CHICAGO, Thursday, July 26, 2012. The heat is on as the summer of 2012 sizzles with a cauldron of happenings bubbling over on this weekend's event filled summer calender.
- Fiesta del Sol, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Celebrate Fiesta Del Sol, one of the largest Latino fests in the Midwest, features carnival rides, live music, local art and Mexican food. Thu 26, 5–11pm; Fri 27, Sat 28, 11am–11pm; Sun 29, 11am–10pm. 1400 W Cermak Rd (312-666-2663, Free.
- Taste of Lincoln Avenue Sat 28, Sun 29, noon–10pm.. $10. The 29th annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue features more than 250 vendors and almost 40 acts on five stages. A free standalone carnival entertains the kids while the Lill Street Craft Fair brings handmade goods to Lincoln Avenue. Florida alt-rockers Anberlin and Michael Allman, the son of Gregg Allman, headline. N Lincoln Ave between Fullerton and Wrightwood Aves 773-868-3010.
- Celebrate Clark Street Sat 28, 1–11pm; Sun 29, 1–10pm. Celebrate Clark Street celebrates with two live world-music stages, food from ethnic restaurants and vendors.. Clark St between Morse and Touhy Aves (773-508-5885, $5, family $10. Rogers Park
- Wicker Park Fest Sat 28, Sun 29, noon–10pm. The hipster-friendly Wicker Park Fest features three stages of Pitchfork-quality music plus arts, crafts, food and family fun. You may want to check out the indie rock group The Kickback 2:30p.m. Sunday at the Fest--see if they live up to the recent buzz. Milwaukee Ave between North Ave and Paulina St (773-384-2672, $5.
- Wrigleyville Block Party Fri 27–Sun 29 at 11am.. Beer, live music, games, food and more. East side of Clark St between Addison St and Waveland Aves. Free.
- Ghana Fest Sat 28, 10am–11pm. A taste of Ghanian culture, music and food. Washington Park, 5600 Russell Dr. 773-960-5416, $10, under 13 free.
- IgboFest., Saturday, July 28. One of the largest African fests in the country features an authentic Igbo village, arts, crafts, cultural hertiage and more. Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave. Free.
- Randolph Street Market Festival, Saturday 10am–6pm; Sunday 10am–5pm. The fest is held on the last weekend of every month through September. It features vintage clothes, antiques, jewelry, a vinyl swap meet, a fancy food market and a global goods bazaar. 1350 block of W Randolph St(312-666-1200, $10, online $8, kids under 12 free.
- Irish Fest, Saturday, Sunday.Irish Fest in Arlington Heights celebrates everything Irish for the 14th year at this fest the features, dancing, music, food, a marketplace, family activities and more. Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 110 W. Fremont.
- Pierogi Fest Fri 27, Sat 28, 11am–10pm; Sun 29, 11am–5pm. 119th St at Indianapolis Blvd, Whiting, IN (219-659-0292, pierogifest.net). Celebrate these Eastern European dumplings with a Pierogi Toss, eating contest, a parade or boogie down in the polka competition. Free.
- Highwood Festival Days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Downtown Highwood. Carnival rides, games, food vendors, live music, drinks and more. Metra parking lot, Highwood stop on North line. 847 433 2100.
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS.
- Newberry Library Book Fair, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chicago's favorite book sale marks its 28th year with more that 120,000 used books in over 70 categories from cookbooks to collectibles--most priced under $2.00. Noon to 8p.m. Thursday, Friday; 10a.m. to 6p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission. 60 W. Walton Street.
- Bughouse Square Debates at Newberry Library, Saturday, July 28th at 1p.m. An added treat at the book fair is the legendary Bughouse debates-- an afternoon of public debate, soap box speeches, heckling and music. This year, it's a big one with Occupy Chicago people taking on the Tea Party debating Who's to Blame for the Great Recession, Big Government or Big Business? Washington Square Park, located at 901 N. Clark Street.
- North Shore Festival of Art, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 140 exhibitors .
- Geneva Fine Arts Fair, Saturday, Sunday, 10a.m. to 5p.m. Downtown Geneva, 8 S. Third Street. 175 exhibitors.
- Glenview Outdoor Art Fair, Saturday and Sunday, 11a.m. to 5p.m.,Lyons School, Waukegan Rd. and Lake Ave. 105 exhibitors.
BEYOND THE FESTS.
- Indulge Old Town 2012. Saturday, July 28. Old Town is in celebration mode with their special Living Old Town 2012: Indulge Old Town event. The Spice House (1512 N. Wells) - "name that spice" contest with prizes and giveaways including gift certificates, barbecue sets and spice samples.
- Rhythm World, America's premiere festival of American tap and contemporary percussive arts offers a series of events at the Museum of Contemporary Art including: education, community outreach programs, free public performances, tap jams, panel discussions and faculty concerts, now through August 5, 2012. Chicago. For a complete schedule of events visit the Chicago Tap website.
- Highland Park Sidewalk Sale. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Giant sidewalk sale both sides of Metra tracks--the real deal--along Central Avenue and side streets throughout downtown Highland Park.
- Chicago Bears Training Camp. The Bears are back in training at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. The public is invited to watch training camp. The camp offers a family-friendly atmosphere with kids activities and special events. Jewel-Osco Inflatable Kids Zone, Junior Training Camps. This Sunday, join the Chicago Bears and celebrate Comcast Hispanic Day at Bears Training Camp. In addition to the kids activities, autographs and giveaways there will be a live radio remote from La Ley.Watch the team practice for free. Gates will open one hour prior to the start of all practice sessions. Through August 16, 2012. 1 University Ave (800) 648-1463
- DuPage County Fair. Now through Sunday, July 29, 8am–11pm. Demolition derbies, cook-offs, concerts, funnel cakes and more. Entertainment is ticketed separately. DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Rd, Wheaton (630-668-6636, dupagecountyfair.org). $8, kids ages 3–12 $3, kids 2 and under free.
- Lake County Fair. Lake County Fairgrounds, Now through Sunday. Carnival rides, truck pulls, demo derbies, livestock competitions and more. Wed 25, Thu 26, 8am–10pm; Fri 27, Sat 28, 8am–11pm; Sun 29, 8am–9pm. 1060 E Peterson Rd, Grayslake, 847-680-7200, $10, Wed–Fri $8, military and kids ages 5–12 $5, season pass $15–$35.
- Movies in the Park continues this weekend with free movies in Chicago Parks. Bring a blanket or chairs and pack a picnic for a fun evening. All movies begin at dusk.
GET OUTTA TOWN.
- Milwaukee's German Fest, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday at Henry Maier Festival Park. 200 N. Harbor Dr., 414-464-9444, Home-brewwing contests, lots of German food, music and more. $13 gate, $7 seniors and students, free for kids under 12 with adult.
- Bristol Renaissance Faire Saturday, Sunday, 10am–7pm. Step back in time with interactive riddles, jousting knight and period performances from 1574. Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day in July, August and early September. 12550 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI (847-395-7773. $19.95, advance $17.95, kids $9.50, advance kids $7.50.
- First Annual International Children’s Film Fest, Wilmette Theatre, Sat 10am. This new kids' film fest debuts with 44 international films from 19 countries. From short films to lengthier features for older kids, from animation to drama1122 Central Ave (between 11th St and Wilmette Ave), 847 251-7424. Train: Union Pacific N to Wilmette. $9, kids and seniors $6. Recommended for ages 2–10.
- Frank Lloyd Wright Design Detectives Family Tour. Saturday, July 28, 1:30p.m. Sleuth around Wright's home to uncover the secrets of his designs. Guests will also hear about FLW's life and how his work broke with traditional design. Reservations recommend. 951 Chicago Ave.
- How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular comes to the United Center, Thursday, July 26. through Sunday, July 29, 2012.
- Xtreme Bugs will be taking over at the Old Orchard Shopping Center, now through August 14. The display of gigantic, state-of-the-art animatronic bugs will be hanging out by the Nordstrom Store. Westfield will be offering two free admission passes to Brookfield Zoo, including two passes to see the Xtreme Bugs exhibit, to all shoppers who spend $200 or more on their shopping trip.
MUSIC AND DANCE.
- Grant Park Music Festival, Friday, July 27 at 6:30pm; Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm. Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, 205 E Randolph St. 312-742-7638. Free.Loops And Variations summer series continues this Thursday, July 19 at 6:30p.m. in Millennium Park. Free.
- Ravinia Festival, Ravinia Park, just North of Lake Cook on Green Bay Rd. in Highland Park. James Taylor, Friday, Sat. July 27 and 28, 7:30p.m. and CSO, Sunday, 5.
- Chicago SummerDance Thursday, July 26; Saturday, July 27, 6–9:30pm; and Sunday, July 28, 4–7pm. Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave 312-742-4007.
- Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz Series, Thursdays, 6:30p.m. through August 30 (no concert August 9).
- Magic Carpet (Jazz) at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 100 N. Central Park Ave. at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 28.
- Navy Pier Summer Fireworks, Saturdays at 10:15pm. (Wednesdays, 9:30p.m.) through Sat Sep 01 10:15pm 600 E Grand Ave (at Streeter Dr).
- Countdown to Lollapoolza...August 3 to 5, Grant Park. In case you don't have tickets to the sold-out weekend you can attend a kick-off party for Lollapalooza at the GUESS Eyewear store on the Mag Mile on August 2nd from 6:00-8:00p.m. If you do have tickets, you're also welcome and may even decide to pick up a new pair of "Shades" for big weekend. The Knocks will be performing live at the store for the Lollapalooza kick-off and the first ever GUESS Eyewear’s Shades of Summer Playlist. Their playlist launched July 20th and can be downloaded with a purchase of GUESS eyewear through August 31st.
- The Bears Family Fest, Soldier Field. Join the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Friday, August 3 for Comcast Bears Family Fest featuring a look at the team as they take Soldier Field for the first time this season and lots of family activities.