Bust out the rainbow flags! It's time for Pride Fest. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago…)
This weekend is pretty much the quintessential snapshot of Chicago summer fests: You've got the rainbows, neon and barely-clothed partiers of Pride Fest, the jams of Green Music Fest and the, well, beer of Chicago Craft Beer Fest. New this year is the separation of Pride Fest (June 22-23) and the Pride Parade (June 30), so remember that Halsted Street won't welcome the carnival of floats until next weekend. Now rally your friends and hit the streets—and don't forget to take some photos to remember it all. firstname.lastname@example.org @redeyeeatdrink
Green Music Fest
Where: Damen Avenue between North Avenue and Schiller Street
When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
How much: $5 suggested donation
Don't miss: Three stages keep the music going all weekend with performances by Atlanta indie rockers Manchester Orchestra (8:45 p.m. Saturday), former Chicagoan and singer-songwriter Joe Pug (7:30 p.m. Sunday), SoCal rockers Everest (7:30 p.m. Saturday) and others. The environmental focus is more participatory than preachy, with chances for fest-goers to win Divvy bike-sharing passes, stretch out during free vinyasa yoga classes (1 p.m. both days) and sip beers from eco-conscious Colorado brewery New Belgium.
Mini-detours: Keep the earthy vibe going with brunch at Birchwood Kitchen (2211 North Ave.), a bright, cozy cafe with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Vegetarians can check out the mushroom tacos at Antique Taco (1360 N. Milwaukee Ave.) or the totally meat-free menu at Native Foods Cafe (1484 N. Milwaukee Ave.).
Chicago Craft Beer Fest
Where: St. Michael, 1633 N. Cleveland Ave.
When: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 1-10 p.m. Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday
How much: $5 suggested donation, plus beer package options ($35-$50); beers also will be available for individual purchase
Don't miss: Forty-plus breweries will keep a steady stream of liquid sunshine flowing all weekend; I would bee-line for the brews from Kansas City, Mo.'s Boulevard Brewing Co., Wisconsin's Central Waters Brewing Company and Perennial Artisan Ales from St. Louis. Music from singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells (8 p.m. Friday), blues pianist Marcia Ball (8:30 p.m. Saturday) and alt-country singer Robbie Fulks (5 p.m. Sunday) also is on deck.
Mini-detours: All that beer drinking inevitably will lead to some snacking, so head to Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells St.) for bar food and burgers, or to La Fournette (1547 N. Wells St.) for some of the best French-style bread (plus crepes and sandwiches) in the city.
Where: Halsted Street between Grace and Addison streets
When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday
How much: $8 suggested donation
Don't miss: One week before the Pride Parade, this celebration of Chicago's gay and lesbian communities takes over Boystown with plenty of food, drinks, arts and crafts and high-energy performances. Two stages will host entertainers such as Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls (4:30 Saturday), Blu Cantrell (6:30 Saturday) and drag shows throughout the day Saturday. Of course, the outfits and all-day partying of Pride Fest always are their own show.
Mini-detours: If it's been a while since you've visited Boystown, check out some of the new faces on the main strip: Replay (3439 N. Halsted St.), an arcade and beer bar, has taken over the former Bucks Saloon and Sidetrack's MainBar (3349 N. Halsted St.) has undergone a facelift. Got the late-night munchies? Grab some to-go Belgian-style frites from Backwoods (3335 N. Halsted St., enter on Buckingham Place) beginning at 10 p.m.
Upcoming fests: June 28-29: Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party; June 29-30: Chicago Country Fest; June 29-30: Lincoln Park Arts & Music Fest; June 29-30: Summer Pride on Southport; June 30: Pride Parade.
See the whole summer's festival calendar here.