Chicago Weekend Plans: Dragsters, Pigs And Mazes (9/9-9/11)

As happy as Chicago may be to find a break in the sweltering heat this week, seasoned pros know the blustery breezes of fall foreshadow the creeping approach of another Windy City winter. Stave off that sense of impending doom with a cardigan and a packed weekend schedule. (Or maybe a raincoat--we’re in for a stormy one.)

All Weekend

A.V. Fest
If Pitchfork didn’t fulfill your need for a setlist curated by Chicago media darlings, The Onion’s A.V. Club will help you get your next fix. A.V. Fest at the Hideout is tinged with 90’s indie-rock nostalgia, headlined by Hum and featuring the Thermals, Archer’s Loaf, Tokyo Police Club and Disappears. Catered by Chicago food trucks, A.V. Fest will fill your ears, belly, and maybe your heart--a portion of the proceeds will benefit Rock For Kids, which provides free music instruction in low-income neighborhoods.
Where: The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago
When: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price: $10 suggested donation

Renegade Craft Fair
The now-national Renegade Craft Fair returns to its roots for the eighth year, bringing hundreds of indie crafters and makers to Wicker Park for an explosion of DIY goods. Hands-on tutorials like letterpress workshops and knitting demonstrations are sure to inspire a re-stocking of that empty Etsy profile you made that one time. (Check out a cheat sheet of the hottest booths to hit up.)
Where: Division Street in Wicker Park, Chicago
When: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Price: Free


Maze ‘Til Midnight
Feeling a little lost? Find your way, armed with glow sticks, through 28 acres of corn mazes at the Maze ‘Til Midnight at Richardson Adventure Farm. Those afraid to wander can coach from an observation tower above, hop aboard a wagon ride, or find the perfect pumpkin to set out for teenagers to smash on Halloween.
Where: Richardson Adventure Farm, 9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove
When: 3 p.m. - 12 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. Saturday
Price: $12.95 adults, $9.95 kids under 12

Windy City Wine Festival
Festival season may be over, but that doesn’t mean Chicagoans are finished openly drinking in Grant Park. Keep it classy with white, red or both at the Windy City Wine Festival. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass, 10 wine tastings from a selection of over 270 varieties, food and wine demonstrations, plus live music.
Where: Buckingham Fountain, Chicago
When: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday
Price: $35, under 21 free


Taste at the Track
Watch, wager and sip at a tasting sponsored by Binny’s Beverage Depot hosted at the Arlington race track. Admission includes wine samples, food from area chefs, music and high-speed thoroughbreds. Top Chicago chefs will provide demonstrations and tastings, and a former Rosemount Scholar from the Institute of Master Wine Shields Hood will lead a discussion on the rise of Bordeauxs.
Where: 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights
When: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m
Price: $25

Route 66 Car Show
Got a classic Coupe, or wish you did? Drool over more than 500 vintage and custom cars on display at the Route 66 Car Show in Berwyn. Rub elbows with drag-racing drivers and other speed-hungry celebrities, including Chris Karamesines, the "Golden Greek" who will be on hand with his Top Fuel Dragster. The showcase of four-wheeled masterpieces is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.
Where: Ogden and Oak Park avenues, Berwyn
When: Gates open at 7 a.m., award ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Price: Free


Pay tribute to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the Beverly Arts Center’s screening of the documentary “REBIRTH.” The unrated film follows the lives of five people who were impacted by the bombing of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.
Where: 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago
When: 4 p.m., Sunday
Price: $5

3rd Annual Pig Roast at Goose Island
A proper pig roast requires lots of time, lots of space, lots of skill and a whole lot of pork. Few city residents have access to all of the above, but Slow Food Chicago’s got you covered. Slagal Farm pigs prepared by local chefs will be served with Goose Island Brewery beer, Intelligentsia coffee, vegetarian fare, desserts and a side of funk from DJ Jacob Ross.
Where: 1800 West Fulton Street, Chicago
When: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday
Price: $60

Flickr photo by mccheek.