Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend Update: Hosteller Style

If you thought that Chicago had run out of neighborhoods to have festivals in, you were dead wrong. In fact, this weekend is jam-packed with fests everywhere you look, from big ones like Pitchfork Music Festival to the lesser known Tour de Fat (that's actually what it is called). Read on for your weekend update from your friends at HI-Chicago!

Pitchfork Music Festival: July 15 – 17 (Fri 3-10pm, Sat/Sun 12-10pm

This indie alternative to the bigger music festivals like Lollapalooza has an amazing line-up this year, including Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, James Blake and more! Union Park promises to be packed this weekend, so if you’re not planning on going to the festival, find a different route home! That said, you should definitely go to the festival. It’s seriously awesome. Tickets are still available on-site for Friday and Saturday! $45/day.

Tour de Fat: July 16, 9am-4pm

Ok, so while I had a lot of fun imagining food eating contests, deep fried Oreos, and a liposuction tent, this is actually cooler, and a lot less gross. This annual bike and environmental fest is hosted by Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery, the makers of Fat Tire beer (a-hah, it all makes sense now). The event will have live music by Dovekins and Mucca Pazza, a bike parade, a car/bike swap—which is maybe the coolest crazy idea I’ve heard in a while (see below for more details), and of course, tons of Fat Tire brews for sale. The brewery is making stops in 13 cities across the country (biking, of course) to promote environmental awareness and bike use – how awesome is that?

What is the car/bike swap, you may ask? In their words…It's when one fortunate soul hands over their car, title and keys to the Tour de Fat altar in exchange for a bike. Not just any bike, a New Belgium, fully-loaded, hand-crafted, Fort Collins-built commuter bike. There's 13 Tour de Fat stops - surely one near you - and that's 13 car/bike trade opportunities. It's about weaning yourself off the petroleum teat. It's about becoming a better, sexier person. It's about rediscovering the cultural thrill of public transportation. One year's time is the minimum commitment – commuting is your sentence.

Taste of River North: July 15 – 17 (Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 11am-6pm)

Food and drink tickets for $1 each get you meals from some of the best restaurants in the area, including Citizen Bar, Green Door Tavern, Moe’s Cantina, and more! Galleries and shops will all be set up in the park, along with live music from Sixteen Candles and others. Pet and kid friendly! $5 donation.

Lincoln Park Arts and Music Festival: July 16 – 17, 12-10pm

Great music, fantastic artists, and tons of food and drink vendors will be over at Racine Ave this weekend for the Lincoln Park Arts and Music Festival. Headliners the Freddy Jones Band and Trevor Hall will be performing, along with tons of other local talent. What sets this apart from all the other festivals, you ask? Not much really. But why mess with success? $5 donation.

Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party: July 15 – 16, 5:30-10:30pm

While the qualification of world’s largest block party hasn’t been proven, Old St. Pat’s is still HUGE. Over 18,000 are expected to attend this annual fest, and vendors will be offering all your regular fest foods, as well as noodles! But noodles aren’t the best part of this festival; the price of admission allows you into all of the shows and even includes 5 drink tickets for beer, wine, pop (see? I’ve been in Chicago for too long) and water! Also, the line-up has some awesome big name bands, including Barenaked Ladies (remember them??), Plain White T’s, and Cobra Starship! $40/day in advance, $45/day at door.

Chinatown Summer Fair: July 17, 10am-8pm

Head to Chinatown for this annual neighborhood festival with music, dance performances, and tons of food from restaurants and street vendors in the area. But most importantly, it features a colorful lion and dragon dance procession lead by none other than Ronald McDonald – and yes, it will make more sense once I tell you that McDonald’s is hosting the festival…but it’s still weirdly cool.

Get out and enjoy this beautiful weekend, and we here at the hostel will be doing the same!

Stay groovy!

Written by: Keren Mikva

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