20 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 29, 2016 2:28PM

This weekend is jam-packed with food and drink events thanks to the James Beard Foundation Awards taking place in Chicago. Even if you're not a foodie, this weekend's roundup still has plenty to do.

FRIDAY APRIL 29

THE KING AND I: Tony Award nominee (and Northwestern University alumna) Kate Baldwin and Paulo Montalban star in the Lyric Opera’s "The King and I" opening on Friday at 7 p.m. There are many artists from Chicago making their Lyric debut in this “grand-scale” production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. Tickets start at $29 and the run continues through May 22.

ONE OF A KIND SHOW + SALE: Shop til you drop at the very first One of a Kind Spring Show. This 3-day spring version of their popular Holiday Show features handmade goods from more than 300 artists across the country. It’s more than just a sale though. They’ve partnered with Lillstreet Art Center for complimentary demonstrations, workshops and hands-on experiences, plus there will also be live music from Old Town School of Folk Music, fashion shows and gourmet market demos. Tickets are $10.

MIAMI CITY BALLET: Miami City Ballet comes to Harris Theater for the first time, and they’re bringing a new Justin Peck work as well as set design from Shepard Fairey. The two-evening engagement features two unique programs from the diverse company. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. Tickets start at $35.

FASHION AWARDS: The 15th Anniversary Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence take place at 6:30 p.m. with a soirĂ©e including hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and a live auction. ABC 7’s Linda Yu will be master of ceremonies at the event showcasing emerging students and honoring alumni designers. Tickets are $175.

ZINE FEST: It’s time for Chicago Zine Fest, celebrating the art of self-publishing all weekend with events at Quimby’s and Plumbers Hall. There will be panels, readings, exhibitions and more, and they’re all free. Visit the Zine Fest website for more information and the full schedule.

CITY FARM BBQ: The city’s new aquaponics farm Metropolitan is hosting a BBQ with Oak Park-based butcher Carnivore at 5 p.m. They’ll have tours of the greenhouse to see the unique aquaponics farming system and Tilapia raised on-site. Tickets are $25. Call Carnivore at (708) 660-1100 to purchase.


SATURDAY APRIL 30

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Photo via Baconfest's Facebook page.

BACONFEST: Baconfest is on. Sample hundreds of bacon dishes from top Chicago chefs at one of the lunch, brunch or dinner sessions on Saturday or Sunday. It really is a bacon festival with everything bacon from the food to cocktails to art. Tickets are $100 and include drink tickets.

RUM FEST: Celebrate all things rum at the 2nd annual MidWest Rum Fest at Bottom Lounge. Attend seminars for industry members and general “aficionados” or just hit up the Kupula Hula Tiki After Party. Enjoy rum tastings, bites, live music and more across all the events. Seminar tickets start at $45. After Party tickets are $20.

MUSIC + RECORD FEST: Join New Belgium Brewing and CHIRP Radio at Schubas for Citradelic Experience Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The indoor/outdoor fest includes live music from Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers and DJ Jerome Derradji plus a record store fest, snacks and of course the new Citradelic beer from New Belgium. Admission is free. Merch and a percentage of proceeds will go towards supporting CHIRP.

SIMMER BROWN COMEDY: Simmer Brown Comedy brings their popular show to a newer, bigger venue after consistently selling out their old spot. See the South Asian stand-up comedy collective at @NorthBar at 8 p.m. where Kellye Howard (“Laughs,” “Last Comic Standing”), Brian Da Wildcat Smith (Shaq’s All-Star Comedy Jam), Taneshia Rice (“Damon Williams Show”) and more will take the stage. Tickets are $10 ($15 door).

FOODIEODICALS: Think of it as a zine fest for foodies. The Foodieodicals pop-up shop takes place at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in coordination with the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago and the Food Book Fair in NYC. Check out indie food magazines and publications like Lucky Peach and Cherry Bombe plus smaller imprints like Mouthfeel and Noble Rot between now and May 4.

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Photo via Pastoral's Facebook.

ARTISAN PRODUCER FESTIVAL: Get some small-batch food, beer, wine and spirits between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Chicago French Market thanks to Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine. Meet cheesemakers, charcuterie and confection producers and other featured purveyors at the 2016 Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival, plus they’ll be honoring some “culinary thought leaders” in town for the James Beard Awards Ceremony. Check out our guide to navigating the fest. Admission is free.

MAYPOLE FOLK FESTIVAL: Find bluegrass, blues, Mexican folk, country and more at the Maypole Folk Festival at the Empty Bottle beginning at 2 p.m. The fest celebrates the best of Chicago’s folk music scene with headliners Henhouse Prowlers / Sanctified Grumblers and a ton of other local talent. Tickets are $15.


SUNDAY MAY 1

CINCO DE MAYO PARADE: Celebrate Mexico’s Independence at the Cinco De Mayo Parade in Little Village. It’s part of the neighborhood festival running Friday through Sunday with live music, food and arts & crafts for the kids. Parade steps off at noon.

BLEEPIN GOLDEN CORRUPTION TOUR: Everyone in the city knows Chicago’s reputation of corrupt politics, and now there’s a downtown tour where you can learn all about it. Hear about how blackmail built the Loop, early 1900s aldermen bought votes with free beer, FBI stings, jailbird governors, gangster aldermen and more! The Chicago Corruption Walking Tour kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. and you can take the abbreviated “Chicago Way” tour for $15 or continue on for the full “Bleepin’ Golden” package for $25. Check the tour’s website for more dates.

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We hear the TreeHouse's Kitten Shower has facepainting, too. Photo via TreeHouse's Facebook page.

KITTEN SHOWER: Tree House Humane Society is holding a Kitten Shower at 11 a.m. at Chicago Party Animals to raise funds for kitten rescue and care. They’ll have all the typical shower accoutrements like games, raffles, “meow-mosas” at the bar, and of course kittens for the cuddling. $10 suggested donation for entry and/or items from their much-needed kitten wishlist.

BRUNCH + COMEDY: What goes together better than comedy and brunch? Probably a lot of things, but The Second City has combined the two for Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday at UP Comedy Club kicking off this week. The Sunday-Funday includes a delicious buffet menu beginning at 11 a.m. and an improv show at 11:45 a.m. every week through September 25. Tickets are $40.

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Maxwell Street Market. Photo courtesy of DCASE.

MAXWELL STREET: The ever popular Maxwell Street Market opens for business this week and continues every Sunday for the whole summer. Find almost anything at the eclectic outdoor market, including some of the most delicious tacos and al pastor. They’re having a special Summer Season Kickoff from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live Mariachi/Banda band musicians and performers, DJs and children activities. Free.

SHOPPING EVENT: It's a shopping celebration at Rockit Bar & Grill on Sunday with Le Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Some of Chicago's most stylish fashion bloggers and stylists will be unloading their closets and they'll have cocktails for mixing and mingling. Tickets are $20.

JAMES BEARD EVENTS: The James Beard Foundation Awards have taken over the city’s foodie scene this week, and restaurants all over are celebrating with special menus and more. Some special events worth checking out on Sunday are the Momofuku Takeover at avec, Shake Shack x Boka Backyard Barbeque and The Charter Oak and Yusho Brunch Workshop. On the drink end, check out the Three Dots and a Dash Alley Tiki Party or NOLA's Cure Takeover at The Violet Hour.