The Tacos y Tamales Festival spices up Chicago for its inaugural run this weekend. Credit: Canibalazzo

The Air and Water Show flies through town this weekend, but there’s plenty of other things to do. Here’s some of what we recommend:

Fri 8/18-Sun 8/20: The inaugural Tacos y Tamales Festival (W. 16th & S. Peoria) is inspired by tianguis, outdoor Mexican markets, and includes authentic Latin American and Mexican food, art installations, local vendors, music and dance performances, and a beer garden. Noon-10 PM, $5 suggested donation

Fri 8/18: After Dark at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan) is like Night at the Museum, but with more surrealistic photographs and less presidential wax figures. The Focus series’ latest installment, “Helena Almeida: Work Is Never Finished,” features black-and-white photographs of the Portuguese artist. Pearl Charles performs, DJs spin, and there will be complimentary snacks and a cash bar. Who says museums aren’t “with it”? 9 PM-midnight, $35, $25 for members and students

8/18-10/13: Female empowerment is plentiful at Woman as Warrior, an exhibition at Zhou B Art Center (1029 W. 35th) curated by Didi Menendez and Sergio Gomez. Artists and poets, including Natasha Kertes and Dulce Maria Menendez, come together to showcase the powerful and tenacious warrior that exists within all women. Mon-Sat 10 AM-5 PM

Sat 8/19: The What’s So Funny? Live Variety Show features the delightfully bizarre webseries trying its hand at the stage. Located at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont), performers include alleged Kirstie Alley stunt double PAM WHO?!, Basia Sroka, and Chris Martin (not the one in Coldplay). The show also plans to livestream via Facebook. The future is now. 7:30 PM, $5

Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic, is inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic, is inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on Saturday.Credit: Creative Commons

Sat 8/19:
Former colleagues and friends speak about the vaunted late film critic Roger Ebert—friendly foil to Gene Siskel on TV’s Siskel and Ebert—at his Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Induction hosted by the American Writers Museum (180 N. Michigan). Ebert’s widow, Chaz Ebert, accepts the award on his behalf. 6 PM

8/19-4/1: The Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago) celebrates its 50th year with a massive, three-part series focusing on the influence of contemporary art on our worldview. The first of these exhibitions, I am You, explores our relationship with the environment using works by Francis Bacon, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Marisol, and Shirin Neshat. 10 AM-5 PM

All manner of planes zip into town this weekend for the Chicago Air and Water Show.
All manner of planes zip into town this weekend for the Chicago Air and Water Show.Credit: Scott L

Sat 8/19-Sun 8/20: The Blue Angels and the Golden Knights soar over North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore) for the Chicago Air and Water Show, a weekend of spectacular aerial maneuvers and ear-piercing noise. Fighter jets, helicopters, and parachutes remind Chicagoans how wonderful it feels to be standing on the ground. 10 AM-3 PM

Sun 8/20: Comedy exposed, in more than one sense of the word. Mr. Mz hosts Skinprovisation, a merging of burlesque and improv at Links Hall (3111 N. Western). Performers hustle in from all over the midwest, including The Irresistible O! and Cruel Valentine. 7:30 PM, $20, $15 in advance

Through 8/20: Last chance to see Sad Clown at the Annoyance Theatre (851 W. Belmont). The Reader’s Marissa Oberlander writes, “Directed and hosted by comedic improviser and psychiatric nurse Matthew Manning, this hour of inspiring personal essays, each launching subsequent improv, highlights experiences with mental illness. Manning says his mission is to loosen up the way we talk about mental illness, and this heartbreaking and frequently funny show takes an admirable stab at ‘unclogging the pipes.'” Sun 8 PM, $10

For more things to do this weekend—and every day—check out our Agenda page.