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.
On May 20, 1891, an estimated 6,000 people attended the first-ever Opening Day at Hawthorne Race Course. The event featured the Chicago Derby—a quarter-mile race won by a horse named Brookwood. Since that day, the facility has thrilled Chicago-area racing fans season after season with live competition and full-card simulcasting. But it hasn't always been easy. In 1905, for instance, racing was banned in Chicago for more than 15 years after several of the facility's horses became mired in a political scandal. And Hawthorne Race Course itself has had to overcome its fair share of adversity, including two fires, the most recent of which destroyed the grandstand in 1978.
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.
The Bulls are an exciting young team to watch, with legitimate aspirations for the playoffs this season. And what's really exciting is that with rookie #1 draft pick point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls could be back to winning championships in a couple years again. Don't count on seeing the Bulls for this cheap once Rose hits his prime in a few seasons. Remember how impossible it was to get tickets during the two 3-peats? And don't you wish you'd seen MJ play live in the early years when his young talent was raw and exciting, his potential for dominance was clear, but the there were still affordable tickets available? Well now is your chance to see Rose blossoming into the NBA's future superstar.
As the weather warms in Chicago, north-siders will scramble to seats inside historic Wrigley Field, with all the throwback charm of its 1914 construction. But those living south of the River do it a bit differently—they head to the sleek and modern U.S. Cellular Field, affectionately dubbed The Cell. Replacing the Sox’s old home at 35th and Shields, The Cell—formerly known as “the new” Comiskey Park—opened in 1991 to give fans more than 40,000 unobstructed views of the field, the players, and the huge exploding scoreboard. Day and night, colorful fireworks shoot from the centerfield board before every game and after every homerun and win. As no game would be complete without classic ballpark food, a variety of concessions sell such staples as hot dogs and pretzels, as well as more gourmet treats, including steak sandwiches and brownie sundaes. Before or during the game, young fans can head to the 15,000 square-foot Comcast Fundamentals area, where the White Sox Training Academy coaches teach kids the ins and outs of baseball on a youth-sized wiffle-ball diamond and inside batting and pitching cages.
Riis Park becomes an international celebration during the National Latin American Festival. Consulates, tourist bureaus, and cultural organizations from South America, Central America, and the Caribbean are all invited to the three-day party, which kicks off with a grand opening ceremony. Once there, dignitaries and guests can taste from a continent-spanning lineup of food vendors, take in a beauty pageant, and catch some of the finest Latin American musical acts the Western Hemisphere has to offer. There's Fulanito, a Dominican-American group that mashes up house and merengue music; Chicago's own Escuela de Rancho, a norteño quintet who all share singing duties; and Leslie Grace, whose bilingual, honey-sweet cover of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" shot up the charts last year.
Spotlighted by local and national press including TimeOut Chicago, the Wall Street Journal, and Michigan Avenue Magazine, Modern Vintage Chicago Market's collection of over 75 merchants shows off antique furnishings and vintage wearables from all over the world. Vintage dealers from across the country—including local favorites D. Brett Benson and Man in the Moon—stuff market stalls with men's and women's clothing, estate jewelry, and even vintage fashion magazines. Treasure hunters can investigate indoor booths to fill their closets with items from designers such as Hermes, Pucci, and Dior. In addition to apparel, Modern Vintage Chicago also features hospitality areas brimming with gourmet chocolates, as well as cuisine and drinks from local eateries.