Fill Your Weekend With Culture

July 08, 2011

The Chicago area is classing it up this weekend. There are so many cultural events going on, it will be hard to walk away from any one of them without learning or experiencing something new.

Check them out, and have an interesting weekend!

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Experience Indian culture during the first annual Eye on India Festival in Chicago.

This nine-day event, from Friday, July 8 through Saturday, July 16, features the best of Indian music, film, theater, dance, literature, cuisine, health and wellness and visual arts in Millennium Park and other surrounding locations, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center and the Harris Theater.

Some events are free, others cost money. For more information and to get tickets, visit eyeonindia.com/chicago or call (312) 334-7777.

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The Irish American Heritage Festival celebrates the best in Irish music, dancing, food, cultural exhibits and family activities. There will be five stages of performers, and a tent that offers hands-on activities and demonstrations.

The 26th annual event is set for Friday through Sunday, July 8-10 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago. This is the center’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Hours are Friday, 6 to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 11 p.m. Tickets are $14 per day; seniors are $7 and children under 12 are free with a paid adult. Visit irishfestchicago.com for more information and to get tickets.

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The theme of DuSable Museum’s 37th annual Arts and Crafts Festival is “Back to Our Roots.” The festival is a showcase for local artists of original pieces of art that relate to African American themes.

The event, Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10 from noon to 8 p.m., will take place at the museum, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago. Admission is free.

Among the highlights of the weekend including a one-hour workshop on using DNA to find your roots, a ceremony in which former Chicago Bear Richard Dent will learn about his roots, a book signing with actor Isaiah Washington and a line-up of award-winning entertainment.

On Saturday at 11:30 a.m., the museum will participate in a “Flash Mob” in support of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens” campaign.

For more information, visit dusablemuseum.org.

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The Gold Coast Art Fair, known as the Granddaddy of American Art Festivals, will be in Chicago for its 54th year this weekend.

The fair, which is rated as one of the top 20 festivals in the country, will be set up at Grant Park’s Butler Field at the corner of Monroe and Lake Shore Drive on Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event features the work from more than 350 juried artists from around the world as well as 20 emerging artists from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Art will be priced from $25 to $25,000, and some artists will discount their work from 9 to 10 a.m. each morning.

The free show will also feature live music, interactive art demonstrations and kid’s activities. For more information, click here.

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Art in the Park is a fine arts festival that will take place at the Village Green Park, on the corner of Shermer and Meadow, in the North Shore suburb of Northbrook.

A group of more than 70 artists will display their artwork on Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will also be live music, upscale food, art activities and a fun community project. The Metra is walking distance from the show. For more information, visit northbrookarts.org or call (847) 272-5050 ext. 4223.

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The 22nd annual Evanston Garden Walk will visit seven very special private gardens and two extraordinary public ones on Sunday, July 10 from noon to 5 p.m.

Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for Keep Evanston Beautiful (KEB) members; $20 for non-members. There is also a group rate of $15 per person for non-members with a minimum of six. On Sunday, tickets will be available only at the Ecology Center from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will cost $15 for members and $25 for non-members.

Proceeds will go toward community environmental and recycling education, school field trips, the KEB Evanston/Skokie School Garden Initiative, anti-litter projects, and the promotion of environmental awareness.

For more information or to get tickets, visit evanstonkeb.org or call (847) 448-8256 ext. 105.

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I’m sure you’ve heard dueling pianos before, but have you heard them on a beach?

The North Shore suburb of Glencoe is offering a Concert on the Beach of Dueling Pianos at Glencoe Beach, 160 Hazel Street, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 10.

Glencoe residents and guests can get in free with proof of residency; non-residents can receive discounted beach admission of $5 for adults and $4 for children.

This interactive experience is going to be fun. For more information, visit glencoeparkdistrict.com. If it rains, which it’s not supposed to, call (847) 835-7970 after 5 p.m. on Sunday to get an update.

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Want to learn about West Town? Check out West Fest, the Chicago street fair that emphasizes all things local from the food to the talent.

The two-day party is held on Chicago Avenue at Damen on Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10 from noon to 10 p.m.

There will be live entertainment, a Kids Fest (on Wolcott and Rice), a Pet Fest (near Wolcott at Chicago) and tons of booths from neighborhood retailers, restaurants and artists.

A $5 donation will benefit local non-profits in the neighborhood. For more information, visit westfestchicago.com.

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It’s time for a Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic. Bring your kid to any Lowe’s store on Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m., and they will learn hands-on skills while building their very own town truck, which comes complete with a working tow hook.

You don’t have to sign up in advance, but you can. For more information, visit lowesbuildandgrow.com.

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