We’ve waited all winter and now it’s here…Chicagoans reward for making it through the ice, the snow and the bitter winds of winter… Memorial Day Weekend. Last weekend, we got our first taste of summer with Mayfest. Now it’s full speed ahead with a summer full of fests, rooftops, parades, outdoor concerts, biking and beach days. So much is happening this weekend that it’s a bit mind-boggling, but do take a moment to remember the reason for the holiday and give thanks to the men and women who made it possible. A good start might be the number one event on the SMC docket.
Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. The Chicago parade is one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation. Since 1870, Memorial Day parades have graced the streets of Chicago. This year’s parade features Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency as Grand Marshal. The parade will step off at noon on Saturday, May 25 and proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
The Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place pre-parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25 at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets).
It’s official, the City of Chicago beaches open for the 2013 beach season on Friday, May 24 through September 2.
- Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival. The annual event holds court along a bustling strip in Lakeview off of the Red Line “L” Belmont stop and features regional tribute bands, food and drink vendors and shopping. noon to 10p.m. On N. Sheffield from Belmont to School. May 25-26, Lakeview, Sheffield/Belmont
- Bike the Drive, Sunday, May 26, Lake Shore Drive. During Bike the Drive Lake Shore Drive is car-free. The popular non-competitive bicycle event encompasses 30 miles of breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline. To ride, you must register in advance. Start: Columbus Dr. and Jackson Blvd. Time: 5:30a.m. to 10:15a.m.
- The Randolph Street Market Festival. Be the first in line at the Randolph Street Market Festival when it opens its doors for the summer season, May 25 and 26. This European-style, indoor-outdoor urban antique market in the historic West Loop neighborhood features 200 select purveyors with furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles and more. 1340 W. Washington.
- The West Loop Craft Beer Fest closes out Chicago Craft Beer Week with a blow out party featuring 35 Brewers, craft beers, live entertainment and food in the West Loop. (Clinton Street between Lake and Washington) Saturday, May 25th from 1 to 5p.m. Early bird, VIP tickets noon to 5p.m.
- Irish Fest at Chicago Gaelic Park. 6119 W. 147th St., Oak Forest. The annual, family-friendly fest, offers numerous exhibits, a petting zoo, an Irish dog and horse exhibition, food and more. Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27.
The free sumer music series Downtown Sound kicks off the outdoor concert season in Millennium Park on Memorial Day, May 27, opening with Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and headline act, the Lee Renaldo Band at 6:30p.m.
The Chicago Blackhawks are back home, Saturday, May 25, for game five of the NHL Western Conference Semifinals. Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m. at United Center. Catch them on your favorite flat screen or if you’re lucky at the United Center. Go Hawks!
The Patio at Café Brauer overlooks Nature Boardwalk and boasts one of the city’s best views of the skyline, not to mention an impressive wine, beer, and cocktail list and weekly specials. 2021 N. Stockton Dr.
Castaways. Why leave the beach when you can get lunch, dinner and drinks at Castaways on North Avenue Beach. Hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. with drinks from noon to 11 p.m. Live music Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27 from noon to 6 p.m.
Memorial Day Pig Roast. Lottie’s Pub in Bucktown. Lottie’s will host its 3rd Annual Memorial Weekend Pig Roast on Sunday, May 26 beginning at 2 p.m. For $12 per person, guests can enjoy an all-you-can-eat pig roast, complete with baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw while rocking out to music all day.. Drink specials include: $15 Miller and Coors buckets, $4 Craft Pints and $4 Vodka Lemonades.
Memorial Day Weekend Sunday Funday event at Takito features $3 tacos and $5 Modelo and tequila. 2013 W. Division St. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Memorial Day Outdoor Dining at the Navy Pier Beer Garden on the East End of Navy Pier, on Chicago’s lakefront is a casual spot to catch hot local bands, reasonably priced food and drinks and see the Fireworks.
Memorial Day Weekend Run
The Fleet Feet Sports 10 Mile Run. Put on your running shoes for the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile on Saturday, May 25. The race travels along Chicago’s lakefront and finishes at the 50-yard line of Soldier Field.
You’ve probably seen the latest Star Trek and Iron Man 3, but have you ever seen a silent movie? Now is your chance. The Music Box Theatre will be showing Safety Last, hailed as one of the great film comedies of all time. The 1923 romantic comedy features one of the most famous images from the silent film era: Harold Lloyd clutching the hands of a large clock as he dangles from the outside of a skyscraper above moving traffic. For four days only, from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27 audiences can experience this comedy classic in celebration of the film’s 90th anniversary. Safety Last will be screened in a new digital restoration made from the original nitrate camera negative. 3733 N. Southport Avenue.
Dinos and a Dinosaur Parade
This Memorial Day weekend Erth’s interactive Dinosaur Petting Zoo™ will be offering a series of free performances. The fun, educational and imaginative performances feature life-like dinosaur recreations.
Schedule of Performances
- North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m.
- Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square, 205 E Randolph, Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- A “Dinosaur Parade” through the Park begins at 5 p.m.
Get out on the lake with a Memorial Day Weekend cruise on Mystic Blue, Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago and Seadog. Get 15% off your cruise on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27. with the promo code: BLAST15.
The Navy Pier fireworks will blast off Saturday, May 25, 10:15p.m.
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