Festival listings: September
* African Festival of the Arts Mon 5, 10am–10pm. Washington Park, 51st St and Cottage Grove Ave (773-955-2787). Bus: 4, 15. $15, advance $10, seniors and kids under 12 $5. This beloved annual festival celebrates Afrocentric culture and arts, including music, family activities, food and wellness. The lineup always features a good selection of rap, jazz and funk.
* Bristol Renaissance Faire Mon 5, 10am–7pm. 12550 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI. $19.95, advance $14.95, kids $9.75, advance kids $7.50. Ready ye old English accent and join live-action fantasy play, interactive riddles, hunts and other adventures. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day.
Taste of Polonia Mon 5, noon–10pm. Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave (773-777-8898). El: Blue to Jefferson Park. Bus: 81. $6, seniors $3, kids 12 and under free. Polish up your Polish know-how at this party with music, dancing, art, pierogi and potato pancakes. The music lineup includes Polish and American bands.
FREE Festival de La Villita Fri 9, 6–11pm; Sat 10, Sun 11, noon–11pm. 2600 S Kostner Ave (773-868-3010). Bus: 60. Eat Mexican food, learn traditional Mexican dance and shop from more than 100 vendors at this festival celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain. On Sunday, the 26th Street Parade ends here.
FREE German-American Fest Fri 9, 5–11pm; Sat 10, noon–11pm; Sun 11, noon–10pm. Lincoln Ave at Leland Ave (630-653-3018). El: Brown to Western. Bus: 11, 49. Lift a stein and yell “Prost!” during this German street party. Get in the spirit with German food, music and dancing, then watch the Von Steuben Parade on Saturday at 2:30pm.
Windy City Wine Festival Fri 9, 4–10pm; Sat 10, 3–9pm. Buckingham Fountain, 500 S Columbus Dr (312-742-4847). El: Red to Harrison; Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Library. Bus: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 26, 28, 126, 145, 146, 147. $35, advance $27, designated driver ticket $10. What kind of wine pairs best with a summer festival? Find out when you sample from more than 270 wines from around the world. Live music and cooking demos will also take place.
Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival Fri 9, 7am–7pm; Sat 10, 7am–6pm; Sun 11, 7am–3:30pm. Jefferson County Fair Park, 503 N Jackson Ave, Jefferson, WI (920-674-7148). $5, kids 8 and under free. You don’t have to be an aspiring shepherd to attend this three-day fest featuring fiber arts and knitting workshops, herding and milking demonstrations, and dog and sheep shows.
FREE Berwyn Rt 66 Car Show Sat 10 at 7am. Ogden Ave at Oak Park Ave, Berwyn (773-868-3010). Metra: BNSF to Berwyn. Get your kicks at this Route 66–themed car show. Shop from food and automotive vendors until the fest ends at dusk.
FREE Lakeview East Festival of the Arts Sat 10, 10am–6pm; Sun 11, 10am–5pm. Broadway from Belmont Ave to Roscoe St (773-348-8608). El: Red, Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Belmont. Bus: 8, 36, 77, 151, 156. More than 150 juried artists showcase their work at this street fest. Check out the sculpture garden, live music and family activities.
* FREE Renegade Craft Fair Sat 10, Sun 11, 11am–7pm. Division St at Damen Ave. El: Blue to Division. Bus: 9, 50, 70. Hardcore crafters come from around the country to sell their handmade arts and wares. Music, food vendors and workshops line Division Street.
FREE 79th Street Renaissance Festival Sat 10, 10am–6pm. 79th St between Racine Ave and Loomis Blvd. Bus: 44, 79. Don’t don your wench or knave costume. In this case, Renaissance signifies a rebirth of the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. This neighborhood fest showcases local talent and South Side eats.
Wells Street Fall Fest Sat 10, Sun 11, 11am–10pm. Wells St at North Ave (773-868-3010). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Sedgwick. Bus: 9, 11, 72, 73, 156. $6. This Old Town fest lets you get your fill of food vendors, shopping and outdoor music before the summer ends.
FREE Graue Mill’s Cornfest Sun 11, 11:30am–4pm. Graue Mill & Museum, 3800 York Rd, Oak Brook (630-655-2090). This suburban museum was once a working mill that ground corn into flour. Cornfest celebrates its history with corn on the cob, BBQ, homemade pies and activities for kids.