This Weekend: Four Must-Do Chicago Festivals
Summer temps have yet to take hold in Chicago, but we should have highs in the 80s as festival season kicks into high gear this weekend.
Tour de Fat
Where: Palmer Square Park
When: 10am-5pm July 11
What: Chicago is a regular stop for this annual event from Fort Collins, CO-based New Belgium Brewing. The festivities kick off with a bicycle parade leading to Palmer Square and a carnival atmosphere featuring custom made monster bikes, food trucks, live entertainment and plenty of New Belgium beer. This event is free but proceeds from beer, food and merchandise sales benefit West Town Bikes, a local bike shop offering classes in bike repair and cycling safety to underserved and at-risk youth.
Square Roots Festival
Where: Lincoln Square (Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson avenues)
When: 5pm-10pm July 10, noon-11pm July 11, noon-9 pm July 12
What: The Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce have turned this into one of the can't-miss family-friendly festivals of the year. Local restaurants and craft breweries (Lincoln Square is brimming with both) will be on hand to sate your hunger and thirst while a stellar musical lineup featuring Urge Overkill, Kermit Ruffins, The Mekons and Robbie Fulks will have you dancing. There are also music and dance lessons for adults and kids to enjoy.
Where: Grant Park Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave
When: 6pm-9:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, 4pm-7pm Sundays
What: Let the rhythm take control in the shadows of the Blackstone Hotel at this city-sponsored event featuring dance lessons, DJs and live bands across a wide range of musical styles. This weekend features House music DJ Marshall Jefferson on Friday, Puerto Rican bomba band Plena Lobre Saturday and you can tango with Tangata Ensemble Sunday.
Taste of Chicago
Where: Grant Park
When: Now through Sunday
What: Chicago's oldest food festival has been through some struggles in recent years but Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has tried to turn around what was a money losing venture. The festival's length was cut in half, the Park District has added food trucks and pop-up restaurants, and the quality of the music acts has improved. Spoon headlines Saturday.