Festivals in Back of the Yards

Select Local Merchants

Live Purple Art's evening entertainment is a literal interpretation of life imitating art. A spin on the traditional BYOB painting class, Live Purple Art's teachers-cum-directors start each evening by assigning each member of the audience an aspect of a play. But the rules are pretty loose; rather than give everyone a character, they have some participants paint characters, some paint the the plot, others the theme, and so forth. Then the groups work and sip on wine for thirty minutes before unveiling their canvases to a group of actors and actresses. The players get a mere fifteen minutes to interpret the paintings before bringing their contents to life in a 15-minute improvised performance. Since everyone's interests may vary, it's not required for every participant to paint. Instead, they can simply enjoy the free-flowing wine, the freely given laughs, and the free-as-always oxygen.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

It's no secret that street food requires lots of creativity: not only are people working in smaller spaces without the furnishings of a full kitchen, but they're hoping their food will stand out amid Chicago's many food trucks and street vendors. StreetFood Artistry celebrates their creativity, inviting hundreds of mobile food artisans to show off their culinary treasures in one convenient space. In that same spirit, the culturally conscious affair also gives visibility to local artists—whose work will be on display—and musicians, including DJ Alvin Black III, who will perform throughout the day. General admission include non-alcoholic beverages and access to the entertainment.

But StreetFood Artistry is more than just one annual event. The not-for-profit corporation was founded by Patrice N. Perkins, an attorney who works with creative-minded entrepreneurs. This year, she's introducing Stand Out Creative, an initiative that will help support one of SFA's participants: one participant will win a financial award to help grow their brand and will be set up with 50 hours of pro bono legal services. The winners will be chosen in part by fan-favorite votes at the event.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Now in its fifth year, the Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival has become a celebration of art both homegrown and on loan from the rest of country. As you stroll around the fest, handcrafted items from more than 80 area artists vie for attention, with many up for accolades later in a juried art competition. The festivities run from noon to 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and each day the main stage features a diverse lineup of live music from Chicago and throughout the country. The schedule includes The Giving Tree, an Americana rock band that has opened for The Avett Brothers, and former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page.

2221 West 43rd Street
Chicago,
IL
US

It might be called the Windy City RibFest, but the bosses of sauce who tend to the festival's barbecue come from all over the world. For five years running, these award-winning ribbers have been filling fest-goers with sauce-slathered ribs, frothy brews, and traditional sides, such as baked beans, coleslaw, and another helping of ribs. Tucked between the Aragon Ballroom, the Riviera, and the Green Mill, this year's RibFest welcomes local luminaries such as grillmaster Tom Ferguson, whose Chicago BBQ Company is a perennial favorite at the fest. Out-of-towners are also well-represented. Joey Sutphen of Texas Thunder BBQ whips up batches of his family's nationally known ribs, and Paul MacKay from Aussom Aussie Australian BBQ shares the piquant flavors of his native Sydney. As chefs from Porky Chick's and Famous Daves sizzle up their trademark slabs, local bands such as the funked out vocalists of Su?nalo, the Top 40 cover band Hello Weekend, and Dave Matthews?mimickers Trippin' Billies keep crowds sufficiently entertained.

Groupon Guide to Chicago

Groupon Guide rounded up some of the best barbecue joints in the country. See who made the cut.

2221 West 43rd Street
Chicago,
IL
US

At the Lake Zurich Craft Beer Festival, visitors dine, drink fine brews, and mingle with friends and neighbors amid the picturesque surroundings of Henry J. Paulus Park. Nestled along the shores of Lake Zurich itself, the festival invites visitors to browse through arts and craft booths, listen to live bands, and enjoy up to 45 craft beers from local and regional brewers. Like the transdimensional portal to Germany just off I-90, the weekend event transports a piece of Old-World Europe to the American Midwest, surrounding guests with the jovial atmosphere of a Bavarian fall festival.

2221 West 43rd Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Up to 1,200 fans can dance and sway to the legendary sounds at Durty Nellie's. Planted across the street from the Palatine Metra station, the venue is easily accessible by public transit or private piggyback, the better to explore a 30-tap, 120-bottle beer list full of potions from Three Floyds and Goose Island as well as from France and Germany.

320 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Groupon Guide