Not unlike the squirrels gathering their nuts for the oncoming winter, Chicagoans are in a bit of a frenzy trying to fill the final days of summer with all they can. It seems the calendar between now and Labor Day is helping everyone out with a flurry of fests and activities before we move on to the Oktoberfests and more.
1. Returning to Evanston August 23 through 25, is the American Craft Exposition (ACE)...an exceptional exposition of fine craft that showcases one-of-a-kind pieces, luxury collections and uniquely creative artwork from over 160 of the country’s leading artists at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion at Northwestern University, 2311 N. Campus Drive, Evanston.
2. The 10th annual Bash on Wabash street festival returns for another go-round on August 24 and 25 in the South Loop on Wabash Avenue between 13th Street and 14th Place.
3. Hellenic pride—and, of course, fantastic food—will again be the main entree when the annual West Loop culinary fest that is Taste of Greektown (formerly Taste of Greece) returns for its 24th year on August 24 and 25, to the 400 block of South Halsted in the heart of Chicago's Greektown neighborhood.
4. Bike, eat, repeat at the Four-Star Bike & Chow event that combinations riding on biking routes, sampling delicious cuisine like pierogies or samosas and enjoying a tasty post-ride Goose Island beer at post ride festival on Sunday, August 25.
5. Festa Italiana in Chicago’s Little Italy is a four-day event spotlighting everything Italian from the music to the food, beverages, arts and crafts all along the main drag on Taylor Street between Ashland and Racine from August 22 through August 25.
6. The Boulevard Fest in the Logan Square neighborhood is jam packed with hip bands and culinary gems, not to mention some great craft beers, from August 23rd through the 25th. Kedzie and Logan Boulevards and Milwaukee Avenue
7. Calling all shopaholics and even window shoppers to The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival. The Mag Mile is featuring a shopping cart full of happenings and events including fashion shows, culinary demos, special events and more from August 22 through September 2.
8. Brasil Fest Chicago returns to Logan Square for their second annual end of summer festival promising even bigger things for 2013 with more music, more dance, more food and children's activities from August 23 through August 25 in Logan Square.
9. You're sure to have an awesome time at the Bucktown Arts Fest featuring great art, craft beers and brewers on August 24 and 25 at 2300 N. Oakley.
10. It's the Lillstreet + Ravenswood 10 Year Anniversary Celebration with a palate full of happenings including hands-on projects, a block party, food, drink, information sessions and a special coffee exhibit paying homage to the bean from August 22nd through the 25th.
11. Hit the beach. With Labor Day making an early appearance this year on September 2, you have less than two weeks to hit any or all of Chicago's 23 swimming beaches while the lifeguards are still on duty. Admission is free at all beaches, with lifeguards on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day.
12. West Side Music Festival comes to Douglas Park at Ogden and Sacramento, August 24 and August 25. Free admission.
13. North Coast Music Festival fills Union Park with the sound of music from August 30 through September 1st.
14. Chicago Jazz Festival 2013 returns with a multitude of events, big names and performances from August 29th through September 1st at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center.
15. Depeche Mode + Bat for Lashes August 24th at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.
16. Maroon 5 + Kelly Clarkson August 25th at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.
17. Taste of Polonia offers a good time for everyone. Now in its 33rd year this fest has it all from cultural performances, a marketplace, kids activities, five stages of live music plus Polish and American food and beer. August 30th through September 2nd. Copernicus Center 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.
18. Chicago Fringe Festival a celebration of inventive theater takes place at various venues throughout the Jefferson Park part of town from August 29th through September 8th.
19. Chicago Dancing Festival is a free festival of fine dance featuring top ballet, modern, ethnic and rhythmic dance companies from Chicago and across the country now through August 24th.
20. The quaint Village of Long Grove is holding its 25th Annual Long Grove Fine Art and Wine Festival in the Archer Parking lot in downtown Long Grove between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on August 24 and August 25.
21. It's party time in Highland Park with this double bill of great art and yummy tastes (from many of HP's outstanding restaurants) at the Port Clinton Art Festival and Taste of Highland Park, August 23 through 25, Port Clinton Square, 600 Central, downtown Highland Park.
22. If you haven't been to the Ravinia Festival this summer, you better hurry...the meteorological clock is ticking for this very special outdoor music venue's 2013 summer season. Any night is a fine way to soak up the last days of summer but you may want to check out some of the upcoming biggies including: Tony Bennett, August 22, Chicago, August 24 and Cheap Trick, August 31.
23. The African Festival of the Arts is a Labor Day Weekend tradition in Washington Park on the South side of town with music, arts, crafts, great eats and more from August 30th through September 2nd.
24. Cruise Chicago. Pick from any of the magnificent cruise ships including the Mystic Blue, the Odyssey or the Spirit of Chicago that line Chicago's Navy Pier or go for a thrill ride on the Seadog also docked at Navy Pier (dogs ride free with adult masters).
25. End the summer season with a bang, not a whimper, at the final Navy Pier Summer Fireworks Display on Saturday, August 31 at 10:15 p.m. (or catch a show any Wednesday (9:30 p.m.) or Saturday until then).
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