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16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 14, 2017 4:48PM

So many reasons to be outside this weekend including multiple music festivals and garden walks.


PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL: Fans with discerning musical taste flock to Union Pier year after year for Pitchfork Music Festival, and this lineup was made to please. James Murphy and crew are out of a brief retirement with LCD Soundsystem headlining the first night of the fest. A Tribe Called Quest and Solange round out the headliners. As usual, the festival also includes other experiences like CHIRP Record Fair, Renegade Craft Fair, Book Fort and the Flatstock poster festival. Tickets are $175 for a three-day pass. Single day tickets are $75.

WINDY CITY SMOKEOUT: It doesn’t get much better than BBQ and country music on a July weekend. Windy City Smokeout brings us hefty helpings of both on the river at Grand Avenue. Pitmasters from all over the country bring their menus to the event. The festival also ups the ante with special added events like a Whole Hog Brunch, Crawfish Boil, Oyster Roast and cooking lessons. On the music side they’ve got artists like Jake Owen, Kip Moore and Lee Brice hitting the stage. Tickets are $110 for a three-day pass. Single day passes start at $40.

OPEN AIR: Heavy metal fans put those rock hands in the air because Open Air is back for another year at Toyota Park. The three-day music festival lineup features all the names you’d expect to hear: Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Megadeath, Rob Zombie, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Korn, KISS...and so many more. They’ve also got “Gourmet Man Food” and a “Headbangers Bier Hall” on site. Tickets are $130 for a three-day pass. Single day tickets are $80.

JOHN STAMOS ART SHOW: It’s no secret that Riot Fest is majorly crushing on the one and only John Stamos, and they’re taking it to the next level with an art show dedicated to the man behind Uncle Jesse. The John Stamos Art Show at Cobra Lounge this weekend will feature everything from canvas to butter mediums to be judged by a celebrity panel.


BUCKTOWN GARDEN WALK: Chicago gardens bloom in the summer, and one of the best places to see beautiful private gardens is the Bucktown Garden Walk. Grab a guidebook and roam the neighborhood, and then return to music, entertainment and beer & rosé gardens at “Garden Walk Headquarters” at Churchill Park. Free.

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Image courtesy of Thodos Dance Chicago.

THODOS LAST NEW DANCES: As Thodos Dance Chicago prepares to end it’s company ensemble work, they present their last New Dances at Athenaeum Theatre. The series, now in it’s 17th year, is the final step of the company’s in-house choreography initiative. Eight members of the company’s ensemble will show off brand new works. Showtimes are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $14.

SOUTHPORT ART FESTIVAL: The Southport Corridor hosts more than 75 local artists showcasing and selling work in a variety of mediums at the Southport Art Festival. There will also be some live demos. Free.

PUNK GOES POP: Candy Hearts snagged our attention with their punky power-pop a few years ago, but the band has ditched the harder stuff to dive even deeper into the sugary end of the pool and re-named themselves Best Ex. Mariel Loveland's ear for a great hook is still there, and her voice is still one of the band's biggest assets. Their debut under the new moniker, Ice Cream Anti Social EP, wanders from electro-pop to acoustic balladry to their more familiar rockin' territory. It's a wider range than their previous work, and in the format of an EP it does feel like they need to focus their direction a little more instead of simply casting a wider net. That said, these musicians put on a great show no matter what name they're operating under, so their gig at Subterranean Saturday night is a chance to see how the new direction translates to the stage.

SILVER ROOM BLOCK PARTY: Turn out for The Silver Room Block Party in Hyde Park this Saturday. The annual party, now in it’s 14th year, shuts down the streets with music, art and love. Free.

THAI FOOD FEST: The debut of Thai Food Festival Chicago is this Saturday and Sunday, with tons of delicious Thai food from local restaurants served alongside a full menu of live music and other entertainment options. The fest goes down at 861 W. Irving Park Rd., in Thorek Hospital's parking lot.


Image via the City of Chicago's website.

CHINATOWN SUMMER FAIR: Celebrate the beauty and culture of the Far East at the Chinatown Summer Fair from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The ethnic neighborhood fest will include new and old world music acts, eats, artisans and the Dragon & Lion Dance Procession. Admission is free.

VINTAGE GARAGE: July brings a Rockabilly theme to this month’s Vintage Garage Chicago. As usual, find great vintage at the garage in Uptown including clothes, furniture, home decor art and more. Tickets are $5.

Image via Dearborn Garden Walk's event page.

DEARBORN GARDEN WALK: The Gold Coast also gets in on the garden game this Sunday with the Dearborn Garden Walk. Check out live music in select rear gardens, guided architectural walking tours and more with a self-guided tour map. Tickets are $30.

SKATEBOARDING SKOOL: House of Vans recently set up shop in the West Loop as a skate destination and concert venue. This Sunday they begin a new Skateboarding Skool series for kids and teens. Perfect your ollies or just learn the tricks to turning and stopping with basic and tricks classes for ages 5-10 and 11-17. Sign up at noon on the first Wednesday of every month.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER LIVE: MST3K geeks will be excited for their first ever tour featuring Joel Hodgson, creator of the critically acclaimed TV show, and its new host Jonah Ray ("Jonah Heston"). Their stop at The Vic includes B-movies, riffing and robots over two shows: "Eegah" (all ages) at 5 p.m. and "Secret Surprise Film!" (18+) at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

ENOVERSITY: Get some Rosé knowledge at ENO Wine Room’s next ENOversity at 3 p.m. Their expert sommeliers will show rosé’s versatility that can be enjoyed all year long, not just as a summer drink. Cheeses, chocolates, and charcuterie will also be served. Tickets are $55.