Close out July strong with one — or more — of this weekend’s peak summer events. Check out local bands at Wicker Park Fest or listen to hometown hero Andrew Bird with the beautiful Canal Shores Golf Course as a backdrop. Or, check out a street fest or two in the city — or even in nearby Whiting, Indiana.
Here are five picks for the few days ahead. For more ideas, see the full WBEZ Summer 250, our curated guide of 250+ events for planning your best Chicago summer ever, with easy sorting to help you pick what’s right for you. You can also text “SUMMER” to 312312 for weekly picks in one of three categories: family-friendly, outdoor concerts or the best of all events.
Chicago’s hometown hero whistles his way back to the lakeshore this summer and just in time — he has a new album, Outside Problems, which he recorded primarily outdoors and is a followup to 2022’s praised Inside Problems. Only Bird could make your COVID-era anxieties melt away with otherworldly strings and Joan Didion references. Canal Shores Golf Course, 1030 Central St., Evanston. From $60.50.
Chinatown Summer Fair
With more than 40,000 visitors each year, Chinatown Summer Fair marks one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the region. Saturday’s festivities start with a lion dance procession and close out with a K-Pop Dance Competition. 2200-2400 S. Wentworth Ave. Free.
Silver Room Block Party
One of the South Side’s don’t-miss annual music events (this retrospective traces its history in photos), the 18th annual Silver Room Block Party will be packed full of local Chicago talent, artisan and food vendors and plenty of dancing. The two-day affair — which organizers say is the grand finale after a two-decade run — will feature several stages that will host musicians ranging from singers to dancers and will also feature a kids’ entertainment area. Come hungry to explore the tastes of the South Side at food trucks and stands. Oakwood Beach at 39th Street. From $50.
Wicker Park Fest
A longtime incubator of Chicago bands, Wicker Park Fest features more than 50 indie acts each year. This year’s headliners include Built to Spill, The Regrettes, Biig Piig, Say She She, BabyJake and Lido Pimienta. Once the fest closes down for the night, stay around for the after parties at local bars. Milwaukee Avenue between Damen and Ashland avenues. $10 suggested donation.
Pierogi Fest is more than just polka and pierogies. Gennie O & The Windy City Brass, Electric Soul Machine and Visions of Santana are among the bands playing the festival’s seven stages this year. Grab a beer and browse the tchotchke mall, where you might run into Miss Paczki and The Pieroguettes. 1417 119th St., Whiting, Indiana. Free.
Bianca Cseke is a digital producer at WBEZ.