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Best of the fests

Chicago festival season starts now

May 03, 2012|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

If there’s one thing Chicago has no shortage of in the summer months, it’s festivals. With neighborhood block parties, massive music lineups and art booths lining streets from May to September, you’ll never get away with saying there’s “nothing going on this weekend” again.

Check out our comprehensive online Fest Guide for details on more than 50 festivals going on this summer and get the details on a few coming to a neighborhood near you:

Hyde Park

57th Street Art Fair (June 2-3): First-time art buyer? Head to this festival’s “Art Buying Boot Camp” for a guided tour of vendors to help decide which pieces would be right for your budget and style. Long-time art lover? There’s plenty to browse, including jewelry, photography and ceramics from more than 200 artists from all across North America. Booths are centered around 57th Street and Kimbark Avenue and entry is free. Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village Burger Fest (July 21-22): Head to the corner of Belmont and Damen avenues for this sixth annual fest celebrating all things burger, from turkey to veggie to steak. A $6 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce.

Lincoln Park

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (July 28-29): The name may be food-focused, but with five stages and more than 40 music acts scheduled to perform, there’ll be no shortage of entertainment for music fans. The fest takes place along Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton Avenue and Wrightwood Avenue and the $10 suggested donation benefits the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.

Lincoln Square

Square Roots (July 20-22): This brand-new fest is the joint effort of The Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, featuring local food, craft beer and plenty of music. A suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 kids and seniors benefits the chamber and school. The vendor and music lineups are still being finalized, but the organizers promise plenty of focus on small-batch brews along with upscale bites (think gourmet pizzas) from Lincoln Square restaurants.

Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park

Do-Division (June 1-3): This fest favorite, which runs along Division Street between Ashland Avenue and Leavitt Street, is back with a 10-block spread of music, art, shopping and food. This year’s performance lineup includes sets from Black Belles, BBU, White Mystery, Le Butcherettes, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound and others. A $5 entry fee benefits local non-profits.

Lakeview

Sausagefest Chicago (June 2-3): If you’ve been wanting to earn the title “Sausage King of Chicago” since you first saw “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” this is your shot. This Wrigleyville fest features live music along with plenty of encased meat and the chance for one fundraising fest-goer to be named “King” complete with a throne. Register to compete at sausagekingchicago.com. The fest (which includes music from Lucky Boys Confusion, Company of Thieves and more) takes place around the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street and a donation of $5-$7 is suggested.

Pilsen

Mole de Mayo (May 26-27): Spice seekers, look no further. Local restaurants pit their mole recipes against one another in this food-centric fest, and vendors sell plenty of micheladas and sangria to wash it all down. Did we mention there’ll be mariachi bands and the Lucha Libre wrestlers? The action starts near 18th and Peoria streets and a $1-$5 suggested donation benefits the 18th Street Development Corp.

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