Chicago Labor Day Weekend 2012 Events Calendar: From Jazz Fest to Taste of Melrose Park.

Chicago Labor Day Weekend 2012 Events Calendar: From Jazz Fest to Taste of Melrose Park.
Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band headlines the second day of the Chicago Jazz Festival at Millennium Park on Friday.

CHICAGO, Thursday, August 30, 2012.  It’s Chicago summer’s final dance and she’s putting on a fine show filled with music, food, art, culture and just plain fun.  Five days of good times await with summer’s last blast weekend packed to the brim with things to do. Check them out in this Weekend’s Wrap.


  • Sample Polish food and beer and the vibes from five stages of music with polka, pierogis and potato pancakes at this annual Polish party that offers a Taste of Polonia at the Copernicus Cultural Center.  Friday through Monday, Fri 31, 5–11pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–11pm.  5216 W Lawrence Ave. 773-777-8898,  $7, seniors $3, kids 12 and under free.
  • The free admission Chicago Jazz Festival with headliners including Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves and Allen Toussaint moves to its longtime home in Grant Park with its four stages of performances. The festival opens on Thursday, August 30 in Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with the previously announced final performance of the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series, Exquisitely For Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald: Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra and continues through Sunday.
  • North Coast Music Festival serves up 3-days of music, food and fun with over 50 performers including Big Boi, Mord Fustang, Paul Oakenfold, STSP, the Rapture, and Pretty Lights.  $35 or $75 (3-day pass).Fri 31, 3–10pm; Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–10pm. Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St (312)742-7529,
  • Ravenswood Remix. Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–10pm. Think green at this craft festival that features recycled materials recreated into works of art plus workshops, music and good eats.  4100–4200 N Ravenswood Ave (773) 433-8084, $5.
  • Crush in Old Town. Saturday, Sunday, Enjoy art from over 100 exhibitors, wine tastings, food from Old Town restaurants, live and original music, plus family activities.  Wells Street.
  • African Festival of the Arts Friday through Monday.  The festival features a fine arts market, an African market, a drum village, three stages of performers along with food, music and shopping. Washington Park, 51st St and Cottage Grove Ave (773) 955-2787, $20, advance $10, seniors and kids under 13 $5, 4-day pass $30.
  • The final display in the summer FIREWORKS series at Navy Pier takes place Saturday night at 10:15.  Grab a jacket and enjoy them from the Beer Garden at the Pier.


  • Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fund and games plus carnival rides, arts, crafts, a car show and band competition. Sunset Park, Miller Rd at Albrecht Rd, Lake in the Hills (847) 960-7400.
  • Taste of Melrose Park. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Awesome Italian at this popular Taste Fest. Over 70 food vendors serving Italian specialties Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, meatballs and more. 1000 N 25th Ave, Melrose Park (708) 450-0555.
  • Taste of Serbia. Sat 1, Sun 2, noon–11pm. Enjoy food, beer and culture at this festival that includes live music and dancing from Serbia.St. Basil Orthodox Church, 27450 N Bradley Rd, Lake Forest (847) 247-0077.
  • Lake Forest–Lake Bluff Artisan Guild Fall Show, Sunday and Monday, features painting, jewelry, crafts, music, food and more in the Lake Forest Bank and Trust Parking Lots at Bank Lane and Westminster, Lake Forest. Held in conjunction with the Deerpath Art League Art Fair in adjoining Market Square.
  • 50th Annual Oakbrook Center Invitational Fine Art Exhibition, Saturday, Sunday,  Oakbrook Center, 100 Oakbrook Center. 130 artists.


Two shows that just opened this week that you may want to add to your to go list:

  • Dreamgirls which opened last night (Wednesday) at the Marriott Theater is a crowd-pleaser with an extremely talented cast. Dreamsgirls is the smash Broadway musical turned hit movie that tells he rags to riches story of a young female 1960s Motown group from Chicago…the Dreamettes.  Through November 4 at Marriott Theater, Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire.
  • TimeLine’s 2012-13 season opener, 33 variations, is an elegant waltz between past and present, fact and speculation, a mother and daughter, and art and life. One of classical music’s enduring riddles is why Ludwig van Beethoven devoted four years of his diminishing life writing 33 variations of what many scholars consider a mediocre waltz. Opens Thursday at Stage 773, Belmont near Racine.
  • Festival Fringe, a performance and theater festival featuring 50 short productions in various venues in the Pilsen part of town including comedy, drama, dance, and music.  Pilsen.   Friday through Sunday, September 9.
  • Currently running through November 11- FREUD’S LAST SESSION at the Mercury Theater.
  • Opens September 6 through October 28- XANADU at Drury Lane Theatre.
  • Opens September 13 through October 21- 42nd STREET at Theatre at the Center.
  • Opens September 26 through November 4- THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY at First Folio.
  • Opens October 11 through October 13 – CINDERELLA at Theatre at the Center Theatre for Young Audiences.
  • Opens October 26 through October 28- HARBOR LIGHTS at Theatre at the Center.


  • 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. $3 for adults and $1 for kids.
  • Bristol Renaissance Faire. Sat 1, Sun 2, 10am–7pm. 12550 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI (847-395-7773, $19.95, advance $17.95, kids $9.50, advance kids $7.50. The festival takes place Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day.
  • Sandwich Fair kicks off Wednesday September, 5  through Sunday, September 9, 9am–10pm. 1401 Suydam Rd, Sandwich (815) 786-2159, $8, kids ages 6–12 $5, under 6 free.


It’s the final week for the blockbuster Roy Lichtenstein Exhibition at Chicago’s Art Institute. Due to the popularity of the exhibit the Art Institute will be open for extended hours during its final days at the Art Institute. From Friday, August 31, through Monday, September 3, the exhibition will be open until 8:00 p.m.


  • Open Streets, the free pedestrian playground, returns to the Loop–promising “bigger and better” on Saturday, Sept. 8, and makes exciting debut in Wicker Park/Bucktown on Sunday, Sept. 16.
  • The 48th Chicago International Film Festival, October 11- 25, 2012.
  • Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop and Chicago Gourmet 2012. Hamburger Hop, Friday, September 28,  6–9pm Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph St. Chicago Gourmet, Millennium Park,  Sat 29, noon–6pm; Sun 30, noon–5pm., 55 N Michigan Ave. 312-380-4128,
  • German-American Fest, September 7, 8, and 9. Lincoln Ave at Leland Ave.
  • Windy City Wine Festival, September 7 and 8.. Buckingham Fountain, 500 S Columbus Dr.  $35, advance $27, designated driver ticket $10. Sample more than 270 wines from around the world plus music and cooking demos.
  • Renegade Craft Fair. September 8 and 9.  Division St. at Damen Ave.

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