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18 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 8, 2016 3:42PM

Learn to draw plants at Lurie Garden on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Millennium Park.

Food, music, fests and perfect weather are on tap for your weekend.


WEST FEST: West Fest is a street fest celebration of the West Town neighborhood with live music, local vendors and it’s own “Pet Fest” Friday through Sunday. Curated by the Empty Bottle, the band lineup at this fest has always been great—this year includes it-rock band Bully (who released one of our favorite albums of 2015), indie rock band Cloud Nothings and more. They’ve also got a house DJ stage with Derrick Carter and Mark Farina headlining. Entry is $5 suggested donation.

SQUARE ROOTS FESTIVAL: More than 50 music acts and 30 craft breweries make up Square Roots Craft Brew & Music Festival in Lincoln Square this weekend. Old Town School of Folk Music is in charge of the music, so the lineup is stacked, inside and outside the building. Lydia Loveless and '90s alternative band Cracker are just a couple of the bands playing. And let’s not forget about the beer—5 Rabbit Cerveceria, Half Acre Beer Company, Metropolitan Brewing Company, Temperance Brewery, Two Brothers and more will be pouring. There’s also Wiggleworms and Doodle Bugs for the kids. Entry is $10 suggested donation ($20 for families).

RUDIO FEST: This three-day Latin alternative music festival takes place at Adams/Medill Park in Pilsen. More than 40 bands make up the lineup, with Latin post-punk, electronic, hip-hop, rock, reggae and more from Latin America and beyond. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, La Ley and Maldita Vecindad are among the headliners; you can read our interview with performer Silverio, who often sports a Speedo onstage. Tickets are $149.98 for a three-day pass, $94.98 for single day.

IRISH FEST: Celebrate all things Irish at the 31st Annual Irish Fest this weekend at the Irish American Heritage Center. The fest will showcase Irish music and dance, including step dancing performances. There will be Irish and American food and drink, cultural exhibits, vendors and activities for the kids. Tickets are $8 for Friday, $15 for Saturday and Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Dance Crash.

DANCE CRASH: Chicago Dance Crash is back with a new, full-length show titled Evil & Good, opening Friday night at Vittum Theatre. The show, inspired by the struggle between right and wrong, is heavy on the same breaking, street-style and hip hop choreography that the company is known for. Performances run through July 16. Tickets are $25.

DISCO DEMOLITION BOOK RELEASE: July 12, 1979. It’s the day disco officially died, at least according to the 50,000+ people at Comiskey Park that day. Chicago DJ legend Steve Dahl collaborated with White Sox owner Bill Veeck for a promo that turned into a disco record demolition riot on the field. Dave Hoeksrta is releasing a new book about the event with the help of Dahl and photographer Paul Natkin from 7 to 10 p.m. at Co-Prosperity Sphere. Maria's Packaged Goods hosts the after-party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. with DJ Lady D, who’s also featured in the book.

Photo by Neil Burger.

FREE OYSTERS: Get complimentary oysters and Argyle bubbles at Roka Akor from 5 to 6 p.m. in honor of their 5th anniversary. The sushi and Japanese steakhouse will also have a live DJ and a special chef’s selected multi-course omakase menu for purchase for $120.


TOUR DE FAT: New Belgium Brewing celebrates all things “beer, bikes and bemusement” at Tour De Fat from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Palmer Square. The live entertainment will span two stages, and feature musical guests including Dr. Dog and Mucca Pazza. Free.

GOLD COAST ART FAIR: Head to Grant park this Saturday and Sunday for the Gold Coast Art Fair, the “Granddaddy of American Art Festivals.” Not only will they showcase art from more than 300 artists from around the world, but there’s also food, beer, music and interactive art you can make yourself. Photographers, painters and artists of many other mediums will have art for sale, with prices from $25 to $25,000. Free.

Photo via Butcher & the Burger's Facebook page.

BURGER FEST: Get your fill of burgers, music and family fun at the 10th annual Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Saturday and Sunday. Headliners 10,000 Maniacs will rub shoulders with popular Chicago cover bands like Wedding Banned and Trippin Billies. Nearly a dozen burger joints will be represented, including Hackney’s, Butcher & the Burger and Fatso’s Last Stand. Entry is $10 gate donation benefitting the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce.

GET FIT WITH THE FIRE: Those Chicago Fire players are pretty hot, aren’t they? Get fit like them during a yoga session benefiting the Chicago Fire Foundation. The class takes place on the field at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch from 8-9 a.m. Tickets are $10.

Photo courtesy of Southeast Environmental Task Force.

TOXIC TO TREASURES TOUR: We love a good tour. Here’s a unique one that offers a look at some Southeast side neighborhoods and how they’ve been impacted by industry. The Toxic to Treasures Tour will take you through Historic Pullman, Acme Coke Plant, City Auto Pound, the Harborside Golf Course and more. Tours depart the Chicago Cultural Center at 10 a.m. Tickets are $35.

SMART DANCE POP: When we saw Cardiknox a few months ago, we were blown away by their energetic live set. Their debut album, Portrait, is filled with smart, crisp pop that keeps us dancing and singing along. The chance to see them in a tiny room like Scubas on Saturday isn't to be missed. We predict they'll soon be graduating to much larger venues. Tickets are $13.

FREE POOLSIDE YOGA: Stretch it out at the InterContinental pool at a free yoga class, courtesy of their “Get Centered” promo. Taught by a CorePower instructor, the class starts at 9:30 a.m. Reservations required. Reserve a spot by emailing

ROWING SPRINTS: The 36th Annual Chicago Sprints take place at Lincoln Park Boat Club this weekend. Pull up some grass and watch more than 30 rowing clubs from across the Midwest compete in more than 50 events. Spectating is free.

PETS PARTY: In honor of The Secret Life of Pets, The New 400 Theater and Loyola’s Summer on the Plaza are hosting an outdoor event with real live pets and fun before a screening of the film. Music, face painting and balloon art start at 1 p.m. on the patio, and The Anti-Cruelty Society will be there with some furry friends up for adoption. Movie begins at 2:30 p.m. Movie tickets are $10, or $15 for VIP admission that includes a ticket, popcorn, a beverage and a Plush Puppy Ear headband. The outdoor party is free.


Parson's celebrates their third anniversary of patio hangs and slushy drinks with a block party on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Parson's Chicken & Fish.

PARSON’S BLOCK PARTY: Parson’s Chicken & Fish Anniversary Block Party back in May was postponed due to bad weather, and they sure are lucking out with a warm, sunny forecast for the new date this Sunday. Join the crew from noon to 6 p.m. to celebrate their third year serving up fried chicken and slushy drinks. The outdoor patio will expand onto Humboldt Boulevard with live music and DJ sets all day long. The party is family-friendly, too. School supply donations will be accepted to benefit Association House of Chicago.

BOTANICAL DRAWING CLASS: Whether you love to draw or simply love plants, no experience is necessary for Lurie Garden’s Introduction to Botanical Drawing. Class is free, but registration is required. BYO pencil and paper.