In Chicago, summer sticks through September

festThis weekend’s Wisch List newspaper column from The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …


By Dave Wischnowsky

Hot enough for ya?

Throughout the summer, I’ve been writing each month in this column about how the warm weather had to arrive in the Land of Lincoln at some point. And now, as we near the end of summer, it’s finally arrived.

Better late than never, I suppose. Although I would also surmise that fans of fall – a season that I think could end up being a particularly warm one – may disagree.

However, an Indian Summer provides you with bonus opportunities to enjoy what Chicago has to offer outdoors. And during September, there will be plenty of open-air fun taking place. Here’s a sampling of it.

Windy City Wine Festival
Sept. 6-7

Situated in the center of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain is modeled after the Latona Fountain at Versailles, located in vineyard-laden France.

So, perhaps Buckingham (500 S. Columbus Dr.) is the ideal spot for the Windy City Wine Festival to call home. This year’s event – which allows visitors to sample more than 345 wines from around the globe – will be held from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Wine tasting tickets are $29 in advance of $35 at the door. For more information, visit

Festival on Prairie Avenue
Sept. 7

Located in the South Loop, Prairie Avenue will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where my wife Debbie and I held our wedding reception at the Glessner House Museum back on Aug. 10.

I’d recommend letting the historic and picturesque street carve out a place in your heart too during a visit to its family-friendly fest, which this year runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1800 S. Prairie.

Known as “Millionaire’s Row” because it was home to a whopping 77 millionaires during the 1890s, Prairie Avenue will host an arts and craft fair, magic show, pie-eating contest and free tours of the Glessner and Clarke House museums. Admission is $5.

For more information, visit

Riot Fest
Sept. 13-15

Back for its second year, Humboldt Park’s Riot Fest (1400 N. Sacramento Ave.) lineup features an incredibly eclectic lineup that includes the likes of Fallout Boy, Blink 182, Violent Femmes, Motörhead, the Replacements, Rancid, Sublime, Danzig, Public Enemy, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Bad Religion, GWAR and many more.

For tickets and more information, visit

Randolph Street Market Festival
Sept. 28-29

If you’re looking to shop in the sunshine in Chicago, the outdoor Randolph Street Market Festival is a great chance to do so.

Located in the West Loop along Randolph Street between Ada Street and Ogden Avenue, the festival features antiques, vintage collectibles and indie designer apparel from more than 200 dealers, as well as a food market, music and kids’ activities and a global goods bazaar.

The event, held outside the Beaux Arts Plumbers Union Hall Building takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 online or $10 in advance.

For more information, visit

Chicago Gourmet
Sept. 27-29

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Millennium Park, the sixth annual Chicago Gourmet event is the place for foodies to flock to in late September.

A celebration of local food and wine, the event will provide patrons the chance to eat and drink sample servings from more than 100 of the Windy City’s finest restaurants and also rub elbows with some of its most famous chefs, who will be conducting cooking demos, tastings, expert seminars and book signings.

For more a full schedule, ticket information and more details, visit