The big event
Move over, O’Hare plane noise. This weekend’s about to get even louder thanks to the aerial acrobats who tantalize crowds at the annual Chicago Air and Water Show. The event regularly draws crowds of about 2 million and elicits oohs and aahs with headlining acts like the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and parachute teams representing the Army (Golden Knights) and Navy (Leap Frogs). This year, retired Chicago Bear Charles “Peanut” Tillman kicks off the 58th annual show on Saturday by performing a tandem jump with the Golden Knights.
Sight lines are best from North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Drive), but you can grab a spot at Ohio Street Beach or anywhere along the lakefront between Oak Street Beach and Fullerton Avenue to train your eyes to the lake and sky for military and civilian team performances. Alcohol and pets are among the prohibited items. We recommend bringing sunscreen, snacks and ample patience to deal with crowds. Rain or shine. (Show will pause if weather becomes an issue.) 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free.
Free pick of the week
Bronzeville Summer Nights (Friday)
43rd Street, from Ellis to Cottage Grove avenues
Explore a dozen art galleries and local businesses in the neighborhood during this hop-on, hop-off trolley tour. Stops include Gallery Guichard, Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center, Honey BBQ and Cafe on the Grove. Extras: Food, drinks and live music. 6-9 p.m. Free.
Also on tap ...
Fred Fest (Saturday)
28500 W. Roberts Road, Port Barrington
This benefit party aims to raise funds for the restoration of the Grassy Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Barrington and includes live music and family activities. Food vendors are on site, or you can pack a picnic. Alcohol is permitted, pets are not. 1-8 p.m. $10; $5 for kids; free for kids ages 5 and under; $25 family pass available.
Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (Tuesdays-Sundays through Aug. 28)
Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.
See world-premiere and new-to-Chicago musicals at this celebration of song that continues through the end of the month. Times vary. $20 per show. Full schedule here.
South Shore Summer Festival (Sunday)
South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive
The grounds of the landmark facility host the sixth annual community celebration with live music, food and drink vendors, activities for kids, and local merchants. Don’t miss a performance by the South Shore Drill Team at 1:30 p.m. Headliners include Con Funk Shun and Michon Young. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free.
Albany Park World Fest (Saturay-Sunday)
Lawrence and Kimball avenues
Global rhythms from West Africa to Colombia to Polynesia, the Balkans and beyond highlight this third annual event, held adjacent to the Kimball CTA Brown Line stop. Headliners include the Occidental Brothers (Saturday) and Carpacho y su Supercombo (Sunday). Food and beer vendors, carnival rides, and arts and crafts vendors round things out. Noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. $5 suggested donation.
Vintage Days (Saturday-Sunday)
Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
A new festival in the historic town features ample shopping opportunities as the main drag is shut down to traffic. Food vendors, live bluegrass and rock music, carnival games, hayrides (noon-4 p.m.), craft beer and local wine round it out. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free.
Clark After Dark (Thursday)
420 N. Clark St.
Perhaps the city’s smallest street fest, this annual after-work affair hosted by the USO of Illinois is held next to the Boss Bar and includes live music by party band Sixteen Candles and Liquidated Damages–a group made up of musicians from construction firm Leopardo and its business partners. The fest also includes food and drink specials, military vehicle displays, a raffle and more. 4-10 p.m. $5 suggested donation.
Festa Italiana (Thurday-Sunday)
Taylor Street and Ashland Avenue
Neighborhood restaurants old and new set up shop outdoors for the 10th annual festival. While you’re eating, watch crooners and party bands on three live music stages, sip wine and beer, play Italian card games, and browse artwork. 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. $5 suggested donation.
Black Harvest Film Festival (through Sept. 1)
Gene Siskel Film Festival, 164 N. State St.
The 22nd annual celebration of indie films explores the black experience both inside the U.S. and around the globe. Highlights this weekend include shorts programs on family (Thursday) and love (Friday-Saturday); the Chicago-set film “This is Not Chiraq” (Friday and Aug. 24); the feature “Jerico” from former Chicagoan Seckeita Lewis; and documentary “The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price” (Sunday). $11 per film.
Edison Park Fest (Friday-Sunday)
Olmsted and Oliphant avenues
What began in 1972 as a sidewalk sale, so the story goes, has turned into a full-on street fest with about 20,000 visitors each year. Live music, a beer garden, games and entertainment for kids, and food vendors are also featured. Don’t miss a parade Saturday (11 a.m.) honoring Jim DelMedico, former fest champion and president of the Edison Park Chamber; a craft fair (Saturday-Sunday) and dog show (Sunday).
Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (Friday-Sunday)
Glenwood and Morse avenues
The tree-lined streets of Rogers Park set the backdrop for this 15th annual celebration featuring more than 140 artists and vendors, plus more than 40 musical groups on three stages. Browse jewelry, paintings, photography, drawings, mixed media, sculpture, glass and more during the art market (Saturday-Sunday only). 6-10 p.m. Friday (music only); 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Wright Ride (Sunday)
Marion Street and North Boulevard, Oak Park
A prairie style pedal honors the work of one of Oak Park’s most famous residents: Frank Lloyd Wright. The 10th annual ride offers four architectural routes that vary in length from 10 to 68 miles. The supported ride (meaning they’ll help you fix a flat, adjust your bike seat or tackle other unexpected technical issues) includes snack-stocked rest stops. Routes open at 6 a.m.; onsite registration ends at 9 a.m. $25-$35; $10-$20 for kids ages 12 and under.
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.