Well, Chicago, the first month of "summer" is almost up and what do you have to show for it? No awkwardly-positioned tan lines, yet? For shame. This weekend offers plenty of excuses, most of which are free, to pull yourself away from chipping away at the "Cheers" and "Battlestar Galactica" episodes piling up on your Netflix Instant Queue and catch some sun.
The weekend weather looks like it will stay mostly dry, temperate and, if you're anywhere near the Pride Parade route, blindingly colorful. But not so much a fan of catching some rays, you say? There's also plenty going on indoors too, so no excuses.
Get A Taste
This year's Taste of Chicago officially kicks off Friday and continues through July 3, offering up nosh from nearly 60 area restaurants and an eclectic batch of entertainment reflecting a number of now-defunct annual music festivals that were gobbled up by the city's budgetary nastiness. Today is Viva! Chicago Latin Music Day, which replaces its similarly named festival counterpart and features headliners Los Horoscopos de Durango. Saturday will feature Rare Earth and Soul Asylum and Sunday will turn the spotlight on a bevy of gospel performers. If you're not feeling too antsy for fried cottage cheese on a bacon stick, waiting until next weekend's performers -- including Loretta Lynn and Ellen Degeneres-approved tweenager Greyson Chance -- doesn't sound like a bad call either.
Where: Grant Park, Michigan Ave. & Congress Dr.; 312-742-4387
When: 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. daily
Show Your Pride
No matter what you like or how you like it, Chicago's Pride Festival and Parade are definitely among this weekend's best bets. Friday and Saturday, Boystown hosts its Pride Festival, which features food, drinks, crafts and queer-geared entertainment including Deborah Cox, Mya, Crystal Waters and more drag queens than you can toss a tiara at. Sunday is Pride's main event: A parade up Halsted and down Broadway expected to attract roughly a half-million revelers. If you're not as into the scene but want to surround yourself with LGBTs anyway, revisit our Pride Guide for deets on other events taking place this weekend, including the Dyke March and the Neo-Futurists' "30 Queer Plays in 60 Straight Minutes" production.
Where: Halsted & Waveland St., throughout East Lakeview; 773-883-0500
When: 4 - 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, parade at noon Sunday
Friday, June 24
Not The Funny Plastic Things With Neon Hair & Sparkly Navels
One of those more indoorsy types we mentioned earlier? If you're also a fan of foreign language mockumentary films featuring mystical creatures, you're still in luck this weekend. Friday, the Music Box Theatre opens its run of the 2010 André Øvredal-directed film "Trollhunter," which screened at the most recent Sundance festival. The feature tells the story of a veteran hunter and disgruntled government employee who uncovers a beastly creature he'd previously only thought to exist in children's tales.
Where: 3733 N. Southport Ave.; 773-871-6604
When Opens Friday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m., screenings through June 30
Price: $9.25 general admission
Saturday, June 25
Poets? Don't You Know It!
The Poetry Foundation has new digs and they've been kind enough to open up their doors to the public for a weekend-long open house. The event will feature readings from poets Elizabeth Alexander, Robert Hass, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins and others -- though the readings are currently at capacity and you'll need to sign up for a waiting list. Singer-songwriter Neko Case will also be performing on Saturday, though their open lottery for tickets closed Tuesday. Oh well, they probably have a really nice restroom, judging by this Chicagoist post.
Where: 61 W. Superior St.; 312-787-7070
When: Opening at 10 a.m. Saturday & Sunday
It's Not Easy Being Eco-Friendly
In case you weren't already festivaled out by this weekend, Wicker Park will play host to the third annual Green Music Fest. The event is intended to unite folks who care about great music as well as discovering new ways to go green and be more eco-friendly. The lineup -- featuring Yo La Tengo and Trampled By Turtles Saturday, plus Les Savy Fav and The Thermals Sunday -- is also quite stellar for your money.
Where: Damen Ave. between North Ave. & Schiller St.; 312-850-9390
When: Noon - 10 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Price: $5 donation
Logan Square's brand new Summer Sessions on the Square, a monthly outdoor summer concert series held outside the neighborhood's iconic Monument, kicks off this weekend with a trio of great Chicago bands: L'Orchestre Super Vitesse, Thin Hymns and Rabble Rabble. Grab a blanket and head on down. While you're in the area, we recommend stopping by La Boulangerie, 2569 N. Milwaukee Ave., before the concert for at least a whiff of their delicious croissants, crepes and macaroons before they close at 6 p.m.
Where: Logan Square Monument; firstname.lastname@example.org
When: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The DuSable Museum of African-American History tonight celebrates its 50th anniversary with a performance of Adrian Dunn's popular "Hopera: A Hip Hop Opera." The production is "an eclectic composition of classical opera, hip hop, spoken word, rap, orchestra and live dancers," according to its description. Still not sure what to expect? Gapers Block featured a profile previewing a 2009 production of the show that's certainly worth reading.
Where: 740 E. 56th Pl.; 773-947-0600
When: 6:30 p.m.