Can you believe it's already August? This summer suddenly seems like it's flying by, so no better time than the present to take advantage of some of Chicago's coolest, most fun activities as we march toward autumn. Here's your handy Weekend Alert!
CHICAGO HOT DOG FEST (8/7-9)
Know what's better than two days of hot dogs? Three days of hot dogs, duh. The Chicago History Museum has expanded its annual Hot Dog Fest into a weekend-long event, serving up classic Chicago-style dogs made exclusively with Vienna Beef. Different vendors on site will also have specialty franks for those that want a unique encased meat party in their mouths.
GINZA HOLIDAY FESTIVAL (8/7-9)
Celebrating 60 years this weekend, the Ginza Holiday Festival returns to the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Old Town. This huge Japanese cultural festival features four master craftspersons (Waza) creating unique crafts via generations-old skills; an abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine; and breathtaking performances of taiko drumming, Aikido and Judo demonstrations, and bouts of Kendo (Japanese fencing).
NORTHALSTED MARKET DAYS® (8/8-9)
Chicago's dynamite Boystown neighborhood hosts one of the largest outdoor events in the country this weekend for Northalsted Market Days. More than 150,000 visitors arrive every year for this LGBT-friendly party, which features four music stages, delicious local food and a diverse mix of wares from nearly 300 vendors. Our favorite people-watching: airports, museums and Northalsted Market Days.
WRIGLEYVILLE SUMMERFEST (8/8-9)
Wrigleyville, home base of the Chicago Cubs, is one of the city's most popular neighborhoods and destination for a surefire good time. The 13th annual Wrigleyville Summerfest doesn't play around with mediocre, as everything here - from the food and beverage to musical talent - is of the highest order. Savory summer cuisine and local Chicago artists make this a can't-miss festival.
BUD BILLIKEN PARADE (8/9)
The Bud Billiken Parade is the oldest and largest African American parade in the country, a supreme spectacle of uber-energetic dancers, booming big bands and more. Marching through Chicago's historic Bronzeville neighborhood, the Sunday's Bud Billiken Parade is the perfect high note upon which to end your weekend.