Weekend Alert

If you're into international soccer championships, scenic runs along Lake Michigan or driving rock music festivals, Chicago is the place to be this weekend. The city's hosting the largest Latino festival in the Midwest, soul queen Chaka Khan, and a soccer match between the United States and Panama. Get loose, it's time to make weekend plans.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival (7/27)

I'm not a morning person. So when my alarm goes off at 6 am, I shotgun a 20 ounce Rockstar Energy Drink, kick open my bedroom door like I'm serving a warrant, shoulder roll into the shower, and sprint my six-mile-long commute to the office in less than 40 minutes. This weekend, I'm going to continue my tribute to that lifestyle by hitting up the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which features Rob Zombie, Mastadon and, undoubtedly, one of the highest energy, caffeine-fueled mosh pits this side of Henry Rollins' CrossFit gym. Disclaimer: for people serious about putting their weekend in a headlock only.

Big Ten Network Big 5K & 10K (7/27)

Big Ten Network 5K

You can't swing a Chicago style hot dog in this town without smacking a Big Ten alumnus across the face, which - during the NCAA Tournament - is often times necessary. This Saturday, droves of Hoosiers, Hawkeyes and expatriates from Champaign will flock to Museum Campus and race for their schools. Our money is on Northwestern because wildcats are mad quick, but after watching the film 300, I'll never underestimate the heart of a Spartan.

Street Festivals (7/27-7/28)

Taste of Lincoln

Oye! You think we'd tire of street festivals by now, but, nah dude, we can't stop *Miley Cyrus voice*. This weekend we'll be watching cutting-edge bands of Jeff Fest Arts & Musical Festival, kicking it at the largest Latino celebration in the Midwest (Fiesta Del Sol), feasting through Lincoln Park at Taste of Lincoln Avenue, and bartering for ceramics at the North Shore Festival of Art.

Chaka Khan at Millennium Park (7/28)

Chaka Khan

Not to sound like an overcompensating music snob, but I've rolled with Chaka Khan since the beginning. I got into some of my mom's cassettes in the winter of 1990 and "Ain't Nobody" has been the soundtrack of my life ever since. I think I was four-years-old. Anyway, things come full circle this weekend when I walk through the fire and into the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for this show. Soundtrack, please!

CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at Soldier Field (7/28)

Soldier Field

Soldier Field, the NFL's oldest stadium, is on football vacation for another six weeks, but futbol (notice the subtle change in spelling) is another story. On Sunday, CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer takes over Bear country with a championship match between the United States and Panama. Futbol is a lot like the football game you know and love, minus the whole bone-jarring hits thing and lurid end zone celebrations.

For a detailed and up-to-the-minute calendar of Chicago events, click here.

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