Chicago Neighborhoods Party It Up This Weekend

August 26, 2010

No matter what Chicago neighborhood you live in, there’s a free festival nearby this weekend for you.

Chicagoland Real Estate Forum has compiled a list of some of the highlights.

Did I mention that these events are free?

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The Bucktown Arts Fest is truly a neighborhood festival.

This is the winning logo from the Bucktown Arts Fest logo contest.

The all volunteer-run neighborhood celebration has no corporate sponsorship, and all proceeds go to arts and community programming for the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Bucktown Arts Fest, one of the oldest art fairs in Chicago.

More than 40,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which will feature nearly 200 artists as well as live music, dancing, poetry, a kid’s tent, lots of food and more.

Residents should be aware of street closures from 4 a.m. on Saturday, August 28 through 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 29:

*Lyndale: From Leavitt to Western

*Belden: From Leavitt to Western

*Oakley: From Medill to Palmer

Cars parked on significant portions of those closed streets will be towed, so get your vehicle out of there!

What: Bucktown Arts Fest

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Senior Citizens’ Memorial Park, 2300 N. Oakley Avenue and 2300 W. Lyndale Street

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Port Clinton Art Festival and Taste of Highland Park: In its 27th year and ranked as the #3 art show in the country, the Port Clinton Art Festival will feature arts and crafts from over 250 artists from around the country. More than 275,000 are expected to attend the event, which will also have live music and lots of activities for kids, including a scavenger hunt and a Paint-a-Car activity.

At last year's Port Clinton Fest I saw an elephant like this I really wanted to take home with me.

While you’re there, check out the the fourth-annual Taste of Highland Park going on at the same time.

Free parking is available in the Ravinia commuter lot at Roger Williams and St. John’s, where a free trolley will shuttle visitors to and from the festival.

What: Port Clinton Art Festival and Taste of Highland Park

When: Art Fest: Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Taste: Friday, August 27, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Downtown Highland Park, 600 Central Ave., between First and Second Streets.

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Boy, are those kids cute!

Skokie’s Backlot Bash: The name “Backlot” pays tribute to downtown Skokie’s heritage as a major silent film industry back-lot set between 1907 and 1915. So, it only makes sense that the historic Skokie Theatre will be showing silent movies during this event.

The three-day neighborhood festival will also feature more than 15 hours of live music, an amusement park/carnival, a 5K run, a classic car show, teen activities and more.

What: Skokie’s Backlot Bash

When: Friday, August 27, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, August 28, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, August 29, noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Skokie on Oakton Street between Lincoln and Laramie Avenues.

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Mmmm ... Spanakopita ... Mmmm

Taste of Greece 2010: Greektown is the place to be for this free neighborhood festival of Greek food, music, kid’s activities, belly dancing and more on Halsted Street.

What: Taste of Greece

When: Saturday and Sunday, August 28-29; noon to 11 p.m.

Where: Greektown, 100-400 S. Halsted Street, Chicago

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Kashmir, the Led Zeppelin tribute band, will perform at the Justice Park District's Summerfest.

Justice Park District Summerfest: Justice Park District officials are hoping to unite the community for this one-day festival this year and then expand the community event to four days in 2011. There will be music, food, a car show, a pet parade, a carnival and family entertainment.

What: Justice Summerfest

When: Saturday, August 28; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: 78th Street and Archer, next to Commissioners Park in Chicago

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If you have information on a free neighborhood festival that I missed, please let me know at

Enjoy your Chicago weekend!

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