In its sixth year, CIMMfest is a sprawling affair spread across the city—venues include the Metro, Concord, Double Door, City Winery, the Logan, Subterranean, Hideout, Empty Bottle, Concord, Lincoln Hall, LSA and more. With dozens of music-centric films and live bands, it can be a task to navigate, so we'll cut to the highlights. Yo La Tengo headlines the first night, neo-disco act Escort the second. Italian psych legend Goblin plays its score to the classic horror flick Suspiria at Metro on May 3. Nineties rock dudes Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins) and Scott Lucas (Local H) team to provide a live score to Sergei Eisenstein’s pioneering silent protest film Battleship Potemkin (No, really).
The newest series of events presented by Chicago Loop Alliance transforms mundane, downtown alleys into glowing laser light shows. Each month, the party will move to a different alley in the city, transforming the space for a single evening. The inaugural event in the Sullivan Center alley will feature immersive art from Johalla Projects, a Zipcar DJ booth and a cash bar.
Featuring VHS finds from garage sales, thrift shops and dumpsters, curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher provide live commentary as they present their unearthed oddities. This year's festival includes an instructional video titled "How to Have Cybersex on the Internet and video for dog breeders detailing the process of "whelping."
Yes, it takes place on the Dos, Tres and Cuatro of Mayo, but no Cinco celebration is more authentic than the fete in Little Village. The kiddies can ride live ponies and carnival attractions, and there's food, arts, crafts and music in this massive celebration of Mexican culture in the Midwest.
Celebrate the arrival of spring at this free, outdoor family-friendly festival at Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park where kids can fly a kite or watch professional demonstrations. Free paper kites will be provided, but families will also be able to purchase more intricate flying creations from a variety of vendors.
If you can't make it out to Chruchhill Downs for the big race this year, just head to Joe's Bar on Weed Street. The bar will be shutting down the street, setting up a jumbotron and serving up Mint Juleps to thirsty attendees. Pick your favorite, place your bets (the bar offers off-track betting, for a $2 fee) and get ready to experience in the Kentucky Derby in the streets of Chicago.
The Polish Constitution was signed on May 3rd, 1791 and for the past 123 years Chicago has celebrated the date with a parade in Grant Park. Over 250,000 attendees flock to Columbus Drive to watch the procession and honor Europe's first democratic constitution.
Although most Americans use Cinco De Mayo as an excuse to drink margaritas, the holiday actually commemorates the victory the Mexican forces had over the invading French army on 5 May, 1862. This annual celebration in Pilsen fills the streets with colorful attire and traditional music. The parade starts at Cermak and Wood and travels west to Kedzie.
The University of Chicago celebrates the life and work of Studs Terkel, a famous writer, broadcaster and activist who won a Pulitzer Prize. Terkel passed away in 2008, but his work has inspired a new generation of socially conscious journalists, including featured speakers like This American Life host Ira Glass and The Interrupters producer Alex Kotlowitz. You'll find a complete list of events at the festival website.