MAY

Thu17 Get out of Dodge NATO’s coming, bringing foreign dignitaries and martial law. Get out while you still can: see our summer getaways for a few inspired ideas.

Fri18 HoZac Blackout Davila 666, Redd Kross, and White Mystery are a few of the acts playing summer’s first music festival, put on by grungy local music label HoZac. 5/18-5/20, Fri-Sat 5 PM, Sun 7 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600, hozacrecords.com, $20 for Fri, $25 for Sat-Sun.

Sat19 Beerfly Alleyfight Eleven home brews are matched with dishes by 11 local chefs and works by 11 local artists in this “tri-pairing” event. Noon-5 PM, Haymarket Pub and Brewery, 737 W. Randolph, 312-638-0700, drinkingand writing.com, $35 online, $40 at the door.

Sun20 Down & Dirty Mud Run This swampy obstacle course for the Army Rangers-minded comes in 5K and 10K varieties. Rinse stations are provided. 8 AM, Indian Hills Farm, 16N503 Powers, Gilberts, 773-443-0757, downanddirtymudrun.com, $70.

Mon21 The Beach Boys 50th-anniversary tour The sounds of summer wouldn’t be complete without the Beach Boys, who hit the road in honor of a half century of warm, dreamy tunes. 5/21-5/22, 8 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, www.chicagotheatre.com, $40-$250.

Tue22 Lagunitas & artisanal sausages Cleverly named brews including Hopstoopid, Wilco Tango Foxtrot, and Imperial Red paired with locally produced sausages. 7:30-10 PM, Fireside Restaurant and Lounge, 5739 N. Ravenswood. Craft Beer week runs 5/17-5/27. chibeerweek.com.

Wed23 Model trains at Chicago Botanic Garden Nothing says summer innocence like gazing at mini trains chugging past tiny replicas of national landmarks in the middle of a blooming garden. (Part of our Summer Guide itinerary for Lake Forest, p 26.) 5/12-10/28, 10 AM-5 PM, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org, $5 adults, $3 kids.

Thu24 Snoop Dogg Not that you need another reason to see him, but the man did guest on that Frankenstein of summer jams, 2010’s “California Gurls.” 8 PM, Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center, Hammond, Indiana, 219-473-6060, thevenue-chicago.com, $35-$60.

Fri25 The beaches open It’s like the last day of being-dry school.

Sat26 Randolph Street Market It’s the season opener of the long-running outdoor market whose 200 vendors sell everything from antiques to vintage threads to midcentury housewares. 5/26-5/27, 6/23-6/24, 7/28-7/29, 8/25-8/26, 9/29-9/30, Sat 10 AM-6 PM, Sun 10 AM-5 PM, 1340 W. Washington, randolphstreetmarket.com, general admission $10, $8 in advance; students $5, $3 in advance.

Sun27 Bike the Drive Cruise up and down Lake Shore Drive in this annual event benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance. A festival from 8 AM to noon (Jackson and Columbus) features live music and all-you-can eat pancakes. Sun 5/27, 5:30 AM start, entry to drive stops at 9:45 AM, 312-427-3325, ext. 251, bikethedrive.org, $15-$58.

Mon28 Memorial Day! Fire up the grill, shotgun a beer, remix the national anthem, attend International Mr. Leather (imrl.com)—all in the name of our nation’s armed forces.

Tue29
“A good off day for me starts with a nice home-cooked big breakfast and a solid pair of sweatpants. After breakfast, I’ll take a bike ride on my cruiser through the neighborhood and down the lake path. After a morning cruise, I’ll take my pooch, Dallas, to the park for some catch before heading into the studio to work on my art. I’ll spend the afternoon concentrating on a few oil paintings and working on some sketches before heading back to the abode for a nice dinner.”
—Dan Gargan, defender for the Chicago Fire
The Fire play at Toyota Park (7000 S. Harlem) through October. chicago-fire.com.

Wed30 Fireworks @ Navy Pier See the rocket’s red glare. (Boom, crash!) Wednesdays (9:30 PM) and Saturdays (10:15 PM), 5/26-9/1, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437, navypier.com, free.

Thu31 Mayfest Lincoln Square hosts this traditional German celebration, boasting live music and an authentic maypole. 5/31-6/3, Thu 5-9:30 PM, Fri 5-11 PM, Sat noon-11 PM, Sun noon-10 PM, 4700 N. Lincoln, mayfestchicago.com, free.

JUNE

Fri1 Do-Division Street Fest Black Belles, the Antlers, and Peanut Butter Wolf headline the music/arts fest that shuts down Division. 6/1-6/3, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat-Sun noon-10 PM, 312-850-9390, do-divisionstreetfest.com, $5.

Sat2 57th Street Art Fair Everything from glassworks to photographs in this family-friendly festival—the city’s oldest juried arts fair—in the streets of Hyde Park. 6/2-6/3, Sat 11 AM-6 PM, Sun 10 AM-5 PM, 57th and Kimbark, 773-234-3247, 57thstreetartfair.org, free.

Veggie Pride Parade ChicagoVeg imports Paris’s 11-year-old celebration of meat abstention. Expect a costume contest, speakers, and for passersby to not get what the big deal is. Noon, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, veggiepride.com/chicago.

Sun3 SausageFest This boozy, meaty street fair with two days of live music and the crowning of the Sausage Fest king benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation. 6/2-6/3, Sat noon-10 PM, Sun noon-10 PM, 3600 N. Sheffield, sausagekingchicago.com, $5.

Mon4 International Carillon Festival Musicians from around the globe gather to perform nightly on the carillon—an instrument composed of several dozen bronze bells (the kind found in bell towers). 6/3-6/9, 7 PM, 1740 W. Fayette, Springfield, 217-787-3532, carillon-rees.org, free.

Tue5 “World Class, Home Grown” River North Dance Company premieres this new piece with Mayor Rahm in attendance—he’ll receive the troupe’s “Dream Maker Award,” presented for his work haunting Ben Joravsky. 6:30 PM, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph, 312-742-5222, rivernorthchicago.com, F.

Wed6 Chicago Underground Film Festival Filmmakers from around the world screen their rad(ical) movies. Today, see Michael Kosakowski’s feature/documentary hybrid Zero Killed (2011). 5/31-6/7, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600, cuff.org, $7-$11, $75 for a festival pass.

Thu7 Chicago Scuba School Learn to search the depths of the ocean for sunken treasure—and hopefully find a way to pay for your next vacation. Mon-Fri weekly, 10 AM-7 PM, 6201 W. Touhy, 312-771-8647, chicagoscubaschool.com, $450 for open water certification.

Fri8 Blues Fest Kickoff Texas Johnny Brown headlines tonight and on Sunday gospel queen Mavis Staples closes out the city’s largest music festival. 6/8-6/9, Fri-Sat 11 AM-9:30 PM, Sun 11 AM-9 PM, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, 312-744-3315, explorechicago.org, free.

Sat9 Printers Row Lit Fest Panels and events on all sorts of books—with writers like Gillian Flynn, Sara Levine, and Joe Meno slated to talk—plus signings and lots and lots of books for sale. 6/9-6/10, 10 AM-6 PM, chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest, free.

Sun10 Ribfest Chicago 50,000 pounds of pork—that’s about 385 pigs—are consumed by an estimated 50,000 attendees of this North Center street fair. 6/8-6/10, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat-Sun noon-10 PM, 4000 N. Lincoln, ribfest-chicago.com, $5..

Mon11 Ukrainian soccer The 2012 European Championship is in Ukraine and Poland this year. Skip work to down horilka and watch the Zhovto-Blakytni play Sweden at the Ukrainian American Club. 1:45 PM, 2234 W. Chicago, 773-252-1417. The Euros run 6/8-7/1.

Tue12 Just for Laughs Chicago Some of the best comedians in the business—including Mike Birbiglia, John Oliver, Aziz Ansari, and Patton Oswalt—along with noteworthy local acts perform in venues across the city. 6/12-6/17, various times, justforlaughschicago.com, prices vary.

Wed13 Grant Park Music Festival Distinguished conductors and musicians perform everything from Beethoven to Broadway in this free concert series. 6/13-8/18, every Wed, Fri, and Sat (except 6/27) and a few other days, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, 312-742-1168, grantparkmusicfestival.com, free.

Thu14 Fiestas Puertorriqueñas The Puerto Rican Day Parade on Saturday, plus food, music, and dance, and carnival rides. 6/14-6/17, Humboldt Park, 312-799-0354, sponsorchicago.com/fiestas-puertorriquenas, free.

Fri15 “Every summer, I drive down to Indianapolis to visit my uncle who was born and raised on the south side like me. The White Sox’s International League team, the Charlotte Knights, meet the Indianapolis Indians every year for a four-game series. We put on our White Sox gear and sit as close to the Knights dugout as possible and chat up the players. Around the seventh inning Unc stops letting me buy him beers and we head over to the grass [in the home run zone] with our mitts. Once current White Sox starting left fielder Dayan Viciedo hit a shot over the wall that sailed straight into my mitt. —Sati Word, actor, director, and playwright The Knights and Indians play 6/14-6/17.

Sat16 Taste of Randolph Street A party occupying six blocks of restaurant row? Yes, please. 6/15-6/17, Fri 5-11 PM, Sat noon-11 PM, Sun noon-10 PM, 900-1200 W. Randolph, free.

Sun17 Custer’s Last Stand A sidewalk sale, two stages featuring everything from blues to swing to jazz to Native American dance, and Piccolo Theatre’s Marvelous Medicine Show extravaganza of juggling, magic, and aerial acts. 6/16-6/17, Fri-Sat 10 AM-9 PM, Main and Chicago, Evanston, 847-328-2204, custerfair.com, free.

Mon18 Cubs at White Sox It won’t get too hot at U.S. Cellular—Adam Dunn’s whiffing will cool you down real good. 6/18-6/20, 333 W. 35th, chicago.whitesox.mlb.com, $42-$400. Also 5/18-5/20 at Wrigley.

Tue19 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory See Gene Wilder as the original Wonka, right across the river from a real chocolate factory. Part of the Movies in the Parks series. Dusk, Fulton River Park, 601 W. Kinzie, 312-742-1134, free.

Wed20 Kayak Chicago Journeys include an architectural tour and a night paddle, with equipment available for rent at three locations: one on the Chicago River (1501 N. Magnolia) and two on Lake Michigan (Montrose Beach and North Avenue Beach). Season passes available. kayakchicago.com, 630-336-7245, $20-$60/hour, $80-$120/day.

Thu21 Make Music Chicago The city’s most notable public spaces—like Daley Plaza, Millennium Park, and the Lincoln Park Zoo—play host to live music of varying genres throughout the day. 7 AM-9 PM, various locations, makemusicchicago.com, 773-850-0662, free.

Fri22 Pride Fest Massive annual celebration of our LGBT community, culminating with the epic Pride Parade (Sun 6/24). 6/22-6/24, Halsted from Addison to Grace, 773-584-6631, northalsted.com, $7.

Sat23 Green Music Festival Dinosaur Jr., the Ravonettes, and Hey Rosetta! headline this music fest that aims to connect eco-mined Chicagoans with sustainable products and services. 6/23-6/24, Sat-Sun noon-10PM, Damen between North and Schiller, 312-850-9390, greenmusicfestchicago.com, $5.

Sun24 Fountain Square Art Festival Juried fine arts fair featuring more than 200 artists, live jazz, and a children’s art tent hosted by the Evanston Art Center. 6/23-6/24, 10 AM-6 PM, 1700 Sherman, Evanston, 773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com, $5.

Credit: Johann Sauty

Mon25 Esperanza Spaulding The Portland-based Grammy winner performs at the Ravinia Festival. 8 PM, 418 Sheridan, Highland Park, 847-266-5000, ravinia.org, $55 reserved seating, $27 lawn seating. The Ravinia Festival runs 6/7-9/9.

Tue26 Go to Six Flags Life is a lot like a roller coaster. Might as well make it official. Mon-Fri 10 AM-9 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-10 PM, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, 847-249-4636, sixflags.com/greatamerica, $40-$60.

Wed27 Summerfest Milwaukee plays host to Iron Maiden, the Roots, Neil Diamond, tUnE-yArDs, Robyn, and Three Dog Night. 6/27-7/8, closed 7/2, noon-midnight, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 414-273-2680, summerfest.com.

Thu28 Eighth Blackbird The Grammy-winning, Chicago-based sextet performs in Millennium Park’s newest music series, Loops and Variations, which mixes new music and electronica. 6:30 PM, Michigan and Randolph, explorechicago.org, free.

Fri29 Old St. Pat’s World Largest Block Party The name says it all. 6/29-6/30, 5:30-10:30 PM, Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, 312-648-1021, worldslargestblockparty.com, $45, $40 in advance, two-day passes $80, $75 in advance.

Sat30 The L.A.T.E. Ride Up to 9,000 cyclists are expected to participate in this year’s 25-mile, middle-of-the-night ride. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Parks. Live entertainment at Buckingham Fountain precedes the ride. 7/1, 1 AM, Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, Columbus and Congress, 312-857-2757, lateride.org, $40-$45.

Correction: This calendar has been amended to correctly identify the date of the Veggie Pride Parade.

JULY

Sun1Gotham City” Chicago Dance Crash performs a dance version of a Batman graphic novel. 6/8-7/15, Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497, chicagodancecrash.com, $18-$25.

Mon2 Family Fun Festival A different group leads children in activities each week, like painting with the Art Institute and building stuff with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. 7/2-10/2, daily 10 AM-3 PM, Millennium Park, Promenade North, Michigan and Randolph, 312-742-5222, millenniumpark.org, free.

Tue3 Drink outside Check out our bar guide for a list of the best bar patios for unwinding after a crappy Tuesday. chicagoreader.com/barguide and on the homepage of m.chicagoreader.com.

Wed4 Independence Day! Grab a seat on a roof in Humboldt Park and watch the city gloriously explode.

Thu5 International Festival of Life Two stages graced by 50 reggae and world music acts including Tarrus Riley and Queen Ifrika. 3-10 PM (also 7/4 and 7/6-7/8, noon-10 PM), Washington Park, 55th and Cottage Grove, martinsinterculture.com, $10-$15, $5 children/seniors, $35 five-day pass.

Fri6 Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival 80 juried artists, working in mediums such as photography, ceramics, and jewelry, present their botanic-themed artwork, all available for purchase. 7/6-7/8, 10 AM-5 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org, free.

Sat7 Chosen Few House Music Picnic Disco legend Linda Clifford performs alongside Chicago’s best house DJs in this daylong festival. 7 AM-8 PM, 63rd and Hayes, chosenfewdjs.com, price TBA.

Sun8 Lincoln Park Art and Music Festival The DePaul area hosts this street festival with “a more refined approach,” featuring work from over 80 artists, music acts, and food and drinks from neighborhood restaurants. 7/7-7/8, noon-10 PM, Racine between Fullerton and Webster, 773-868-3010, lincolnparkchamber.com/events, $5.

Mon9 Bicycle Illinois A six-day ride across the state—between 500 and 600 miles—starting in Cairo and hitting Carbondale and Champaign on its way to Chicago. 7/7-7/14, bicycleillinois.com, $650, $125 for single day.

Tue10 Fiona Apple The darling of the 90s releases an album in June. If the brisk sales at her March Lincoln Hall gig are any indication, this show will sell out real quick. 7:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-443-1130, fiona-apple.com, $45-$75.

Wed11 Taste of Chicago New this year: five celeb chefs—including Stephanie Izard and Tony Mantuano—cook a $40, three-course meal each day. Musical headliners include Death Cab for Cutie and Jennifer Hudson. 7/11-7/15, 11 AM-TBA, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, tasteofchicago.us, admission free, $25 for concerts, $8 for 12 taste tickets.

Thu12 Bastille Day 5K and 8K Run, Walk, and Block Party Run participants are treated to a free block party; for others, proceeds benefit Chicago’s Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. 7:15 PM, Lincoln Park at Cannon and Fullerton, 773-584-6638, chicagoevents.com, $27-$40.

Fri13 Pitchfork Music Festival Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Vampire Weekend, and Hot Chip headline the annual three-day definitive indie fest. [Insert Chicago hipster here.] 7/13-7/15, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, 866-468-3401, pitchforkmusicfestival.com, $45 per day, three-day passes sold out.

Sat14 Irish American Heritage Festival Eat mashed potatoes, win a date, and catch music from Dublin City Ramblers, the Kreellers, and the Great Whiskey Project. 7/13-7/15, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035, irish-american.org, $8-$15, $7 seniors, free for kids under 13.

Sun15 Chinatown Summer Fair Food, music, and entertainment, including a traditional lion dance and martial arts presentations. Sun 7/15, 10 AM-8 PM, Wentworth between Cermak and 24th Pl., chicagodragons.com, free.

Mon16 Rent a Jet Ski The cost is a little steep, but channeling your inner Kenny Powers is priceless. Mon and Wed-Fri noon-7 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-7 PM. Montrose Beach, 312-278-3316, windycitywatersports.com, $140/hour plus tax.

Tue17 Twelfth Night The American Players Theatre’s outdoor production of the classic Shakespeare comedy is a dreamy way to spend a midsummer night. 6/16-10/7, various days, American Players Theatre, 5950 Golf Course Rd., Spring Green, Wisconsin, 608-588-2361, americanplayers.org, $42-$66.

Wed18 Summerdance Learn a different dance style each week, then shimmy and shake to live music. Opens during Taste of Chicago (see 7/11). Continues 7/18-9/16, Thu-Sat 6-9:30 PM, Sun 4-7 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan, 312-742-4007, chicagosummerdance.org, free.

Thu19 PAWS Chicago Beach Party Your dog can come to this PAWS fund-raiser, but it can’t drink your cocktail. Thu 7/19, 6 PM, Castaways, 1603 N. Lake Shore, 773-475-3306, beachparty.pawschicago.org, $150 per person, $50 per dog.

Fri20 Printers’ Ball The theme for this year’s big Poetry magazine-sponsored literary party is “Time Warp!” 6-11 PM, Ludington Building, 1104 S. Wabash, printersball.org, free.

Sat21 Tour de Fat New Belgium Brewing descends on Logan Square for its annual costumed bike ride and raucous afterparty. Los Amigos Invisibles, the Cleverly’s, and Mucca Pazza play. 10 AM, Palmer between Sacramento and Kedzie, newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat, free.

Sun22 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon See downtown Chicago like you’ve seen it before—wearily, and in a rush. 6:30 AM, starts and finishes at Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, runrocknroll.competitor.com, $100-$150.

Mon23 Double feature at the drive-in Illinois’s largest drive-in theater, in West Chicago, is open seven nights a week in the summer, with first-run double features on weekends. Cascade Drive-In, 1100 E. North, West Chicago, 630-231-3150, cascadedrivein.com, $5-$9, $14/carload on Tue.

Credit: Christian Ducasse

Tue24 Tokyo String Quartet The chamber ensemble performs. 8 PM, Martin Theatre, 418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, 847-266-5000, ravinia.org, reserved $40-$60, lawn $10.

Wed25 Hit the Wall See the Inconvenience’s Reader-recommended show in Chicago’s most idyllic theater. 7/25-7/29, Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 6:30 PM, Theater on the Lake, 2400 N. Lake Shore, 312-742-7994, chicagoparkdistrict.com, $17.50.

Thu26 Fiesta del Sol The midwest’s largest Latino fest, in Pilsen. 7/26-7/29, Thu 5-10 PM, Fri-Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-10 PM. 1400 W. Cermak, fiestadelsol.org, free.

Fri27 “On a steamy afternoon I needed to entertain my daughter, nephew, and mom. So we went to Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana, 17 miles south of Chicago. The Polka Parade is the longest ethnic joke ever. Men in black socks and mismatched plaid shorts push decked-out lawn mowers. Bands play PVC piping instruments. Bushas in tennies, rolled stockings, house dresses, aprons, and curlers under babushkas polka to ‘Single Ladies.’ You’ll fall in love. Don’t miss the buttery pierogi toss and pierogi eating contest. —Carrie Stern, dance critic Pierogi Fest, 7/27-7/29, Indianapolis and 119th, Whiting, Indiana, pierogifest.net.

Sat28 Summer Sessions on the Square The Logan Square concert series sponsored by CHIRP Radio and the Whistler. Summer Girlfriends headlines today. 6/23-9/22, last or second-to-last Sat of the month, 5 PM, summersessions onthesquare. org, free.

Sun29 Newberry Book Fair Browse through more than 120,000 used books in 70 categories, most priced at $2 or under. 7/26-7/29, Thu-Fri noon-8 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-6 PM, Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, 312-943-9090, newberry.org, free.

Mon30 Buddy Guy’s birthday It’s the legendary bluesman’s 76th, and while he may be on tour in Japan at the time, you can still head to his club for some hot summer blues, courtesy of Brother John and his guests. 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, 312-427-1190, buddyguy.com, $10.

Tue31 Music on the Esplanade An outdoor music series to liven up a stroll through the flowers. 6/5-8/28, Tue 6-8 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org, free.

AUGUST

Wed1 Raiders of the Lost Ark Movies in the Parks: Indy won’t let those squirrely Nazis weaponize the Bible. Dusk, Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen, 312-742-7553, free.

Thu2 London Olympics Settle in. Over these 16 days, you’ll find you love sports you never knew existed, like canoe sprinting. We just wish Derrick Rose were going. 7/26-8/12, on NBC networks and streaming at nbc.com

Fri3 Lollapalooza The bands, the myth, the legend. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, and Jack White headline. 8/3-8/5, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, lollapalooza.com, $95 a day.

Sat4 Canine Cruise The Skyline Queen’s weekly dog-friendly river and lake cruise departs from Michigan and Wacker. Every Sunday 7/8-9/30, 10 AM, 312-332-1353, mercuryskyline cruiseline.com. $28 adults, $10 kids, $7 dogs.

Sun5 Skydive Chicago Summerfest Hot? You’ll feel better hurtling through the sky. Skydive Chicago’s trying to one-up its own world record for most divers in formation, but amateurs are welcome, too. 7/28-8/5, 3215 E 1969th, Ottawa, 815-433-0000, skydivechicago.com.

Mon6 CowaLUNGa Bike Tour Tour de Francer Pro cyclist Robbie Ventura joins this three-day, 190-mile tour north into Wisconsin benefiting lung disease research. 8/4-8/6, 6170 W. Grand, Gurnee, Illinois, to Camp Minikani, 875 Amy Belle Road, Hubertus, Wisconsin, cowalunga.com, $25 for a day, $210 for three.

Tue7 Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival An all-women music festival attended by women and children only. Performers include Dar Williams and Mary Gauthier. 8/7-8/12, Hart, Michigan, michfest.com, sliding pay scale.

Wed8 The Gathering of the Juggalos Ninjas, there is no more important gathering this summer. 8/8-8/12, IL-1 and Lamb Road, Cave-In-Rock, juggalogathering.com, $175.

Thu9 Mendota Sweet Corn Festival A tribute of summer’s finest crop. There’s free corn, a pageant, and 65 years of corny history. 8/9-8/12, Mendota, 815-539-6507, sweetcorn festival. com, free.

Fri10 Ginza Holiday Festival Traditional Japanese cuisine, flower painting, calligraphy, and performances like taiko drumming. 8/10-8/12, Fri 5:30-9 PM, Sat 11:30 AM-9 PM, Sun 11:30 AM-7 PM, Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee, ginzachicago.com, $5-$6 donation.

Sat11 Retro on Roscoe The only street festival where the cars are more muscular than the dudes in the cover bands. 8/11-8/12, Sat-Sun noon-10 PM, Roscoe Village, 2000-2300 W. Roscoe, starevents.com/events/retro-on-roscoe, $10 donation.

Sun12 Kite Festival Stunt kites soar to live music. Bring a kite or build one at the workshop, and fly it with scores of others. 8/11-8/12, 11 AM-4 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org, free.

Mon13 Perseids meteor shower The biggest meteor shower of the year, courtesy of the annual fly-by of comet Swift-Tuttle, peaks tonight. Look up somewhere where it’s dark.

Tue14 Indiana State Fair Hoosiers put on one of the bigger state fairs around. 8/3-8/19, Indiana State Fairgrounds, East 38th and Fall Creek, Indianapolis, in.gov/statefair, $10.

Wed15 Illinois State Fair In state fairs only, Illinois is Indiana’s more modest cousin. 8/9-8/19, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon, Springfield, agr.state.il.us/isf, $7.

Thu16 Charter a yacht This is your chance to do your T-Pain “I’m on a Boat” impression and not look like a jackass. Windy City Sailing, 3400 Recreation Drive, 773-868-0096, windycitysailing.com, $200 an hour weekdays.

Fri17 Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest Over 100 artists show their work at this festival with three music stages. 8/17-8/19, Fri 6-10 PM, Sat-Sun noon-9 PM, Rogers Park, glenwoodave.org, free.

Sat18 Oak Park Micro Brew Review A zero-waste beer fest featuring brews you know (Finch’s, Ommegang, Metropolitan) and ones you don’t (Wild Onion, The Lucky Monk). 3-7 PM, Marion from Lake to Pleasant, Oak Park, sevengenerationsahead.org, $40-$100.

Sun19 Northside Summerfest More of the delicious, drunken same. 8/17-8/19, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat noon-10 PM, Sun noon-9 PM, 3900-4000 N. Lincoln, facebook.com/NorthsideSummerfest, $5.

Mon20 High Noon Gary Cooper takes on a posse by himself. Part of the Movies in the Parks series. Dusk, Grant Park, Balbo and Columbus, 312-742-1134, free.

Tue21 “For the past couple of years, my wife and I have shelled out the $100-plus for a nonresident Evanston Dog Beach pass, making hikes up north nearly every weekend to make sure it gets used. While many of Chicago’s dog beaches are terrific, parking can be rough and they’re sometimes not so great with the fencing (looking at you, Foster Beach). Having a safe and secure quarter of a mile for our greyhound to open up on, full speed, is well worth the price of admission, and helps make sure we get out to enjoy those couple of months of sunshine.” —Steve Delahoyde, filmmaker
4/1-11/30, 7 AM-8 PM, weather permitting, Evanston Dog Beach, Church and Sheridan, Evanston, 847-448-4311, cityofevanston.org / parks-recreation, $60 residents, $120 nonresidents

Wed22 Chicago Dancing Festival Joffrey, Hubbard Street, Giordano and more perform. 8/20-8/25, various venues, chicagodancing festival.com, free.

Thu23 Black Harvest Film Festival Showcasing films that touch on the African-American experience, including the upcoming The Next Day and White Scripts and Black Supermen. 8/3-8/30, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600, siskelfilmcenter.org, $7-$11.

Fri24 Windy City Rodeo Saddle up to see the International Gay Rodeo Association’s buckin’ broncos. 8/24-8/26, 6 Guns Ranch and Arena, 26926 State Line Road, Crete, ilgra.com, price TBA.

Sat25 Amateur demolition derby Dudes banging up each others’ cars, and they don’t even know how. Route 66 Raceway, 3200 S. Chicago, Joliet, 888-629-7223 teamdemos.com, $16-$20.

Sun26 Bucktown Arts Fest Art, poetry, music, theater, film, and food. 8/25-8/26, Sat-Sun 11 AM-7 PM, Senior Citizens Memorial Park, 2300 N. Oakley/2300 W. Lyndale, bucktownartsfest.com, free.

Mon27 Learn trapeze Float through the air with the greatest of ease after an outdoor crash course (no pun intended) with Trapeze School New York. 5/12-10/14, daily, 8 AM-11 PM, South Belmont Harbor, Lake Shore and Belmont, chicago.trapezeschool.com, $47-$65.

Tue28 Get Up and Go A panel discussion about a Chicago neighborhood, followed by a one-hour tour of the hood. Today it’s Humboldt Park. 6/5-8/28, Tue 12:15 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, explorechicago.org/tours, free.

Wed29 Duran Duran The 80s are back. 8 PM, 418 Sheridian, Highland Park, 847-266-5000, ravinia.org, $55 reserved seating, $27 lawn seating.

Diane ReevesCredit: Christian Lantry

Thu30 Chicago Jazz Fest Headliners for the 34th installment of one of the city’s most respected festivals include Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, and Allen Toussaint. 8/30-9/2, multiple venues, chicagojazzfestival.us, free.

Fri31 North Coast Music Festival Pretty Lights headlines this electronica (and indie and hip-hop) festival, which also features Big Boi and the Rapture. 8/31-9/2, noon-10 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, northcoastfestival.com, $110-$350 for a three-day pass.

SEPTEMBER

Sat1 Wisconsin Cow Chip Throw A festival built around a competition to see who can throw dried-out cow poop the farthest. 8/31-9/1, Marion Park, 145 First, Praire du Sac, Wisconsin, wiscowchip.com, free.

Sun2 Maxwell Street Market Tacos + horchata + cheap electronics = fun in the waning sun. Year-round, Sun, 7 AM-3 PM, 800 S. DesPlaines, explorechicago.org, free.

Mon3 Labor Day! Kiss your summer whites good-bye today. Rather than grilling yet again, spend the day preserving berries or writing a Winter Guide—we don’t make one of those. (But maybe we should.) Meanwhile, check out the Chicago Fringe Festival, “un-tried and weird” performances from out-of-the-way performers and theatrical companies. 8/30-9/9, locations around Pilsen, chicagofringe.org, $10 per play.

Correction: This calendar has been amended to correctly identify when the Olympics fall. H/t to commenter emerald772. It has also been amended to correctly identify the dates of the Chicago Fringe Festival.