Festivals, fairies, and free shows in the parks
Labor Day is coming up, but there are plenty of summers left to enjoy. Here are a few things to get you out and about (and several of these events are free).
Your weekend outdoor festival watch: Ruido Fest happens in Union Park this weekend (Fri 8/20, gates open at 3 PM, Sat 8/21, and Sun 8/22, gates open at 1 PM). It’s all ages, and those 14 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Full set times for music and tickets at Ruido Fest’s website.
Glenwood Ave Arts Fest brings visual artists, music, and food to the streets surrounding the Morse stop on the Red Line. The fun starts at 6 PM on Fri 8/20, and festival hours start at 11 AM on both Saturday and Sunday. A full list of music acts with set times is available on the festival’s website, and the entire thing is free and open to all ages.
Fri 8/20 and Sat 8/21, 5 PM: Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks brings in Collaboraction’s youth ensemble to perform The Light. This collection of performance pieces focused on themes of social justice and change was created collaboratively by the six young artists over the past year. On Friday, they’ll be at LaFollette Park in Austin, and on Saturday, you can catch them at Englewood’s Hamilton Park (followed by a screening of the movie Dolittle as part of Movies in the Park). It’s free, and you can check out the Night Out in the Parks website for more information.
Sat 8/21, 9 AM: Breakfast with the Animals is a chance to eat pancakes in the middle of Lincoln Park Zoo while taking in a lecture by Mike Murray (the zoo’s Curator of Mammals) and then walk around at one of the best times to visit (many of the animals are much more active first thing in the morning, as opposed to some of us Reader staff). The event is presented in part by Nutella, who will provide some of their spreads along with bagels, beverages, and more. A $50 ticket includes breakfast and beverages and can be purchased at Eventbrite.
Sat 8/21, 7 PM: Freedom From And Freedom To is a showcase of sound and movement collaborations, as experimental musicians and dancers are paired to create unique performances at Logan Square’s Elastic Arts space. Featured musicians for this fifth iteration of the series include Angel Bat Dawid, Reader contributor Steve Krakow, and Ayanna Woods, while dancers will include Freedom From founder Cristal Sabbagh and Reader contributor Irene Hsiao. Tickets to this all-ages event are available on Eventbrite, and Elastic Arts will live stream the proceedings on its Twitch channel for those who can’t make it in person.
Sat 8/21 and Sun 8/20, 1 PM: Two years ago, Theatre Y presented the pilgrimage/performance piece The Camino Project, which took audiences on a six-hour walking tour with stops for art in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. They’ve reimagined it now as YOU ARE HERE, a tour of Chicago’s “emerald necklace” of boulevards on the south and west sides, examining issues of gentrification, communication, and accessibility. Twelve different tours are occurring between Saturday’s kick-off in Logan Square (Sunday’s tour is through Humboldt Park) and the closing celebration on September 26 in Jackson Park. It’s free for neighborhood residents, but the company suggests nonresidents purchase a Theatre Y membership to help support the work. Reader contributor Josh Flanders wrote about the ambitious project this week; see Theatre Y’s website for complete schedule and information.
Mon 8/23, 4 PM and 6 PM: More fun with Night Out in the Parks: this month you’ll have a few chances to see self-described “wire-walking fairies” in nature. The performance duo Molly Plunk and Laura Torres bring Enchanted Tightrope, a short program of circus-ready tightrope walking, to Morgan Park Sports Center on Monday (shows at 4 and 6 PM) as well as the Garfield Park Conservatory on Wednesday 8/25 (shows at 5 and 7 PM), with more performances in other city parks scheduled for the rest of August. Shows are free and all ages. See the Chicago Park District’s website for details.
Mon 8/23, 6 PM: DJ King Hippo, who hosts a show on Lumpen Radio, curated a show of jazz and outer-world music for Millennium Park’s Summer Music Series. It’s free and ages at Pritzker Pavilion downtown, and you can get a feel for the music by checking out Salem’s preview here.
Wed 8/25, 7:30 PM: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater presents a preview of their work Goshen at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion as part of “A Deeply Rooted Evening for Chicago’s Healing.” The piece is based on Donald Lawrence’s gospel album Goshen, and the evening includes performances by Le’Andria Johnson, members of the Tri-City Singers, and Zeke Locke & the NuXperience. It’s free and all ages.
Thu 8/26, 8 PM: Cafe Mustache debuts their new series Check The Label, which showcases local music labels alongside a local brewery. Tonight is dedicated to the artist-run collective Amalgam, and the Jake Wark Quartet, the band Cordoba, and Bill Harris will perform. This free event is open to those 21 and over. See Amalgam’s Facebook event for details.
Thu 8/26, 8 PM: Barry & the Fountains, Khaliyah X, and Ausar bring neo-soul and R&B to the Promontory venue in Hyde Park. The show is limited to those 21 and over, and tickets are available on Eventbrite.