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Fest Fridays: Ribfest Chicago, Midsommarfest and more

June 07, 2012|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

Nobody counts calories during fest season. At least, we don’t. There’s just too much fried goodness. If you’re really looking for an adventure in eating, be sure to hit Ribfest Chicago in North Center this weekend. We hear there’ll be fried Twinkies ... and fried root beer? Don’t ask. Just order and report back.


Ribfest Chicago

Time: 5-10 p.m Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Location: The intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue in North Center
Cost: $5 suggested donation

It’s the wrong weekend to start a diet: It may be called “Ribfest,” but there are plenty of other dishes to wreck your daily calorie counts, including pulled pork, kebobs, truffle fries, turkey legs, mac ‘n’ cheese, funnel cake, ice cream, kettle corn and hot dogs. Drooling yet? Us too. Restaurants selling their snacks include Big Bricks, Chicago BBQ Company, Byron’s Hot Dogs, Real Urban Barbecue, Smoke Daddy and more.

But there’s more to do than eat: If you can stop licking the sauce from your fingers long enough to stake out a good spot, there’s plenty of music to check out, including Saturday’s North Stage headlining band Megafaun, which plays at 9 p.m. Sunday headliners Heartless Bastard take the South Stage at 9 p.m.

More weekend festing:

Andersonville Midsommarfest

Time: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Location: Clark Street and Foster Avenue in Andersonville
Cost: $5 suggested donation

For more than 45 years, crowds have headed to this northern neighborhood for a weekend of music, dancing, food and, of course, beer.

Wells Street Art Fest

Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Location: North Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street
Cost: $7 suggested donation

While browsing art is the main attraction here, there’s plenty of live music (including cover bands Trippin Billies and American English), food and more.

Chicago Blues Fest

Time: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Location: Grant Park
Cost: Free

Musicians will spread out over five stages. Head to explorechicago.org for a full lineup.

Old Town Arts Fest
Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. SundayLocation: Lincoln Avenue and Wisconsin Street
Cost: $7 suggested donation

Now in its 63rd year, this art-focused fest includes showings from more than 250 artists from all over the U.S.

Upcoming festivals:
Fiestas Puertorriquenas: June 14-17 in Humboldt Park
Taste of Randolph Street: June 15-17 in West Loop
Spring Awakening Fest: June 16-17 at Soldier Field
Uptown Pizza Fest: June 16-17 in Uptown

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