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Photograph: Max HermanAir and Water show 2012

Lincoln Park festivals

These tips help you make the most of your Lincoln Park festival experience.


Dave Matthews Band fans bummed that last year’s caravan isn’t rolling back for another go-around can take solace that the Trippin’ Billies, a DMB tribute band, is headlining Saturday night at the Wells Street Art Festival (Jun 8-9, 2013). If sitting through someone else singing Crash into Me doesn’t sound like a suitable replacement, you can at least buy some crafts with all that money you saved not seeing the GrooGrux King himself.

Get ready to belt out “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Piano Man” during a cheesy, booze-fueled night with your friends. Chicago Summerfest (Jun 29-30, 2013) hosts performances from some of Chicago’s most-loved cover bands, including 16 Candles, Too White Crew and Wedding Banned. Be sure to make a pact not to post videos on Facebook the next day.

At the inaugural Craft Beer Festival at St. Michael in Old Town (Jun 21-23, 2013), ale aficionados can pay $75 for access to an upgraded tasting area, where more than 70 regional pours will be available for sampling. Do the math: That’s $1.07 per beer—if only your beer belly could stomach them all.

Working primarily with acrylic paint on wood, Byron, Illinois, painter Ted Simmering turns out dreamy, neutral-hued landscapes with unexpected geometric elements. Simmering will be among the some 100 artists exhibiting paintings, photos and handmade jewelry at the Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival (Jun 29-30, 2013).

Francophiles, take note: the Beaujolais-championing Georges Duboeuf Winery will be serving aperitifs at the Bastille Day 5K & 8K Run, Walk & Block Party (Jul 11, 2013). Duboeuf is credited with popularizing the easy-to-drink light-bodied red. It’s the perfect post-run drink. Well, maybe not—but we still love the stuff.

Gather gardening inspiration at the Sheffield Garden Walk & Festival (Jul 20-21, 2013), which offers tourgoers access to more than 80 private gardens. A couple of highlights: At 2225 North Fremont Street, a collection of worldly antiques (a Copenhagen streetlamp, Parisian elevator doors repurposed as garden gates) and rare plants create a stunning yard. At 2106 North Clifton Avenue, we’re jealous of the rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas paired with a goldfish pond, veggie planters and raspberry bushes.

Lill Avenue will light up during the Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Jul 27-28, 2013). Peruse works from some 60 Midwestern DIY artisans exhibiting and hawking their cute-aesthetic crafts streetside, and sip vino and beer in a Lill Avenue beer garden.

Don’t let sated sushi cravings be the only way you celebrate Japan. Go to Midwest Buddhist Temple’s Ginza Holiday Festival (Aug 9-11, 2013) for some ultra-refreshing kintoki ($3), a Japanese twist on the snow cone. A mound of crushed iced is topped with mashed azuki beans and white sugar for a unique summer treat you can savor as East meets North Side.

The Chicago Air & Water Show’s (Aug 17-18, 2013) loudest-kept secret? Come to the beach a day early on Friday (Aug 16) from 10am to 3pm and watch pilots practice their full routines without the charms of a sweaty, noisy crowd. You won’t be able to soak in all the pomp and circumstance of show day, but doesn’t a peaceful sonic boom sound grand?

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