Sam Trump performs Friday as part of the Taste of Chicago To-Go festival. Credit: Courtesy of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Here’s some events, exhibitions, and shows to keep you occupied over the next seven days.


  • Fri 7/9 through Sun 7/11: The City of Chicago’s Taste of Chicago To-Go festival continues with food, music, and dance events scheduled across the city. Highlights include a book reading by Marisel Vera, whose novel The Taste of Sugar was voted Best New Novel by a Chicagoan in our Best of Chicago 2020 poll (5:30 PM Friday at ¡WEPA! Mercado del Pueblo in Humboldt Park), a pop-up performance by Sam Trump & the Soul Vortex (6 PM Friday at Island Tings on 51st Street in Washington Park), and a Saturday “Pop-Up Taste” event at Eli’s Cheesecake (6701 W. Forest Preserve near Montrose) featuring food from Eli’s, Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences’s mobile farm stand, music, and more. You can see the entire weekend schedule here and all events are free.
  • Sat 7/10, 11 AM: Check out lefty books, periodicals, and more for sale at the Radical Used Book Fair, hosted by Haymarket Books. Proceeds benefit the local publisher’s “Books Not Bars” program, which donates books to people who are incarcerated. The fair happens in the Buena Park neighborhood, where parking is limited but like our minds, admission to the fair is free. See Eventbrite for more information.
  • Sat 7/10, 3 and 7 PM: Writer Melissa Perry recommends Tap Secret!, a live show from Chicago Tap Theatre featuring music and lyrics by JC Brooks. Read more about the show in Perry’s review. Tickets are available for both performances at Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Sat 7/10, 4 PM: The online shops Ashpirations and Salty Brown Femme combine forces to sell their wares in a Summertime Pop-Up event, hosted outside Rogers Park’s PO Box Collective community space on Glenwood near Farwell. Local vendors will sell art, plants, ice cream, skin care, and more, and a raffle will be held to benefit PO Box Collective. Free to attend, check out Facebook to find out more.
  • Sun 7/11, 3 PM: On the blues and soul front, Reader contributor David Whiteis recommends an outdoor event at Jeffrey Manor’s Odyssey East bar featuring Source One Band and others performing in tribute to Sir Walter Scott, the band’s lead guitarist, who passed away in 2020. Read the preview for this 21 and over show here.
  • Wed 7/14, 6 PM: Reader contributor Mark Guarino recently wrote about Indiana farmer and musician Dennis J. Leise and his country and rockabilly songs. You can catch Leise on the north side tonight in a free performance at Montrose Saloon.
  • Thu 7/15, 7:30 PM: The Goodman Theatre kicks off a weekend run of I Hate it Here, award-winning Chicago playwright Ike Holter’s work about surviving the pandemic, social justice, and other timely issues. It’s viewable online as part of the theater’s new streaming series. Read Reader Theater and Dance Editor Kerry Reid’s review of an earlier production here and go to the Goodman’s website to purchase tickets for showtimes tonight through Sunday 7/18.  v