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17 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 25, 2015 2:15PM

The Great Chicago Fire Festival is this Saturday. Picture via the festival's website.

The weekend is here! We've got 17 great events to make it even better.


BREAKDANCE: Classical music meets breakdance in Red Bull Flying Bach at the Chicago Theatre. The innovative performance pairs four-time World Breakdance Champions Flying Steps with renowned opera director Christoph Hagel for a groundbreaking show. Tickets start at $29.50. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

ROCK BENEFIT: Rock in Chicago hosts “Songs For Shelter” tonight at Red Line Tap. Faces of the Bog, Psycho Sister, Jan King & Medicine Ball and White Night Satellite will all play to raise funds for Teen Living Programs, a non-profit that provides support for Chicago’s homeless and vulnerable youth. $5 suggested donation. 7 p.m.

WRITING CONFERENCE: Channeling your inner Salinger? Head on over to The Chicago Writers Conference this weekend for inspiration through workshops and panels while connecting with other writers and publishers. This year’s talks feature award-winning authors like Karen Abbott (Sin in the Second City) and Rebecca Makkai (Music for Wartime). Conference admission is $300.

CLASSIC ALTERNATIVE ROCK: Revisit some of your favorite alternative tunes from the '80s and '90s with 10,000 Maniacs at the Beverly Arts Center. The band may be best known for songs like “These Are The Days” and “Candy Everybody Wants,” but they’re still making music with a new album out this year. Tickets are $36 to $40.

OKTOBERFEST CRUISE: “Beers, Brats & Boats” are what you’ll find on this special Oktoberfest cruise by Shoreline. Paulina Market serves up a traditional German dinner with brews are provided by Leinenkugel and Revolution Brewing. Music from Euro-Express. 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $49 and include a souvenir stein.

ROCK: The By Gods' debut made it onto our best albums of 2014 list, and since then the duo of Tye Hammonds and George Pauley has expanded into a trio with the addition of bassist Natalie Pauley. They’re based in Nashville, so a Chicago appearance is rare for them, which puts their show at Grandbar (1600 W. Grand Ave.) high on our must-see list for the week. Their musical attack is simple and straightforward, allowing the hooks plenty of room to shine, but there’s just enough variation to create enough space for the songs to breathe and never feel rote or repetitive. Show starts at 8 p.m. and Shaun Peace Band & Panda Elliot open.


FIRE FESTIVAL: Redmoon’s Great Chicago Fire Festival has moved to Northerly Island after a disappointing finale at last year’s inaugural event. Hopefully the weather is better for this year’s closing ceremony which will feature performances, a bazaar, fireworks and and the much anticipated ignition of the GRIT House. Thousands of people are expected to come out and celebrate the city’s people, history and culture. Admission is free, but registering for space is recommended. 5-9 p.m.

FOOD: There are still tickets available to some of Chicago Gourmet’s weekend events. The Toast to Charlie Trotter, Late Night Gourmet, Punch Kings Pigs n’ Tiki and Rise & Shine Gourmet all still have openings. Check the website for times and prices.

LITERATURE: Read local and shop small for Wicker Park & West Town Lit Day. Local bookstores have teamed up with the Chicago Public Library, non profit writing center 826CHI and Chicago Publishers Resource Center to promote all things literary in the neighborhoods. There will be special events all day including art projects and book discussions. Check their Facebook event page for the schedule and a full list of participating businesses and organizations.

MUSIC + PARTY: Major Lazer, Grand Theft and Klingande are among the musical acts taking over Hawthorne Race Course for the Mad Decent Block Party. Hip hop and electronic music rule this all-day party that closes out the summer. Tickets are $45. 1:30 to 10 p.m. 18+

JAZZ FESTIVAL: The Hyde Park Jazz Festival takes place this weekend with live performances at venues across the neighborhood, including two outdoor stages at the Midway. Oh, and don’t miss the parade at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The lineup includes legends like Willie Pickens as well as local avant garde artists and student groups. Admission is free, though they do ask for a $5 donation.

ART FAIR: More than 120 local artists will show off their wares this weekend at the Edgewater Fall Art Fair. Local kids will also get their time to shine with the Young Artist’s Gallery and Children’s Music Talent Showcase. There will be wide-ranging live music, a beer garden and even a circus-themed pet parade and costume contest at 2 p.m. on Sunday. $5 suggested donation.

STREET MARKET: Get food, beer and unique finds at this weekend’s Randolph Street Market Festival. They’ll have 250 vendors over eight acres with vintage, antique and indie designer goods. Tickets are $8 for general admission. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

ART + DESIGN FEST: The Grand Avenue Design District in West Town showcases local artisans, crafters and designers with the all-new Grand Art & Design Festival. A re-vamped version of the former Design Harvest, the new concept is bigger than ever before with more handmade goods for sale. They’ll also have food trucks, hayrides and live music programmed by The Hideout. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5 donation requested.

FREE MUSEUMS: The Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring “Museum Day Live!” which provides free admission to 14 local museums for one day only, including the Chicago History Museum and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Register for tickets here.


Adler Planetarium

SUPERMOON: There’s a total lunar eclipse tonight from 8:07 p.m. to 9:11 p.m. and Adler Planetarium is throwing a viewing party. You can see the eclipse from their telescopes, but there will also be a live simulcast, special lectures and other programs during this family friendly event. The whole party goes from 7 to 11 p.m. and tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for kids.

BLOCK PARTY: Dusek’s Board & Beer inside Pilsen’s Thalia Hall celebrates their 2 year anniversary with a Blocktoberfest. There will be German-inspired food from Chef Jared Wentworth along with German beers and DJ performances. The free party is family friendly and will take over Allport Street in front of the venue from 2 to 10 p.m.