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Ditching The Jets: Non-Air & Water Show Events

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 13, 2010 7:30PM

Mini CTA buses in the Bub Billiken parade have better on-time rates than normal CTA buses; Photo by reallyboring
Ah, the gentle, caressing sounds of jet engines screeching over the city in mid-August. Must be time for the annual Air & Water show. Indeed, the annual event taking place along the Lakefront is a major destination for many from around the area, even the occasional sky-diving actor. But there's more to the weekend than jets and boats. You might not be able to escape the noise but here are a few other events that should provide ample distraction.

Bud Billiken Parade
It's the grandaddy of local parades, going 81 years strong, and it's all geared up to step off, heat or no. The Bud Billiken Parade is a big attraction every August, being aired locally on ABC 7 and WGN, with a reported 1.5 million people lining the parade route last year. Chicago Defender founder Robert S. Abbott wanted to organize the youth who sold their paper, and created a club named Bud Billiken. After consulting with other community leaders, the men decided to host a Bud Billiken Day Picnic, a resounding success. The day gave children the chance to be the center of attention and marching in the parade. And you never know what future President of the United States might roll in the parade. This year's grand marshal is Obama White House Senior Advisor Valarie Jarrett.
Bud Billiken Parade, Saturday August 14, 10 a.m., 39th Street and King Drive

Paper Machete
One of our favorite regular reading series has a particularly strong lineup loaded with plenty of talent this weekend. The highlights include Sarah Haskins (Current TV's infoMania), local comedienne extraordinaire Susan Messing, Sylvia Ewing, and music from Sad Brad Smith. But there's plenty more to take in (David Cerda of The Joans, funny lady Friend of Chicagoist Kristen Studard). Check out the full lineup - for the FREE show - here.
The Paper Machete, Saturday August 14, 3 p.m., Ricochet's, 4644 N. Lincoln Ave., Free

Street Fests
Oh, and there are plenty of street fests still to be enjoyed in town. Consider: The 55th Annual Ginza Festival, Armenian Fest [PDF], Korean Street Fest, or Croation Fest.