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Get a Taste of Chicago this July

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From the Saturday, July 5, editions of The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …

The WISCH LIST

By Dave Wischnowsky

The fireworks may be over this July, but in Chicago the fun isn’t.

And neither is the food. Or the music, for that matter.

In fact, there’s perhaps no better month during which you can get a taste of Chicago – and not just at the Taste of Chicago. Beyond the city’s longtime signature food event, there are also three other “Tastes” around town this month to satisfy your summertime appetite.

So, fire up your taste buds, take out your ear buds and hang out with some of your buds at these July festivals.

Taste of Lakeview
July 5-6

Tucked in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant Lakeview neighborhood at the intersection of Lincoln and Belmont avenues, the Taste of Lakeview is expected to attract more than 35,000 fest-goers this weekend to sample summertime fare from the likes of The Pony Inn (a favorite among Blackhawks players), Dinky Donuts and Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro.

The fest, which asks for a $5 donation, also features four of the city’s most popular cover bands with Hairbangers Ball (7 p.m.) and Wedding Banned (8 p.m.) hitting the stage tonight, with 16 Candles (7 p.m.) and Too White Crew (8 p.m.) performing on Sunday evening.

For more information, visit starevents.com.

The Taste of Chicago
July 9-13

Now in its 34th year, the Granddaddy of Food Festivals has been looking long in the tooth in recent summers, but last year a shortened and tweaked Taste of Chicago actually turned a profit.

The city will surely be hoping that it will do so again between July 9-13 when the Grant Park festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the Taste is free and tickets can be purchased online for its musical lineup at the Petrillo Music Shell, which includes AWOLNATION, Emmylou Harris, and Jeff Tweedy.

The food, however, is again the star of the event, of course. This year, the Taste includes eight new “pop-up” restaurants, as well as an array of popular food trucks and 66 other restaurants. For music tickets and full event details, visit cityofchicago.org.

Taste of River North
July 18-20

Wrapped around grassy Ward Park along the river at the corner of North Kingsbury and West Erie streets in one of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods, the Taste of River North is much more relaxed than the Taste of Chicago, but no less delicious or entertaining.

The event features food and cocktails from a variety of River North restaurants such as Kinzie Chophouse, Redhead Piano Bar, Stout Barrel House and The Kerryman, but this year’s marquee attraction for patrons of a certain age may be the musical lineup for the night of Friday, July 18.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the entire evening will be a tribute to ’90s music featuring tribute bands for Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt and Sublime.

For more information on the fest, which asks for a $5 donation, visit tasteofrivernorth.com.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue
July 26-27

Featuring 250 vendors, 35 musical acts on three stages, arts and crafts for sale, and a free kids carnival with pony rides and a petting zoo, the Taste of Lincoln Avenue offers a little bit of something for everyone.

Set along Lincoln Avenue between Fullerton and Wrightwood avenues, the event requires an $8 admission for full day access between noon and 10 p.m. Saturday night’s musical acts include the Lovehammers and the Gin Blossoms, while Sunday night’s headliner is Rusted Root.

For more information, visit tasteoflincolnchicago.com.