Vivian Maier, Three Highland Park Firemen Credit: Courtesy Chicago History Museum

Hot Chicago Summer (with apologies to Megan Thee Stallion) continues with plenty to do this weekend and beyond. Stay safe and enjoy!


  • Fri 7/23, 5 PM-10 PM, Sat 7/24 and Sun 7/25, noon-10 PM: Wicker Park Fest is back, featuring music, food, and retail vendor booths, all along Milwaukee Avenue (between the Damen and Division Blue Line stations). Music highlights include Mother Nature, Wyatt Waddell, and Ric Wilson on Saturday night, as well as Smoking Popes and Archers of Loaf on Sunday.
  • Fri 7/23 through Sun 7/25, 6 PM: Chicago Repertory Ballet performs a revival of artistic director Wade Schaaf’s interpretation of The Rite of Spring, composed by Igor Stravinsky, along with other works in a ticketed outdoor performance at Montrose Harbor’s Cricket Hill. The company cautions that some material may not be suitable for younger audiences.
  • Sat 7/24, 11 AM-2 PM: Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (CCRX) offers their seasonal Community Repair Clinic, an opportunity for the public to check out the Exchange’s Auburn Gresham headquarters while getting their broken items repaired by “fixers” from Community Glue Workshop and the Chicago Tool Library. You can bring toys, appliances, or pretty much anything except computers or printers to see if a fixer is up to the repair task. Registration is requested (go to CCRX’s website to do so) but it’s free to attend.
  • Sat 7/24 and Sun 7/25, noon-11 PM: El Gran Festival Colombiano celebrates its sixth year of bringing international music, food, craft vendors and more to Humboldt Park. One highlight will be La Gran Parada, a parade of people in traditional folkloric costumes honoring people who have passed away from COVID-19 related causes as well as victims of violence in both Colombia and Chicago. Tickets are required for entry.
  • Sun 7/25, 5 PM and 8 PM: Cosmic Country presents Final Frontier Land, a country music and sci-fi mash-up bonanza featuring Prairie School DJs, musicians, variety show-style acts, and the talents of Junkpile, Nathan Graham, Lillian King, and more at Sleeping Village in Avondale. “Western and sci-fi wear” is encouraged by the event organizers. Bar entry is limited to those 21 and over.
  • Sun 7/25, 7 PM: Get thee to Austin Gardens for Oak Park Festival Theatre’s outdoor staging of The Tempest, which runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, plus Sundays at 7 PM through August 21. You can check out Reader theater and dance editor Kerry Reid’s review here.
  • Mon 7/26: 9 and 9:30 PM: Art on the Mart presents short films projected onto the Merchandise Mart each evening through 9/16. The images are best viewed from the Riverwalk between Wells and Lake Street, and the summer program includes Footnotes, an animation focusing on the dance form of footwork accompanied by original music from DJ Spinn, Angel Bat Dawid, and more.
  • Tue 7/27, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM: “Vivian Maier: In Color” is a multimedia exhibition at Chicago History Museum featuring 65 color images by the photographer Vivian Maier made during her time working as a North Shore nanny from the 1950s through the 1970s. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and tickets are available for entry. Darshita Jain wrote about the exhibition for us in May.
  • Thu 7/29, 7:30 PM: Dancing With the Stars alumni and brothers Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy merge personal stories and dancing for their new show Maks & Val: Stripped Down, which they’ll perform tonight on the Athenaeum stage. All ages are welcome and masks are required for audience members.  v