Sunday, May 29, 2016

Live From The Drive

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Rolling past Weiss Hospital

Some brought passengers....

Free fruit and muffins for all
Thank you to reader LG for showing what it's like to take part in Bike The Drive. 31.3 miles, in the books!

Biking The Drive This Morning

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It's the one morning each year when Lake Shore Drive is given over to non-motorized vehicles. Thank you to a reader for sharing her bird's-eye view of the very quiet and beautiful Drive. It will reopen to regular traffic at 11am.

Job / Recruitment Fair On Friday, June 3rd

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Uptown Baptist Church invites you to a job and recruitment fair this Friday, June 3rd, between 10am and 2pm.

Among other opportunities:
  • The Cook County Sheriff's Department is screening for correctional officers
  • St Joseph Community Services is hiring CNAs/RNs
  • Grand Prairie Transit is hiring school bus drivers/bus monitors. 
Uptown Baptist Church is located 1011 West Wilson (corner of Sheridan). The fair will be held on the lower level.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

BPN Announces 2016's First Concert In Buena Park Circle

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A wonderful tradition will return on Thursday, June 16th, as Buena Park Neighbors sponsors the first of its Concerts in the Park. Local favorite Canasta will play three sets, beginning at 7pm. You may have heard them at Taste of Chicago, at Uptown Saturday Nights, at Ribfest, and even in Mongolia! They're quite wonderful.

Besides the music, Buena Park Circle (Kenmore and Buena) will be filled with a bouncy house, face painters, and food trucks. Bring a blanket, some folding chairs, a picnic basket and some friends, and enjoy a wonderful (free) evening of fun and tunes.

"Chicago's Best" To Film At La Ciudad On June 7th

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Finally, one of Uptown's homegrown restaurants has been discovered by local media! We've loved La Ciudad since a reader wrote us about them back in December 2009. They've helped feed the homeless during the holidays, have brought appetizers out for positive loiterers, and have provided many memorable meals over the years.

In a few days, WGN's Chicago's Best will be doing a segment on La Ciudad (4515 N Sheridan) and you can be part of it:

"Join us for dinner on Tuesday, June 7th and be a part of this special night.  Taping begins at 5pm with Owner and Chef Hugo De La Rosa preparing La Ciudad's specialty, "Carne Tampiquena y Enchilada," for the cameras.

The cameras will continue to roll throughout the night with interviews by WGN personalities Brittney Payton and Elliott Bambrough.

Stop by and tell them why you think La Ciudad is the BEST Mexican Restaurant in the city!

Segment will air on Sunday, July 17th at 10pm."

World Gym To Become Uptown Fitness

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A long-time Uptown business soon will be changing its name and facility to better reflect the community it serves. By the end of June, World Gym at 908 Montrose will be rebranding itself and become "Uptown Fitness." Residents will see "sign changes, more community involvement, and more promotional efforts to bring fitness to our neighbors."

The ownership will remain the same. There will be a new website and an upgraded facility. Along with the rebranding, "we are partnering with fitness minded charities all through the summer to provide awareness for their causes as well as make a better effort to attend and volunteer in local events."

Below is the notice posted in the gym for current members:

Save The Date: Sheridan Park Neighborhood Yard Sale

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We've already gotten several inquiries about the date of the annual Sheridan Park Neighborhood Yard Sale. For those who like to plan ahead, we confirmed it will take place on the first Saturday in August, as usual. This year that falls on August 6th, with a rain date of August 7th.

More details will be forthcoming on how to register for it as it gets closer to the date.

Friday, May 27, 2016

An Unexpected Surprise: Leland Is Open to Thru Traffic

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We don't know how long it'll last, but Leland is once again open to vehicular traffic at Broadway. Enjoy it while you can! (Last we heard, it was going to re-open in late June and close again in mid-October. So who knows?) Thank you to reader AJ for this photo.

Person Shot On Racine Near Wilson

Readers report that 10-15 shots were fired in front of 4621 North Racine (St. Martha Manor) around 2:15pm and someone was hit. No details yet. An ambulance is on the scene. Ald. Cappleman tweeted, "At scene after man shot on 4600 block of N. Racine. Increased [police] presence already planned for Memorial Weekend. Under investigation."

We remind you that tonight there will be positive loitering at Wilson and Sheridan with 19th District police officers and community members.

There will also be a peace march with the 20th District officers and commander beginning at Argyle and Sheridan tonight.

If you have questions or concerns about safety, and that's most of us, please take the opportunity to talk to them.

We will post updates as we hear them.

Update: The Tribune says, "The victim's age was not available, but Tannehill said he suffered a leg wound and was in good condition at the scene."

Update: A poster on UU's Facebook page says, "Busted a car's windows and there are bullet holes in Martha's Manor."

Update: We hear that the person who was shot was an employee at St. Martha Manor who had stepped out for a smoke break. The shooters were in a car and the employee is believed to have been targeted. There is camera footage of the shooting.

Bike The Drive Happens On Sunday Morning

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If you're planning on driving Sunday morning, a reminder that Lake Shore Drive will be closed between 5am and 11am for Bike The Drive, from Bryn Mawr to 57th Street. That puts additional traffic on surrounding streets, so don't expect to get anywhere fast unless you're on two wheels. Here's hoping for good weather for the cyclists!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fridays At Buttercup Park: Movies and Entertainment

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If you saw the Summer in the Parks listing a couple days ago, you may have noticed that there's a lot of great things happening in our area parks all summer long, but we got short shrift on Movies in the Park.

Buttercup Park Advisory Council is stepping in to help fill that gap! Approximately every other Friday during the summer, Buttercup will show a movie and usually some additional entertainment. There's a lot on the schedule!  Movies begin at dusk. The programs were curated by Victor Herrera:
Buttercup Playlot Park is located at 4901 N Sheridan, just south of Argyle Street.

St Boniface Cemetery To Hold Memorial Day Field Mass

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As is its tradition, St. Boniface Cemetery will honor the fallen at a field mass on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th. The mass will begin at 10:30am. This year it will include an honor guard from the Knights of Columbus, and American flags will be distributed to all in attendance. The officiant will be the Very Rev. Peter Snieg, the Rector and President of St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University.

St Boniface is located at 4901 N Clark. If you attend, you may want to check out the Civil War Memorial that honors German immigrants "who took part in the defense of the new fatherland." St. Boniface opened in 1863 and was Chicago's first German Catholic cemetery.

Sign From The Past

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When Ric Addy said "Everything Must Go!" from Shake, Rattle & Read, he wasn't kidding. Not only were the store and its fixtures cleared out, so was the iconic yellow sign from the front of the building. An earlier version of the sign -- one most of us didn't ever see before -- remains.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Where Am I Located?


Obtain the admiration of your peers by identifying this signage.

Save The Date For Third "Courtenay-Fest"

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Celebrate the end of another successful school year with COURTENAY FEST!

"Our school is hosting our third annual Courtenay Fest on Saturday June 18, from 12-4. We would love to have more community members and families join us this year." Pony rides, dunk tank, petting zoo... sounds like a good time.

Laying The Groundwork For A New Building

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As the plans for a new mixed-use building in the parking lot at 1050 West Wilson go through the city's approval process, readers noticed soil testing going on at the site last week. If and when the plans are approved, look for construction to start quickly.

Thank you to reader MW for the photo and info.

Start Out The Holiday Weekend With Five-Buck Friday At The Underground

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Been wanting to see the lovely ladies of the Kiss Kiss Cabaret? Want to start out the weekend with some fun? Come to the Uptown Underground on Friday night at 10pm for the low, low price of just five dollars (usually $25-$40 for the same show).

"Summer weekends start here! Happy Memorial Day Weekend from The Kiss Kiss Cabaret. We're celebrating with a $5 Friday!

See Kiss Kiss Cabaret, featuring Ms Pixy, Muffy Fishbasket, The Kiss Kiss Coquettes, The Underground Vaudettes and welcoming back special guest Miss Kitty Oaks for one night only!

Then stick around to suit up and get down with Diego Sol & The Metronomes and catch a little impromptu live band burlesque after the midnight hour.

You can sleep on Saturday. Fridays are for fun!

Enter code "MEM5FRI" at Checkout for $5 tickets."

Uptown Underground is located at 4713 North Broadway, in the beautiful Uptown Broadway Building.

Summer In The City -- Parks Programs In/Around Uptown

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Learn to spin fire, juggle, walk a tightrope, and perform Asian dances. (Not at the same time, but hey, knock yourself out.) Be part of the world's biggest swimming lesson. Enjoy live theater, or create your own play and perform it. Take your kids to learn crafts. Listen to local musicians and DJs.

Yes, it's Chicago Summer in the Parks, and there's a lot going on. It's all free, of course. Here is what we've found going on in Uptown and immediately outside our borders.  The complete citywide schedule is here.

Music and Theater
  • "Sound Da Alarm" Hip Hop Theater Fest by Kuumba Lynx. Nine independent theatre artists will showcase their original theatrical works. With nine shows at 20-60 minutes each, five days are needed for each show to be presented. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Wednesday, June 15, 7pm-9:30pm; Thursday, June 16, 10am-9:30pm; Friday, June 17, 10am-9:30pm; Saturday, June 18, 1pm-5pm; and Sunday, June 19, 1pm-5pm.
  • The Sounds of Summer with DJ Monty. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland, Friday, June 17, 6pm-8pm
  • Make Music Chicago. Rush Hour Concerts presents Make Music Chicago, a day-long, citywide, DIY music festival that celebrates the musician in us all and encourages all Chicagoans to make music regardless of age, ability or preferred musical style. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Tuesday, June 21, 5:30pm-8pm.
  • Let Hope Grow. A series of PEACEBOOK cultivation events created to help you grow as a performing artist. Clarendon Park, 4501 N. Clarendon. Saturday, June 25, noon-2pm.
  • It's For Real. About Face Theatre presents a hilarious and poignant collection of stories that connects issues around race, class, sexuality, age, gender, self-esteem, and family. Based on the true experiences of the performers in the show, the audience is encouraged to ask the actors about their stories and share experiences. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland, Wednesday, August 3, 1pm-2pm.
  • DJ Mike P Plays the Parks. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Friday, August 5, 6pm-8pm.
  • Peacebook. Collaboraction, Chicago's social issue driven contemporary theatre, presents PEACEBOOK, a new collaborative citywide festival of theatre, dance, music, visual art and spoken word. all focused on cultivating peace in Chicago. Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. Friday, August 26 & Saturday, August 27, 6:30pm-8:30pm.
  • BYOT 24-Hour Theater Festival. 24 hours. 5 New Plays. Endless Possibilities. Over the course of 24 hours, five writers, five directors and 15-20 actors will gather to create 5 brand new plays and then perform them for a live audience. To be involved in this festival, simply meet at Chase Park at 7pm the day prior, August 26. All ages welcome! Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland. Saturday, August 27, 7pm-9pm.
Dancing, Drumming
  • Full Moon Jam at Foster Beach. Monthly professional fire performances celebrating the full moon, featuring fire dancing and drumming. "We are focused on creating celebratory gatherings, building and enhancing community connections, and promoting conscientious and professional fire performance practices." If you plan on spinning fire, you must show up at 6pm for a Safety Training Orientation session. Lakefront south of Foster, in the big field. June 22, July 20, August 17, September 15, 7:30pm-10pm; October 16, 7:30pm-9:45pm. Much more information is here.
  • Yin He Dance Company presents Dance to China, introducing audiences to Chinese culture through dance. Learn and play through performances, cultural lessons, and hands-on activities. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Wednesday, July 13, 6pm-7pm.
  • Tsukasa Taiko is the largest multigenerational community ensemble of Japanese drumming in the Midwest. The ensemble aims to strengthen Japanese-American/Asian-American communities and to reflect a shared culture through infusion of contemporary expressions. Margate Park, 4921 N Marine. Saturday, August 20, 6pm-8pm.
Circus Arts
  • Test your circus abilities at these open circus stunt workshops. CircEsteem workshops are open to everyone of every ability. Workshops include tight wire walking, gym wheel, juggling, plate spinning, clowning, rolla bolla and diabolo. Buttercup Park, 4901 N Sheridan. Wednesdays, 6pm-7:30pm, July 6, 20, August 3, 17.
Community Activities
  • It's Your Park Day. Help get the parks ready for summer activity at a city-wide clean-up. Community volunteers will be mulching trees, replacing fibar on playgrounds, and cleaning our parks' green spaces. Volunteers should visit the Chicago Parks Foundation website to register. Volunteers will receive It?s Your Park Day t-shirts, tools and supplies provided by Home Depot, KIND snacks, and water. Buttercup Park, 4901 N Sheridan. Saturday, June 18, 10am-2pm.
  • The World's Largest Swimming Lesson. Join hundreds of kids and families at 75 Chicago Park District swimming pools around Chicago and thousands around the globe for The World's Largest Swim Lesson. We are looking to break the Guinness World Record to spread the word that Swimming Lessons do Save Lives. We broke the record last year. Don't miss out on the opportunity to break the record again this year. This event is open to all ages and for all swim levels (Non Swimmers, Beginners and Swimmers) Children under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult in the water. Participants can register online through June 24th. Onsite registration will be available at 5pm, only if available spots remain. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the event to complete the necessary participant release waiver. The lesson will promptly begin at 6pm and will be 60 minutes in length. Chase Park, 4701 N Ashland. Friday, June 24, 6pm-7pm.
Kids' / Family-Friendly Activities
  • The Kidsmobile brings free and fun-filled creative arts and play activities to children and families. Each Tuesday and Thursday between 2pm and 4pm at Andersonville Playlot Park, 5233 N Ashland (at Farragut). July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, August 2, 4, 9, 11.
  • The Craftmobile, a touring four-wheeled wonder, is filled with fun art projects and activities for children ages 4-11. It will be at Cedar Playground Park Thursdays between 11:30am and 12:30pm. 5311 N Winthrop, at Berwyn. July 7, 14, 21, 28, August 4, 11
  • Under the Orange Tree. Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble's Under the Orange Tree is an ensemble storytelling performance of African folktales enlivened with drumming, singing, and dance. Gill Park, 825 W Sheridan. Saturday, August 20, 5pm-6:30pm.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Nothing Left But The Memories

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If you didn't make it to Shake, Rattle & Read's Everything Is Free event today, save your carfare tomorrow. There will be no Wednesday "sale," as there's nothing left to give away.

The SR&R Facebook page says, "Thank You Chicago! - we stopped counting after 2,000 people came thru the doors - we Will Not be open on Wednesday because 'There Is Nothing Left'!"

Farewell, Mr. Ric. You made a lot of people happy. Enjoy the sun and the sand, and we'll keep on hoping for that rock'n'roll autobiography some day.

FLATS Announces Details of Lawrence House Grand Opening

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From Cedar Street/FLATS:

"Join FLATS® for The Soirée on Thursday, June 16, 2016, from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM as we celebrate the grand opening of The Lawrence House and the announcement of our 2016 #FLATSproject winner.

The Lawrence House, located on the northeast corner of Kenmore and Lawrence Avenue, in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, has been a cornerstone of life since its construction in the early 20th century. Originally an upscale apartment hotel, this art deco building has been fully restored for the modern conveniences of today and we're excited to share it with you.

The Soirée details:
  • Exclusive preview of The Lawrence House including the fully restored pool, state-of-the-art gym & boxing ring, grand lobby, bar, roof deck, lounge and Heritage Outpost.
  • Tour our FLATS® Model by CB2
  • Free drinks from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (21+) — signature KOVAL cocktails and Heritage Coffee
  • J&L catered hors d'oeuvres
  • Music by FLATS® resident Rebecca Szatko (DJ Polyfonix)
  • Featured artwork by Michael Rivera & CoEdit Collection
  • 2016 #FLATSproject winner announcement
Minors must be accompanied by an adult (21+)."

RSVPs are required. Register here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Vote For Uptown Underground In "Best of Chicago Nightlife" Awards

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Uptown Underground (4713 N Broadway) has made it to the final round of the Chicago Nightlife Awards, and they need your vote to take it all the way. You can vote daily until June 3rd. Winners will be announced on June 7th at a ceremony.

Cast your votes here in the following categories:
  • Nightclub of the Year :
    Uptown Underground 
  • Best Weekly Party :
    Kiss Kiss Cabaret
  • Best VIP Host & Best Drag Performer :
    Muffy Fishbasket
  • Best Drag Performer :
    Coco Sho-nell

Vote here! Vote daily!

Celebrate the Full Moon at Foster Avenue Beach Tonight

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From the Chicago Park District:

"Join us on Monday, May 23 for the first Full Moon Jam of the season at Foster Beach at 7:30pm! Monthly professional fire performances celebrating the full moon featuring fire dancing and drumming. It's free!"

Public Safety Events Happening Citywide Friday Evening

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The CPD, places of worship, city parks, and city officials are all holding events this Friday night. It's part of a citywide initiative to empower residents by gathering together to create a safe and welcoming environment in each of Chicago’s neighborhoods.. Please plan to attend one near you. The Uptown events are listed below:

19th District Police/Alderman James Cappleman:

20th District Police/Ald. Harry Osterman:

Chicago Park District (all events are here):
  • Chase Park (Leland and Ashland): 6:30pm-9pm Teen Basketball League
  • Clarendon Park (Sunnyside & Clarendon) 7pm-10pm Teen Open Gym
  • Gill Park (825 W Sheridan) 7pm-9pm Teen Swim, Game Room
  • Margate Park (4921 N Marine) 7pm-10pm Positive Loitering

Shake, Rattle & FREE

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From Ric Addy:
"After the store closed for good on Sat. there are a lot of books and magazines left…

So Tuesday 5/24 and Wednesday 5/25 I will open up from 12 to 6pm and EVERYTHING WILL BE FREE… 

Bring your own boxes and bags and take as much as you want.

PLEASE SHARE - I am trying to avoid putting it all in a dumpster!

Here's some photos of what's left - it all has to go - the store phone has been disconnected so just come on by!"
Shake, Rattle & Read is located at 4812 North Broadway, next to the historic Uptown Theater.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Book Closes on Shake, Rattle & Read

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The "Closed" sign in the display window of Shake, Rattle & Read says it all.  After more than 50 years next to the Uptown Theater, the legendary book and record store closed its doors for the final time Saturday night.

As proprietor Ric Addy said when he was honored at the State of Uptown luncheon Friday, "I made a difference." He certainly did. We wish him a peaceful and warm next chapter in life as he retires in Florida. We hope he finds the time to write down all his great stories about rock'n'roll life in Chicago.

For an in-depth interview with Ric as he contemplates the future, click here.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Outdoor Police Roll Call Early Monday Morning At Weiss Plaza

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At the request of the public and Ald. Osterman, 20th District police officers will be doing public roll calls on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer. This Sunday night/Monday morning at 1am, they will be at Weiss Plaza, 4800 North Sheridan (at Lawrence) for that purpose.

The public is encouraged and invited to come out and meet and speak to the officers at all public roll calls. This week's schedule is here.

Household Items Donation Drive For Formerly Homeless Veterans

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As part of its program to ensure that homeless veterans have housing, the City of Chicago is holding the Operation Help-A-Hero citywide household item collection drive to assist the transition into permanent housing. Throughout the month of June, residents can donate new, store bought products for a formerly homeless veteran at one of more than 70 designated drop-off locations throughout the City.

A complete list of the items sought is on the website. It includes
  • Personal Hygiene Items (e.g., Bath Soap, Shampoo, Razor, Shaving Cream, Deodorant, more items listed)
  • Kitchen and Cleaning Items (e.g., Plastic Kitchen Trash Can, Windex, Pine Sol, Dishwashing Liquid, Sponge, more items on list)
  • Bathroom & Miscellaneous Items (e.g., Shower Curtain, Toilet Paper (4 or 6 pack), Plunger, Bath Towels (2), Hamper, more items on list)
Throughout June, items can be donated during regular business hours at any aldermanic office and at selected Chicago parks (Welles Park is the closest park collection site to Uptown). A complete list of all collection points and items requested is here.

Ross Lays The Foundation

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With the winter weather over and the permits approved, work is progressing quickly on the building that will be home to Ross Dress For Less and other retail on the 900 block of Montrose. We've noticed that the rehab of the residential/retail building directly west of it (944-946 W Montrose) is going well, too, with most of the windows now replaced.

With work beginning on the addition of 160 new units (apartments and townhomes) to Pensacola Place, right across the street, Montrose is beginning to look much different than it has in years past.

Thank you to reader Walker Robinson Jr, who posted the above photo on UU's Facebook page.

Call To Artists, Musicians & Food Trucks

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Come sell, share and savor your creations at the 4th Annual Sunnyside Mall Art and Music Festival from 9am-3pm on August 6, 2016.
  • Artists will have an 8’ x 8’ space to sell their handmade creations.
  • Musicians will have 1 hour time slots to share their sounds with the neighborhood (THERE IS ONE SLOT LEFT – 9 to 10am).
  • Food Trucks can sell their sweet and savory delights.
So join in a fun-filled day, be part of your community and get your creations noticed!  If you are interested, please email the Sunnyside Mall Committee at

Summer's Filling Up Fast

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We'll have more about these soon! Mark your calendars....
  • June 2-10 — Pivot Arts Festival
  • Thursday mornings, June 2-October 20 — Weiss Farmers Market
  • June 4 — Uptown History Tour
  • June 11 — Uptown Saturday Night at Black Ensemble Theater
  • June 16 — Free Concert at Buena Park Circle
  • June 26 — Pride Parade
  • July 1-3 — Windy City Rib Fest (Lawrence & Broadway)
  • July 4 — Saddle & Cycle Club Fireworks Show (to be viewed from outside the club)
  • Thursday evenings, July 7-August 25 — Argyle Night Market
  • July 11 — Uptown Saturday Night
  • August 6th — 4th Annual Sunnyside Mall Art and Music Festival
  • August 13 — Uptown Saturday Night
  • September 10 — Uptown Saturday Night
  • October 8 — Uptown Saturday Night