Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 8/11 – 8/14

After a week filled with banned Olympic gifs and a Presidential candidate making an off the cuff comment that actually can have other interpretations, I’m sure you need a break. This weekend is filled with plenty of outdoor festivals, concerts, and unique events to let all the stress of mismanaged week melt away.

Before you set off on what’s to be a satisfying weekend, I suggest you sit down and take a look at The Little Prince over on Netflix. I’m a huge fan of the book and the film is a beautiful love letter to the material. It’s not a perfect film, but it has more genuine compassion than most films I’ve seen in recent weeks.

Now let’s get to planning your great weekend.


Dinner with Friends @ TWO, 1132 W Grand Ave., 6:30PM

WHAT: The first event of Brooklyn Brewery’s Chicago tour

SO WHAT: Brooklyn Brewery will be hosting a series of events this weekend starting with this reunion of the brewery’s Chef Andrew Gerson and Chicago native Chef Danny Espinoza in the kitchen of TWO. The two chefs are collaborating with TWO Executive Chef Kevin Cuddihee and taking their collective cooking prowess to create a dinner for beer lovers. A flood of different rare and intriguing beers will accompany the continuous stream of new courses to instill a new and worthwhile experience in your life.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are available in groups of six, four or two to make gathering your crew easier, or as single seats just in case. Check out the menu at their website and get ready for a night full of food, beer and friendship.

Dance Through The Decades Fundraiser @ 1st Ward at Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave., 7-10pm

WHAT: Franciscan Outreach and their supporters come together to raise awareness and funds for the homeless.

SO WHAT: 1st Ward at Chop Shop will be hosting this dance party fundraising event for the homeless. Attendees will be treated to a great evening featuring craft beer, local food, a fun photo booth, and exciting raffle prizes. There will also be a decades-themed costume contest and DJ Pirate Booty will be spinning some of the best hits of years past.

NOW WHAT: Advance tickets are $40 or $45 at the door, so get your dancing shoes ready and help a good cause.


Mikal Cronin / Varisty / Father Costume @ Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport St., 7:00PM

WHAT: Music + Beer = Good Times

SO WHAT: Indie rock hero Mikal Cronin and Chicago natives Varsity and The Father Costume will taking over Thalia Hall along with Brooklyn Brewery and Timberland. You can bet on a long, raucous night of great tunes and a bar fully stocked with Brooklyn Brewery beer for all.

NOW WHAT: This 21+ show is completely free with RSVP, so sign up and get there early. Also, you know what would be nice, a little bit of Space Juice making its way from Punch House and joining the Brooklyn Brewery beer for a good time. Just sayin’, it’d be nice.


The Orwells (All Ages) @ 1st Ward at Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave., All ages show on Friday at 6:30PM, 21+ show on Saturday at 8:30

WHAT: Elmhurst rockers take over 1st Ward

SO WHAT: The Orwells are a local reminder that garage punk can still get us moving. The band formed by lifelong friends straight out of high school are now older but still diving in headlining to their raunchy and exuberant songs. It’s a couple years since Disgraceland, so this pair of shows over at 1st Ward will help put the spotlight back on these hometown heroes. They will be joined by great lineup of local musicians: The Symposium, Joe Bordenero & The Late Bloomers, and Post Animal (featuring your favorite tall-haired boyfriend from Stranger Things).

NOW WHAT: Tickets for the Friday all ages show are only $20. The Saturday 21+ show tickets are also $20. So if you’re down with having a good time, this is the show for you.


Retro on Roscoe @ Roscoe Village, 2000 W Roscoe St., Friday 5-10:00PM, Saturday and Sunday 12noon – 10PM

WHAT: A weekend of everything retro in Roscoe Village

SO WHAT: Do you want to revisit the past? Then Retro on Roscoe is the summer festival for you. Automobile aficionados will appreciate the antique car show, which will showcase over 50 cars throughout the weekend will kids can indulge in inflatables, crafts, balloon artists, face painting, music, and rides at the magnificent Kids Area. There will also be a massive lineup of bands, including Sixteen Candles, Too White Crew, and Trippin’ Billies playing songs to bring back the memories of the past. You can check out the full music lineup at their website.  The event is put on by Roscoe Village Neighbors, a not-for-profit organization run completely by volunteers. Retro on Roscoe is their only fundraiser, and its proceeds enable RVN to make contributions towards Roscoe Village schools, parks, and community organizations.

NOW WHAT: Grab your $10 donation to take a trip to yesteryear and enjoy all the fun festivities.


Beer Mansion @ Moonlight Studios, 1446 W Kinzie St., 5:00PM

WHAT: An unexpected beer festival

SO WHAT: Brooklyn Brewery is bringing the Beer Mansion to Chicago. They will be serving up an incredible list of beer from Brooklyn Brewery’s arsenal as well as select brews from Hopewell Brewing Company, Marz Community Brewing Company, Solemn Oath Brewery, and Aquanaut Brewing Company. There will be live music form ClearancePool Holograph, and Yawn. Food will be provided by Kimski and Cholula Hot Sauce. In addition to all the knowledge you’ll get from the talented brewers, Reckless RecordsGraham Crackers ComicsLogan Hardware will have plenty of cool things on hand.

NOW WHAT: Get your $20 tickets here and responsibly enjoy the wide variety of beers at the Beer Mansion.

Striking a Balance: Teachers who Write @ Chicago Publishers Resource Center, 858 N Ashland Ave., 2:00PM

WHAT: The second part of the Striking a Balance: Professionals with a Passion for Writing series.

SO WHAT: Chicago-area teachers with a passion for writing are invited to participate in an open-mic session, reading, and panel discussion led by Alex Nall, a cartoonist and teaching artist with experience in CPS schools; and Jacob S. Knabb, a social media and communications manager for a large non-profit as well as former Senior Editor at Curbside Splendor Publishing, to learn about how educators balance teaching and writing. This is a wonderful event that can help writers find success balancing academia with creativity. Bring your work and be ready to discuss!

NOW WHAT: This is an all ages event and is open to the public. A $5 donation enters you into a raffle for books promoted by Kaye Publicity.

Reggae Fest Chicago 2016 @ Addams Medill Park, 1301 W 14th St., 12:00noon – 10:00PM

WHAT: One day, one love, one festival to satisfy your reggae needs

SO WHAT: Reggae Fest Chicago is a celebration of various reggae genres, including ska, reggaeton, roots reggae, and world music. This year’s fest will be feature the legendary Toots & the Maytals (who last played in Chicago in 2010 and hasn’t performed at all since 2013), Iration,  Lee “Scratch” Perry, HEPCAT, Budos Band, and many more. Graphic artist CHema Skandal will be on hand with prints and original artwork made for Reggae Fest Chicago. There will live art making onsite by Chicago Truborn gallery artists, Section 8 Chicago will provide small sided soccer games and soccer tennis activities for kids and adults, and local non-profit Yollocali will feature art making activities for kids and adults. The event will also feature a wide variety of local food vendors, local food trucks, handmade artisan and free trade vendors with an emphasis on Caribbean styles and flavors.

NOW WHAT: Tickets are currently available for $45, $85 for VIP. 20% of the Reggae Fest Chicago proceeds will be donated to local non-profits including A Safe Haven, ABLA Local Advisory Council, and the local park athletic programs.


Northalsted Market Days @ Boystown, 3400 N Halsted St., 11:00AM – 10:00PM

WHAT: The largest outdoor street festival in the Midwest.

SO WHAT: Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Northalsted Market Days will feature its traditionally vast array of unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink. Each day will be filled with a huge list of musicians including Sir the Baptist, Lizzo, RJD2, and Sidewalk Chalk. You can check out the full lineup over at the Northalsted Market Days website.

NOW WHAT: There is a $10 suggested donation, which helps keep the neighborhood safe, beautiful, and fun. The Legacy Project, the world’s first outdoor museum, will also benefit from the donation.


Pilsen Neighborhood Immersion @ The Timberland Trailhead, 643 W 18th St., 12:00PM

WHAT: A food and drink adventure in Pilsen

SO WHAT: Brooklyn Brewery continues their weekend takeover of Chicago by taking partying to the streets with the Pilsen Neighborhood Immersion. They will start the day at NYCH Gallery where The Timberland Trailhead, a pop-up bar and shop, will be set up . Check in and you’ll receive a bundle of coupons that get you lunch at either PI-zen, Cafe Jumping Bean, or Dusek’s; plus beers at a handful of our favorite bars, and deals, discounts, classes and more throughout the neighborhood.  You can also get roasted by insult comics at Simone’s, join an Arm Wrestling Tournament at PI-zen, partake in the Famous Chicagoan Dunk Tank at The Timberland Trailhead, and experience Live Marriages and Marriage Counseling at Harbee’s Liquors. You can see the full rundown of giveaways and discounts at Brooklyn Brewery’s website.

NOW WHAT: This excursion is only $15. Seriously. Get your tickets here to join the fun.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez