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15 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 29, 2017 4:59PM

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Image via Lincoln Park Zoo's website.

Fall seems to have finally arrived, but the scene of events in Chicago is only heating up with amazing things to do and see.


FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29

LP ZOO FALL FEST: ¬†Lincoln Park Zoo 3rd annual Fall Fest kicks off this Friday with autumn themed-animal enrichment and so much more. There’s a corn maze, a tractor themed carousel, a ferris wheel, bounce houses, pumpkin carvers, and more. Admission is free and some activities are ticketed. Check the zoo’s website for the full schedule through Oct. 29.

STONER-POP: Torche hasn’t put out an album since 2015’s Restarter, so they haven’t been around these parts all that often. But they are a band not to be missed. Their sound manages to take epic stoner rock jams and fit them into 3-minute, melodically compact piledrivers of songs. The band plays The Empty Bottle Friday night.

REVBREW OKTOBERFEST: Revolution Brewing is taking Oktoberfest to the streets. They’re throwing a two-day street fest outside the brewpub location complete with their own craft beer, eats from D√∂nerman and The Radler and live music. They’ve snagged Real Estate and Jeff Rosenstock to headline the celebration. Entry is a $5 suggested donation benefitting programs of Friends of Goethe School.

INTL LATINO THEATER FESTIVAL: The very first Chicago International Latino Theater Festival: DESTINOS will take place for the next month at venues across the city. See many U.S. premieres including Medea and The Mirror at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre and I, the Worst of All at the National Museum of Mexican Art. See the full schedule on CLATA’s website.

EPIC INDIE ROCK: You can never be sure who or how many of the 15-member band led by Kevin Drew will be at any given Broken Social Scene show, but you can be assured the experience will be a blissful one. Blissful, that is, if you enjoy surrounding yourself in swelling anthems that can teeter on the edge of dissolution before righting themselves into triumphant choruses and epic guitar jams. We weren't sure if we would actually see another album from the band since it had been ten years since Forgiveness Rock Record, but this years Hug Of Thunder saw the collective slip right back into their one-of-a-kind sound. The last few times we’ve seen the band it’s been outdoors, and that was lovely, but seeing them indoors means you’ll just be more tightly rapped in their cocoon of sound. Broken Social Scene plays Aragon Ballroom Friday night.

THE RETURN OF THE SAINT: Saint Etienne burst onto the indie scene with 1991's Foxbase Alpha, a beguiling collection of mellow beats with dreamy vocals that still managed to get you moving. This year’s Home Counties sees the trio of Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs back in action, and while they’ve certainly honed their craft since their debut, the work still carries an undeniable sense of innocence tinged with wisdom that makes it feel just as fresh. The band is on its first U.S. tour in five years, and plays Park West Friday.

EATALY SEPTEMBERFEST 2.0: SeptemberFest is back at Eataly from 6 p.m. to midnight. The all-access party steps it up this year for it’s second version inviting local favorites to join the food hall’s own chefs. Enjoy food and drink from spots like Big Star, Billy Sunday, Osteria Langhe, Revolution Brewing and Yusho. Tickets are $85.


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30

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Fulton Market Harvest Fest photo by Huge Galdones.

FULTON MARKET HARVEST FEST: Chefs Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan curate the second annual Fulton Market Harvest Fest on Saturday and Sunday. The fall fest is all about food, with cooking demonstrations, food and beverage classes, and tastes from area restaurant menus. Take part in oyster shucking at Cold Storage, live fire bread baking at Publican Quality Bread or any other number of activities. There’s also a pretty hefty live music lineup and plenty of craft beer to imbibe. Tickets are $30 and include food and drink tickets and an official Harvest Fest beer stein.

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Image via Chicago Bacon and Beer Classic’s Facebook event page.

BACON + BEER CLASSIC: Bacon and beer go together like, well, bacon and beer. Celebrate two of the greatest edible creations known to man at the Chicago Bacon and Beer Classic at Daley Center Plaza. The all-inclusive event includes more than 50 craft beers from regional breweries and at least 25 original bacon dishes and unlimited bacon strips, plus games like giant Jenga and cornhole. Choose from two session times: 1 or 6 p.m. Tickets are $55.

ROCK THREE-FER: We are fans of both the anthemic punk of Against Me!, and the fuzz-groove indie with girl group melodies of Bleached. So the idea of the two of them sharing a bill—they've done quite a bit of touring together this year—makes us hungry for the sweet and the spice. Not enough for you? How about if we throw in The Dirty Nil, who to our ears sounds kind of like Weezer, if Weezer was powered by rage instead of sunshine. You can catch the whole affair at Concord Music Hall on Saturday night.

LINCOLN SQUARE APPLE FEST: It’s apple season and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is on it with the 30th Annual Apple Fest this weekend. There will be apple pie, hot cider, live music and dozens of vendors selling everything from candy apples to scarves and hats.

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Image via Chicago History Museum's Facebook page.

DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY TOUR: See the real places sites that became real lore in the Devil in the White City Bus Tour at 1 p.m. The tour is inspired Erik Larson’s best-selling book, that chronicles the trials of Daniel Burnham and the devilish doings of H.H. Holmes during the World's Fair of 1893. Tickets are $55.

COMFORT STATION BENEFIT: Nobunny, Ryley Walker and more perform at Logan Square’s Comfort Station Benefit this Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m. The outdoor fundraiser will take place right at the Logan Square Monument complete with live music all day courtesy of Empty Bottle Presents and a beer garden. Access to the beer garden requires a $20 donation and includes a variety of complimentary Goose Island beers.


SUNDAY OCTOBER 1

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Image via Bloody Mary Fest's website.

BLOODY MARY FEST: It’s five straight hours of Bloody Mary madness at the annual Bloody Mary Fest at Theater on the Lake. Sample different bloodies, craft beer, mimosas and more along with sweet and savory brunch bites. Vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice Award. Tickets are $60.

CHICAGO BOOK EXPO: This free literary celebration takes place at Columbia College from noon to 5 p.m. The Chicago Book Expo focuses on the local community with more than 20 programs and workshops with local authors, plus 75 exhibitors selling books from local presses and literary organizations. They’re also teamed with the Chicago Architecture Biennial for the very first Chicago Architecture Book Festival.