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The weather outside might be frightful for a summer season spent outdoors, but that never stopped Chicago as our "Fest"ful season is in full swing!

You know we're in full swing when the Chicago Blues Festival takes center stage this Saturday and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.) at Grant Park (337 East Randolph Street) in the Loop.  This 30th annual bash features live music on five stages and is billed as the world's largest free blues festival.  With past performances by legendary greats such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and the late Koko Taylor proves that Chicago is the Blues Capital of the World!  And this weekend is no different!!

The summer art fest season will be in full swing this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) when the Wells Street Art Festival takes it to the streets on North Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street in the Old Town neighborhood.  This 39th annual art fest features more than 250 juried artists showcasing an eclectic mix from paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glasswork, woodwork, photography and much more.  In addition, live music, a silent auction and Old Town restaurants will feature their tasty cuisine at Chicago's largest and most acclaimed fine arts happenings!

Back for its 15th season, Ribfest Chicago features 30 barbecue vendors, rib-eating competitions and live music from 20 bands at 4000 North Lincoln Avenue (Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue) in the North Center neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Thirteen restaurants will be competing for the title of "People's Choice" Award for Best Ribs, so be sure to pick up your ballot upon entering and go have yourself a wonderful "rib crawl!"  Ballots need to be turned in by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Ribfest also features a Kids' Square at Belle Plaine and Lincoln Avenues packed with activities, games, inflatables, dancing and mini golf.  A $5 donation towards Kids' Square will earn each child a Prize Pack and an entry to win a new bike!!

Now entering its 48th year, the Andersonville Midsommarfest celebrates the area's Swedish heritage at 5200 North Clark Street (on Clark Street from Foster to Catalpa Avenues) in the Andersonville neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  This summer street festival features live music, kids' activities, a showcase of over 100 artisans, dances around a Maypole and performances by Nordic folk dancers for a "fest"ful weekend!

If you haven't already done so, bring your bike in for a tune-up, talk shop with local cycle shop employees and enjoy some barbecue at Schubas' Backyard BBQ and Bike Bash this Saturday (12:00 p.m.) at Schubas Tavern (3159 N. Southport Avenue) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  In addition, this event includes a huge poster sale, music provided by DJ Doug Hall and much more!

The summer beach season will be in full swing as well this Saturday (9:00 a.m.) when North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Drive) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood hosts the Beach Slap Volleyball Tournament and Beach Party!  The Beach Slap portion includes volleyball, corn hole and dodgeball tournaments in the morning followed by a large Beach Party with DJ music spinning from on top of the Bud Light party deck and food available for purchase in the afternoon.  However, if you want to play, each player must pay to play, drink and enter the tournament area!

Finally, for those of us who need to shed some winter gain (like myself), Power Hard, a nutrition and fitness expo, takes place Saturday and Sunday (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) at Montrose Beach (4400 N. Lake Drive) in the Uptown neighborhood.  This expo not only includes workshops, coaching, samples, goodie bags and a fitness contest, but also features guest appearances by Sara Soto (fitness pro), Shonie Carter (UFC fighter), Jeff Conway (one of Chicago's very own who appeared on the TV show Taxi) and Chef Fredo Outlaw (culinary mastermind).  Best part is that a portion of the proceeds will benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital!

Will You Be In Full Swing This "Fest"ful Weekend?

Posted: Friday, June 07, 2013 5:56 AM by Dean's Team


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