Festival listings: May
May 28–June 3
Gaelic Park Irish Fest Mon 28 at 1pm. Gaelic Park, 6119 W 147th St, Oak Forest (708-687-9323, chicagogaelicpark.org/irishfest.htm). $15, kids and seniors $12. Oak Forest celebrates all things Irish and Irish-American with Irish music, Irish dancing, Irish sporting events, an Irish tea room and, of course, plenty of Irish beer. (Sick of the word Irish yet?) The fest also hosts the Chicago Feis, an annual Irish dance competition.
* International Mr. Leather Weekend Mon 28, 11–4am. Most events take place at Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E Wacker Dr (503-715-1114, imrl.com). Market $5; bronze package $165, silver package $180, gold package $195. Rooted in a 1979 bar contest, this four-day event features parties, a fetish and leather market, a physique competition, a sexy shoe-polishing competition and, of course, the annual crowning of International Mr. Leather.
* Keys to the City Piano Festival Tue 29 at 8pm; Wed 30 at 8pm; Thu 31 at 8pm; Fri 1 at 1:30, 8pm; Sat 2 at 8pm; Sun 3 at 3pm. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan Ave (312-294-3000, cso.org). $32–$240. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents a series of ivory-tickling performers who will open ears with music ranging from classical to pop to jazz. Free concerts available May 26, 27, 29 and Jun 10.
* FREE Maifest Chicago Thu 31, 5–9:30pm; Fri 1, 5–11pm; Sat 2, noon–11pm; Sun 3, noon–10pm. N Lincoln Ave at Leland Ave (mayfestchicago.com). Enjoy the Lincoln Square tradition of celebrating Maifest in June with maypole dancing, official keg tapping and crowning of the fest queen.
FREE Chicago Eastside Millennium Art Festival Fri 1, 11am–7pm; Sat 2, Sun 3, 11am–5pm. Lake St at Michigan Ave (amdurproductions.com). The annual fest showcases art in the city from more than 130 juried artists just steps away from “the Bean” and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Do Division Street Festival and Sidewalk Sale Fri 1, 5–10pm; Sat 2, Sun 3, noon–10pm. Division St between Leavitt St and Ashland Ave (312-850-9390, do-divisionstreetfest.com). $5. This popular fest expands to a three-day event where you can shop ten blocks of trendy boutiques and sidewalk vendors or visit the Family Fun Fest. Music hand-picked by Chicago’s Empty Bottle and Subterranean ensures plenty of opportunity to submit photos to Look at this fucking hipster. The lineup includes Le Butcherettes and Antlers.
* Great Wisconsin Cheese Fest Fri 1, 5pm–midnight; Sat 2, 10:30am–midnight; Sun 3, 11am–5pm. Little Chute Library Civic Center, 625 Grand Ave, Little Chute, WI (920-788-7390, littlechutewi.org). $5, kids $3, Sundays free. So you really like cheese, huh? Put your passion to the test at the curd-eating contest or show off a fresh-baked dish in the cheesecake-making contests. Cheese enthusiasts can also march in the Big Cheese Parade and sample Wisconsin’s most beloved export.
FREE 57th Street Art Fair Sat 2, 11am–6pm; Sun 3, 10am–5pm. 57th St between Kenwood and Kimbark Aves (773-234-3247, 57thstreetartfair.org). The oldest juried craft fair in Chicago features paintings, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics and more from more than 250 artists.
SausageFest Chicago Sat 2, Sun 3, noon–10pm. 3600–3700 N Sheffield Ave (773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com). $5. Get to know your butcher as local sausage vendors gather for plenty of music, crafts and encased meats under the shadow of Wrigley Field.