Weekend: Viva Italia!


LA DOLCE VITA: Pop on your Pradas, jump on your Vespa and head over toward Navy Pier this weekend for the Italian Expo. The fourth annual event includes plenty of food, wine, fashion, design, tourism, art and entertainment. More than 100 companies and vendors from Italy and the U.S. will be displaying and selling their products straight from Italy on Friday through Sunday. Click here for more information.

CALLING ALL BILLIONAIRES: Fresh off an appearance at the VMAs last weekend and following a concert at the Congress Theatre with Big Boi and Chiddy Bank, "Billionaire" singer Travie McCoy hosts the official after party at Le Passage. McCoy will spin, along with DJ Million $ Mano. 10 p.m., 937 N Rush St

LUCK OF THE IRISH: Streeterville's Timothy O'Toole's Irish pub finds a reason to celebrate on Friday with its Halfway to St. Patrick's Day Party. Snag $2 pints of green beer, while "Joe the Leprechaun" interacts with the crowd with his $4 Jameson shots. A special menu will also be available with goodies like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Potato Pancakes and Shepherd's Pie.
Bull & Bear also gets in on the Irish action early Saturday with a Premium Drink Package from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. and a broker's breakfast of green eggs and potatoes, corn beef hash and reuben sliders. $20 advance tickets can be purchased at www.HalfwayToStPaatricksDay.com.

HIGH TIMES: Highsight, the organization behind the always-popular Eve of the Eve end of year bash, hosts an after-work fundraising event Friday at Y-Bar. The $30 admission gets you all the vodka, wine and RA Sushi apps you care to quaff and $10 raffle tickets will be sold for a Cubs game, which is right around what a ticket will run you these days anyway. 5:30-8:30 pm, 224 West Ontario St, $30

GET SCHNITZEL-FACED: Raise a stein or two at Oktoberfest on the Square Saturday at Dunlays on the Square. The annual event includes a German-inspired buffet with favorites such as Pork Schnitzel with Spaetzle, Pork and Apple Sausage and Dark Chocolate Bavarian with Raspberry Coulis. Beer flights are also available for $8 with Hacker Pschorr, Harpoon, Sam Adams and Great Lakes all available for your drinking pleasure. 4-8 p.m., 3137 West Logan

SALSA TIME: The Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival moves to Millenium Park this year on Friday and Saturday, showcasing a variety of talent in various Latin music genres from salsa, to reggaeton, mariachi, and norteñae Grammy award winners and nominees. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., N. Michigan Ave. & E. Randolph St., FREE

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