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15 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Memorial Day Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 27, 2016 2:24PM

Photo courtesy of Randolph Street Market.

It's Memorial Day Weekend. Finally! Get out there and enjoy it.


BEYONCÉ: The Queen B arrives in Chicago for two dates on her Formation World Tour at Soldier Field. Beyoncé is hot off the release of her new visual album, Lemonade, which took the world by storm and has earned praise for tackling the trials and tribulations of black women throughout history into today. Both nights begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $45.

WALKER STALKER CON: Attention zombie enthusiasts: Walker Stalker Con is here. More than 50 actors from The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Z Nation, Hannibal, Gotham, Dead 7, Comic Book Men and more will be at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center this weekend. Attend panels, get photos and autographs and participate in the The Walking Dead Experience or the Apocalypse Zombie Experience. Tickets are $45.

JETSET WEEKEND SERIES: Kick off summer with the new JetSet Weekend Series at ROOF on theWit. Starting with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, their themed parties will bring different worldly destinations directly to Chicago each weekend. Parties start at 2 p.m.

Photo via Gelato World Tour's Facebook page.

GELATO WORLD TOUR: Head to Millennium Park this weekend for the ultimate gelato event. Chase Promenade South is literally transformed into a gelato village where you can taste 16 of the best artisans in America. $10 gets you 8 samples and an opportunity to vote for the best flavor. Entry is free.

THEATRE FESTIVAL: Stop by the lawn at Logan Square’s Comfort Station for a couple of live performances at the premiere of the Poetry Is theatre festival. They’ll be premiering new works “Medea” by Catherine Theis and “Phaedra, Released.” by Robert Eric Shoemaker. The festival continues with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. through June 11. Tickets for a guaranteed seat are $10, blankets and standing are free.


BELMONT-SHEFFIELD MUSIC FEST: It sure does feel like summer when the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest is upon us. It’s one of the first outdoor street fests of the season and it’s known for it’s cover bands and raucous good time, with nearby bars getting in on the fun. The gates open at noon each day and admission is a $5 suggested donation.

RANDOLPH STREET MARKET: It’s finally time for the Randolph Street Market to move outdoors! The event is as much fest as it is market with live music, a “shade shack” and cocktails. There’s even trolley service from downtown. More than 300 vendors will be on site, and they’ve got everything from antique furniture to vintage fashion and jewelry to vintage Schwinn bikes. Tickets are $8 in advance.

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: Honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom at the city’s annual Memorial Day Parade on State Street, from Lake to Van Buren streets. A wreath laying ceremony at Daley Plaza’s Eternal Flame precedes the parade which steps off at noon. Free.

Millennium Park (Photo by fotomattic via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

HOUSE PARTY: Honor Chicago’s House music legacy with a giant dance party at Millennium Park from 3 to 9 p.m. There will be DJ sets from Joe Smooth, Steve Miggedy Maestro and Superjane’s DJ Heather & Lady D, plus featured live performances from House Legacy Project, Peven Everett and the Vick Lavender Ensemble. The party is also a tribute to House legend, Frankie Knuckles. Free.

THE SECOND CITY’S NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR: Take a tour of the Old Town neighborhood with a side of laughs courtesy of The Second City. Written by tour veteran and Chicagoist alum, Margaret Hicks, the entertaining tour will also teach guests about the history and architecture of the neighborhood and even point out some Second City alumni haunts. Tours runs every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday until Oct. 29. Check website for times and availability. Tickets are $18.

TOM PETTY AND FRIENDS: Three of the five musicians in Mudcrutch are also members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Which isn't surprising since Mudcrutch is the band Petty fronted before the Heartbreakers even existed. A few years ago Petty reconvened the boys to finally record an album—after over a three decade wait for their debut. The band's sophomore effort came out this month and the band is on a rare tour of smaller venues to perform, stopping at The Riv this Saturday. Tickets are an eye-popping $78.50, but how often do you get a chance to see Tom Petty in a relatively small room like this?

COMEDY COLLECTIVE ANNIVERSARY SHOW: Simmer Brown Comedy celebrates one year of “Every Shade of Funny” with an anniversary show at Bughouse Theater at 8 p.m. The South Asian stand-up comedy collective welcomes comedians of all colors, races, faces and sexes. Headlining the anniversary show are Chastity Washington (HBO, BET Comic View), Kristen Toomey (Laughs on FOX, Comedians You Should Know) and Erica Nicole Clark (Laugh Factory, My Life as a Stalker Memoir, Mr T's Daughter). Tickets are $10.

ADULT ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS + PARTY: Two International Mr. Leather events hit Metro this Saturday. First is Grab Magazine’s annual awards show The Grabbys at 7:30 p.m. where best gay adult entertainment stars will be honored. After the awards show, stick around for NYC’s FURBALL at 11:30 p.m. London-based DJ Hifi Sean will headline the Bear Pride party. Check out our own Tony Peregrin's interview with IML's Executive Director here. Tickets to The Grabbys start at $45 and tickets to Furball are $16 ($20 door).


Photo via Bike the Drive's Facebook page.

BIKE THE DRIVE: Take part in the one event of the year that replaces cars on Lake Shore Drive with bikes. Ride up and down LSD during Bike the Drive all the way from Bryn Mawr to the Museum of Science and Industry. The road opens to bicyclists at 5 a.m. and rolling closures begin at 9:45 a.m. They’ll have rest stops with fruit, water and snacks and a post-ride festival in Butler Field with live music. Registration is $53 ($64 day-of).

CRAP BEER DAY: Look, there are plenty of events for craft beer enthusiasts, but sometimes you just want an ice cold High Life. Enjoy the Champagne of Beers like it should be served--in a champagne flute at Crap Beer Day at Thalia Hall. They’ll have several “crap” specials from the $1 crap beers (Tiger, Old Milwaukee and Hamm’s) to the $3 Crap Shoot (a shot of Malört) plus food and games. Cover band Hairbangers Ball will headline the party with a performance at 7 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10.