THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Welcoming First Full Weekend of Spring!

Welcome to the last weekend of March and the first full weekend of spring!  It may not be exactly the spring temperatures we were hoping for, but at least we’re out of hibernation.  In the meantime, though, kick back, relax and have some fun at these weekend events!

Sometimes you just need to unwind with some choice libations.  If that’s the case, head on over to Gourmet Expos’ 5th annual West Loop Spirits & Wine Festival this Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) at Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Blvd.).  Not only does this festival showcase dozens of local, national, and international producers of fine spirits and wines under one roof, it also features renowned purveyors of artisanal chocolates and specialty treats; an opportunity to chat with the representatives and artisans about their process; watch experts as they give informational demonstrations showing you the best practices of pairing beverages and foods; continuous live music by Big Dog Mercer Blues Band; and more!  Ticket packages start at $45 with limited free on-site parking.  Plus, 100% of the tastings and sales net proceeds will benefit Voice of Care which embraces, empowers, and engages those who experience disabilities and their families!

This Saturday, Eataly Chicago (43 E. Ohio St.) on the Near North Side will be celebrating all things Italian wine with their Vino & Food Festa.  This festa features two time slots from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. with unlimited tastings of over 25 regional Italian wines, a tasting of meats, cheeses, and bites, and a bottle of prosecco to take home with you!  Plus, enjoy a special 10% discount in their marketplace (valid on day of event only) to bring home your favorites and more!!

This Sunday only from 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m., enjoy Jurassic Park in Concert at the Chicago Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.) in The Loop.  Relive the magic of Jurassic Park on the big screen with a thrilling performance of John Williams’ iconic score by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects will be featured as well.  Your ticket also includes a free pre-concert conversation featuring Richard Kaufman in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes prior to the performance and will last approximately 30 minutes.  Welcome to Jurassic Park!!

The biggest night in films takes place this Sunday evening with the 94th Annual Academy Awards and can be viewed LIVE only on ABC7.  However, there are several Oscar viewing parties being held around town if you prefer to go all out and celebrate in true Hollywood style!

The Chicago Actors Studio (2040 N. Elston Ave.) in the Bucktown neighborhood will be hosting their Oscar Viewing Party with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.  This event offers free admission, snacks, and drinks along with an Oscar Pool, but you need to enter before 7:00 p.m.  There’s also free parking at Best Buy located a ½ block north of the building!

The Oscar Party 2022 is being hosted at the Lark Bar Chicago (3441 N. Halsted St.) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  Their Red Carpet begins at 6 p.m. and features free award ballots and popcorn, $19 bottomless champagne (2-hour limit), and $5 Bud Light drafts.  Plus, all screens have sound!

The Academy Award Oscar Party is being hosted at My Buddy’s (4416 N. Clark St.) in the Ravenswood neighborhood from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. with tons of giveaway prizes and a ballot competition!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago