Facilitating the fan-delighting collision of comic-book universes and intergalactic heroes, Wizard World organizes Comic Cons and pop-culture conventions across the continent. At each event, stars from the silver screen set down roots in booths across the convention floor, wielding markers for autographs and their photo-op-ready smiles. Past guests have run the gamut from William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and the cast of AMC?s The Walking Dead. Away from the crowds, stars also participate in talks and Q&A panels as part of the event?s programming. Along with beloved actors, Wizard World?s conventions grant guests a chance to interact with writers and artists as well as partake in activities such as gaming tournaments and costume contests.
Rockstock IV, sponsored by Rock 108 FM, merges with the 2011 Carnival of Madness to showcase 11 hard-hitting rock bands, punching ears and lifting spirits in a long night of rousing performances sprawled across two stages. Headlining the festivities, platinum-selling Vancouver quartet Theory of A Deadman exhorts raucous anthems such as "Bad Girlfriend" and "Hate My Life," whose wrathful riffage, tongue-through-cheek humor, and cathartic lyrics keep Eeyore from pouting himself to death. Filling the carnival’s roster of head-banging roustabouts, Alter Bridge shreds blocks of euphonic metal over moats of chugging guitars and petulant double-bass kick pedals, and Black Stone Cherry narrates southern Gothic stories with guitars forged from Tom Petty’s femur. Concluding the cluster of combustible rock 'n' roll, Adelitas Way scores unflinching tales of perseverance with hardcore and classic influences, and Emphatic unleashes chugging sonnets. Keeping both stages of Rockstock IV equipped with jackhammer melodies, a sextet of head-bangers, including Nonpoint, Pop Evil, and Bobaflex, also appears to bludgeon the remaining sunlight out of the day.
On December 6, the Taste of Tuscany will give attendees the chance to escape the cold Chicago winter and visit Italy for an evening. Benefiting the West Suburban Agency of the Deaf (WSAD), the event will revolve around an Italian?themed dinner packed with
all the necessary elements: pastas, sauces, meats, salads, desserts, and even vegetarian options. The night's festivities will also include music, a photo booth, and a silent auction, where
bidders can win everything from vacation packages to autographed sports memorabilia and rare Star Wars keepsakes. Attendees will also head home with a free gift, just like they would if they ever attended the annual ugly sweater party at the White House. The money raised during the dinner will be used to provide Christmas gifts to deaf individuals and children who are hard of hearing. Some proceeds will also go toward the Deaf Sports Organization.
Hearkening the charm of the town squares that dotted America in the early 20th century, The Arboretum of South Barrington places boutiques, restaurants, and cafés within strolling distance of each other in a central, tree-speckled location. The open-air center beckons with a verdant landscape of more than 2,700 trees representing 80 shade and ornamental species including maples, elms, and Golden Raindrops crabapples. Between these, gardens add splashes of color and potential hiding places for bank robbers on the run with 20,000 perennials and 10,000 grasses, originally nurtured by fourth-generation nurseryman Roy Klehm, a worldwide authority on peonies.
Apart from the grandeur and fresh air of nature, The Arboretum of South Barrington plays host to shops such as L.L. Bean, restaurants such as Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge, and entertainment facilities such as iPic Theaters. Regular events keep the grounds bustling with culinary tours and live music.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
The CAKE Village aims to immerse children of all ethnic backgrounds in the diverse arts, cultures, and languages of Africa. Kids can both make believe and make something creative at the center?there's a play kitchen where they can whip up pretend meals, brush glazes of their choice onto pottery, or make masks and learn the basics of the Yoruba language. Whatever the kids choose, this center?an acronym for Culture for Africa for Kids Everywhere?has a team of multicultural educators to nurture them along the way.
In the 3,000 square-foot-plus space, includess a Mini Village that has a stage decorated as an African palace, where kids can try out traditional musical instruments and theatrical performance, or just practice crowd-surfing. Elsewhere, there's a wardrobe of
dress-up clothes, a pretend grocery store and fruit stand, and a series of