Festival listings: September
African Festival of the Arts Mon 3, 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.
Bristol Renaissance Faire Mon 3, 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.
* FREE Movies in the Park Mon 3–Sun 9. 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.
Taste of Polonia Mon 3, noon–10pm. 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.
Sandwich Fair Wed 5–Sun 9, 9am–10pm. 1401 Suydam Rd, Sandwich (815-786-2159, sandwichfair.com). $8, kids ages 6–12 $5, under 6 free. You think your neighborhood block party is a tradition? Sandwich has been eating food on a stick here for 125 years. A large antique fair draws huge annual crowds.
FREE Chicago SummerDance Thu 6–Sat 8, 6–9:30pm; Sun 9, 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.
FREE Festival de La Villita Fri 7, 6–11pm; Sat 8, Sun 9, 2–11pm. 2600 S Kostner Ave (773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com). Celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain with Mexican food, music and dancing. On Sunday, the 26th Street Parade ends here.
FREE German-American Fest Fri 7, 6–11pm; Sat 8, Sun 9, noon–11pm. Lincoln Ave at Leland Ave (630-653-3018, germanday.com). Celebrate Deutschland heritage at this street party that features German food, music and dancing. The Von Steuben Parade kicks off on Saturday at 2:30pm.
Windy City Wine Festival Fri 7, 4–10pm; Sat 8, 3–9pm. Buckingham Fountain, 500 S Columbus Dr (847-382-3270, windycitywinefestival.com). $35, advance $28, designated driver ticket $10. Sample more than 270 wines from around the world. Live music and cooking demos will also take place.
Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival Fri 7, 7am–7pm; Sat 8, 7am–6pm; Sun 9, 7am–3:30pm. Jefferson County Fair Park, 503 N Jackson Ave, Jefferson, WI (920-674-7148, wisconsinsheepandwoolfestival.com). $7, kids 8 and under free. It’s going to be sheer sheep madness at this three-day fest featuring fiber arts and knitting workshops, herding and milking demonstrations, and dog and sheep shows.
FREE Chicago Turkish Festival Sun 9, 10am–6pm. Daley Plaza, Washington St between Clark and Dearborn Sts (chicagoturkishfestival.org). If all you know is that it’s Istanbul and not Constantinople, head on over to this event to sip Turkish coffee, eat baklava and orchid ice cream and learn about Turkish and Turkish-American culture.
Festival on Prairie Avenue Sat 8, noon–6pm. Prairie Ave and 18th St (312-401-2688, pdnachicago.com). $5. The one-time Millionaire’s Row is still rich…in culture. This party includes an arts and craft fair, magic show, pie-eating contest, and free tours of the historic Clarke House and Glessner House museums.
FREE Lakeview East Festival of the Arts Sat 8, 10am–6pm; Sun 9, 10am–5pm. Broadway from Belmont Ave to Roscoe St (773-348-8608, lakevieweastfestivalofthearts.com). More than 150 juried artists showcase their work in a variety of formats. Live music, food, family activities and a sculpture garden entertain at this Boystown event.
* FREE Renegade Craft Fair Sat 8, Sun 9, 11am–7pm. Division St at Damen Ave (renegadecraft.com/chicago). The tenth annual fair is an opportunity for serious crafters from around the country to sell their handmade arts and wares. And for serious shoppers to buy them. Workshops, local food vendors and live music invade Division Street.
FREE 79th Street Renaissance Festival Sat 8, 10am–7pm. 79th St between Racine Ave and Loomis Blvd (773-723-3557, gagdc.org). Don’t show up in ye olde jester costume. Here, the word Renaissance signals rebirth. The Auburn Gresham neighborhood is reborn with a showcase of the neighborhood’s vendors, artists and performers.
FREE Graue Mill’s Cornfest Sun 9, 11:30am–4pm. Graue Mill & Museum, 3800 S York Rd, Oak Brook (630-655-2090, grauemill.org). Once a working mill that ground corn into flour (and a purported stop on the Underground Railroad), this suburban museum celebrates its history with corn on the cob, BBQ, homemade pies and taffy apples. Kids will be able to compete in fishing tournaments or create whatever they want using hammers, nails, paint and a giant pile of wood.