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14 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 12, 2016 4:08PM

solarise will hold a special closing concert this week. Image courtesy of Garfield Park Conservatory.

The temperature may be beginning to drop, but that doesn't mean we don't have a number of hot events for you to check out this week in Chicago.


WINEMAKER DINNER: Join wine director Andrew Algren at Cherry Circle Room for a Riesling Seminar Dinner at 7 p.m. Winemaker Morten Hallgren (Ravines Wine Cellars) and writer John Haeger (Riesling Rediscovered: Bold, Bright, and Dry) will lead the seminar showcasing wines from Ravines over a 4-course dinner. Tickets are $90.


SLURRING BEE: Spelling bees are way more fun when the participants have imbibed a few. The monthly event at Quenchers has invited past winners back for the Slurring Bee Tournament of Champions at 7 p.m. The rules are simple: “Take a shot. Spell a word. Do it again.” There will also be signups for the Wild Card.


Buddy Guy. Photo courtesy of DCASE.

FIFTH STAR AWARDS: Cindy Crawford, Fred Willard and Shemekia Copeland are among the hometown celebrities presenting at the 3rd Annual Fifth Star Awards at 7 p.m. in Millennium Park. The nod to the Chicago flag’s four stars honors legendary local artists and Cultural Institutions and this year’s honorees are Buddy Guy, Victor Skrebneski, Jackie Taylor, Carlos Tortolero and The Second City. The evening will include performances and video tributes, and all for free.

SCARY MOVIE: The Associate Board of Cinema/Chicago—the team behind the Chicago International Film Festival—hosts another edition of their Screening Series at PUBLIC Chicago Hotel benefiting their year-round Education Program. Revisit the now-classic meta horror flick Scream at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 and includes popcorn and two Stella Artois. UPDATE: This screening has been moved to next week

SOLARISE CLOSING PERFORMANCE: Garfield Park Conservatory’s year-long light show solarise comes to an end on Sept. 22, but this Wednesday they’ll hold a special closing concert at 6:30 p.m. Long-time collaborator and friend of the conservatory, Owen Clayton Condon will perform soundscapes using plant materials. The conservatory will have special extended hours through the closing. Free.


COCKTAIL CHALLENGE: The Chicago Reader hosts their annual Fall Cocktail Challenge at Salvage One from 7 to 10 p.m. Mixologists from Punch House, Atwood and The Kitchen will be among those competing to create the favorite cocktail of the evening. Judges will choose a winner and attendees will also get to indulge and vote for their own favorite. Tickets are $50.

POWER OF PARTYING TOUR: The leader of the Party Party, Andrew W.K. brings The Power of Partying Speaking 50 State Tour to the Revolution Brewing Tap Room at 7 p.m. In true party fashion, there will be free beer and pizza for the motivational speech. Also see the positive punk rocker perform at Riot Fest this weekend. Tickets are $20.

FASHION’S FRONT ROW: “Shop the runway” at Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row fashion show at the Macy’s on State Street at 5:30 p.m. Fashion expert Giuliana Rancic will host the charity fashion show that will air on E! later this week. The first 100 people in line will get a photo with Rancic and refreshments and free gifts with qualifying purchases.

ACTIVATE image courtesy of K&N Media.

ACTIVATE ALLEY: Cow Path Alley on Monroe between LaSalle and Clark transforms for the sensory art installation ACTIVATE from 5 to 10 p.m. TASTE is the theme for the evening as AIRE Rooftop Bar | Hyatt Centric The Loop and Boleo at The Gray Hotel provide bites and sips among art and music in the alley. Free. RSVP in advance for a complimentary drink ticket.

LIT FEST: The Wicker Park & West Town Lit Fest spans events and venues across the neighborhoods, including an anniversary celebration at Quimby’s. The bookstore celebrates 25 years—and kicks off the fest—with founder Steven Svymbersky at 7 p.m. Lit Fest continues through September 18. See their website for more info.

CIDER BASH: Head to Jake's for a Cider Bash from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The party in the keg room will feature all things apple from Smoked Apple BBQ Wings to House Baked Apple Pie. Tickets are $40.


Photo via Riot Fest's website.

RIOT FEST: Punk rock thrives at Riot Fest, which returns to Douglas Park for the weekend. The three-day music festival has been rocking the city for more than a decade, making the move from clubs to the outdoor festival setup they have now just a few years ago. The Flaming Lips, Ween, Morrissey and the reunion of the original Misfits are headlining (and yes, Gwar and Andrew W. K. both play again this year as well). Three-day VIP passes are still available for $329.98 and one-day passes are $159.98.

EATALY SEPTEMBERFEST: It’s the ultimate Eataly experience at Septemberfest beginning at 5 p.m. with and all-you-can-eat party of sorts at the Italian eatery. Pastas, pizzas, wine, beers, you name it all for the taking. Tickets are $45 in advance.

ELECTRONIC PSYCH DANCE-POP: Beaty Heart is a U.K. trio that plays slightly hazy, light psych dance jams that should keep a room swaying back and forth in a mild state of bliss. Their new album Till The Tomb mixes lovely vocals with sunny beats to build a collection that feels optimistic even as it slips into slightly hallucinatory moments here and there. The band plays Beat Kitchen on Friday and tickets are $12-14.