The Greater Chicago Food Depository strives to end hunger in Chicago communities by distributing food through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Volunteers and employees inspect, sort, and repackage all donated food to ensure safety, and distribute the food every weekday to its member agencies. Along with community kitchens and food pantries, the organization organizes children's programs and partners with Chicago Public Schools to distribute fresh produce and other nutritious food at food pantries located in schools. Last year, the food depository distributed 64 million pounds of nonperishables, fresh produce, daily products, and meat—the equivalent of 134,800 meals each day to people in need in Cook County.
Ride Chicago and Rentaruckus are two different businesses that are bonded by their passion for promoting two-wheeled transportation. At Ride Chicago this passion manifests in a variety of classes, for which it supplies beginners with motorcycles or scooters. Once student riders are geared up, the facility’s state-certified instructors teach everything from scooter-riding basics to motorcycle licensing at controlled, off-street sites across the city and suburbs. This diverse curriculum allows people of all riding experiences to climb aboard a two-wheeler and learn safe canyon-hopping methods.
Rentaruckus’s mission is a bit more concise: get people behind the handlebars of a Honda Ruckus scooter. To do this, the staff offers rentals and organizes tours of Chicago, where swarms of the minimalist bikes buzz past the city’s historic neighborhoods and sights.
For more than 20 years, comedians of all levels of notoriety have peddled their laugh-inducing verbal wares on Riddles Comedy Clubs’ stages. An airbrushed city skyline sits behind the corner stage at the original Alsip location, where such comedians as Jeff Dunham, Louie Anderson, and Drew Carey slung jokes to side-split audiences. A full bar with overhanging LCD TVs dispenses alcoholic and nonalcoholic whistle-wetters in between sets at both the Alsip location and the new Berwyn spot. Additionally, Riddles' lots house free parking for those driving from far-off locales or patrons who can't find a limo service that takes knock-knock jokes as payment.
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.
Named after a famous player of the traditional uilleann pipes, The Kerry Piper honors the tastes and history of the Emerald Isle by serving authentic Irish eats in a pub steeped in classic decor. Natural sunlight illuminates the earthen walls and richly stained wood that fills the dining room, where live performers play music throughout the week. Meanwhile, the aromas of freshly cooked shepherd’s pie, fish 'n' chips, and corned beef fill the air, transporting patrons across the Atlantic along with big-screen LCD TVs just like the ones that filled Ireland’s ancient castles.
The Chef Du Jour provides catering/event planning, cooking classes, and personal chef services. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef Rita will provide you with mouth-watering food, or teach you the skills to do it yourself through interactive classes.
For the third year in a row, Country Throwdown stampedes into wide-open outdoor venues with a dream team of current and future country-music superstars. With 7 million records sold and a stable of top-10 hits, rowdy honky-tonk wrangler Gary Allan headlines the festival with raucous energy. Firing off hits such as “Tough Little Boys” and “Get Off the Pain,” Allan allures with outlaw swagger and a voice as deep and rugged as Sam Elliott’s wallet. Rodney Atkins, known for monster-truck hits such as “Watching You” and “Cleaning This Gun,” performs with an everyguy grin that could charm the britches off a clothesline.