Weekend Beat: Bid Summer Adieu

Long weekend dining, party picks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alfredo Flores
    Party the weekend away, with or without Cobra Starship (pictured).

    Another summer bites the dust, but not before we party all weekend long. The 312 Dining Diva drops knowledge on the best weekend events:

    Top Pick: Free Food!
    America's Finest Artisan Cheeses -- which already doles out free cheeses every Saturday -- amps it up for Labor Day weekend with an all-out cookout that'll include ribs, burgers and of course all the high-end cheese you can stuff in your mouth. Noon-until all the food is gone. 4727 S. Talman, 773.779.5055

    THURSDAY
    Rockit's Billy Dec, Concierge Preferred's Tim O'Malley, and a slew of other fameballs rally at the downtown Hyatt (151 E. Wacker Dr.) in support of Olympics 2016. Starts at 4 p.m.

    FRIDAY
    Hit the Chicago Luxury Ice Cream Festival, where $25 gets you treats from pastry chefs, artisans, and local micro-creameries like Homer's Ice Cream, Black Dog Gelato and Castle Rock Creamery. Don't forge to check out the Great Chicago Brain Freeze—a chef competition where guests get the chance to vote for the winners and taste the results. 6-9pm.

    SATURDAY
    Bash on Wabash's sixth year (Wabash Ave b/w 13th and 14th streets) includes food vendors, arts and crafts, and live music. 11am-10pm Saturday and Sunday. $5 donation benefits the Greater South Loop Association.

    SUNDAY
    The Silver Room's Labor Day Backyard BBQ is BYOM -- Bring Your Own Meat -- and deejays Shon Dervis, Alton Miller and others providing the soundtrack. There's also a bar to purchase booze and grills for your meat. 11am-8pm. Free.

    MONDAY
    Cuatro's throwing a first-ever Labor Day Boat Party rocking an impressive list of deejays (Vick Lavender, 33 1/3), plus a special performance by MAAD SOUL. Your ticket also includes a premium open bar and lavish buffet of empanadas, chimichurri marinated NY strip skewers and more. Get tickets here. Boat departs from North Pier (455 E. Illinois St.) at 6:15 sharp. $65 in advance; $75 at door.

    Audarshia Townsend is the creator of the local food blog 312DiningDiva.com. She also provides content for Dining Chicago, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Playboy.com and Concierge Preferred.