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16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Memorial Day Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 26, 2017 2:44PM

Jurassic World. Image courtesy of The Field Museum.

SUMMER IS HERRREEEE! Enjoy the extended holiday weekend with some of our favorite events.


JURASSIC WORLD: This is SUE’s lucky day. The T-Rex’s dreams come true as Jurassic World: The Exhibition comes to life at the Field Museum. The exhibit based on the blockbuster Spielberg film (starring SUE’s celebrity crush, the one and only Jeff Goldblum) shows us what it would be like to walk among living dinosaurs of the prehistoric era. Guests are in for an immersive interactive experience drawn from the real-world science of dinosaur DNA. Exhibit runs through Jan. 7, 2018. Tickets are $10 for children and $15 for adults for daytime entry (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in addition to general museum admission ($20 for children and $25 for adults for evening entry).

MOLE DE MAYO: The weekend festival at 18th Street and Ashland Avenue in Pilsen features art, musica, lucha libre and all the mole you can eat. Obviously Mole De Mayo is much more than just mole, with two stages of great live entertainment. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is a $5 suggested donation.

RISING LOCAL STARS: Chicago’s Pet Symmetry wrangles the esteemed talents of Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It., Dowsing’s Erik Czaja, and Marcus Nuccio of What Gives. We’re not going to call them emo, but their sophomore album, Vision, is chock full of big, slashing guitars and impassioned vocals. The hooks are heavy and the songs hit hard. O.K., we’re gonna call it “emo,” but we mean it in all the best ways. Like Promise Ring or Alkaline Trio emo. Ratboys opens this Friday show at Schubas, so get there early. We recently become converts to their lo-fi, slacker indie (and again, we mean that in the best possible way, like, the Breeders’ debut EP indie). Prepare to feel all of the feels.

LIVE PSYCHO SOUNDTRACK: Watch the classic Hitchcock film with a live soundtrack provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this Friday at 8 p.m. The event also includes a preconcert lecture about with conductor Richard Kaufman, producer John Goberman, and David Taylor, CSO Assistant Concertmaster at 7 p.m. Tickets are $80.

JETSET SERIES: ROOF on theWit’s JetSet Series returns this Memorial Day Weekend with a trip to Barcelona. The series takes on a different destination for one weekend a month all summer long. Enjoy Spanish food and drink specials including chicken and chorizo paella and Spanish fried egg. The party starts at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Memorial Day Parade. Image via DCASE's website.

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: The City of Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Daley Plaza honoring fallen heroes and Gold Star family members. The parade will follow at noon and proceed south on State Street. Lt. General Kenneth R. Dahl of the United States Army is this year’s Grand Marshal. Free.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest. Image courtesy of Special Events Management.

BELMONT-SHEFFIELD MUSIC FEST: One of the city’s quintessential street fests, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest takes over the streets this weekend with tribute bands, food and libations. It’s the 32nd anniversary for the festival, and this year’s lineup includes Wedding Banned, Boy Band Review, Catfight and more. Entry is a $5 suggested donation benefitting the Central Lakeview Merchants Association.

GREEKTOWN WINE FEST: It’s a weekend full of grapes, gyros and more at the inaugural Greektown Mediterranean Wine Fest in the heart of Greektown. Taste the flavors of the neighborhood’s restaurants and sip on 50 Greek and Mediterranean varietals. Fest hours are Noon to 9 p.m. with ticketed tastings from 2 to 6 p.m. each day. Wine tasting passes are $40.

RANDOLPH STREET MARKET: Mark your calendars, Randolph Street Market is heading outside! The huge antique and vintage market spans inside and out Plumbers Hall for their biggest market of the year, the May Garden Party. More than 300 vendors will have fashion, accessories, furniture, home decor and so much more. You know, like live music, a disco dance party, kids fun fare & pirate arcade and Master Makeup Artist and Body Painter, Orlando Barsallo doing live body painting in “Versailles Garden. Tickets are $10.

BREAK OUT THE LEG-WARMERS AND SKINNY TIES: The ‘80s revival is in full swing with DREAMCAR, a new supergroup featuring No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Adrian Young and Tom Dumont; and fronted by AFI’s Davey Havok, The group’s self-titled debut resurrects the era when MTV was day-glo and asymmetrical haircuts were all the rage. It’s a shin good time, and they do Duran Duran and A Flock Of Seagulls proud. The band wraps up their first tour ever by playing at The Vic on Saturday night.

SIMMER BROWN SIMMERS DOWN: The Simmer Brown Comedy Collective ends it’s two-year run with a final show at Bughouse Theater at 8 p.m. Sameena Mustafa and Prateek Srivastava, two comedians of South Asian heritage, founded the collective which welcomed a diverse group of headliners including Felonious Munk of Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show” and Erica Nicole Clark, recently featured “Hart of the City.” Tickets are $10 ($15 door).

CHICAGO HOUSE PARTY: Did you know Chicago is the original home of house music? The city will celebrate its roots with an all day House Party in Millennium Park starting at 2 p.m. DJs and live performances will showcase the various sounds and styles. This year the party expands to include the North Chase Promenade Tent as well as Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Free.

DANCE BATTLE: Witness the ultimate dance battle as members of Dance Crash Chicago and other professional dancers compete for the Keeper of the Floor Championship. It’s been a whole year since KTF has hit the stage, and they’ve got a new home at Stage773. The raucous event with breakers, ballerinas, tappers all facing off, is emceed as usual by the outrageous Mattrick Swayze. Tickets are $20 in advance ($30 door).


BIKE THE DRIVE: Cruising Lake Shore Drive is one of our favorite things to do in the city, and on Sunday the 28th, you can feel the wind in your hair without a car in sight. It’s the annual Bike the Drive event, benefitting the non-profit Active Transportation Alliance and promoting alternative transportation like bicycling, walking and public transit. Beginning at 5:30 a.m. riders will get five hours of car-free time on the drive between Bryn Mawr and 57th Street. Registration is $54 in advance.

Image via For Paws Club's Facebook page.

FOR PAWS CLUB: Grab your pup and run to Jack & Ginger’s For Paws Club launch party from noon to 2 p.m. The club gets people with common interests (pets) together, and all the proceeds from the launch event will benefit local non-profit One Tail at a Time. Drink specials and giveaways galore. Tickets are $15.


CHINATOWN WALKING TOURS: From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Chinatown hosts public walking tours that explore the historic neighborhood. The 90-minute tour begins at Chinatown Square by the Zodiac Animal Statues and tours seven spots from the shopping district to Ping Tom Memorial Park. Cost is $15.