The trees are flowering, and the weather is heating up. Spring has sprung and it’s time to take advantage of Chicago’s next season, construction…errr, summer! And with summer comes a plethora of amazing international events.
For the Outdoorsy: International Sculpture Conference Outdoor Exposition (All Summer)
Whether you’re biking, skating, walking or yachting on Chicago’s Lake Shore, make sure to stop by the dozens of outdoor sculpture lining the bike trail. While most works are by talented American artists, some works have been brought in from abroad. My personal favorite is Kelpies by Scottish artist Andy Scott. But I leave it up to you to explore and find your own immense, colorful, or inspirational sculpture. Make sure to let me know in the comments section!
For the Well-Heeled & Business-focused: Russia Day Gala (June 13)
Russia remains an enigma rapped in a riddle. Filled with great promise but tons of challenges, the country remains distant from the United States. Despite improvements in trade laws in late 2010, anti-democratic actions in Moscow and more recent moves by Congress regarding human rights have led to diplomatic rows. Now, Syria too threatens to further distance the two great countries. But is that any reason to not go to an awesome party with the Russian Ambassador to the United States?
Amity begins with personal connections. No doubt lubricated by fine Russian vodka and caviar, peace once again can reign supreme. So find that old tux, learn to tie a bow tie, and practice a few Russian words because its time to celebrate Russia Day!
Besides relations really aren’t that bad, the US continues to send its astronauts to Russia to launch into space!
For the Politico: Game of Drones: A Global Affairs Pub Quiz (June 22)
Pop Quiz: 1) In which country are France and the United States negotiating a military installation to fight insurgents in the region?
2) These uninhabited islands administered by the US military from the end of World War II to 1972 are currently claimed by which two countries? As a bonus what other country (no longer recognized by the UN) also claims the islands?
3) Which two countries have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world?
If you answered: 1) Niger; 2) Japan, China AND Taiwan; 3) US & Canada; then this event is definitely for you. If you like beer, ditto.
For the Gourmand: Taste of Chicago (July 10-14)
The long-running Taste of Chicago is a local institution featuring the foods of some the cities best restaurants – very ethnically diverse. Make sure to visit Lao Sze Chaun for its incredibly spicy chicken dish. Also, word on the street is that for the first time ever, food trucks will be invited. Here’s hoping that the just created Peiorogi Wagon makes the cut!!!
Helpful Hint: I buy my ticket in advance at Jewel to save money and avoid the line.
For Culture-Vultures: Summer Ethnic Festivals
This town has more festivals in a summer month than my hometown had all year (sorry, Denver!). They are simply incredible – leaving you absolutely zero excuse to ever be bored during a summer weekend. I list just a few international festivals that caught my eye. For more options, check Metromix or the City’s website.
Irish Fest (July 12-14)
This festival is all about diverse, versatile Irish music. For the three day festival, there are not 3, not 4, but FIVE stages featuring American and International musicians! The details are still coming together but you can learn more about their main acts.
Ginza Festival (August 9-11)
Dedicated to the arts and culture of Japan, this event takes place at the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Old Town. Japanese artisans for the Waza guild will be selling their artworks which were created through traditional methods. In addition, live performances and delicious food will be plentiful. A big highlight will be Yoko Noge and Japanesque who perform an amazing mix Japanese folk and Chicago Blues!
Serb Fest (August 9-11)
After Ginza Festival, head up to Jefferson Park for Serb Fest. Here you can try Bosnia and Serbia’s national dish, Ćevapi, grilled mixed meat served with Lepinja (a type of bread), chopped onions, and salt. Then finish up with some Palačinke for dessert! While you are there, take a tour of the ornate Serbian Orthodox Church or get some friend and join the volleyball tournament!
Africa Festival of the Arts (August 30-September 2)
End your summer season with a bang.. on a drum. This pan-African festival brings you straight to an African Village where you can learn all about cultures, music, food, and their joie de vie. Details are still coming for this festival, but I expect it to be really fun!
What are your thoughts on the Summer Guide, any great events that I missed?
Write a comment and let everyone know your two cents!