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This Week In Street Fests: West Fest, Tour De Fat & More

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 11, 2013 5:45PM

Mucca Pazza performs at Tour De Fat in 2009. Photo Credit: Matthew North

You can't go wrong with the music at this West Town festival. The Empty Bottle rarely books a bad band. Headliners include Tortoise on Saturday and The Oblivians on Sunday. We recommend you check out punk rockers Those Darlins on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and new Chicago rock band Forgotten Species (featuring Chicagoista Lizz Kannenberg) on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
West Fest is Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood.

New Belgium Brewery's Tour de Fat bike parade and music festival takes over Logan Square this weekend. The Colorado brewers started this event at their Fort Collins brewery to raise awareness about sustainable transportation, and now it has expanded to a dozen cities nationwide. Bring your bicycle (or tricycle or unicycle or any-cycle), wear a costume and pedal along with the fun, then indulge in the many varieties of New Belgium brews on tap. It's a weird and wild time, and the Chicago event raises money for West Town Bikes. Don't miss Mucca Pazza at 1:30 p.m. or the headliner absurdist comedian/musician Reggie Watts at 4 p.m.
Tour De Fat is on Saturday in Palmer Square at Kedzie and Palmer. Bike parade registration starts at 10 a.m. at

The Old Town School of Folk Music pairs Lincoln Square's best tastes with an eclectic selection of music with a focus on both international acts and local Chicago bands. We're curious to see Gangstagrass, which pairs rap with bluegrass, on Saturday. Plus, see the fine acts from the Old Town School and try out a couple of dance and/or yoga lessons, too. (Anthony will have a more detailed preview of Square Roots Fest later.)
Square Roots is on Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

You can't go wrong spending a day surrounded by burger patties. Beef, steak, turkey, veggie burgers are all up for grabs. Check out the list of food vendors and try a few to help pick the fan favorite. For music, we recommend showing up at noon on Saturday to watch Aktar Aktar, then Rebecca Rego at 1:45 p.m.
Burger Fest is on Belmont Avenue between Damen and Leavitt on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Put on your cowboy boots and eating pants for this barbecue and country music festival in River North. It features food from some of our favorite barbecue joints like Lillie's Q and Bub City. If you like good (read: non-pop) country music, we recommend you check out Pat Green on Sunday night.
The Windy City Smokeout is at the corner of Rush and Illinois streets on Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.