Millennium Park. Listen to the Liberation Music Orchestra—conducted by Carla Bley—in a tribute to founder Charlie Haden on Friday, or get an early introduction to budding musicians at The Young Jazz Lions Stage on Saturday. Various times and venues

Through 9/11: Catch magician Kayla Drescher’s Magic in Heels, Barebones Theatre Company’s The Curse on Mordrake, and science comedian Brian Malow’s Rational Comedy for an Irrational Planet among other performing art acts at the Chicago Fringe Festival. Various times and venues

Fri 9/2-Mon 9/5: The 27th Annual African Festival of the Arts opens an intercontinental portal at Africa International House in Washington Park (6200 S. Drexel). The festival simulates a traditional African village, subdivided into Nubia (fine art), Kush (wearable art), Songhay (collectibles, natural products, and more arts and crafts), Timbuktu (African fabrics and fashion), and Bank of the Nile (food court), complete with drumming and afro-folk, spiritual demos, handwoven clothing, and more. 10 AM-10 PM

Crack some shells at the Great American Lobster Fest.
Crack some shells at the Great American Lobster Fest.Credit: Joe Houston of The Foxhole Chicago

Fri 9/2-Sat 9/3:
Illinois-grown literary legend David Foster Wallace once invited readers to consider the lobster—fulfill his command at the Navy Pier (600 E. Grand) this weekend. Live music groups Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Liverpool Legends set to the stage as lobster-enthusiasts get the delicate shellfish served on a stick, mixed into mac and cheese, or loaded onto fries at the Great American Lobster Fest. Fri noon-10 PM, Sat 11 AM-10 PM

9/2-9/4: North Coast Music Festival takes over Union Park (1501 W. Randolph) with a lineup largely composed of electronic musicians and DJs. Odesza and Grouplove kick things off on Friday, followed by fellow headliners Bassnectar, Logic, Zedd, and Umphrey’s McGee. Other notable North Coast performers include Chicago-based rapper Jamila Woods and newly-formed duo Claypool Lennon Delirium. Fri 3 PM, Sat-Sun  1 PM

Fri 9/2: Tracy Morgan, John Mulaney, Hannibal Buress, and other comics perform at the Oddball Comedy Festival at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (I-80 & Harlem, Tinley Park). 5 PM

9/2-9/5: With its deep-rooted historical ties to the city, Chicago’s sizable Polish population maintains a resolute cultural pride. Get a taste of the expatriate community’s enduring European heritage at Taste of Polonia at Copernicus Center (5216 W. Lawrence). Fri 5-10:30 PM, Sat-Sun noon-10:30 PM, Mon noon-10 PM

Martin Whatson's <i>Zero Tolerance</i> is part of "LAX/ORD" at Vertical Gallery.
Martin Whatson’s Zero Tolerance is part of “LAX/ORD” at Vertical Gallery.Credit: Martin Whatson/Vertical Gallery

Sat 9/3:
Los Angeles’ Thinkspace joined forces with Chicago’s Vertical Gallery (1016 N. Western) to create “LAX/ORD,” an extensive showcase of New Contemporary art. More than 100 artists contributed small format works, and the collaboration (continuing through 9/24) also promises a public mural by street artists Ghostbeard and Patch Whisky. 6-10 PM

Sat 9/3: Writers from the Onion’s parody website Clickhole present their knack for humor in an alternative format with Amazing: A Live Show at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). 7 PM

Scooter lovers unite this weekend during Slaughterhouse.
Scooter lovers unite this weekend during Slaughterhouse.Credit: Bryan Bedell

Sat 9/3:
Chicago’s oldest scooter rally, Slaughterhouse, culminates with a dance party at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). DJs Malice Mae, Ivanna Riot, Brendan McDamnit, and Bryan Martin spin tracks in between a silent raffle for the rambunctious scooter riders. 9 PM

Sun 9/4: Indulge in yet another seafood luxury this Labor Day weekend at Frontier’s beer garden in West Town (1072 N. Milwaukee). The bar’s all-you-can eat clambake offers up shrimp, corn, and frozen rosé in addition to masterfully cooked clams courtesy of Chef Brian Jupiter. 3-6 PM

Sun 9/4: The Harold improv team Deep Schwa celebrates its 20th anniversary at iO’s Mission Theater (1501 N. Kingsbury). Coaches and performers past and present including Dan Antonucci, Joe Canale, Meagan Flanagan, Tim Mason, Susie Goskowski, and more return to the stage. 8:30 PM

For more stuff to do this week—and every day—check out our Agenda page.