Sure, this weekend Chicagoans will be treated to at least one sure-to-be spectacular event in Paul McCartney's sold-out Wrigley Field twosome of performances, not to mention a welcome reprieve from the apocalyptic-ish weather the city has experienced lately. But for those of us without the extra couple of hundred dollars available to plop down for tickets on Craigslist, there're plenty of other opportunities for hot fun (many of them cheap, if not free) this weekend.
HuffPost Chicago has the rundown on eight of our weekend picks, let us know what we missed and get out there and enjoy some sun.
Fiesta Del Sol
Said to be the largest Latino outdoor festival in the Midwest, Fiesta del Sol returns for its thirty-ninth year in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood this weekend. The festival bills itself as "family-friendly," as it is alcohol- and smoke-free, and offers live entertainment, art, a barrage of Mexican food, a car show, carnival rides, soccer tournaments and more. In addition to the free admission, a festival "mega-pass" (at $45) grants one access to unlimited carnival rides throughout the entire festival -- though you might want to wait a while after that massive plate of nachos to hop on the tilt-a-whirl.
Where: 1400 W. Cermak; 312-666-2663
When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Newberry Library Book Fair
Described as "Chicago's most popular used book binge," this huge, annual used book sale offers more than 120,000 books to choose from, most of which are priced at $2 apiece, including exponentially more copies of "Bridget Jones's Diary" than Renee Zellweger has "E"s in her name. Among the big ticket items this year is apparently an autographed Andy Warhol biography, complete with the art's iconic tomato soup can sketch. Proceeds benefit the Newberry Library, which has been around in town for a little while (since 1887).
Where: 60 W. Walton; 312-255-3556
When: Noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival
Perhaps the weekend festival winner is this one, the annual event where a commercial stretch of Milwaukee Ave. is packed with so much: outdoor music, art galleries, performance art, food, drink and a number of other activities -- not to mention some after parties. This year's music lineup is especially notable, including a number of homegrown favorites like JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, the Hood Internet and Netherfriends. Ironic mustache optional (though encouraged)!
Where: Milwaukee Ave. between California and Kimball; 312-666-2663
When: 4-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Price: $10 3-day wristband or $5 donation
Ah, the Printers' Ball. How can one not love an event called a "ball" where one can, comfortably, get away with wearing jean cut-off shorts? Or a tuxedo? Or basically whatever you want? (The event's description specifically notes: "costumes encouraged.") The seventh annual Printers' Ball, which rightfully bills itself as "one of the largest celebrations of literary culture in the country," offers a smorgasboard of events from over 200 organizations including a reading from notable poet-cartoonist-musician David Berman, music from White Mystery and Chances Dances DJs, a "larger-than-life-size" Ouija Board, sponsored by Chicago Underground Library and much, much, much more.
Where: The Ludington Building, 1104 S. Wabash; 312-787-7070
When: 6-11 p.m.
Jersey Shore: The Musical
Love them or hate them, one has to admit that Snooki, The Situation, JWoww and the "Jersey Shore" crew have a unique way of getting people talking, really talking in a way that perhaps certain folks in our nation's capital could take a cue from. (Actually, scratch that one.) At any rate, sketch comics 4 Days Late have put together a 90-minute musical version of the explosive MTV series that has been getting more than a few solid reviews around town and you just might have a good time checking it out -- just be sure to take care of your "GTL" duties before you head out for the night.
Where: Studio BE, 3110 N. Sheffield; 773-248-5900
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday (through Sept. 10)
Price: $15 (advance), $20 (door)
Myth & Continent
In case you missed choreographer Ginger Krebs's hour-long dance piece, "Myth & Continent," in its first two performances (of three) in Chicago, tonight marks your last chance to watch the New Jersey-based company, Massarelli's, piece, which was lauded by NewCity last week as offering a "density of ideas ... leavened with humor and the genuine tenderness the performers have for one another."
Where: Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, 3035 N. Hoyne; 773-880-5402
When: 7:30 p.m.
Price: $12 (cash at the door)
Canadian plugged-in post-punk husband-wife duo Handsome Furs are so, so much better than their verging-on-cliche mini-bio (we're looking at you, Matt & Kim, Mates of State, et al!) would lead one to believe and it'll all be on display in their Bottom Lounge gig. Comprised of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and his writer-wife Alexei Perry, the Sub Pop-signed duo puts together some New Order-esque, incredibly catchy music that makes for a great live show, as they recently showcased on their latest full-length album, "Sound Kapital.' The album was released last month and received an 8.1 rating from Pitchfork, if you're one who keeps track of such things.
Where: Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake; 312-666-6775
When: 9 p.m.
Three-time Grammy Award-winning soul and R&B singer-songwriter, poet (and actor!) Jill Scott brings her critically-acclaimed act, labeled as a "summer block party," to the shores of Lake Michigan this weekend and this show might just be giving McCartney's Wrigleyville extravaganza a run for its show-of-the-weekend status. The Philadelphia-born performer got her start when she was discovered by The Roots' ?uestlove and honed her singing chops while touring across Canada with a production of "Rent" amidst collaborations with Will Smith, Common and others. In recent years, she has only just begun to receive the praise she has long deserved.
Where: Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Lynn White Dr.; 312-540-2000
When: 7 p.m.
Price: $49.75 - $105.75