LeeAnn Trotter has the hottest events around the city, from Pitchfork to Taste of River North and more.
Stifling hot temperatures have left many Chicagoland folks looking for indoor air conditioning these days, but there's only so many summer weekends to go around to spend it cooped up inside. You've got to take advantage of them all. So slip on some sunscreen, pull out the short shorts and consider hitting up any of these events in the city and suburbs.
TASTE OF RIVER NORTH: This is one of your best bets for a neighborhood street fest this weekend. Enjoy two stages of music, food from a variety of area eateries, a Kids' Zone for the little ones and tons of art and merchandise from vendors. July 19-21, Ward Park (Kingsbury & Erie), $5-$8
PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL: One of Chicago's biggest music festivals takes over Union Park with its usual crop of indie darlings along with some familiar names like R. Kelly and Bjork. July 19-21, Union Park, $50-$120
NAPERVILLE ALE FEST: This is the inaugural year for this festival, with an emphasis on craft beer. It all goes down on the grounds of Naper Settlement (523 S. Weber St.) and features more than 180 unique beers from craft breweries around the country, live music and food. July 20, 1-5 p.m., $45
11TH ANNUAL SOUND SYSTEM BLOCK PARTY: Every year, Wicker Park's The Silver Room takes the party outdoors for a diverse homegrown block party with three stages and more than 50 music and visual art performances. You'll only want to go here if you're prepared to dance! July 20, 1442 N Milwaukee, 12-10 pm, FREE
DES PLAINES SUMMER FLING: This annual three-day party returns with lots of music, arts & craftsa and kids activities including carnival rides. Sunday is "Country Day," with Chicago's Brass Buckle Band and country music tribute band the Suburban Cowboys. July 19-21, Lee Street and River Road
ROOF ON theWit's RUNWAY SERIES: The fashion forward event that features local designers continues July 18 with the Chicago Boutique Takeover featuring Miriam Cecilia, Sara Jane and J Toor. The rooftop patio provides the perfect backdrop for the scintillating fashion. July 18, 7 p.m., FREE
GIRLS ON WHEELS: The Windy City Rollers hosts its annual Golden Bowl III Tournament Saturday and Sunday. Teams from California, Texas and Denver will be in the house to take on the Chicago squad. One and 2-day tickets are on sale, and yes, the UIC Pavilion has air conditioning. July 20-21, $43-$85
SHEFFIELD GARDEN WALK & MUSIC FESTIVAL: Visit more than 100 neighborhood gardens on a self-guided tour or join in with select guided group tours. Bands such as Chicago's JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound keep the party going. July 20-21, Sheffield Ave. and Webster St., Noon till dusk, $7-$10
LOMBARD SUMMERFEST: This is definitely a family-friendly destination with carnival and amusement rides, bands and more. July 18-21, 1125 Harrison Ave.