With August well under way, the end of summer is just around the corner.
And while this comes as good news for sweater advocates, the rest of us can't be blamed for feeling somewhat anxious about the dwindling opportunities for outdoor drinking and weekly smorgasbords of weekend street festivals.
Thankfully, this weekend is packed with some of Chicago's highest-profile annual summer events.
Each Friday throughout the remainder of the summer, HuffPost Chicago is passing along our five picks for that weekend's must-go festivals and other events.
Need still more options? The city also maintains a calendar of neighborhood events throughout Chicago.
Did we miss something great going on this weekend? Tell us about it in the comments.
Another oldie and goodie, the 57th annual <strong><a href="http://www.ginzachicago.com/" target="_hplink">Ginza Festival</a></strong> is dedicated to celebrating Japanese culture in the city's historic Old Town. The event features ongoing stage performances including taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations and ukulele performances, arts and crafts exhibits from the Waza and delicious food. <br> 435 W. Menomonee St. <br> 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 <br> $6 donation for adults, $5 for students/senior citizens, children 12 and under free
Northalsted Market Days
Singer Olivia Newton John headlines this year's <a href="http://www.northalsted.com/pages/northalsted_market_days_/29.php" target="_hplink"><strong>Northalsted Market Days</strong></a>, which is considered to be the biggest street fair in the Midwest. Spanning six blocks in the heart of Chicago's Boystown neighborhood, the festival this year also features musical acts including The Pointer Sisters, Sheena Easton and Karmin, plus local favorites like 16 Candles, the Chicago Spirit Brigade and the Wanton Looks. Plus there are over 400 food and arts and crafts vendors to peruse. Halsted Street between Belmont and Addison <br> 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 & Sunday, Aug. 12 <br> Suggested donation: $8 <br> <em>(Photo: AP/Pier Paolo Cito)</em>
Veggie Fest Chicago
Nature's Path is sponsoring this festival dedicated to the "health and spiritual benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle." <strong><a href="http://www.veggiefestchicago.org/" target="_hplink">Veggie Fest Chicago</a></strong> includes a whole bunch of meat-free grub -- including a tasty-sounding falafel sandwich -- plus speakers, food demos, music and more. <br> Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S 175 Naperville-Wheaton Rd. (Naperville) <br> 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 & Sunday, Aug. 12 <br> FREE <br> <em>(Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4498875608/sizes/o/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr/stevendepolo</a>)</em>
Bud Billiken Parade & Picnic
No, <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/mose/79th_annual_bud_billiken.html" target="_hplink">the 83rd annual <strong>Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic</strong></a> won't, unfortunately, be grand marshaled by Barack Obama himself, but his deputy assistant Michael Strautmanis (pictured at left, center, with actor Kal Penn and Valerie Jarrett) will be there in his place. Though not technically a festival, this parade -- which often attracts a huge crowd to see a wide swath of celebrities and politicians -- is one of the city's most significant annual cultural events. <br> 39th & South Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive <br> 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 <br> FREE <br> <em>(Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak)</em>
Windy City Rib Classic
Sure, the Chicago area has already seen its fair share of rib-centric events, but hey, there's no reason not to throw another one on the burner, right? The <strong><a href="http://www.windycityribclassic.com/" target="_hplink">Windy City Rib Classic</a></strong> kicks off its inaugural edition with 20 teams facing off in an official BBQ competition, cooking demonstrations, live music and more -- all to be enjoyed at the Theater on the Lake, which has one of the best views of the city of any spot. Grub will be provided by the Fullerton Beach Grill. Theater On The Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr. <br> 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 <br> FREE <br> <em>(Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/quotablekidney/4663226607/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr/QuotableKidney</a>)</em>