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KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FALL MAINTENANCE THAT’S INEXPENSIVE AND SAVES MONEY DOWN THE ROAD

Clear all vegetation that is along the foundation. This causes problems in three areas. Vegetation like this is an open invitation to vermin and insects to move right in. Roots can grow and cause pressure and cracks in the foundation. Number three is water retention. Water needs to flow away from the foundation, not pool around vegetation and cause foundation problems. Fill in low spots around the foundation to further encourage water running away from the foundation. Extend downspouts to bring roof runoff further away from the house to discourage water running back towards the foundation. Install splash blocks to keep water from splashing back.  

There are several things we can do to extend the life of our roofs. One of the most important is keeping the gutters clean and flowing. Clogged gutters cause water to pool and splash back and over time will damage the shingles and cause leaks and worsen ice damming. We usually keep an eye out during heavy rains. You can tell right away when gutters are overflowing and not much is coming out the downspouts. So you might have to clean them twice in the fall, just make sure the last time you do them is when all (or almost all) the leaves have fallen. Check the roof while you’re up there. Make sure flashings are sealed and replace shingles as needed. Trim trees near the house and roof. They can cause damage in wind storms and during heavy snows. Termites and other wood destroying insects can also use overhanging branches as a highway to your home.  

Clean around the exterior air conditioning compressor. Fallen leaves tend to collect around this unit in the fall. Compressors need to have good air flow in winter as well as summer. Do not cover!

Seal asphalt driveways. This will deter water seeping into the driveway to freeze, expand and deteriorate the surface. Apply deck preservative to protect the wood from the harsh winter elements.

Check all the exterior doors and windows for caulk deterioration. A simple bead of caulk around windows and doors will go a long way to keep cold out and reduce energy costs. Make sure your caulk is rated for exterior use.

Again check all outside drains, now and through the winter. Clogged drains cause water to pool and seep into basements and foundations causing no end of damage. I remember the words an old Home Inspector told me years ago, “Water is not your friend!” You need to keep it away from the foundation, roof, gutters, windows and doors to keep your house in good repair.

Next week indoor maintenance.   

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - FIND YOUR FAVORITE PINT

This past weekend I attended AlphaBeer.  It's a rather fun event where you taste through 26 craft beers (A-Z). The theme for this tasting was craft brews from in and around Chicago.

What was interesting is that after attending, I read about a new initiative started by the City of Chicago. The craft beer industry in Chicago is growing and it's making an impact. Visitors travel to our fair city to experience not only the culture but also the neighborhoods. With the launch of Chicago Craft Beer & Breweries there are now opportunities to experience what our city has to offer in both the cocktail and craft beer scene. You can create travel packages, tour local breweries or learn the History on Tap - all centered around our ever increasing popularity as a craft beer city. After all Chicago is a great place for a stay-cation too!

And my favorite tip after attending my tasting, I learned a very valuable lesson.  There is now a website where you can follow multiple bars and beers to find out where they are being sold.  Imagine being on vacation or traveling for work and wanting to have that favorite beer.  The site is called BeerMenus. All you have to do is create a login, select five local establishments and enter any brews you want to find.  It took me a total of 3 minutes to do the whole sign-up.  Once signed up, there is so much more available. Let's say you forgot a beer you want to try. You simply search and the system will look based on the location you've entered. If you want to attend a tasting, head over to the Events section. The Specials section is more like a Twitter feed. And best of all, if a business you like is not in BeerMenus, simply recruit them.

Oktoberfest may be over, but craft beer season is all year!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - PRE-HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES!

With the #1 priority being Trick-o-Treating on Halloween itself, many Halloween activities take place prior to October 31st, because let’s face it, we just can’t get it all done in one day!!  So here are some pre-Halloween activities for all ages –

Skelebration is a Halloween event designed for families returning for its second year to Redmoon Central (2120 S. Jefferson St.) in the Pilsen neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. as well as next weekend. This event is a re-invention of the seasonal rituals of Halloween featuring a wildly interactive haunted house, devilish hosts, mausoleums that will transport you into new bizarre and ethereal environments as well as experiencing Redmoon’s new devices and games along with live music, art making, snacks and much more!

Costume Design with Anna Glowacki is a Halloween hands-on workshop for the kids’ where Ms. Glowacki inspires them to create accessories as final touches to their Halloween costumes. This event takes place at the Chicago Children’s Museum located at Navy Pier (700 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday every hour from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.! There are other events taking place as well for the kids so the family can make a day of it!!

Chicago Costume’s Pumpkin Carving Contest is being held on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Plum Market (1233 N. Wells St.) in the Old Town neighborhood. Children are invited to carve and decorate pumpkins as well as enjoy some snacks and refreshments. Also, the first 30 children to RSVP will receive a free pumpkin!!  There’s also free 2 hour parking with any purchase.

Bobby’s Fright Hike:  Halloween Edition Bike Ride takes you on a terrifying bike tour through the city to a former cemetery where bodies still remain today, then to the Chicago River site where 844 people drowned in broad daylight and is said to still be haunted by one man who was on the boat, and other notorious haunted locales as well. This special edition bike ride begins at Bobby’s Bike Hike (540 N. Lake Shore Dr.) in the Streeterville neighborhood and is offered through October 31st from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Price includes a bike, helmet, guide and, hopefully, a scary time!

Youth Pumpkin Patch is a youth event taking place on Saturday (8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) through October 31st at the Park Ridge Community Church (100 S. Courtland Ave.) in Park Ridge benefitting both a Navajo reservation in New Mexico and the PRCC Youth Ministry Fund. This event not only provides pumpkins, gourds, corn, ornamental items and more for purchase but also offers a screening of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Friday and Saturday evenings!

BOO! At the Zoo opens this Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (next Saturday and Sunday too) at Brookfield Zoo (8400 W. 31st St.) in Brookfield. Little ghosts and goblins of all ages are guaranteed to have a great time at this annual not-so-scary event that features a “Craized Maize” corn maze, haunted hayrides, the “Pumpkin Smasher” back by popular demand, pumpkin carving demos, the popular Costume Parade at 1:00 p.m., the Costume Showcase at 1:30 p.m. with prizes for best animal theme, scariest, most original and best group, Zoo Chats throughout the day and much, much more!

Come Back Next Week for Your Trick-o-Treat – If You Dare!!!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

PRICE REDUCED! BELLE PLAINE COMMONS - UPGRADED CONDO WITH PARKING!

http://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3775191/secondarythumb.aspxNorth Center, Chicago  -  Announcing a price reduction on 2335 West Belle Plaine Avenue, #406, a 825 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bedroom upgraded condo in all-amenity building. Now MLS $174,500 - A MUST SEE!

Property information

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - NORWOOD PARK, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, LAKEVIEW, EVANSTON

NORWOOD PARK

Mark your calendars for an open house at Taft High School in the Norwood Park neighborhood.  After investing in a $17 million renovation, the school has scheduled their new look to be revealed on November 1, from 1-3pm. With new windows, tuck pointing, updated science labs, and new lockers, new principal Mark Grishaber wants to showcase Taft as the "premier Chicago neighborhood high school."

LAKEVIEW

Maybe we'll see each other there.  This weekend at AJ Hudson's Public House, join AlphaBeer for their next installment. From 6-9 pm we will taste one craft beer for every letter of the alphabet. Chef Jill Houk will offer food pairing recommendations for each taste while explaining alcohol content and taste. Cost is $50 or a table for six at $250.

LOOP

Fear not, if you missed the open casting call for Master Chef, you still have time to submit your video. Potential show competitors brought a prepared dish to the call where they had three minutes to plate the dish they brought with them including all dishware and utensils. Your video submission must be in no later than October 25 and you cannot be a professional chef or earn your main source of income preparing/cooking food.

LINCOLN SQUARE

So have you seen this Airstream trailer while riding the Brown Line between Damen and Montrose? Many people do not have an inkling as to why it's there and are pretty darn curious about it.  As part of Open House Chicago presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, you can get all the details on how this little gem made its way to the roof.  There are seven other buildings in Lincoln Square also featured, so don't miss it!

EVANSTON

Have you ever been to Fountain Square in downtown Evanston and thought there were some better ways to highlight and improve the area?  Well the city would like your input. From now until November 21, leave your ideas in one of the brightly colored mailaboxes located around the Square or leave a "tip" in the tip jar of local businesses that are participating.  Don't forget to involve the kids!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SLOW COOKER/ OVEN POT ROAST

The weather is getting cooler and it’s time for a succulent slow cooked pot roast that’s easy and delicious. It’s stick to your ribs cooking. I often make this on the weekend for a couple of week day meals.

This recipe calls for a three pound or so chuck roast. This type of cut lends itself to becoming tender and flavorful with long slow cooking. Dry the roast thoroughly with paper towels. Rub with two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of pepper. I know this sounds like a lot but this is a big piece of meat. Press the seasoning into the meat. Preheat a large Dutch oven with a heavy bottom over HIGH heat, then add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. This is a most important step! You need to sear the roast on all sides and brown well. Yes, it will be smoky! Turn on the exhaust and open the windows.

Move the roast to a large plate with sides to hold the juices that will collect. If necessary add a little more oil to the pot and add a large diced white onion. Throw in a heavy pinch of red pepper flakes along with three minced cloves of garlic. Next throw in 5 anchovy fillets. Yes I said anchovies! I know many people go "ewww" but anchovies give a meaty saltiness that’s wonderful, a delicious umami. They will literally melt as they cook in the pot. Cook until the onions are translucent, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. This is called "fond" and it contains a load of flavor. Add one 6oz can of tomato paste along with 2/3 bottle of red wine. Bring mixture to a boil, again scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pot. Add two 28oz can of whole tomatoes and their juice. I use a potato masher to break them up. Add 1 dried bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Return roast along with the juices and push it down to the bottom of the pot.

Cook in a 325° oven for 3 hours or in a slow cooker on high for 6 hours. The roast will literally fall apart. I usually serve with mashed potatoes and veggies the first time using the tomato sauce as gravy. Second meal I serve the roast on fresh French bread with the gravy and coleslaw. Yum! Bon Appetite.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - SMART APP BEATS TINDER IN APP STORE

I've said is so many times, "There's an app for that." 

What's interesting is the process in which an app is made and developed. Me, I'll never create an app. A local 15-year old from Wheaton, however, just created one with a friend in a couple hours over the weekend.

When Wheaton Academy softmore, Austin Valleskey, was asked by his friend in Australia about an idea for an app, they spent a couple hours developing the app, Impossible Rush.  It's a brain teaser game that was originally created to share with friends to see what they thought.  What they didn't expect was the popularity of the app to grow so quickly.

The team contacted a marketer to purchase the app.  At its peak, the app ranked 16 in the US, 18 in Australia (where his friend Ben Pasternack resides) and 7 in Sweden. The most amazing part of this app is that is surpassed several popular apps including Skype, Tinder, and Netflix.

Now Valleskey, who taught himself computer programming last year on a road trip to Florida, is already working on developing another app.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CITY OF CHICAGO AIMS TO SPUR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN AREAS WITH EASY CTA ACCESS!

NEW CHICAGO ORDINANCE REDUCES THE NUMBER OF OWNER OR TENANT PARKING SPOTS REQUIRED IN CERTAIN NEW CONSTRUCTIONS CONDOMINIUM OR APARTMENT BUILDINGS!

For many years, developers of New Condo or Rental Buildings have been required to provide one garage or exterior parking space for each unit in the building - a 1:1 Parking Ratio.  Under a new ordinance approved by the Chicago City Council last year, however, builders of projects within 600 feet of a CTA or METRA Public Transit Terminal or Hub, or within 1,200 feet of a designated Pedestrian Shopping District, need only provide one-half that number of parking spaces for that complex or building, reducing the ratio to 0.5:1.

As a result, Developers can allocate more space to expanding the size of the residential units themselves, or providing amenities such as Fitness or Business Centers in their buildings.

According to Mary Ellen Podmolik, Real Estate Reporter for the Chicago Tribune, projects have started or are contemplated in the transit-proximate neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Logan Square.  Other Neighborhoods - Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Albany Park, and Rogers Park on the North Side of Chicago, or Hyde Park and Bronzeville on the South Side - offer similar opportunities for providing incentives to Condo or Rental Building Developers.

Experts believe focusing on people's commuting habits and lifestyles, rather than providing ample space for the cars they may not even own, might actually create more residential options in areas historically short on affordable new places to live.

In a Survey conducted by Transit Center, an independent group that supports use and expansion of public transit options, found the availability of close public transit ranks high among many residents over the age of 30.  Many are young families or baby boomers, who want to enjoy what Chicago Neighborhoods have to offer, but don't necessarily want to reside Downtown.

Just Curious - is proximity to Chicago Public Transportation a high priority for YOU when you consider your next home or condo?

 Let us know!

 DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

ATTRACTIVE NEW PRICE - GLADSTONE PARK - BRICK CERTIFIED OCTAGON BUNGALOW!

http://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3759706/secondarythumb.aspxGladstone Park, Chicago  -  Announcing another PRICE REDUCTION on 5449 North Monitor Avenue, a 1,278 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom Bungalow with new roof and boiler! NOW MLS $229,500 - A VINTAGE GEM!!

Property information

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - A MARATHON OF FUN PLANNED FOR CHICAGOANS AND THEIR GUESTS!

As we head into the second weekend of October, the weather isn’t “frightful” yet, so there’s no excuse for not supporting the following outdoor, with some indoor, festivities planned for Chicagoans and guests, this marathon weekend!

The biggest outdoor event taking place this Sunday and benefitting the “American Liver Foundation” is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop. If you’re not a runner but choose to be a spectator instead, detailed Spectator Information is available on their website  Please note that the 27th Mile Post-Race Party/Runner reunite area located at Butler Field in Grant Park will open to spectators at 9:00 a.m. since individuals who are not registered for the race will not be allowed at the start and finish lines.

And, of course, there’s a variety of Course Entertainment for the spectators as well such as the “Bank of America (RED) Cheer Zone” at Mile 12; the “U.S. Trust Cheer Zone” just beyond that at the intersection of Adams Street and Wacker Drive which is one of the most scenic points of the course just before the runners cross the Chicago River approaching the halfway point; the “Merrill Lynch Cheer Zones” at Miles 13.5 and 16.5; and the “Bank of America Cheer Zone” at Mile 26 welcoming and cheering on the runners who have completed the course!

Finally, the Balbo Hospitality Tent (5:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) located near the finish line offers an enhanced race experience for runners, their family & friends, as well as the spectators; however, you must purchase a hospitality ticket (free admission for children 8 years and under) in order to gain access and enjoy the amenities being offered!

But before Sunday, there’s Saturday!

The Windy City BBQ Classic sets up this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop where 40 Pit Masters along with their teams compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion and bragging rights too! This event is a true BBQ competition since teams are not allowed to use gas or electricity – only all-wood – as they prepare meats in the four categories of Ribs, Chicken, Pork and Brisket. Not only will attendees be able to sample, judge and wash it all down with Chicago’s best craft beers but they’ll also be able to enjoy cooking demos, specialty tastings, watch, learn & swap BBQ stories with the pit masters, and take in some live Blues music, which is all included in the ticket price (prices are higher at the door)!

Not to be left out in the cold, but the Chicago Vegan Mania Festival takes place Saturday as well from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway St.) in the Edgewater neighborhood for all the no-meat eaters out there! It’s a celebration of all things vegan from food to fashion to commerce to community. This event features a Vegan Food Court, a Chef Demo Stage, a Workshop Room, the Culture Café and the Main Presenter Stage along with a graffiti wall, a vegan rock star photo booth, a lively & activity-packed kids’ zone and much more for a true Chicago vegan experience!

Lastly, the Aragon Ballroom (1106 W. Lawrence Ave.) in the Uptown neighborhood is hosting the 5th annual Beer Hoptacular this Saturday (1:00 p.m.) featuring 60 breweries with close to 150 beers! This event also features a food pavilion in the parking lot, the inaugural Beard Hoptacular for the best facial hair and the return of the Beer Hoptacular Derby Race where participating breweries will compete to see whose beer can go the fastest! Your admission includes 25 samples!!

Will You Be Ready For Your Marathon Weekend!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, PORTAGE PARK, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, NAPERVILLE

PORTAGE PARK

It's official, the National Register of Historic Places has named Portage Park bungalows the 11th neighborhood in Chicago to the registry. To be an historic Chicago bungalow, the property should have been built between 1910-1940, a side or noncentered front entrance, face brick with stone trim, 1 ½ stories tall and a full basement, in addition to other features. While bragging rights are definitely a plus, the potential property tax freeze is a huge boost.  The Historic Chicago Bungalow Association estimates there are 80,000 bungalows in the city if not more.

LINCOLN PARK

There are only a few weeks left to enjoy the entire troupe of Kiss Kiss Coquettes. Chicago's premier weekly burlesque cabaret boasts over 20 years of burlesque experience sure to tantalize. Max Flattery, master of ceremonies, is open to any type of hijinks the audience can throw at him. Don't miss the amazing skills of these beautiful performers!

LOOP

It's time to get dressed to impress. Next week is the citywide celebration of Chicago's fashion industry.  Fashion Focus: Chicago's Fashion Week runs from October 14-19 and includes a Fashion Industry Town Hall meeting and networking event, multiple runway shows at the Chicago Cultural Center, shopping events to name a few. You can also access the 2014 Fall Fashion Guide and Chicago Fashion Directory online. Don't miss this opportunity to meet the newest designers.

LINCOLN SQUARE

Sometimes you just need to celebrate the arts.  Friday night, Unity Lutheran Church will be hosting a free evening of theater, dance and music. They will be unveiling the new "The Gallery at Unity" to showcase four Chicago artists.  The entire event is free from 7-10pm at 1212 W. Balmoral Ave. Enjoy!

NAPERVILLE

Local resident, Diane Prodzenski, started a recipe club about 12 years ago to share in her love of cooking and baking. The group shared a potluck with each person designated a portion of the meal - main dish, side dishes and dessert. Recently, Prodzenski, was diagnosed with Celiac disease and those dishes have had to go the wayside as she requires a gluten-free diet. Due to the constraints of her disease, she has found easy and delicious ways to make her favorites gluten-free and as a side benefit, healthier.  To join her recipe exchange, simply email her at foodee5@aol.com.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FALL DECORATING IDEAS

Etch your house number or name in a pumpkin. Put it on top of a display of heirloom pumpkins and large gourds. These are available now in grocery stores and home centers. They come in a wide variety of colors, textures and interesting shapes.

 

Put a pot of Mums on each step leading to your front door. They bloom in sun or shade. Keep them blooming longer by watering when dry and removing spent flowers. They come in a wide variety of colors and will bloom till the frost.

 

Find some wide flat pumpkins in unusual colors. Place these on your buffet table as platforms for serving dishes. Different sizes will show an interesting display on the table. You can also use mini pumpkins as candle holders. Hollow out a hole and melt a little candle wax to hold them firmly. You can use larger pumpkins and candles in glass holders for illumination along a walkway or stairs.

 

Hollow out a large flat pumpkin to use as a planter. Line with plastic and fill with potting soil. Vary the plants. Mix herbs and flowers for an interesting fall feel. If you don’t want to have a growing plant just use florist foam and buy fresh cut fall flowers to make your arrangement.

 

Paint different sizes of pumpkins. Use gold and black paint for a shimmery classy effect. Do a rectangular pattern, stripes or circles. With circles you can use office circle stickers to create cool effects. Trace around the stickers and remove and paint or else paint around the stickers then remove.   

 

Stud oranges with cloves in interesting patterns and tie with raffia. Arrange in a large bowl for a fragrant centerpiece.

 

Make a pumpkin tower. Find three pumpkins in graduating sizes in different colors. Use a large footed dish or planter for the stack. Place sphagnum moss in between to steady them and give contrast.


Simple is often best. Use a large vase and fill with colorful branches of fall leaves. This makes a lovely centerpiece with great height.

 

For a simple centerpiece use interesting and colorful gourds. Use a rustic canvas or burlap runner down the length of the table. Line the runner with small gourds in different shapes and sizes.

 

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CHICAGO'S LIBRARIES LEADING THE WAY

So if you're thinking about librarians becoming a dying breed, you may want to think again. The Chicago public library is leading the charge for innovating libraries.

With the internet and research information being readily available online you wouldn't think that the library is the place to go for innovations locally. Chicago's libraries are offering patrons the opportunity to utilize their "maker lab," which have 3D printers and laser cutters. Imagine going to the library to learn about this new technology up front and in person. Not only can you go to instructional classes, but you can also pursue your own business ideas using what is available in the labs.  According to Erika Poethig of the Urban Institute, "The maker labs are a concept of what libraries are in the 21st century."

And if you want to check out your books, videos, etc., you can also use the Finch Robots.  They are shaped like stingrays and used to teach kids about computer science.

Since there is such a great many people who do not have Internet access already in the city of Chicago, our libraries offer free access. Not only do they offer access at the library itself, but also allow check out of a remote Internet access device and a laptop to take home.

So being a librarian may just be more cutting edge than you thought!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

NEW PRICE ALERT! GLADSTONE PARK - BRICK CERTIFIED OCTAGON BUNGALOW - VINTAGE GEM!

http://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3759706/secondarythumb.aspxJefferson Park, Gladstone Park, Chicago  -  Announcing a PRICE REDUCTION on 5449 North Monitor Avenue, a 1,278 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom bungalow with new roof & boiler! NOW MLS $232,400!!!

Property information

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - “HODGE-PODGE” OF ACTIVITIES KICK-OFF OCTOBER!

You know, I’ve been thinking again (scary!) and it has occurred to me that the best thing about a work week is it always ends with a weekend and here we are again – another weekend! So I’ve done some digging and found a “hodge-podge” of activities as we kick-off the first weekend in October here in Chicago.

The City will be celebrating its greatness, grit and renewal following the fire of 1871 with The Great Chicago Fire Festival taking place this Saturday (3:00 p.m.) at Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.) located on the Magnificent Mile. The festival begins with a neighborhood bazaar along Upper Wacker Drive, music and spoken word performances as well as food trucks. Then at 7:00 p.m. the festival honors 1st responders and neighborhood partners with the Grand Spectacle kicking-off at 8:00 p.m. at the Chicago River between State Street and Columbus Drive. Beginning with the “Cauldron Drop” at the Michigan Avenue Bridge, your Grand Marshals from the hit TV series, Chicago Fire, Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, will lower fiery cauldrons with the assistance of After School Matter Students and others to 22 kayaks that will “Spread the Fire” while Chicago’s Children’s Choir performs, followed by the “Entrance of the Steam Ship” then “Igniting the Houses,” to the “Extinguish & Reveal,” wrapping up with a fireworks display! And, if you’re still not ready to call it a day yet, head on over to the after party (10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.) at Redmoon Theater (2120 S. Jefferson Ave.)!!

It’s that time of year again! America’s favorite comfort food returns to the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd.) in the University Village/Little Italy neighborhoods this Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with the Mac and Cheese Fest. It’s a festival where guests can explore a variety of mac and cheese dishes from approximately 50 restaurants. An admittance ticket includes “all you can taste” from the participating restaurants along with 5 drink tickets for beer, wine and spirits all while benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana!

The Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood has opened a new attraction this past week – the Lionel Train Adventure – and will offer events this Saturday and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) as well! Located at the West Gate, this track-less 28-passenger Lionel Train takes you over a quaint country bridge, past forest and canyon scenery, and returning to a red brick station. Zoo members get free rides all weekend long while non-members will have to pay $3 per person per ride. However, the first 50 passengers will receive a free Lionel wooden train whistle! All Aboard!!

The 4th annual West Town Art Walk also takes place this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) at 2000 W. Chicago Avenue (Chicago and Damen Avenues) in the West Town neighborhood. This festival celebrates all forms of art – visual, musical, culinary, and otherwise – from Chicago artists within the neighborhood’s businesses, shops, restaurants and bars. Admission is free and kids’ activities will be provided as well!

The largest cemetery in the City of Chicago, Rosehill Cemetery (5800 N. Ravenswood Ave.) in the Edgewater neighborhood, will be hosting their 3rd annual Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K Run/Walk this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. This 350-acre Victorian-era cemetery which opened in 1864 sets the stage for this event with scenic paths, monuments and yes, even eternal spirits that include many famous locals as well as scores of Civil War vets and benefits the “American Diabetes Association!” There’s also a post-run/walk party – that is, if you’re able to get out the cemetery!!

Finally, the 36th Annual Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes takes place this Sunday (9:30 a.m.) at West Montrose Avenue and Simonds Drive in the Uptown neighborhood as well as 5 other Illinois locations (Warrenville, Libertyville, Schaumburg, Palos Hills & Peoria). This impactful walk raises money for critically needed Type 1 Diabetes research and its goal to turn Type One into Type None! If you’re unable to participate in the walk you can still make a donation and show your support for the millions of people affected by this serious disease. It’s made an impact in my life!!

ENJOY YOUR “HODGE-PODGE” UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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