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Fest bets: Pros and cons of this weekend's lineup

With all the fests happening this weekend, how will you choose?

(Chuan D. Vo/for RedEye )
June 07, 2012|By Jessica Galliart and Jessica Cantarelli | RedEye

It's another hectic Chicago weekend where a billion--or just five--street festivals are happening. If you aren't sure which to check out this weekend, see what fest veterans, The Jessicas, have to say about Blues Fest, Old Town Art Fair, Ribfest, Andersonville Midsomarfest and Printers Row Lit Fest so your fest attack is the best it can be.

Old Town Art Fair
June 9-10; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

PROS
I love the diversity of art at this joint. You know what else I love about it? Honestly, a lot of is out of my price range; ergo, I just gawk at everything and don't blow my entire paycheck in 20 minutes (as I still manage to do at some of the more affordable markets at festivals). --Jessica Galliart
Luckily, there is plenty of food and booze to be consumed at this fair. And the crowd is surprisingly young--especially if it's warm and sunny. There's also some pretty interesting stuff to look at/peruse besides, you know, the same 10 pairs of sunglasses and $20 neighborhood T-shirts that are sold at every other fest. --Jessica Cantarelli

CONS
Depending on the time of day/weather, this fest can be a stroller-dodger. If you aren't careful where you're walking, you might trip over a dog leash and crush a priceless work of art that you can't afford. --Jessica Cantarelli
Jessica's right--stroller city, baby. But then again, what street fests aren't anymore? And if I remember correctly, with all of the booths set up, things can get super cramped. --Jessica Galliart


Printers Row Lit Fest
June 9-10
Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk streets in Printers Row

PROS

Ready for some shameless plugs? RedEye will be hosting some awesome performances in the evening for Lit After Dark--rap battles, DJs, poetry slams and performances from the folks behind The Encyclopedia Show, hands down one of my favorite reading/performance art series in the city. No joke. (I'll also be live-tweeting!) --Jessica Galliart
There's a lot to look at, and if you're a collector or lover of books and "things," this is a great place to be. Your best bet is to pay the fest a visit before or after brunch--work on that summer tan and walk around and enjoy a fest unlike any other. --Jessica Cantarelli

CONS

The day crowd keeps things pretty low-key and a little quiet, which is a con if you're looking for some traditional raucous street fest action. --Jessica Galliart
It's not the place you're going to go get your day drink on, and keep in mind that suburbanites LOVE this fest. --Jessica Cantarelli

Andersonville Midsommarfest
2 p.m. June 9-10
Foster Avenue and Clark Street

PROS

The food. Oh dear God, the food. What else would you expect from Andersonville, which, in my opinion, has some of the best casual eats spots in Chicago? Also, stop by the karaoke station near Hamburger Mary's. Perfect for people-watching. --Jessica Galliart
It's a bonafide neighborhood fest--all the locals come out and there's live music, booze, yummy food and cool vendors. It's not over crowded and the scene is taken down a notch compared to other street fests. --Jessica Cantarelli

CONS
This one really gets uncomfortably packed. When and if you find a getaway off the side where you're not shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, stay there. --Jessica Galliart
It's hard to get there--even if you have a car. Beause then there's nowhere to park it. --Jessica Cantarelli

Ribfest Chicago
2 p.m. June 8-10
Lincoln Ave. and Irving Park Road

PROS

Bibs. Everyone's wearing bibs! --Jessica Galliart
Food everywhere. It's a celebration of food--and the best kind of food--barbecue. And beer. There are so many delicious things to eat and everyone is eating them. There's also live music, and the crowd is young and looking to have fun. --Jessica Cantarelli

CONS

Bibs. Everyone needs a bib. --Jessica Galliart
Sticky fingers, stickier port-o-pottys. Trash ago-go. Sticky everything--in a bad way. --Jessica Cantarelli

Chicago Bluesfest
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., June 8-10
Grant Park

PROS

Can you say "wide open spaces"? Love that you can sprawl out on the lawn with friends and a blanket and not be bothered, all while checking out some music you've probably never heard before. --Jessica Galliart
You can relax a bit--make your own party with your own crowd, and pretend you listen to Blues for one night. --Jessica Cantarelli

CONS

Yeah, after the excitement of not being bothered wears off within about a half-hour, you might find yourself painfully bored. Plan B? --Jessica Galliart
It can easily be a snooze fest. --Jessica Cantarelli

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