Weekend Events: Memorial Day Edition


(Courtesy of the Chicago Children's Choir)(Courtesy of the Chicago Children's Choir)

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Paint the Town Red
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park
More than 4,300 young singers participate in the annual two-concert celebration by the Chicago Children’s Choir. The choir was founding during the peak of the civil rights movement as a way to unite children from different backgrounds through the arts. Many of the children come from low-income homes today. 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Free.

Also on tap:

Israeli Jazz and World Music Festival (through June 2)
Various Locations
Israeli-born and Chicago-based musicians collaborate across several genres during this fourth annual festival, which kicks off with Lazer Lloyd in a performance at Buddy Guy's Legends (700 S. Wabash Ave. $10-$15) that shows the influence Chicago blues musicians have had on his work. Additional times and prices vary.

‘In Retrospect: An Exhibition Series, Oral History and Archival Project’ (through Aug. 11)
African American Cultural Center, 830 S. Halsted St., Room 207
This exhibition at the University of Illinois at Chicago commemorates the center’s 25th anniversary and focuses on the theme of environment through photographs, mixed media and paintings by artists shown in Chicago and all over the world. Opening reception: 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday. Exhibition on view 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Free.


(Rendering Courtesy of Navy Pier, Inc.)(Rendering Courtesy of Navy Pier, Inc.)

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Grand Opening
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Say hello to Centennial Wheel: It's 196 feet high with 42 gondolas – that's 49 feet higher and two gondolas larger than the old wheel. Rides start at noon. $12-$50.

Also on tap:

Mole de Mayo (through Sunday)
18th Street, between Ashland Avenue and Loomis Street
This seventh annual festival in Pilsen celebrates the traditional Mexican sauce as local chefs compete for awards. Includes food booths, two stages of live music, visual artists, traditional dancing and more. Noon to 10 p.m. Free.

Gaelic Park Irish Fest (through Monday)
Gaelic Park between Ridgeland and Menard Avenues, Oak Forest
The festival is celebrating 30 years this Memorial Day weekend. Listen to music, fill up on food and drinks, and explore exhibits including a petting zoo, Irish dog and horse exhibition and sports contests. . Check out the schedule. 4-11 p.m. Friday; 2-11 p.m. Saturday; 1-11 p.m. Sunday; 1-8 p.m. Monday. $8-$15; $28 four-day passes available online. Carnival rides included with admission fees.

Gelato World Tour (through Sunday)
Millennium Park
Try out everyone’s favorite frozen Italian treat as the tour makes a stop in Chicago. Noon-9 p.m. Free admission. $10 for 8 samples.


Chicago Memorial Day Parade
State Street from Lake to Van Buren
Honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the military with this annual event considered to be one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country. A wreath-laying ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza. The parade steps off at noon and proceed south along State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren. Free.

Also on tap:

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival (through Sunday)
Sheffield Avenue between Belmont Avenue and Roscoe Street
Welcome the warm weather with this street festival now in its 32nd year. Music highlights include Wedding Banned (Saturday) and Catfight (Sunday). Food, drink and art vendors round it out. Noon-10 p.m. $5 suggested donation.

Uncork Illinois Wine Festival
Downtown Oak Park
Wine drinkers will have the chance to try out more than 150 wines from over 15 local wineries. Plus, try out some locally made foods. Admission includes a souvenir tasing glass and seven tasting tickets. 1-8:30 p.m. $20.

Chicago House Party
Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavillion
Celebrate the electronic dance sound that originated in Chicago in the 1980s at this free concert featuring The House Legacy Project, Peven Everett Trio, Vick Lavender Ensemble, DJ Joe Smooth and more. Dana Divine of WGCI 107.5-FM hosts. 3-9 p.m. Free.

Chicago Philharmonic & Cirque de la Symphonie
Harris Theatre, 205 E. Randolph St.
The orchestra performs works from “Swan Lake,” the “Star Wars” soundtrack, “Carmen” and more while aerial flyers, acrobats, dancers and jugglers perform physical feats. 7:30 p.m. $25-$125. 


Bike the Drive
Lake Shore Drive
Bikers take over the scenic street, which is closed down to auto traffic early Sunday morning. Bike for as short or as long of a distance as you like; a full loop rings in at 30 miles. For route and rest stop information, go here. 5:30-11 a.m. $17-$87.

Also on tap:

PBR Movie Night: ‘The Goonies’
Boiler Room, 2210 N. California Ave.
See your favorite kids from the Goon Docks at this free screening of the cult classic. Try out the Boiler Room’s pizza and PBR special while you’re there. 8 p.m. Free admission. 

Memorial Day Cookout
MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont
The summer concert series kicks off with $2 tastings from nearby restaurants, live music from Maggie Speaks and the Blooze Brothers and a fireworks show to wrap things up. 3-9:30 p.m. Free admission. 

Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.

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