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News / City Life

The best ways to celebrate Black Wednesday in Chicago

Frontier, Lotty's and The Pony Inn are hosting a "trolley crawl" on Black Wednesday
Photograph: Courtesy Lottie's Pub Frontier, Lotty's and The Pony Inn are hosting a "trolley crawl" on Black Wednesday

Heading back home to Chicago for the holidays? Staying in the city for a long relaxing weekend? Either way, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the day before Thanksgiving, including concerts, drink specials and fried turkey balls. Take a look at our recommendations for Black Wednesday fun.

Best Coast
For a free concert on Black Wednesday, head to the Virgin Chicago's 25th floor and listen to this LA-based surf-pop band. The group will play behind California Nights, its latest record which showcases a more mature (but still playful) sound from frontwoman Bethany Consentino. With any luck, they'll bring some warm California weather with them. Virgin Hotels Chicago, 7pm. Free with RSVP.

Black Wednesday Trolley Crawl
Instead of going to one bar, why not ride a trolley to three? For their fifth annual Black Wednesday Trolley Crawl, Frontier, Lottie's and The Pony Inn are teaming up to provide participants with a fun Black Wednesday. The crawls kicks off at Lottie's, moves to the Pony for a Blackhawks watching party and ends at Frontier, which will be hosting a barn party, complete with s'mores, a campfire, spiced wine and hot cocktails. Starts at Lottie's at 7pm. Trolley is free with sign up at the bar or by emailing

Bourbon County Tasting at Dusek's
To kick off the holiday weekend, Dusek's will be hosting a preview of the 2015 Bourbon County Stouts from Goose Island. Attendees can taste all six variants in addition to Sofie, Four Star Pils and Matilda starting at 7pm. Make your friends jealous and try all the variants before they go on sale on Black Friday. Dusek's at 7pm.

Two singles in, experimental pop singer Grimes (a.k.a. Claire Boucher) scrapped her planned follow-up to 2012's Visions and started working on an entirely new record. Released earlier this month, Art Angel takes her buoyant, electronic sound in unexpected new directions. Make room for turkey by dancing the night away. Metro, 8pm. $26 advance, $30 at the door.

Turkey Testicle Festival at Timothy O'Toole's
Yup, that's right. At 9pm, Timothy O'Toole's will be running a turkey testicle eating contest and the winner will get a turkey (sans testes). If that's not quite your style (we don't blame you), the bar will also host a pumpkin pie eating contest at 11pm—the winner will get a $25 bar tab. You can also enjoy drink specials all night, if you'd rather just watch the disgusting festivities. Timothy O'Toole's at 9pm.