The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
For such an abbreviated month (even with the extra day leaping in this year), Chicago’s February certainly packs in a lot. And that’s not even including all of the romantic – or ridiculous – ways you can while away Valentine’s Day.
But we’ll deal with those next week.
Today, I’ll let you know what’s taking place in the Windy City during the second month of 2016 should you want to blow into town for a visit.
Mardi Gras celebrations
If you can’t make it down to New Orleans to celebrate Fat Tuesday on Feb. 9 – or to St. Louis, which claims to host the nation’s second-largest Mardi Gras celebration – you can still let the good times roll in Chicago.
On Saturday, Feb. 6, Navy Pier will host the “World’s Largest Indoor Bar Crawl” from 2 to 8 p.m. in honor of Mardi Gras. For $30 admission, guests will enjoy drinks and food from 10 bars, including Margaritaville, Harry Caray’s Tavern and Billy Goat Tavern, as well as live music, face-painting, games and prizes. For more information, visit eventbrite.com.
Also on Feb. 6, an authentic Carnaval celebration (Brazil’s version of Mardi Gras) will be held from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.). The event, put on by Chicago Samba, will include live music, dance lessons and feathery Carnival costumes. For more information, visit chicagosamba.com.
Chicago is a great food city, a great architecture city and a great sports city. It’s also a great theater city.
And in honor of that greatness, the city will hold its 4th annual Chicago Theatre Week from Feb. 11-21 (apparently, 10 days is a more theatrical version of a “week”). Presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Choose Chicago, the event will provide visitors and residents with the opportunity to enjoy discounted ticket prices ($15 or $30) to more than 100 productions at venues across the city.
For a full list of shows, visit chicagotheatreweek.com.
Chicago Auto Show
For all of the motorheads among us, Chicago again is offering up its annual wintertime opportunity to witness everything that’s new in the world of cars during what’s billed as the largest and longest-running auto show in America.
Inside this year’s sprawling showcase, held at McCormick Place from Feb. 13-21, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display, along with a wide array of accessories, competition vehicles, collector cars and other auto-related exhibits.
For more information visit chicagoautoshow.com.
Chinese New Year Parade
If you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolutions, well, there’s good news. You have a chance for a do-over in February.
On Valentine’s Day (or New Year’s Day, if you will), the free Lunar New Year Parade celebrating the Year of the Monkey kicks off in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and heads north up Cermak Road.
The lively event features teams of lion dancers, marching bands and colorful floats, along with a 90-foot-long “Mystical Dragon.” There’s also a treasure trove all great Chinese restaurants along the route.
For more information, visit ccc-foundation.org.
Northerly Island Adventure
If you’re the outdoorsy-type, even during winter, but also enjoy the city, then Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island is right up your alley.
From noon to 4 p.m. on Feb. 20, you can see birds of prey and wolves, listen to a storyteller and walk on snowshoes (if there’s snow) all within close view of Chicago’s spectacular skyline. The event is free except parking, with the most convenient lot at nearby Adler Planetarium.
For more information, visit chicagoparkdistrict.com.