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Things To Do In Chicago When You've Never Heard of Touch and Go Records

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 6, 2006 2:15PM

2006_09_stomp.jpgThe Hideout Block Party - including Touch and Go's silver anniversary celebration - merely headlines what is shaping up to be a busy weekend of neighborhood and city-endorsed festivals. As people throughout the city scramble to enjoy the waning moments of prime tanning and outdoor drinking weather, here are some other festivals and events around the city for you to check out:

- The Windy City Wine Festival gears up for another weekend of oenophilia in Daley Bicentennial Plaza. Or, as Mayor Daley might say in private, "That pissant park my dad built." There will be wine seminars, lectures by Rick Bayless and Suzy Crofton from Crofton on Wells, and music by Liquid Soul and Bumpus. Oh, you'll get to drink a lot of wine, also. The cost is $25. You can buy tickets online or call 847-382-1480.

- If a weekend of wine is too much for you, then head to the Wine Crush in Old Town Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Between North Avenue and Schiller, Wells Street becomes a "European-style market", with attendees able to sample from over 100 wines, enjoy music from P-1, Over the Rhine, and Marcia Ball, and watch as two-person teams compete in a wine-stomping contest (bonus points if they dress like Lucille Ball or Sideshow Bob). Proceeds from the festival benefit the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association and the Y-Me Breast Cancer Organization.

- The Festival de la Villita in Little Village kicks off tomorrow at 2600 S. Kostner. Celebrating Mexico's independence from Spanish rule, the festival features music, food, drinks, arts and crafts. The festival reaches its climax on Sunday with the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day parade, the city's second largest, which funnels into the festival. For five blocks, from Albany to Kostner along 26th Street, it is a sight to behold, with mariachi bands, floats, and dancers in traditional dress. Proceeds from the festival support the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.

- Lincoln Square residents don't have to stagger too far from their homes to do the chicken dance and eat schnitzel. German-American Fest starts Friday. The highlight of the festival, other than drinking large plastic mugs of Schlitz Genuine Draft, is the Von Steuben Parade at 2 p.m. Saturday. The parade honors the lasting contributions of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Rudolf Gerhard August ("Johan Gambolputty...") von Steuben, the man who taught the Continental Army the essentials of military drill and discipline. For example, how to kill British troops who wore red and marched in a straight line. The parade starts at Lincoln and Irving, heads north to Wilson, west to Western, then on to the festival area at Lincoln, Leland, and Western Avenues.