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11 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 5, 2017 3:32PM

Kids and Kites Festival is Saturday. Image via the DCASE Facebook event page.

The first weekend in May is jam-packed with fun stuff to do around town.


ZINE FEST: Attention all indie press and writers, the eighth annual Chicago Zine Fest is this weekend, championing independent self publishing with an exhibition, panels, readings, workshops, hands-on activities and more. The fest kicks off on Friday evening at Co-Prosperity Sphere and then continues on Saturday at Plumbers Union Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For the full schedule of events, check the fest website. Free.

INTONATION POP GALA: Help Intonation bring the music to the kids during their POP Gala at Morgan Manufacturing. They’re celebrating the “power of pop” in a traditional gala setting, all to support the non-profit’s rock band education for local youth. Tickets are $275 ($50 for after-party only).

THE WORLD’S BEST AMERICAN BAND?: White Reaper’s The World’s Best American Band is one of our favorite albums released so far this year. In our review we said, “White Reaper try their best to create an album that lives up to its title. And damn if they don’t deliver with this heavy guitar nod to stompin' and swaggerin' '70s rawk.” Their Beat Kitchen appearance on Friday night should be nothing less than an explosively good time. If you score a ticket, get there early, because the buzz around this show is heavy.

AMERICAN PIE: Don McLean is as American as pie. His hit 1971 song “American Pie” is now part of the cultural lexicon, but with more than 40 gold and platinum records, the singer-songwriter is certainly more than a one hit wonder. McLean hits the City Winery stage for two shows on Friday as part of his American Troubadour Tour. Tickets start at $75.

MOONRUNNERS MUSIC FESTIVAL: Fans of Blues, Roots and Rock will find themselves at the MoonRunners Music Festival at Reggie’s this weekend. The two-day event features nearly 40 acts with Shooter Jennings and Jeff Shepherd headlining. Tickets range from $20 to $75 for the full two-day pass.


Chicago's Leather Archives and Museum. Image via Obscura Day's website.

OBSCURA DAY: Atlas Obscura celebrates discovery and exploration with all kinds of hidden gems and facts, and for one day, they’ll take curious learners with them out into the wild. This Saturday is Obscura Day and Chicago has five events of our very own. Get a private tour of Chicago’s Leather Archives and Museum, explore some of the biggest disasters to shape downtown or have "Breakfast with Tiffany’s...Mosaics." Check out all of the available events and ticketing info on their website.

KIDS + KITES FESTIVAL: The 19th annual Kids and Kites Festival gets at Montrose Harbor gets us outside for a classic springtime activity. The family friendly event will feature the Windjammers Kite Team this year with their synchronized kite flying maneuvers, and the city will provide kite kits to the kids to fly their own. You’ll surely want to stick around for the Big Kite Candy Drop and other activities like face painting, balloon animals and crafts. Free.

Image via Chicago Beer Classic's Facebook page.

CHICAGO BEER CLASSIC: With all the festivals at Soldier Field, drinking on the turf seems like it’s becoming an old pastime. Continue the tradition this weekend with the 5th annual Chicago Beer Classic. There are more than just tastings (from 30+ Chicago breweries) on tap at the beer event. There will be “Beer Education,” games, activities and more, plus extra perks like a stadium tour and premium seating if you splurge for VIP. Two sessions to choose from: 11:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 ($95 for VIP).

FASHION + HEALTH: The Brown Elephant Best Of is a curated event of high-end vintage and designer clothing and accessories all to benefit LGBTQ health center Howard Brown Health. The resale shop hosts the weekend-long pop-up event at it’s Lakeview location. Shop designers like designers such as Valentino, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and more from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.


CINCO DE MAYO PARADE: Head to Little Village for the real deal. The Cinco De Mayo Parade is held to remember the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May, 1862. Parade steps off at noon. Free.

PIG ROAST: Saint Lou's Assembly is turning one, and they’re throwing a pig roast for you to celebrate. From 4 to 6 p.m. Chef Carlos Cruz will roast up a whole pig on the patio, and it’s only going to be six dollars for meat, three sides and a draft beer. They’ll have bocce ball set up and libations from Goose Island and Hopewell Brewing Co. Suggested donations at the door will benefit The Cara Program, a local non-profit whose efforts aim toward breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty in the community.

UPDATE: Sweet Lou's has moved their anniversary celebration to May 20.