This Weekend’s Summer Street Festivals

One of my favorite things about the city of Chicago is the large number of street festivals, block parties, etc., that take place all summer long.  If you can’t find something to do on a weekend here, you’re probably just not looking hard enough.  There’s a ton of stuff going on this weekend.  My two favorites are Ribfest Chicago and Metronome Celebration.

Ribfest Chicago kicks off tonight at Lincoln and Irving Park.  Tonight’s featured musical acts are Mucca Pazza (6:30) and The Ike Reilly Assassination (9:00) on the South stage, and Robbie Fulks (7:45) on the North stage.  Saturday has performances from  bands including Unicycle Loves You (2:45) and Califone (7:45) at the South stage, and Those Darlins (6:30) and Bottle Rockets (9:00) at North.  And Sunday’s got The Shams Band (2:45) and Langhorne Slim (7:45) on the North stage, and The Whigs (9:00) at South.  Ribfest runs from 5-10:00 pm today, and from noon-10:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Entry is a $5 suggested donation.

Metronome Celebration takes place on Saturday and Sunday, at Michigan and Armitage, with programming from Empty Bottle, the Congress Theater, MP Productions, and the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival.  Saturday has Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s at 7 pm, and Split Lip Rayfield at 8:30 pm, and Sunday has a fantastic lineup of bands, including How Far to Austin (2:00), Kevin Flynn and the Avondale Ramblers (4:00), The Right Now (5:15), and akron/family (8:30). Admission is $5.

There are, of course, tons of other fantastic events going on this weekend:

  • Chicago Blues Festival, Friday through Sunday, with five stages of blues and discussion, all for free.  Takes place at Grant Park.
  • Party at St. Mike’s, Friday through Sunday, featuring local acts like the Chris Buehrle Band.  Admission is $5 on Frida and Sunday, and $10 on Saturday.  St. Mike’s is at 1633 N. Cleveland (Cleveland & North).
  • Market Day on Madison Street, now in its third year, runs from noon to 8:00 pm on Saturday.  It features live music and spoken word performances.  Admission is free, and the festival is located at Madison and California.
  • Andersonville Midsommarfest, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, is now in its 45th year and features a whole array of bands and activities.  Admission is a $5 suggested donation, at Clark and Foster.
  • Old Town Art Fair runs on Saturday and Sunday as well.  In addition to live music from bands including Pretty Good Dance Moves (Saturday, 5:00), and Rachele Eve (Sunday, 2:00) and Via Tania (Sunday, 5:o0).  Admission is a $7 donation.  The festival’s located at Lincoln and Wisconsin.
  • And if you’re at the Old Town festival, you might as well make it over to the Wells Street Art Festival, on Wells, between North and Division.  The festival is on Saturday and Sunday with a $7 suggested donation before 5:00 pm, and a $10 donation afterwards.
  • And finally, the Printers Row Lit Fest, which I have missed for one reason or another every year since I moved here, is going on this weekend as well.  Events are being held at the Harold Washington Library, and various other locations along Dearborn, between Harrison and Polk.