The streets of Chicago host some of the best celebrations. No, I'm not talking about 3 a.m. on Clark, Halsted, or Broadway in the Gayborhoods. I'm talking about street festivals. There are still quite a few left in town, and who doesn't want to have an ice cold drink in the streets?
Around The Coyote in Wicker Park / Bucktown is my choice for pre-Christmas shopping. Artists of every shape, size, and medium converge for many different programs and gallery offerings. This year it runs from September 7 - 10. Visit AroundTheCoyote.org for more details.
That same weekend, on Saturday September 9, The Wine Crush in Old Town kicks off on Wells between North and Schiller. Last year they featured Koko Taylor. This year, the big act is blues pianist and singer Marcia Ball at around 8:30PM.
The Wine Crush is one of my favorites because you purchase a wine glass for a set price, and you can sample a lot of different wines as much as you like. Translation: Bring someone to kiss because the wine-induced haze will make you want to, well, make out.
Oktoberfests of all shapes and sizes will abound in September. I happen to be most fond of the St. Alphonsus one at Lincoln and Southport, held September 29 - October 1. Lots of good food, good music, and good fun. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's a church; it's a really good time. My advice is to find an old German lady to dance with, but do NOT try and match her drinking. She has years of practice on you. The hangover I had the day following my visit last year was proof enough for me.
The Lincoln Park Oktoberfest falls on the prior weekend, at Southport and Clybourn on September 22 & 23. It's a little more tame, a little more trixie, but no less fun. Worth a brat and a beer. Okay, two brats and four beers. *hiccup*
This one is new to me: The Guinness Oyster Fest. I'm absolutely intrigued because I like Guinness, and I like oysters. It's at Damen & Division on September 16 and I might just have to visit. Although, to be honest, the thought of eating oysters at a street festival doesn't quite compute. Maybe they'll be fried. I'd eat fried oysters at a street festival... .
And finally, while not a street festival, the UniverSoul Circus comes to town September 20 through October 15. The music, the acts, and the fact that you're in a big tent make this a unique and wonderfully fun show that you don't want to miss. They set up the HUGE tent in Washington Park around 5500 on King Drive. Tickets range from $20 to $30. I've been many times in the past and trust me, they put on a really great show. Visit UniverSoulCircus.com for more info.
With you in 4/4,