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Find the perfect festival to attend this weekend

Written by
Cynthia Robinson
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Like every other weekend in Chicago between mid-May until mid-September, this weekend is packed with festival happenings, guaranteed to fulfill your boozy, sweaty, tasty desires. So the question remains: With such an abundance of events going on, how do you choose? We've come up with a handy guide to this weekend's biggest events, whether you prefer street festivals, country music or beer tasting. Let us guide you to the perfect festival this weekend.

You have Puerto Rican heritage or know someone who does or maybe just want to celebrate everything Puertorriqueñas 

The exuberant pride of the Puerto Rican community on the west side of Chicago can be seen from a mile away—literally. The 59 foot tall "Paseo Boricua" steel Puerto Rican flags that bookend Division between Western and California are clearly visible and house the parade that culminates the weekend (Saturday at 2pm). Originating in 1964, Fiestas Puertorriqueñas features performances by Latin entertainers, delicious food vendors and carnival rides.

You appreciate an all-American beer in an all-American city with your all-American dad

Yeah, maybe you can appreciate the taste of a Red Stripe in your friend’s basement, but what you really crave is that artisanal taste from some top notch American brewers. This weekend, the Chicago Ale Fest sets up in front of the undeniably captivating Buckingham Fountain, celebrating American craft beer met with a lineup of tasty food vendors. If you're looking for ideas for father’s day, we think this could be a perfect addition.

You would like to savor some alternative music with your grass-fed beef

We are consistently impressed with the musical lineup Taste of Randolph tends to procure. This year, with solid acts such as indie rock kings Dinosaur Jr. and sunny Californian duo Best Coast, you’re in for a taste for your ears, too. Delectable food vendors such as Grange Hall Burger Bar and bellyQ heat up the heart of Chicago's restaurant row.

You don’t mind getting your carnivorous fingers messy in a historic Chicago neighborhood

Just a little reminder for Chicago natives and newbies alike: The official six corners is not where Damen, Milwaukee, and North Avenue intersect, but farther northwest in historic Portage Park at the meeting of Milwaukee, Irving Park, and Cicero Avenue. This quaint area hosts the annual 6 Corners BBQ Fest with a "Meat on Milwaukee" cook-off, prompting you to pig out in the name of crowning a culinary champ. We'll add this to the list of great ideas for where to eat this weekend with dad.  

You used to think Easy Mac could be considered pasta and now you want to try the real thing 

Okay, so maybe you're still a little attached to your ramen of your childhood/adolescence/young adulthood, and that's okay! But it's time to branch out at Oakley Festa Pasta Vino. You'll experience real, quality Italian food—from fresh, elaborate pasta dishes to fine wines you don't need to be sophisticated to enjoy. Highlights include a celebration of Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday and musical acts on four stages throughout the festival. 

You long for your riotous country concert past but don’t want to leave town

Think Chicago’s summer music festivals only feature rock bands and hip hop acts? Think again. The inaugural LakeShake Festival on Northerly Island is jam-packed with a boisterous lineup of some of the biggest country acts, including Brad Paisley and Dirks Bentley, to name a few. Your cowboy hat, American flag printed bikini top and jean shorts combo will never feel more at home. 

You are a strong believer in environmental sustainability and want to prove it by powering a concert stage with a bike 

Do you find yourself wishing everyone would finally learn how to separate their trash from their plastics after lunch? Celebrate environmental sustainability with other greenies in Wicker Park this weekend at Green Music Fest, with live music (including a bike-powered stage!), green vendors and local food. There's plenty for the kids, too, including a mini golf area or arts and crafts.  

You want to show your support for the LGBTQ community with lots and lots of necessary color

Pride Fest, which spans over two weekends in June, certainly attracts many colors—not only in clothing, but in character and spirit. The festival kicks off this weekend and culminates with the gigantic Chicago Pride Parade next Sunday. You can check out some of the amazing festivities this weekend like the Divalicious Pride Fest Brunch with Madam X, where you can win Magic Mike XXL tickets. Or how about getting down in metallic hot pants from sun up to sun down at the fest on North Halsted between Addison and Grace featuring musical acts and drag shows.

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