WCL: What's on Dec: 5/26-6/1

Windy City LIVE contributor Billy Dec keeps us busy with all the events around town. Note: Save $5 on bikethedrive.org with coupon code WINDYCITY5.

Events in the city: May 26th - June 1st:

Bikes, Bites, & Brews

Working up an appetite won't be a problem on this particular tour. On Mondays through Fridays starting at 11am, you'll have the chance to sample from each of Chicago's four favorite food groups -- pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes and beer. You'll learn the history behind the foods and also get a taste for some of Chicago's most popular neighborhoods as you cruise through Wrigleyville, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lakeview and Lincoln Park.

Bikes, Bites & Brews runs now until October 31, 2011. The tour kicks off at Bobby's Bike Hike Kiosk, 465 N. McClurg Ct., Chicago

Chicago Beaches Opening Day

Back to the Beach

  • May 27 - Sept. 5
  • Swimming is allowed at the beaches from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
  • 312-742-5121
  • Admission free

It's been a long winter and summer couldn't get her fast enough. Although the weather hasn't quite broken, the beaches in the city are set to be opened on Friday May 27th.

This summer, beach goers will find a variety of amenities, from bike rentals to great concessions. Beach goers can get the swim status at each beach by texting the beach name to 312.715.SWIM (7946). In addition, information on swim status can be accessed by calling the Chicago Park District Beach Hotline at 312-74-BEACH, checking chicagoparkdistrict.com, or Facebook and Twitter for the swim status at each beach.

Beach rules include: Swim only when lifeguards are present. Obey lifeguards. Follow posted beach rules. No glass on the beach. No alcohol. No smoking. Properly dispose of food, diapers and other refuse. Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed in the provided containers.

The Chicago Park District manages the city's 26 miles of open and free lakefront for the enjoyment of Chicago residents and visitors. Admission to Chicago's beaches is free. (chicagoparkdistrict.com)

The 2011 beach season runs from May 27 to September 5. In mid-summer, from June 20 - August 21, select beaches open for swimming earlier in the day, at 9:30 a.m. These beaches are: Leone, Montrose, North Avenue, 31st Street, 41st Street, South Shore and Calumet.

Click here for a list of all the beaches in the city

Beach Dog Friendly Areas

Dogs can splash and play at the designated dog friendly areas on the lake, at Belmont Harbor or north of Montrose Beach, at Wilson Ave. and at the north end of Foster Ave. Beach.

Saturday, May 28th

Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile

Finish on the 50! Run the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile on May 28, 2011 and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run on Soldier Field.

The race features a scenic route along Chicago's lakefront path, a spectacular on-field finish, fabulous finisher's medal, and stadium blanket. Click here for the 2011 course map. Click here for the 2011 start/finish area map.

Family and friends who aren't up to a 10-mile race can take part in the Hut-Hut Hike, a non-competitive walk around Soldier Field and Chicago's beautiful museum campus. One to three mile routes give participants an opportunity to explore one of Chicago's most historic and scenic lakefront parks. The Kids Blitz (for children ages 5 - 12) has reached the maximum capacity and is sold out. Click here for the Hut-Hut Hike course map.

The Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile benefits the American Cancer Society and Salute, Inc.

Time: 7:30am
Price: $80

Benefit: The American Cancer Society and Salute INC. Event Number: 773-305-3338
Website: http://www.soldierfield10.com/

Runners race through the Bears' tunnels and along the lakefront, finishing on the 50-yard line inside the stadium. All finishers receive a medal and a stadium blanket. The annual event also features a non-competitive walk and a kids' race.

Navy Pier Fireworks

Summer season fireworks begins Saturday at 10:15pm at Navy Pier

The spectacular fireworks display lights up your nights with color and sound all summer long! Join us for another season of fireworks, fun and entertainment at Navy Pier!

Wednesdays @ 9:30 pm (Music provided by Fresh 105.9)
Saturdays @ 10:15 pm (Music provided by B96)

Click here for link to summer fireworks schedule

Randolph Street Market Festival Season Opener

The Randolph Street Market Festival (randolphstreetmarket.com) is home to the world-renowned Chicago Antique Market & Indie Designer Market. As seen in Travel & Leisure, the NY Times, Lucky Magazine and featured on TV news shows and web casts, the Randolph Street Market Festival is considered "a mecca of cool", "the best hot spot for antiquing", "the best Chicago venue for people watching", and "the Barney's of Vintage". Celebrity designer Nate Berkus says, "I love this market. . . the quality is incredible!" As one of Chicago's most happening monthly parties, Randolph Street Market has become the summer destination!

2011 Schedule:
May 28-29, June 25-26, July 30-31, August 27-28, September 24-25, October 22-23 (Modern Vintage Chicago), November 19-20 (Holiday Market)

This European-style, indoor-outdoor urban antique market in the historic West Loop neighborhood features 200 select purveyors of high quality, amazingly priced "finds", offering unlimited creative inspiration and hours of fun. Shoppers can find furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles, etc.

NEW for 2011:

  • Free furniture delivery within downtown Chicago!
  • Shopping Refund Vouchers every month!
  • Lower entrance price! $8/general, $3/student Online Pricing, KIDS UNDER 12 ALWAYS FREE!
  • More Kids Activities!
  • NEW Early Shopping Saturdays at 8am!

And this "Market of Markets" just gets bigger and better!

VINYL SWAP MEET! Thousands of collectible records from 45's to LP's, jazz to rock and show tunes galore will make you tap your toes and groove down memory lane

FANCY FOOD MARKET! All types of chocolates, cakes, breads, spices, olive oils, salsa to bring home or enjoy during the event

GLOBAL GOODS BAZAAR! Some delightful crafts and artisan goods representative of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods.

Fabulous food and drink specialties abound! Come and dine al fresco against the backdrop of the beautiful Chicago skyline!

THIS IS A PET FRIENDLY EVENT however, due to liability issues with our landlord, your pet is only allowed in the outdoor portions of the market. If it's a super hot day, we highly recommend leaving Fido at home. Also, for insurance purposes NO PIT BULLS OR DOBERMANS ALLOWED ON PREMISES. Sorry, your dog might be the sweetest in the world - but those are the exclusions to this event.


  • Appraisal Service
  • Onsite Furniture Delivery Service
  • Gold Buying Service
  • Crystal & Porcelain Repair Service
  • Furniture Restoration Service
  • Art Restoration Service & Lamp & Lighting Repair Service

Belmont/Sheffield Music Festival

  • 12pm-10pm
  • Price: $5 Donation
  • Event Phone Number: 773-868-3010
  • Event Website: chicagoevents.com
  • Beneficiary: Central Lakeview Merchants Association

The intersection of Belmont and Sheffield has long been the epicenter for all that's "happening" in Chicago's trendy Lakeview neighborhood. Some of the Windy City's most popular nearby nightclubs and bars including Sheffield's, Berlin, Spin, Trader Todd's and Leona's set the tone and ambience that give this area its reputation for nightlife, food and music.

The 27th annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, hosted by the Central Lakeview Merchants Association, is a reflection of the lifestyle of this area. Boasting some of the best local musical entertainment in the Midwest, this festival attracts young professionals from both Chicago and its suburbs. The festival not only features musical acts but also arts, crafts, fashion and a variety of food and drink.

Sunday, May 29th

Bike the Drive

Kick off your Chicago summer with a car-free bike ride down world-famous Lake Shore Drive May 29, 2011, for the tenth annual MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive. Enjoy the city skyline and stellar views of Lake Michigan on the only day of the year when Lake Shore Drive is open to cyclists and closed to car traffic. Registration includes hours of uninterrupted bicycling, volunteer support, as well as access to rest stops and a post-ride festival. Support the mission of the organization by adding an Active Trans membership when registering. This amazing bike ride is a fundraiser for the Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland's voice for better biking, walking and transit. Find out more information at bikethedrive.org and save $5 for online registration with coupon code WINDYCITY5.

Online registration closes Friday at midnight. People can still register at the Saturday packet pick up at the Merchandise Mart or day-of-the-event for $55 (no T-shirt).


  • 5:30am-9:45am
  • Benefit for the Active Transport Alliance. 86 cents out of every dollar raised goes directly back into advocacy efforts that make your community a better place for biking and walking
  • Event Phone Number: (312)-427-3325 ext. 251
  • Rain or shine Lakeshore Drive is completely shut down for FIVE hours for Chicagoans to jump on their bikes and take a ride in support of the Active Transportation Alliance's work. The entire route is 30 miles. There are 3 rest stops along the way providing light snacks and water. It is encouraged to begin early to enjoy a longer ride.
  • There is also a post-ride bash in Grant Park at Butler Field (8am-12) with music from American English & an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for $7 extra.
  • Event Website: bikethedrive.org
  • Bike rentals are available at a discounted rate, through Bike & Roll Chicago or Bobby's Bike Hike Chicago, for those without bikes!
  • Youth participants (ages 17 and under) can register for $15 and receive a T-shirt.
  • Day of event registration is $55. Registration can be completed online for $44 prior to May 29th and the packet can be picked up at the designated locations.

Monday, May 30th (Memorial Day)

Memorial Day Parade- Downtown Chicago

Chicago Gaelic Park's 25th Anniversary Irish Fest
When: 05.30.2011 12.00.P - 8.00.PM
Where: Gaelic Park - Oak Forest
Chicago Gaelic Park's 25th Anniversary Irish Fest
Memorial Day Weekend 2011
Celebrating 25 Years of Irish Fest on Six Stages

The hotlist of contemporary Irish musicians will be in Oak Forest over the Memorial Weekend for the 25th Anniversary of Chicago Gaelic Park's Irish Fest. This emerald extravaganza brings the best of contemporary (and traditional) Irish headliners to six exciting stages, May 27-30. To celebrate the Fest's 25th anniversary a special four-day discount pass for $25 is available at ChicagoGaelicPark.org through May 26. This Chicago tradition also features full carnival rides, on-site parking, special events for children, Gaelic football and hurling, Ceiling dancing, ponies and draught horses, dog exhibits, shopping and Irish cultural exhibits all surrounded by food, refreshments and great fun. But, its the collection of contemporary music headliners that fills the air and makes this one of America's premier Irish festivals.

Taking the Celtic scene by storm, the Tartan Terrors combine music and comedy with championship dancing, world class bagpiping and driving drums to deliver an energetic and all-around unforgettable performance. Members of the Tartan Terrors have performed at prestigious Festivals in four different continents, at Highland Games and Theatres of North America, for President Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and Good Morning America.

If ever there was a band whose members make up a potent body of music, it is The Fenians. The Fenians are an electrifying Irish musical quintet from Orange County, CA offering a mix of their original creations, and contemporary and traditional songs. Their foundation is decidedly Celtic, but there is no mistaking the influence of Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Jazz and World influences. The Fenians have garnered an impressive list of accomplishments and honors and were inducted into the Guinness Wall of Fame. Infinity proudly returns to Irish Fest.Infinity continues to break attendance records at Clubs and Festivals across the Midwest. Their high energy performance, powerful vocals and song list make for a memorable concert.But more importantly, they maintain the unique ability to engage crowds and make audiences feel part of the show. American English takes that stage again this year. This perennial favorite is hailed as the best Beatles tribute band having been featured on WGN, CBS, FOX, 190 North, The Travel Channel, BBC, ABC and NBC. The Beatles concert experience is recreated to the finest detail, including the signature mop-top hair, accents and costumes. Making their debut at Irish Fest this year, Red Rebel County is a ten person tour de force paying tribute to their Irish heritage and rock roots. What these Chicago south-siders originally intended as musical fun quickly banded into a solid musical unit performing all across the city in clubs and special events. With their classic 'Chicago Blue Collar' sound, they bring energy, enthusiasm and hard-working musicianship to their live shows.

Like Irish Fest, Chicago's own 7th Heaven also celebrated a 25th Anniversary. They've had a great year on the Billboard Charts with two releases in 2010; performed at Soldier Field with Bon Jovi; received coverage on TV's ABC, NBC, FOX and WGN and charted the hit "Better This Way" at #2 among Chicago radio stations.

Milwaukees own, The Sandcarvers, deliver some of the best Celtic rock on the planet. Their original songs tell stories from real life by combining strong solo voices and vocal harmonies with blistering instrumental skills. They also put a wicked spin on Irish traditionals, that will make you laugh, cry, think or forget--depending on your mood. In addition to scorching hot contemporary performances the Fest will also highlight traditional Irish headliners including, Ronan Tynan, well-known as one of the Irish Tenors, Leahy, De Danann, Declan Nerney & His Band, Chicago Reel, The Four Courts, Kathleen Keane, Girsa, Sean Wilson, Larkin & Moran Brothers, Tommy Goodwin & Sharon and Liz Carroll.

There are plenty of other outstanding performers at Chicago Gaelic Parks Irish Fest, including, Crossroads Ceili Band, Bernie Glim & Country Roads, Joe Cullen & Kathleen Keane, Baal Tinne. Irish Musicians, Gerard Haughey & Sean O'Donnell, Shannon Rovers Pipe Band, Pipes & Drums of The Emerald Society, Joe McShane, Ray Gavin Band, Solid-Aire, Character Fleadh, O'Leary's Lantern, Cira Walton & Friends, Week Back, Celtic Sounds, Patrick Guinee, Pat Daly & The Sounds of Green, Mulligan Stew, Sean & Charlie, Irish Music Club of Chicago, Pat Finnegan & Billy O'Donoghue, Murphy Roche Irish Music Club, Girls of Murphy Roche, and many more!

The special four-day $25 anniversary discount pass, performance schedules and other online ticket specials are available online at chicagogaelicpark.org.

Standard daily gate admission to all six musical stages, full carnival midway and on-site parking is $15. Adults over 65 years and kids under 12 are only $12, and youngsters under 3 years are free. There is an early admission discount during the first hour of each day.