Friday-Sunday at 3100 N. Ashland Ave.; $5
Kick off the festival season with this 17th annual event, held in a big tent on Ashland. Saturday afternoon features Kids Day America, where the tent area is turned into a big playground. Sunday is the Mayfest Pet Parade, featuring contests like “Best Looking,” “Largest,” and “Owner Look-A-Like.” At night, the music takes over, as local festival staples Too White Crew, Hairbangers Ball (Saturday) and Mike & Joe (Sunday) hit the stage.
8 p.m. Friday at the Vic Theatre; $22
Loyal fans have been captivated by Sharon’s magnetic stage presence since day one, and it’s been no surprise that media outlets like NPR and Soul Sides have fully endorsed the Dap-Kings. And seeing them live takes it to a whole new level. The last time they came to the Vic, they ignited the crowd with a smoldering blend of funk and soul, and by the time it was all said and done, at least three people found themselves on stage dancing with Ms. Sharon herself.
Friday-Sunday at Prop Thtr; $12
Put on by Theater Oobleck, this is a one-man show about the financial meltdown as explained by history’s best-publicized seducer. If that doesn’t sound like a good time, you don’t know Oobleck. The company is directorless (the actors are in charge of themselves), priceless (audience members pay what they can) and unmatched in its delivery of deadpan, highbrow hilarity.
Saturday-Sunday at Navy Pier; $10-$15
Over 300 exhibits will be featured, including eco-friendly merchandise, how-to workshops, green career info, a Kids Zone and organic food and drink. Plus, there will be more than 150 renowned speakers on hand for panel discussions and presentations.
Lottie’s 76th Anniversary Party
1 p.m. Saturday at Lottie’s Pub; free
These days, it’s hard for a bar to stay open more than a year. That’s why it’s so impressive that Bucktown stalwart Lottie’s celebrates 76 years in business. To celebrate, they’re throwing a party, complete with 76-cent beers, free food and live entertainment all day. Stop by from 1-3 p.m. for a complimentary buffet, then stay for two live bands and live band karaoke (9 p.m.). Then come back Sunday morning for a brunch starting at 11 a.m., which also includes a free mimosa for every customer.
Just missed the cut: Chicago Turkish Festival, Voxtrot, The 39 Steps, Ludacris, Asylum Street Spankers, Lady X, Carrie Fest, Riverside Art Fair