Sailing on Lake Michigan

It's Memorial Day Weekend and - since the city has done since 1870 - Chicago will commemorate our fallen soldiers with a parade. Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency will lead this year's Memorial Day Parade as its Grand Marshal and participate in the Wreath Laying Ceremony preceding the parade on Saturday, May 25. The city is also abuzz with the official unofficial start to summer, so get turned up in Chicago this weekend.   

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival (5/25-5/26)

The festival season is as much a part of summertime Chi as drinking on rooftops and no weekend is complete without at least one neighborhood block party. Expect local bands, plastic cups and homemade jewelry stands at this North Side festival.

International Mr. Leather (5/24-5/27)

Chicago's proudly crowned International Mr. Leather (IML) since 1979. To qualify, contestants must have won a bar or regional leather competition, so you know you're dealing with the best of the best. Leather image, presentation skills and physical appearance are all crucial for those hoping to wear the IML crown, or belt, or zipper adorned bondage mask. Most - but far from all - contestents and attendees are gay men, but it's a festive event in Chicago that's open to everyone.

Dinosaur Petting Zoo (5/25-5/27)

Millennium Park's Wrigley Square is hosting dinosaurs this weekend. Not sure how they'll keep them there because those things are wild. I've seen Jurrassic Park, I know. What's that? Oh, that makes more sense. They're actually puppet-like dinosaurs, which might not be as exciting but it's a lot safer. The kiddies will love it and we'll all be better off.

Memorial Day Parade (5/25)

Gather with thousands of people to honor veterans and active duty military at Chicago's Memorial Day Parade, which begins at noon. The Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive (5/26)

Bikes are taking over Lake Shore Drive. This annual Chicago tradition allows you to choose to bike north to the Bryn Mawr Avenue Rest Stop and return, south to the Museum of Science and Industry Rest Stop and back, or bike the entire Loop. There's also a festival from 8 a.m. to noon at Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive with breakfast foods, a live band and fun-filled activities for youth and families, plus booths selling apparel, bike gear, snacks, and more.

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

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