CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Bucktown and Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Square, Evanston

Bucktown and Wicker Park: The Bristol will have a special BBQ menu until July 7! It’s Bristol, Beers, and BBQ week! This week is in partnership with Kitchen Possible. All proceeds will benefit this local organization which empowers kids through cooking in underserved Chicago neighborhoods. There will also be a tap takeover from Off Color Brewing. Some of the mouthwatering menu items are a Watermelon Salad with feta cheese, black olives, red onion, and mint; Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs; a Pulled Pork Sandwich with Carolina BBQ sauce and smoked provolone; Duck Fat Fries served with garlic aioli and ketchup; and more. Find more information and plan your visit here.

Lincoln Park: On Friday August 23, Lincoln Park Zoo will proudly host the Chicago Philharmonic for the first time. Explore the zoo after hours while the orchestra performs beautiful symphonic classics in a special 90-minute program for all ages. Guests can explore the fragrant gardens, buy drinks from cash bars, and snack on concessions throughout the zoo. Seating is general admission, so guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and small chairs. The event begins at 6:30 and the concert is from 7:30 to 9. All ages are welcome and entrance is free for children 3 and under. General admission tickets are $25 (10% off for Zoo/Chicago Philharmonic Society members) and VIP tickets are $55 VIP (includes one complimentary drink ticket and exclusive access to the rooftop deck above the gift shop, which features private seating and bathrooms). Find more information and purchase your tickets here

Lakeview: The Japanese Cultural Center presents the Tanabata Festival! This Sunday, July 7 from 11 am to 1 pm, celebrate the experience of a traditional Japanese Matsuri- or festival. The Star Festival, called Tanabata, is held annually on July 7th in Japan. At this special event, you make a wish on a strip of paper and then hang it on bamboo to make it come true. Traditional Japanese foods will be served and there will be games and craft workshops for the kiddos. Children under 4 have free admission. Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased here.

Chicago Loop: Mark your calendars for the first annual Tequila & Michelada Festival! The festival is Saturday July 13 from 2 to 9 pm at Bassline Chicago (2239 South Michigan Ave). There are 2 sessions available: 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm. Each session includes a 12 oz. Mike Mix Michelada, 5 tequila samples, and 1 food voucher. There will be live music, contests, and samples throughout the day! Tickets start at just $30 and can be purchased here.

Lincoln Square: On July 11 from 6-9 pm, you’re invited to an evening of wine tasting and appetizers to benefit Common Pantry. It’s the Summer Wine Social! Enjoy an evening of wine from around the world to raise money for this fantastic local organization. It’s the longest continually operating food pantry in the city of Chicago! The event is at Beyond Design. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased here.

Evanston: The Taste of Evanston is almost here! The fifth annual event is on July 14, brought to you by the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club. It’s from 4-7 pm on the east lawn of the Charles Gates Dawes House, home of the Evanston History Center. You’ll enjoy food and drink from over 40 of Evanston’s trendiest restaurants, local breweries, and wine shops all while raising funds to help homelessness. Participating restaurants include Koi, Bangers and Lace, Temperance Beer Co., Peckish Pig, Farmhouse, Edzo’s Burger Shop, and more. General admission tickets are $90, adults under 21 are $45, and children under 12 are $15. Find more information here.