Pulled pork. Baby back ribs. Beef brisket. BBQ turkey legs. These are just a handful of the barbecued delicacies that sizzle on the grill during the annual Six Corners BBQ Festival. In addition to mouth-watering food from area restaurants, two stages host local music acts, from zydeco groups to brass bands. The family-friendly extravaganza also boasts a Kids Corner stocked with inflatables and other youthful activities. All profits from the fest will go toward local arts organizations.
The indoor music and art festival takes over the Chicago Urban Art Society for a full day with exhibits and interactive pieces that ensnare the senses with bursts of color and sound. More than 100 artists fill the marketplace stalls with their wares, showcasing works that include portraits and 3D canvases peering out through a sea of color. Nearby, craftspeople display beaded necklaces, seashell-laden earrings, and hand-painted animal figures for sale. As the crowds peruse works, live music and DJ tunes fill the room. Guests get their own chance to be creative too: patrons can create their own artwork or act as lookouts while Hugo Style paints live graffiti art.
Occupying a building that sprang up at the turn of the 20th century, the Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC) somehow manages to cram Ireland into one of Chicago’s city blocks. Work from Irish artists hangs in the building’s art gallery, books from Irish authors fill its library, Irish plays light up its 658-seat theater, and Irish food and drinks delight the crowd on the main floor at the Fifth Province Pub. The IAHC also has a knowledgeable staff of instructors, who teach classes on everything from Irish dance and music to Irish language and genealogy.
Push the boundaries. That's pretty much the only rule for performances at the Chicago Fringe Festival, an unconventional expo of new theatrical works from around the world. Now in its fourth year, the Windy City's festival joins in a dramatic tradition shared by cities including Indianapolis, New York, and the original outpost, Edinburgh. The week-long event provides a prominent stage for up-and-coming productions, helping little-known companies catch some buzz and established groups test out new ideas. A lottery system determines the year's lineup, a process that keeps each festival exhilaratingly unpredictable while delighting statisticians.
Students of all ages and skill levels can experience the magic of dance at The Chicago Ballet Center. Specializing in Cuban ballet techniques, the staff begins with classes for children as young as 2 years old, beginning with spatial awareness and eventually graduating to concepts such as technique and ballet vocabulary in subsequent classes. They also hold classes for adults in beginning and intermediate ballet and pointe.