Summer Events Guide

Figure out where you'll be partying this weekend and the rest of the month.

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Phoenix Suns guard and Chicago native Shannon Brown will be kicking off his Wood-Star Music Festival on August 17-19th at Union Park in the West Loop and will feature two concerts: one featuring his wife, R&B singer Monica, Estelle and Robin Thicke and another with old-school rap artists such as Slick Rick, Rakim and MC Lyte. There will also be a celebrity basketball game scheduled featuring Brown and other local NBA players.
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The Chicago Westside Music Festival's "Grand Finale" will highlight Chicago's own Carl Thomas and Syleena Johnson, & Alex Boyd with headliner Musiq Soulchild. No admission charge. August 18th| 12-8pm | Garfield Park-100 N. Central Park Ave.
Pump your fist in the air and get RTD (Ready To Drink) with a live set from DJ Pauly D August 18th at Excalibur. DJ Pauly D will showcase the official Chicago release his pre-game Remix cocktails right before spinning fresh beats from 12am 'til the wee hours of morning. Get your tickets HERE. (632 N. Dearborn)
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Watch the Arlington Million in style on August 18 at Arlington Park. Catch Illinois' largest horse racing event with live music by DJ & an appearance by Playboy Playmate Summer Altice. Use Promo Code 'CLUB1' to save $100. Click HERE for available tickets and more information.
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Smash the gong August 18th to announce your arrival at Enclave's 7-Year Anniversary Party, highlighted by a Forbidden City Fashion Show presented by Akira. Doors open at 9pm, show starts at Midnight. 220 W. Chicago Ave.
Hop on the bus August 17th at 7pm for the Chicago Rock Stars Tour. Check out modern rock star hot spots, homes, clubs, recording studios, and inspirations as your guide takes a close look at the lyrics that pay homage to these rockers' hometown. The tour begins & ends at Angels and Kings, the restaurant/bar inside the Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan Ave. $35
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Join over 20,000 Chicagoans in one of the last festivals of the summer, August 17-19th at Northside Summerfest. Enjoy great tunes and celebrate the dog days of summer with an amateur hot dog eating contest. This year's NSS will bring the hot dog to a whole new level as local spots dish out their best interpretation of a classic dog. To enter in “The Hot Dog Eating Contest” call (773)665-4682. |$5 suggested donation| 4000 N. Lincoln Ave.
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See the legendary Tony Bennett live at Ravinia August 18th at 8:30pm. Buy tickets HERE.
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Watch Chicago's best hairstylists compete head-to-head on August 19th with the world's finest in the American Crew Face Off, a global men's styling competition at Crimson Lounge from 6-9pm. The winner will take part in an American Crew photo shoot, be a featured stylist in the 2013 global American Crew show in Europe, and capture press coverage around the world. Buy tickets HERE. (333 N. Dearborn St.)
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Promote music and education for the children of Indonesia at the Music For Lombok Dance-A-Thon. On August 17th from 4pm-4am an organization called Music for Lombok will celebrate Indonesian Independence Day while raising money to bring music, art, and English teachers to an orphanage in Indonesia. $10 suggested donation. Underground Wonder Bar (710 N Clark St)
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Head over to the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest August 17-19th to view works of over 100 artists, enjoy live entertainment on three outdoor stages, and feast on local fare in Chicago’s historic Rogers Park neighborhood. Friday night's kickoff party, the Cobblestone Jam, will take place from 6-10pm with the artists' market on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12-9pm. No Cover Charge. 6900 N. Glenwood Ave.
"They're break dance fighting!" That's right, either compete or watch weak crews "get served" on August 18th at the Power in Numbers Break Dance Battle and VIP Reception. $1,000 in cash will be awarded to the best performance, judged by a panel of 5 legendary break dancers at Alternatives, Inc. Click HERE for tickets. ($15 regular admission and $50 VIP reception) 4730 North Sheridan Road
Gorilla Tango Theatre presents "Bikini Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing," a skimpier twist on the classic comedic play featuring nine 20-something actors performing in bikinis or Speedos. Show runs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., July 12 - August 30th and tickets are $15 and available at or (773)598-4549.
Celebrate Oktoberfest early this year with Oktoberfest in August at the Schwaben Center in Buffalo Grove. Enjoy a variety of domestic and German beers, bratwurst, live entertainment, raffle prizes and much more under their big party tent, open rain or shine. $5, August 17-19.
Watch a movie in a park near you! Chicago Park District's 12th annual Movies in the Parks series features 176 screenings of current and classic movies in 128 citywide parks through Oct. 26. Click HERE for locations and show times.
Downtown Sound returns to Millennium Park for its fourth summer, featuring an eclectic mix of music ranging from indie rock to rock veterans. Monday nights at 6:30pm in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Free admission.
Chicago's competition for the hottest rooftop scene is about to get a new player. JEstate Ultra Bar has unveiled StarDeck, a 4,000 square foot-plus outdoor lounge with views of the Chicago skyline and Chicago River. The rooftop offers al fresco dining and two bars, a custom sound system and is open from 5 p.m.-midnight during the week, and 11:30 a.m.-midnight on weekends.
Join Le Bar for Soleil Thursdays on select dates this summer, which is just like taking a trip through the south of France. It kicks off with an eclectic DJ set featuring French house music and continues with music and cuisine by Chef Greg Biggers, and cocktails inspired from each of your favorite French summer destinations. 7|19 Saint Tropez, 8|9 Basque region, 8|23 Nice, 9|13 Bordeaux. (20 East Chestnut Street)
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If you can't stand the heat... strip down to your skivvies and go for a cool bike ride. Join fellow bike enthusiasts in the Critical Mass Underwear bike ride. This ride challenges everyone to consider gender equality... and as women who choose to be top-free must cover their nipples by law, this ride encourages men to show their solidarity by covering their nipples as well. Chicago Critical Mass starts downtown Chicago, rain or shine, the last Friday of every month at 5:30pm in Daley Plaza around the Big Picasso.
Celeb fave flip flop company Havaianas launches a Beach Pop-Up shop near the North Avenue Beach House from June 27th through Sept. 3. The shop is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-7pm and offers the chance to create your own customizable pair.
I want to ride my Bicycle! The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum presents "Bikes! The Green Revolution." This exhibit explores the significance of bicycles in America, from fixed gears to tall bikes, and their position in the realm of urban transportation. June 27, 9am through Sep. 8. Free with general admission, $7-$9; $6 for kids ages 3-12; free on Thursdays for Illinois residents. 2430 N. Cannon Drive
Log out of Facebook and Twitter, turn off your cell phone and tablet, and tune in to the people around you! The cast of The Second City presents their 36th review "We're All in This Room Together." The play kicks off July 1 and features a diverse group of live people in one room physically interacting with one another. For more info, click HERE.
Chris Shields
Every Wednesday this summer, the Jazzin' At The Shedd concert series provides the perfect scene to listen to jazz and witness one of the most beautiful sunset views in the city. Stay after the sun goes down to enjoy drinks with friends and watch the weekly fireworks display. Happens every Wed. 6-10pm, Shedd Aquarium (1200 S Lake Shore Dr.)
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End your day with a beautiful 10-minute fireworks display perfectly synchronized to music every Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 10:15pm on Navy Pier. 600 E. Grand Ave. Free
Chicago SummerDance steps off on July 19th and continues every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 4 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 16th. Dancers of all skill levels are invited to come out and participate in a dance lesson for the first hour before getting an opportunity to practice what you just learned. It all goes down at Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden.
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Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art every week this summer for Tuesdays on the Terrace, a swanky event featuring live jazz music. Enjoy cocktails and a dinner buffet for $24. It's free for Illinois residents or included with museum admission.
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The Field Museum recently unveiled its new exhibit, Extreme Mammals. It explores the "surprising and often extraordinary world of extinct and living mammals." Tickets are $22-$29 for adults, $18-24 for seniors and students with ID, and $15-$20 for children 4-11.
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Loops and Variations is Millennium Park’s newest music series, featuring a mix of new music and electronica. The last concert of the series will be on Sunday, August 26, 2012 in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Start times vary. Free admission.
29/32 has teamed up with Peroni beer for a Tuesdays on the Terrace, a weekly Italian style "Aperitivo" through August 21st featuring different designers at different locations. It all kicks off July 10 from 6-8 p.m. with featured designer Cettina by Concetta Cipriano (pictured), atop The Terrace Rooftop of the Conrad Hotel. Tickets are $10.
ROOF on theWit Hotel's presents its new Roof Runway fashion series this summer. Check out emerging designers on Sept. 13th and Oct. 11th.
Every last Wednesday of the month, Quartino pizzeria and wine bar hosts a wine sampling ($20) featuring an array of wines from various regions of the world. Tickets include seasonal appetizer pairings and guests are allowed to take home any bottle of their featured wines for $10. 626 N. State St. Near North
The Chicago Lighthouse is accepting designer clothing donations for its second annual FLAIR event. Consider turning your slightly or unused attire into space-saving tax-deductible donations for a night of fun, fashion, and philanthropy. Donated pieces of designer clothing, accessories and footwear will be sold in a pop-up store at the 900 North Michigan shops at 6pm on September 20th-23rd. Proceeds from this event will benefit people who are blind or visually impaired.
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