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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Bhaskar Peddhapati

The three best things to do today in Chicago

Written by
Nick Kotecki
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1. Bring on the beads

New Orleans might be the center of the Fat Tuesday party, but Chicago has the most raucous celebration in the Midwest. Find the best parties, things to do and dinners to celebrate NOLA-style with our guide to Mardi Gras in Chicago. (various venues, times and prices)

2. Rock out in Pilsen

Moody synth-punk outfit The Soft Moon comes to Thalia Hall to play one of the venue's In The Round shows, where the performance space isn't the stage, but set up in the middle of the floor. The intimate concert also features opening acts Ritual Howls and Running, a local garage rock band. (Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport St, 8pm. $18, advance $15)

3. Go to the gallery

Find the first U.S. solo exhibition by German artist Peter Wächtler at the Renaissance Society in Hyde Park. Titled, "Peter Wächtler: Secrets of a Trumpet," the collection includes a variety of media, including drawings, watercolors, wooden sculptures and large bronze figures. (Renaissance Society, 5811 S Ellis Ave, 10am. Free)

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