Loretta Lynn

Having Descended upon Grant Park last week, the Taste of Chicago runs through Sun 7/3, dishing up food from nearly 60 restaurants and hosting a wide variety of music at the Petrillo Music Shell (northeast of Columbus and Jackson) and the Taste Stage (Columbus and Balbo). Four of the city’s free lakefront music festivals have been incorporated into the Taste of Chicago this year, each with a themed day; Viva! Chicago Latin Music Day, Gospel Music Day, and Celtic Music Day have already happened, but the Petrillo bookings for Country Music Day (Fri 7/1) include the legendary Loretta Lynn and the Court Yard Hounds. Among the other notable acts at Petrillo are Natalie Cole (Thu 6/30), the Jayhawks (Sat 7/2), and Greyson Chance (Sun 7/3). The Taste Stage has also booked country for Fri 7/1, plus a pair of variety days (Thu 6/30 and Sat 7/2) featuring Gold Motel, White Mystery, Corey Wilkes’s Black Slang, JT & the Clouds, and others. Alligator Records celebrates its 40th anniversary at the Taste Stage on Sun 7/3 with performances by Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials. The Family Village (Columbus and Jackson) offers activities like arts and crafts, bingo, a karaoke and dance challenge, and a giant Twister game. The Dominick’s Cooking Corner, where the biggest name this year is Food Network hotshot Giada De Laurentiis (Fri 7/1 at 2:30 PM), hosts book signings and demos from folks like Paul Fehribach of Big Jones and Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig. Admission and all concerts are free. Food and drink are sold only by tickets, which cost $8 per dozen. Hours are 11 AM till 8:30 PM except on Sun 7/3, when closing time is 6 PM. For more info, see Fairs & Festivals listings by day, call 312-742-4387, or visit tasteofchicago.us. —Kevin Warwick