It’s been a hot sweaty week, no doubt about it, but soaking up some vitamin D at outdoor festivals (or just getting out of the house into someone else’s AC) could be good for the humidity blues. Here are some of the best bets for the week ahead.
Taste of Greektown brings Greek music and Greek food to Halsted between Van Buren and Adams this weekend (Fri 8/27 from 4-10 PM; Sat 8/28 and Sun 8/29 from noon-10 PM). More information is at the festival’s website.
The northwest side will have some flashback moments with Gladstone Park’s Throwback Music Fest (featuring a classic cars contest and a pet parade), happening Fri 8/27 (5 PM-10 PM), Sat 8/28 (11 AM-10 PM), and Sun 8/29 (11 AM-9 PM). The festival inhabits the area around the 6000 north block of Milwaukee Avenue, and more information can be found at the festival’s website.
Navy Pier hosts a celebration of libations with Saturday’s Chicago Margarita Festival, hosted in two ticketed sessions (11 AM-6 PM and 7 PM-midnight) at the pier’s Miller Lite Beer Garden. Visitors must be 21 and over (natch) and will enjoy booze vendors, salsa and reggae DJs, and more booze vendors (hey, at least they were honest when they named this thing). Tickets are available at the festival’s website.
Sat 8/28 and Sun 8/29, noon-10 PM: My House Music Festival takes over Harrison Park in Pilsen this weekend with a celebration of house music, complete with DJs both days (headliners and highlights include Felix Da Housecat, Mike Dunn, DJ Deeon, and Ron Trent) along with food vendors and family art activities. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the festival’s website.
Edgewater Arts Festival features 70 artist booths, music, and food vendors around the 1100 west block of Granville this weekend (Sat 8/28 and Sun 8/29 from 11 AM-7 PM). Donations bring beautification projects to the neighborhood, and you can check out more information at the festival’s website.
Bronzeville Blues brings a huge slate of blues musicians to the areas around the original location of the storied Checkerboard Lounge on Sun 8/29 from noon to 7 PM. Visitors can take in the music at three separate stages near 43rd Street and Calumet. The day also features food trucks and walking tours to significant art and blues sites in the neighborhood. Check out more information at the festival’s website and read more about Chicago blues in 2021 in Reader contributor James Porter’s article here.
Fri 8/27, 6 PM: The outdoor Spark Summer Music Series brings Rich Jones with Justice Hill, Lester Rey, and Radio Free Honduras with Charlie Baran to Kosciuszko Park for a free show. Details are available on Facebook.
Sat 8/28, 8:30 AM-4 PM: Cheer on this year’s racing teams as they compete in the 2021 Dragon Boat Race for Literacy. You can check out the fun at Ping Tom Park, and donations benefit neighborhood literacy programs. More information is available at the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce website.
Sat 8/28, 6 PM: General admission lawn tickets are still available for the Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and NNAMDÏ show at Pritzker Pavilion tonight. Read Reader contributor Monica Kendrick’s concert preview here.
Sat 8/28, 6 PM: Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Dream, a touring outdoor “community reimagining” of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Hermosa’s Kelvyn Park. Created by Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel and Cage Sebastian Pierre, the show partners with community arts organizations (the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center is the Hermosa partner). There are additional performances 6 PM Tue 8/31 at Little Village’s Piotrowski Park, Thu 9/2 in West Pullman Park, and Sat 9/4 in Chinatown’s Ping Tom Memorial Park. Performances are free, but registration is suggested at the Chicago Shakes website in case of last-minute changes.
Sun 8/29, 11 AM-8 PM: Sundays on State has been inhabiting State Street from Lake to Madison on select Sundays this summer, and today is one of the last chances to take in the free entertainment, pop-up vendors, and art exhibitions that take over the closed-to-car-traffic stretch of downtown for the afternoon. Today’s highlights include street food, interactive art from the Freakeasy art collective, a chance to get a poem written for you by the writers of Poems While You Wait (1-5 PM), and a 7 PM performance by the country ensemble Girls of the Golden West. See more details about this family-friendly and free event at Chicago Loop Alliance’s website.
Tue 8/31, 9 PM: Chicago indie duo Orisun perform at the Hideout. Read Reader senior writer Leor Galil’s concert preview here.
Wed 9/1, 4-7 PM: You can work up a fun sweat while learning new moves in Dancing at the Box, a pop-up event at Boxville (332 E. 51st) created by Denita Inez and Desueño. The event offers mini-lessons on the hour in Latin dance (bachata, salsa, and merengue), with freestyle and Latin line dancing also on the bill. It’s family-friendly and free.
Thu 9/2, 8 PM: During the shutdown, the online comedy game show Wisecrackin’, created by Chicago comedian and Second City instructor Angie McMahon, presented comedians going head-to-head in a competition to provide the best punchline for a setup they’re seeing for the first time. The show makes its inaugural live debut at the Laugh Factory, but it still has a virtual component: comedian/actor/improviser Greg Proops will be joining online from Los Angeles. Tickets are $10 live, and you can also stream through the Wisecrackin’ Facebook page and Twitch channel.