Festival listings: August
August 27–September 2
* FREE Movies in the Park Mon 27–Sun 2. Various Chicago Park District locations; see website (312-742-7529, chicagoparkdistrict.com). Grant Park movies are long gone, but the Chicago Park District has since picked up the slack by beefing up its neighborhood outdoor movie series. More than 100 local parks get their own big screen for a night or two. All movies begin at dusk.
* Chicago Ice Cream & Gelato Festival Thu 30, Fri 31, 7–10pm. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr (773-755-5100, chicagobrainfreeze.com). $25, with rooftop grill $35, kids $10, kids ages 5 and under free. Demos, pastry-chef battles and an artisan marketplace entertain your brain-freeze-addled head as you savor creamy treats from more than 30 micro-creameries. An additional rooftop grill offers food, local beer and wine.
* FREE Chicago Jazz Festival Thu 30, noon–3pm, 6:30pm; Fri 31 at 6:30pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, 11am–9:30pm. Millennium Park, 744-3316, chicagojazzfestival.us). • Thu 30, noon–3pm, 6:30pm; Fri 31 at 6:30pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, 11am–9:30pm. Grant Park, Petrillo Music Shell, 235 S Columbus Dr. • Thu 30, noon–3pm, 6:30pm; Fri 31 at 6:30pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, 11am–9:30pm. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St. If you like music and all that jazz, come out to the most extensive free jazz fest in the world. Ken Vandermark is this year’s artist-in-residence.
FREE Chicago SummerDance Thu 30–Sat 1, 6–9:30pm; Sun 2, 4–7pm. Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave (312-742-4007, chicagosummerdance.org). Cut a rug, or at least learn how to at this annual series of couples dances Thursday through Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. A professional instructor conducts dance lessons for the first hour before you bust a move on the Grant Park pavement.
African Festival of the Arts Fri 31–Sun 2, 10am–10pm. Washington Park, 51st St and Cottage Grove Ave (773-955-2787, africanfestivalchicago.com). $20, advance $10, seniors and kids under 13 $5, 4-day pass $30. This 22nd annual fest, a tradition for many Hyde Park families, includes cultural food, music and shopping. A fine arts market, an African market, a drum village, three stages of performers (including the occasional drop-in performance from the likes of Sly Stone or George Clinton) and events focusing on culture fill the park with activities.
FREE Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest Fri 31, 3–10:30pm; Sat 1, 10am–10:30pm. Sunset Park, Miller Rd at Albrecht Rd, Lake in the Hills (847-960-7400, summersunsetfest.com). The hills come alive for carnival rides, a car show, and arts and crafts. Play until the sun goes down by entering a horseshoe tournament, a baggo tournament, a skateboard competition or a battle of the bands.
North Coast Music Festival Fri 31, 3–10pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–10pm. Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St (312-742-7529, northcoastfestival.com). Single-day pass about $50, three-day pass $110. It’s summer’s last dance party, as this third annual fest brings hip-hop, DJs and dance music to Union Park for one last weekend. Pretty Lights, the Rapture, and Big Boi are among the acts set to perform.
* FREE Taste of Melrose Park Fri 31, 5–11pm; Sat 1, noon–11pm; Sun 2, noon–10pm. 1000 N 25th Ave, Melrose Park (708-450-0555, melrosepark.org/events). If you have an Italian food craving, this is the best summer spot to satisfy it. Around 70 booths—each serving one or two specialties, such as pepper sandwiches, meatballs and sfingi—dole out home-cooked samples for $3 or less.
Taste of Polonia Fri 31, 5–11pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–11pm. Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave (773-777-8898, tasteofpolonia.copernicusfdn.org). $7, seniors $3, kids 12 and under free. Party with plenty of polka, pierogi and potato pancakes at this annual Polish party.
FREE Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival Fri 31, 5–11:30pm; Sat 1, 7am–11:30pm. Marion Park, Grand Ave at First St, Prairie du Sac, WI (wiscowchip.com). See if you’re the shit at this annual feces-flinging fest. This year’s theme is pirates. Live entertainment adds clean options. The chip-throwing contest costs $3 for adults and $1 for kids.
Bristol Renaissance Faire Sat 1, Sun 2, 10am–7pm. 12550 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI (847-395-7773, renfair.com/bristol). $19.95, advance $17.95, kids $9.50, advance kids $7.50. Have a jolly olde time and butcher your favorite European accent as you engage in live-action fantasy play, enjoy interactive riddles, cheer on your favorite jousting knight or revel in period performances from 1574. The festival takes place Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September.
Ravenswood Remix Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–10pm. 4100–4200 N Ravenswood Ave (773-433-8084, ravenswoodremix.com). $5. This second annual fest hawks green-themed crafts (think reused, recycled and the titular remixed), plus workshops, music and food.
FREE Taste of Serbia Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–11pm. St. Basil Orthodox Church, 27450 N Bradley Rd, Lake Forest (847-247-0077, stbasilchurch.org). Enjoy food, beer and culture at this festival that includes live music and dancing from Serbia.