Posts Tagged ‘festival’

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

The Chicago Horror Film Festival runs this weekend (9/25-9/27), prepping you for all the gory, slutty fun of the Halloween season with such features as a horror fashion show, “I Want to Hear You Scream” and “Zombie Pinup” contests, and of course, some deliciously disgusting horror films. Hosted by Mr. Willy and his beautiful minions, the festival promises to make good on its promise for “babes…blood…booze”.


But wait, you say, it’s not even October yet! St. Alphonsus’ famed Oktoberfest has got that covered. Their traditional celebration continues the heritage of the original German immigrants who founded St. Alphonus in 1882, updated with top local bands, activities for kids, and beer, beer, beer.

If that sounds a little too traditional for you, there’s always the No Pants Party at Crobar on Saturday… which is exactly what it sounds like. No pants (or skirts!) allowed. Attending in your  undies gets you in for free, no cover all night long.


Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com with your favorite under-discovered events, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo  at NudeHippo.com and NBCChicago.com

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team


The crisp fall air isn’t the only aroma your nose may pick up this week – especially in the Loop. If you happen to catch a whiff of beer, brats and kraut, follow the trail to the historic Berghoff  (17 W. Adams) Wednesday through Friday for their annual Oktober Fest. It’s hard to believe that this is the Berghoff’s 24th sausage and suds celebration  held on the Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn Streets. Considering the Berghoff has been serving up classic German food and their own private-label suds for generations, you know the food and drink won’t disappoint. NBC-Oktoberfest 2008 016

Admission to the Berghoff Oktoberfest is complimentary and includes musical entertainment to suit all tastes. Work off that brat by doing the “Hoky Poky” with Bavarian polka performances by the Johnny Wagner Band, or enjoy local favorites Maggie Speaks, Sixteen Candles and the Modern Day Romeos over the course of the three days. Always wanted to cook your own schnitzle? This year’s fest also marks the launch of The Berghoff Café Cookbook: Berghoff Family Recipes for Simple, Satisfying Food (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $24.99, September 2009) by Carlyn Berghoff, fourth generation restaurateur and Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group CEO, who will be signing copies during the fest. You’ll also have a chance to enter two raffles benefitting the Mercy Home For Boys and Girls. While a case of beer would make sense, how about the opportunity to win a 2010 Jaguar XF or a luxe trip to the Ritz in Cali?

For more information on the Berghoff Oktober Fest, including hours and entertainment schedule, click here. Post!

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team


Courtesy of inPLAY events

Courtesy of inPLAY events


Just because festivals are turning a bit more beer and sausage focused in honor of Oktober Fest, doesn’t mean wine lovers won’t find an activity to satisfy their love of the grape. The Windy City Wine Festival takes place in the Daley Bicentennial Plaza this Friday and Saturday, giving you an opportunity to sample from more than 250 wines from around the world.

Of course, to appreciate fine wine, you have to learn about it. Check the event website for the most updated event schedule, which includes cooking demonstrations and wine seminars from local chefs, event sponsors and visiting wineries. Grab a little sustenance from one of the food booths and listen to some local musical entertainment and you might just forget those post-summer blues.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit www.windycitywinefestival.com for more information.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team

Experience the best of Turkey, brought to your own backyard (that is, if your backdoor is across from City Hall, on Washington Street between Clark and Dearborn). The Chicago Turkish Festival continues through this Saturday, followed by the ai Lounge‘s Turkish Festival “After-party“.

This FREE Festival, which runs 10a-6p, includes live performances every afternoon between 12-2p at the Daley Plaza stage (featuring fashion shows of Turkish couture and traditional garb, the Ottoman Military Marching Band, the aptly named “Whirling Dervishes”…). Sample everything from art to music to food at the Festival’s 40 booths, which feature a range of products and demonstrations — so you can watch silk carpet-weaving technique while munching on Orchid ice cream, taking home your own authentic souvenirs and travel info.

Check out Chicago’s 7th annual Turkish Festival before they bring down the tents after close on May 30th. Booths are open until 6pm, and the after-party relocates to 358 W. Ontario til 3am, so load up on that Turkish coffee and celebrate the best of Turkey here in Chicago.

NudeHippoNBC5Email me with your favorite local events at llodewyck@nudehippo.com and check out my reports with Nude Hippo at NBCChicago.com and NudeHippo.tv.




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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

Bluegrass and blues are two distinctly American music forms, and for the first time Chicago gets a festival honoring both.

The Chicago Bluegrass And Blues Festival takes over the Congress Theater on November 22. I’m particularly excited because almost every band is from Chicago! The great lineup includes The Avett Brothers, Ha Ha Tonka, and Mike Mangione.

There’s also a “Last Banjo Standing” contest. Between now and October 16 listen to several local bands and vote for the one you think should take the stage.

To get you ready, each week until the inaugural festival one of the performing acts will be TLT’s Band Of The Week! This week it’s the David Grisman Quintet. He’s a legend in acoustic music circles and even created his own style of music. Called Dawg, it’s a mix of bluegrass, jazz, swing, Latin, and gypsy. Grisman’s “Dawggy Mountain Breakdown” is the theme song for NPR’s Car Talk.

GIVEAWAY: Each week I’ll be giving away two tickets to the festival! Details to come.

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Maureen Vana, NBC5 Street Team

Last weekend thousands braved rain, humidity, and sloppy terrain to take part in Pitchfork’s annual music festival. Over 30 bands graced 3 stages complete with artists ranging from hip hop legends Public Enemy to Japanese experimentalists Boris. Along with hours of music the fest included an abundance of food, activities, and DIY artwork from a wide variety of vendors. For the total Pitchfork wrap-up and huge photo galleries by Playboy.com photo editor James Trevenen and myself, head over to our editorial feature in the arts and entertainment section on Playboy.com.

See photos from Pitchfork Music Festival

See Full Pitchfork Galleries and Coverage on Playboy.com Editorial

(Type “Maureen Vana” into the search bar at the top of this page to see my past concert photography and reviews)

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:05 a.m., immediately following Saturday Night Live on NBC5.

Hanging Out Downtown

This week we used the beautiful backdrop of Millenium Park to shoot our segment. We were initially going to use Grant Park, but unfortunately there wasn’t much happeing that Tuesday nights (at least until the Outdoor Film Festival starts in a couple of weeks. But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Anyway, there’s plenty of options for live music, dance lessons and much more from Wednesday on into the weekends, and most of it is sponsored by the City of Chicago, which does a fabulous job of providing free and interesting entertainment in what’s often referred to as Chicago’s front yard. Here’s a few Web sites if you’re looking for some ideas.

Mayor’s Office Of Special Events
Chicago Park District
Millenium Park Web Site
The Local Tourist Festival Guide

Wii Wars at Harry Caray’s Tavern

I hesited before including this item this week. After all, the Crosstown Classic is on the South Side. And I’m not sure about this new Harry Caray’s in Wrigleyville. I’ve been once, and quite frankly, it felt a little sterile and lacked personality. The joint they had in there before was always jumping after Cubs games, and you were always guaranteed some good entertainment when the tipsy crowd whipped itself into a frenzy — especially after a Cubs win.

But I digress. It takes time for bars to develop a personality. And every Tuesday should be fun when Harry Caray’s allows you to match your skills against a celebrity at Wii Wars. It kicked off on June 17th when visitors had a chance to play Home Run Derby with none other than Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks. Brian Urlacher and former Cub Ryne Sandberg will also participate this summer.

Festival Of Life

I don’t get a lot of opportunities to really experience my Caribbean roots in this city — although the odd trek to Uncle Joe’s on the south side for some jerk chicken hits the spot — so that’s why I always look forward to the yearly African Caribbean celebration in Washington Park, which kicks off on Thursday.

Not only is it a fun time during the day, with a huge amount of food and merchandise vendors, but the music is off the hook as well. This year, Beenie Man is back on Friday (check out our 2006 interview). A name that true roots reggae heads will recognize is Gregory Isaacs, who will perform Saturday. And fellas, make sure you take your lady to this one, because no one sings a love song like Gregory Isaacs (sample). And on Saturday night, another reggae legend, Junior Reid, headlines. Check the Web site for more info.

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