The Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con “Spring Edition” herds international artists, writers, and celebrities together into one superpowered carnival atmosphere. Attendees can wander the pavilion's floor and meet their film and comic-book idols face-to-face, asking penetrating questions about their artistic processes, favorite projects, and availability to join a vigilante crackdown on line-cutters. The day’s program features events and guests, including a Q&A with Chandler Riggs of The Walking Dead renown, appearances by Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark artist Greg Horn, and a writing panel featuring Eisner Award–nominee Matt Kindt.
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 thatched huts.
Staff Size: 50+ people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
The founders of the Festival of The Horse & Drum describe their event as the "United Nations of horses and humans," and not without good reason. The multicultural, multimedia equestrian gathering educates guests on the importance of horses throughout world history, and transports guests to a Native American pow wow, a cowboy town, and a renaissance faire. Bands representing several cultures perform on the Horse-a-Palooza stage, and the Equus Film Festival showcases long and short works starring stallions and mares, such as renowned horse actor Mare-lon Brando.
Chicago Food & Wine Festival is just one of a series of vibrant events curated by Distinctive Events, Inc., an organization determined to corral a bastion of delicious offerings for lovers of cuisine and adult beverage. Whether conducting a cooking competition or introducing celebrity chefs directly to a participant’s taste buds, the organizers aim to simultaneously thrill and educate. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to charities such as Susan G. Komen - Chicago and Autism Speaks, an organization that raises awareness and funds for research on Autism Spectrum disorder.
Sponsored by Jerseys Pizza & Grill, Jerseys Music Festival focuses on one of the few things that pleases a crowd like a pizza—live music. While live sets from local bands fill the air with festive beats, the crowd listens while noshing on food and beer specials tastier than the traditional music festival meal of a guitar full of Jell-O.
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.