1. COUNTRY BBQ
The annual Windy City Smokeout takes place July 10-12 at 560 W. Grand at the river. Barbecue, country music, beer and more are featured. Among the featured music acts: Kacey Musgraves, Will Hoge, Chris Young and the Randy Rogers Band. Bub City, Lillie’s Q, Smoque and Chicago Q are just a few of the barbecue purveyors featured. For individual tickets or three-day passes, visit www.windycitysmokeout.com/tickets.
2. IRISH AYES!
The 30th annual Irish American Heritage Festival runs July 10-12 on the grounds of the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Featuring music and dance on 5 stages, a folk tent, food vendors, clothing, jewelry, beer, wine, and family activities, the fest showcases the best in local and international Irish music and fare. Confirmed entertainment includes: Academy of Irish Music, Baal Tinne, Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department, the Boils, Brogue, Patrick and Karen Cannady and Friends, the Chancey Brothers, Chicago Irish Band, the Dooley Brothers, Kevin Flynn and the Avondale Ramblers, Foy School of Traditional Irish Dance, Francis O’Neill Ceili Mor, Gaelic Storm, Gerry Haughey, Paddy Homan and Friends, Irish Heritage Singers, Kennedy’s Kitchen, McNulty School of Irish Dance, Makem & Spain, Misericordia Heartbreakers and Heartzingers, the Muck Brothers, Mulhern School of Irish Dance, Mulligan Stew, Catherine O’Connell and the Usual Suspects, O’Hare School of Irish Dance, Mark Piekarz, RicoQuinn, RUNA, Scythian, Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band, Sheila Tully Academy of Irish Dance, Tooromeen School of Irish Dance, Trinity Irish Dancers and the Westies, with Michael McDermott. For tickets ($5-$20) and complete information, visit www.irishfestchicago.com
3. LAKEVIEW CELEBRATION
More than 20 bands on two stages, lots of food, arts and crafts and more are what you’ll encounter at the Taste of Lakeview, July 11-12 on North Lincoln Avenue at Belmont. More than 40,000 people attend the annual food/music festival. 7th Heaven, Hairbangers Ball and 16 Candles are among the headliners. Visit starevents.com/festivals/taste-of-lakeview.
4. HOMEGROWN HUMOR
Boasting some 75 performers, the second annual Comedy Exposition has funny folks for all tastes. The July 10-12 festival presents shows at multiple venues in Lakeview, Wicker Park and Old Town, many starring Chicagotalent. Among the better known national names in the lineup are headlinerTodd Glass, Emmy winner Sara Schaefer and “Last Comic Standing” finalist James Adomian. For tickets, visit comedyexpo.brownpapertickets.com.
5. LIGHTS! CAMERAS! MUSIC!
If you’re a movie fan, especially a fan of those grand movie scores, the place to be this weekend is Ravinia in Highland Park. On July 12 at 7 p.m., the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs the score to a screening of the classic animated Disney film, “Fanstasia.” Tickets, $25-$50. Show time is 7 p.m. (On July 14, the CSO goes to the movies again, with “Music from the Films of Tim Burton.” Visit ravinia.org
6. SUPER BLOCK PARTY
The First Merit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island is the place to be on July 11 for the annual V103 Block Party music extravaganza. The lineup includes: Jill Scott, Kenny “Babyface” Edmunds, Ledisi and Avery Sunshine. The music starts at 6 p.m. For tickets and info, visit www.v103.com/features/v103-summer-block-party-771.
7. SQUARE ROOTS
Three of Chicago’s most dependablemusical acts headline the three nights of Square Roots, the annual Lincoln Square festival presented in part by the Old Town School of Folk Music. Leading the July 10 lineup on Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilsonare the transplanted British punkers the Mekons, followed by ’90s alt-rockers Urge Overkill on July 11 and country singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks on July 12. More than 50 acts will play on four stages at the fest, which also features an array of Midwestern craft beers. For details, visitsquareroots.org.
8. BANDS ONTHE SAND
Indie-dance bands competewith the sounds of the lapping waves during Mamby on the Beach, a new music festival on the lakefront. Celebrating Chicago’s summer vibe and house-music history, the event presents artists on three stages at Oakwood Beach, 4100 S. Lake Shore Dr. Among the acts: Empire of the Sun and Royksopp on July 11, and Passion Pit and Phantogram on July 12. For details, visit mambybeach.com.