THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Welcoming in the Autumn Season!

How do we welcome the autumn season here in Chicago?  With plenty of food, libations, art, music, and summer temps for an amazing fall weekend, of course!

Celebrating ten years, Bon Appétit presents the return of Chicago Gourmet to Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop this Saturday and Sunday with the nation’s premier culinary experience.  More than 250 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs gather to present lively cooking demonstrations and amazing gourmet tastings. There will also be book signings by internationally renowned chefs, winemakers and more!  Also, be on the lookout for anniversary surprises such as special toasts, party favors, photo ops, and more around every corner!!  This year Chef Rick Bayless of Frontera restaurants will be hosting this event along with Art Smith, Paul Kahan and Stephanie Izard.  Your Stage is Set – Bon Appétit!

Celebrating nine years, Chicago VeganMania takes place at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway Ave.) in the Edgewater neighborhood this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  It’s a day-long celebration of vegan culture, commerce, community, cuisine, and couture. The festival features speakers, cooking demos, insightful panel discussions, a giant food court with over 20 food vendors, live music, and over 80 vegan vendors in the exhibit hall!  And, don’t forget to memorialize your day at the red-carpet Premiere Photo Wall with props available!!  Come see for yourself why this event is the Midwest’s biggest, boldest and most anticipated vegan lifestyle and food event!

We can’t welcome in autumn without the annual Goose Island 312 Block Party at 1800 W. Fulton Street on the Near West Side this Saturday from 3:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.  There’s going to be plenty of delicious food provided by Bub City BBQ, Girl and the Goat, Beat Kitchen, Intelligentsia, and Happy Lobster; a great lineup of musical artists across two stages; specialty Goose Island beers all for $3 and more!

Whether you’re a country fan or not, throw on your cowboy boots and daisy dukes for The Country Crawl this Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. in the Lakeview neighborhood.  Hosting establishments are Old Crow Smokehouse, Country Club, Deuce’s, and John Barleycorn.  Your ticket includes a t-shirt, breakfast buffet, gift cards to use on the crawl, one free admission to The Laugh Factory and more!  It’s an All-American event not to be missed!!

Celebrate and support the talents of local artists at the Edgewater Arts Festival this Saturday and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) on Granville Avenue between North Kenmore and North Broadway Avenues in the Edgewater neighborhood.  Aside from a vast assortment of works done in a variety of media and interactions with the artists themselves, this festival offers three stages of live music, various food and beverage options, a student art show, and even a puppy costume parade!

Celebrating 11 years, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival returns to the Hyde Park Midway Plaisance on South Ellis Avenue and East 60th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood this Saturday (1:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.).  Enjoy free jazz music from over 150 of the finest local, national, and international jazz musicians in 12 venues throughout the neighborhood!  Also featured at this festival will be an outdoor dance floor, food & beverage vendors, picnic areas, artisan vendors and family-friendly programming!!

Ready for Autumn?