Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Get it Get it, Chicago

Aaaaaand we’re back with the best of Chicago summer weekend festivals and events! Keep your snow boots in the closet because we’re far from over – milk every drop of sunshine from August that you can!

Northalsted Market Days: August 13-14, 11am-10pm

This crazy scene is not your grandmother’s street festival – the high quantity of scantily clad attendees (see picture at right), free condoms, and general hot-messiness of it all makes Market Days a great time for those with an adventurous spirit, or those who are looking for a Lollapalooza-meets-Pride type of atmosphere. It also has a fantastic music line-up, featuring Darren Criss (all Glee die-hards reading this just gasped), Frenchie Davis (same goes for all American Idol/The Voice fans), and Ms. Gloria Gaynor herself (you should all be gasping – she’s terrific). A huge variety of drink and food options, along with hundreds of art stands, make this one street festival you don’t want to miss. $7/before 5pm, $10/after 5pm.

Mad Decent Block Party: August 13, 12-10pm

Aptly named, the Mad Decent Block Party is incredibly decent (dare we even say awesome?) – over 30 artists will be performing, including Curren$y, Dillon Francis, Reptar, Bosco Delrey, and more! Never heard of any of these people? That’s OK, us neither, but they’re actually pretty legit, span all kinds of genres, and you can check out various artists on the event’s Facebook page. This traveling block party is going to hit Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood with a bang, and is open to all ages during the fest, though most of the after-parties are 21+. Did we mention it’s completely FREE entry? Like there won’t even be those $5 donations that are “suggested” but you know you’ll get the stink eye if you don’t cough up some cash.

We R Hip Hop Festival: August 13, 1-6pm

The sixth annual installation of this festival features break dancing competitions, rap and graffiti battles (we’re picturing people shooting spray paint at one another, but it’s more likely some kind of intense artwork contest given the pictures we found from previous years, bummer, right?), and performances by – you guessed it – tons of hip hop artists. Mass Hysteria, Phero, Struggle Academy, and, our personal favorite, Hood Huntaz, will all be tearing up the stages in Dvorak Park. Bonus points – this youth-run festival is dedicated to supporting peace and anti-violence in our community. So it seems Mass Hysteria will be wreaking peaceful hysteria, just to clear up any confusion. Free entry.

Wrigleyville SummerFest: August 13, 12pm-10pm; 8/14, 10am-9pm
Wrigleyville SummerFest is a fairly generic Chicago street festival, but with one noteworthy exception: old skool hip hop party band Too White Crew will be performing on Saturday at 8pm. The best way to describe them is to quote their own words, “Alright STOP. Collaborate an’ LIS-en. Remember when hip hop Talked About Sex? When you could Bust a Move, Shake the Rump, do the Humpty and no one was poppin’ caps? When Bell Biv Devoe called all y’all tricks “Poison” and warned all the fellas to “never trust a big butt & a smiiiiiile”? We do too.” Basically, it’s all original music with a Vanilla Ice/Pretty Ricky/Young MC inspiration. Who doesn’t love that? $5.

Ferrari Festival: August 14, 11am-2pm

The Italian Village’s 14th Annual Ferrari Festival gives you the chance to drool over 60 vintage Ferraris, enjoy a traditional Italian buffet, complete with Italian wine and beer, and to make a donation to the Children’s Memorial Hospital and Inspiration Corporation (100% of proceeds will be donated). Car fanatics and Italian-food lovers alike should check out this festival - $30 gets you unlimited access to aforementioned buffet, including drinks. You could do a whole lot more damage than $30 at another festival where $7 gets you a single tallboy. Just saying.

Taylor Street Festa Italiana: August 11-12, 5-11pm; 8/13, 12-11pm; 8/14, 12-9pm

Ferraris aren’t your thing, but you’re still craving a taste of Italy? Head to the Taylor Street Festa Italiana in Little Italy. Food booths from the fabulous variety of restaurants in the neighborhood will be lining the streets, along with four stages of live music. The line-up consists mainly of tribute shows, including those to The Rat Pack, Bon Jovi (YES!) and The Bronx Wanderers, along with DJ sets. Cultural exhibits, Italian merchandise, culinary presentations, and the requisite wine garden makes this festival a Littler Italy in one of Chicago’s most historic and beloved neighborhoods (see how we did that? Yes, we’re clever here at HI).

Chicago Korean Festival: August 13, 12-10pm, 8/14, 12-9pm

Immerse yourself in a unique culture at Chicago’s Korean Festival in North Park this weekend – dance performances, Taekwondo demonstrations and singing contests (apparently there are karaoke artists – it’s not just something you’re convinced to do after one too many drinks?) all give you a taste, but the real draw will be Korean wrestling matches, also known as Ssireum. The national sport of Korea, this sport may not be as bloody as UFC, but it’s just as entertaining with the sole purpose of body throwing your opponent. Who doesn’t love a good body throw?

Porkfest: August 13, 1-4pm

Though this Kosher-vegetarian blogger probably won’t be attending, it remains my duty to inform you about the granddaddy of all cookouts in August: McGee’s Tavern & Grill’s 7th Annual Porkfest: A General Celebration of Meat. Unlimited ribs, brisket, pulled pork, fried chicken, BBQ chicken, and basically any other kind of way you can cook meat will all be available for the entry fee of $20. Wear your pants with the elastic band and, in the words of McGee’s, “Get Porked!”

And while it’s tempting to leave off with “Get Porked,” it’s not necessarily the sentiment most suited to the rest of this post. So, we’ll end with something more generic. Like, “Until next time!” Or, “Happy heat wave!” Or maybe even, “Stay groovy!” Oh wait, we’ve used all of those already. Fine, you win.

Get Porked!

Written by: Keren Mikva

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