Chicago summers can get pretty hot, but the Windy City has seen its fair share of cooler afternoons during the 2009 season. The balmy days allow you to swim and play under a warm sun or prompt you to retreat into an air-conditioned museum or shop. The milder nights bring almost every Chicago native and Second City visitor out into the open for festivals, sporting events, concerts and more. Summer may almost be over, but there is still plenty to do in and around Chicago.
• SUMMER EVENTS are drawing to a close, as summer ends in a little over a month. However, there is still plenty of time to see some spectacular things going on out there in Chicagoland:
- Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Founded in 1978, this annual summer festival unites theatre professionals and interns in Bloomington-Normal at Illinois State University. Dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare, the actors participate in the event from June 25 until August 9. This year, the Shakespeare plays performed include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, Scapin and Tempest. For ticket information, visit TheFestival.org.
Since 2005, Lollapalooza, one of the best music festivals in the world, has called Chicago home. Over 100 of the hottest musical acts will perform at the festival during the weekend of August 7 in Grant Park. Some of the prominent acts include the Beastie Boys, Kings of Leon, Rise Against, Snoop Dogg and Tool. This world-renown music festival is only contracted to be in the Loop through 2011, so be a part of the hype before it’s too late. To see a complete list of bands appearing at “Lolla” this year and for more information, visit Lollapalooza.com.
- Bucktown Arts Fest
The Bucktown Arts Fest has been around for almost 25 years. This annual event began in 1985 as a gathering of local artisans, and it has evolved into a premier event for painters, sculptors, photographers and more. The art displays only enhance the beauty of the surrounding Bucktown neighborhood. Come out and enjoy unique works of art on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, visit BucktownArtsFest.com.
• CHICAGO SPORTING EVENTS are heating up this summer, as both MLB clubs fight for a spot in the playoffs this October.
- It’s been 100 years since the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series Championship. Could this be the year the Northsiders take it all? The Cubbies face mostly West Coast and East Coast teams in August, so they will be hoping that their division rivals (the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals) lose a few games throughout the rest of the summer. To find tickets, visit the Cubs Web site or Ticketmaster.com.
- Back on the Southside, the White Sox have some pretty important opponents to face at the end of the summer. Both the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins roll through town in August, and the Sox need to win in order to climb to the top of the Central Division. The good guys in black have to rack up lots of W’s before they play the rest of their division rivals in the fall. To find tickets, visit the White Sox Web site or Ticketmaster.com.
***One of the Cubs/White Sox rainouts may be made up in early September. What a perfect way for baseball fans to end the summer!***
• CONCERTS are everywhere in Chicago! Whether you’re in the Loop or the suburbs, you will be able to see some of the hottest acts out there.
- Jason Mraz, Aug 13, Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago (Loop)
- The Answer, Aug 15, Beat Kitchen in Chicago (Northside)
- Lucky Boys Confusion, Aug 22, House of Blues (Loop)
- Creed, Aug 30, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park (SW Suburbs)
For other acts, as well as scheduling and ticket info, visit Ticketmaster.com.