Still think you've got endless weekends left to soak up the sun, suds and scene at neighborhood fairs? Wake up and smell the sunscreen, folks; the season's already half over, which means your chances to get Schlitzed in the streets are depleting faster than Katie Holmes' popularity points.
But you say you don't want to spend your few remaining glory days sweatin' to the oldies on the been-there-done-that street fest circuit? Below, our picks for alternatives to the same old options. However you choose to spend them, get out there and make every last minute of summer count.
Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party, July 15-16
The folks behind this annual meet market claim more than 70 marriages have resulted from couples who connected here. The church, however, keeps no stats on the number of postfest walks of shame. With musical highlights Fountains of Wayne and Rusted Root.
Chinatown Summer Fair, July 17
Whether you're not up for the standard booze bash or you just need a place to walk off that St. Pat's hangover, Chinatown's fest offers an exotic--and cheap!--weekend option, with eats by area restaurants and a lion dance, plus musical, martial arts and Asian folk dance performances.
Something different: Taste of Polonia, Sept. 2-5
Rock around the Block, July 16-17
This fest keeps the music cranking with more than 30 bands, including the long-lost Spin Doctors.
Wicker Park Summer Fest, July 30-31
Like your music a little more local--and a little less '90s? This fair might be relatively small, but it promises cutting-edge tunes from up-and-coming Chicago acts like Baby Teeth, Telenovela and Head of Femur.
Something different: Benfest, July 15-17
Lollapalooza, July 23-24
OK, so in its first Chicago-only incarnation, this band bonanza's not exactly a ho-hummer, but we're all familiar with the two-day music bingefest format of more than 60 bands (Pixies, Weezer, The Walkmen).
The Intonation Music Festival, July 16-17
Looking for a more affordable alternative for alternative music? Try this sonic smorgasbord hosted by online music 'zine Pitchfork Media, featuring more than 20 bands (A.C. Newman, The Go! Team, The Decemberists).
Something different: Bughouse Square Debates, July 29-30
Taste of Lincoln Avenue, July 30-31
Swing by for six blocks of eats, eats and more treats, in the form of eye candy, plus live music from Young Dubliners, Down the Line and more.
Summer on Southport, July 23-24
Give yourself a break from the gluttonous grazing and check out this relative newbie. Fill up on tunes from The Mighty Blue Kings and Edwin McCain, or, if you just can't shake the hunger pains, opt for a gospel jazz brunch from Ann Sather (11 a.m. Sunday. $5 donation).
Something different: 37th Sheffield Garden Walk, July 23-24
Gold Coast/River North Art Fair, Aug. 5-7
Now in its 48th year, this fest features some 400 juried artists and live music, from jazz to Brazilian guitar.
Bucktown Arts Fest, Aug. 27-28
It's not new, exactly, but this fair's still less than half the age of the Gold Coast fete; plus, there's spoken word, dance and live music performances. Or, pick up some reads for summer's next-to-last beach weekend at the Damen Avenue Branch Library used book sale.
Something different: Vision 10
Sandra Langeneckert is a metromix special contributor.Originally published July 13, 2005.Copyright © 2015, CT Now