07/15/2011 03:56 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2011

Chicago Weekend Events: Pitchfork, Chinatown Fair, Alien Royalty, More (7/15-7/17)

As summer heats up here in Chicago, the weekend festivities continue to pile on, including a wide variety of music, art, food and -- aliens? -- to fill up your calendar. If you're outdoors, be sure to pack the sunscreen and stay hydrated, since it's going to be a balmy one.

Here are our picks for this mid-July weekend. As always, let us know if you feel we missed anything and enjoy your weekend, Chicago!


The seventh edition of this tastemaker-approved music festival kicks off late Friday afternoon and is sure to satisfy Chicago's music-obsessed legions as this year's festival lineup is as diverse as it is trendy. Besides headliners Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and TV On the Radio, veterans (Neko Case, Superchunk, Guided By Voices, DJ Shadow) are expected to wow just as much, if not more so, than the indie darlings du jour (James Blake, tUnE-yArDs, Twin Shadow, Yuck). Check out HuffPost Chicago's Pitchfork '11 guide to learn more and stay tuned to the site for coverage all weekend.
Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.; 1-866-468-3401
When: 3 - 10 p.m. Friday, noon - 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price: Friday and Saturday one-day passes $45, available on-site

Sketchbook Project
Thousands of sketchbooks traveling across the country, with some of their artists in tow, will stop in Chicago this weekend for as part of the Sketchbook Project. The project is the result of over 28,000 artists from 94 countries being sent blank sketchbooks -- just over 10,000 of those were returned completed to the project's organizers, all of which will be on display in this weekend's event. Following the tour, the books will be exhibited in the Brooklyn Art Library, but here is your chance to catch a glimpse of them closer to home.
Where: Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave.;
When: Noon - 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday
Price: FREE


"I Am The Alien Queen!"
This over-the-top, critically-acclaimed parody of the 'Alien' film franchise, set to the music of Queen, has sold out its previous engagements and responded to that enthusiastic reception by launching this 18-and-over midnight showing of its cult hit, presented by the Scooty and JoJo Show. The show is said to feature "those fantastical aliens, cross-gendered humans and some of Chicago's best singers and rock musicians" and is a highly recommended outing. Chances Dances DJs will be spinning up their own dance party before and after the show.
Where: Metro, 3730 N. Clark St.; 773-549-4140
When: 10 p.m.
Price: $20 general admission, $30 VIP

Beautiful Darling
In its first Chicago run, James Rasin's documentary depicting the life of Candy Darling, a Kim Novak-styled transgender party girl muse to Andy Warhol and others (including Lou Reed, whose "Walk On The Wild Side" was inspired by Candy), will offer audiences a glimpse into the darker side of the Studio 54 era. The film features Chloë Sevigny as the voice of Candy (via diaries obtained by the filmmakers) as well as cameos from Fran Lebowitz, John Waters, Tennessee Williams and others. The film was honored with Gold Hugo award for best documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival last year.
Where: Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.; 312-846-2600
When: Friday 6:15 p.m., Saturday 4:45 & 8:15 p.m., Sunday 3:15 p.m., other screenings through July 21
Price: $11 general admission


Tour de Fat
New Belgium Brewery's 13-city, nationwide Tour de Fat is back in Chicago today for a bike parade and boozy, $5-pint after-party, featuring an array of musicians including Free Energy and Mucca Pazza and benefiting West Town Bikes, a bike education program. One lucky winner, ready to trade in their car and pledge to bike daily for a year, will also be chosen to win a "sweet bike."
Where: Palmer Square, between Kedzie and Sacramento; 970-221-0524
When: 9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. ride, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. entertainment
Price: FREE (though donations are welcomed)

Jennifer Hudson
Chicago native, 'American Idol' alum and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson returns home to take center stage at the Ravinia Festival tonight alongside opener Miguel. If you can't make the Saturday show, she's playing a second show at the same time on Sunday.
Where: 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park, IL; 847-266-5100
When: 7:30 p.m.
Price: $33 lawn, $80 reserved


Chinatown Summer Fair
Pitchfork, of course, is not the only festival going on this weekend, as Chinatown gets in on the summer festival action with its annual one-day-only street fair. The event features a lot of food, arts and gifts, in addition to a lion dance procession (1 p.m.) and an array of entertainment at both the festival's Main (23rd St. & Wentworth Ave.) and Music Stages (Wentworth Ave. & 24th Pl.)
Where: Wentworth Ave., between Cermak Rd. and 24th Pl.; 312-326-5320
When: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Price: FREE