- CLAIRE DORN
- Takashi Murakami
Story Arc Sketch Comedy Festival Sketch group Vienna Juvenile hosts this brand-new festival combining theater and sketch comedy. 6/1-6/10: Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 10 PM, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, viennajuvenilecomedy.com, $15, $25 for all-night pass, $50 for five-day pass.
Pug Party The goal of this celebration is simple: gather as many pugs in one place as possible. Hundreds of pups are expected to attend this year's event, which includes food, drink, adoption information from the Milwaukee Pug Rescue, and cute overload. Sat 6/3, noon-5 PM, Park Tavern, 1645 W. Jackson, 773-485-2100, pugparty.com, $8, $5 for kids, free for dogs.
"The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg" Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has collaborated with Kanye West and Louis Vuitton, and now his anime-inspired paintings are on display in Chicago for the first time. High-rollers can attend the opening gala on Sat 6/3—which features a performance by Janelle Monáe—for $250-$2,500; the rest of us will just have to take in the artist's work examining globalization, media culture, and the continued threats of nuclear power in less glamorous company. 6/6-9/24, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660, mcachicago.org, $12, $7 students and seniors, free for kids 12 and under and members of the military, free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.
- Courtesy Vegan Food and Drink festival
Chicago Vegan Food and Drink Festival A dining and drinking fest where everything is 100 percent vegan—even the live entertainment. Nosh includes hot dogs, doughnuts, waffles, and southern fried chicken (er, chickun). Sat 6/10, 11 AM-7 PM, Grant Park, S. Columbus and E. Jackson, vegandrinkfest.com/chicago, $15, free for kids 12 and under.
Chicago Alternative Comics Expo For the sixth year this gathering (better known as CAKE) celebrates local independent comics with a weekend of workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, and panel discussions. This time around guests include Gabrielle Bell (Cecil and Jordan in New York), Kevin Budnik (Handbook), Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters), and Ben Passmore (Your Black Friend). Sat 6/10-Sun 6/11: 11 AM-6 PM, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, cakechicago.com, free.
Pilsen Food Truck Social This festival features more than two dozen local food trucks in one place—Boo Coo Roux, Piko Street Kitchen, and Tamale Spaceship among them—with live music from Guapachosos, Los Gold Fires, and Sonorama, and even more to eat from local brick-and-mortar restaurants, for those who prefer their food not on wheels. Sat 6/10-Sun 6/11: 11 AM-10 PM, 18th and Allport, pilsenfoodtrucksocial.com, $5 suggested donation, $20 sampler ticket.
Activate: Off Street The theme of the Chicago Loop Alliance's first alley party of the season is "rec room of the block." The night features a pop-up barber shop, a matchup of professional ping-pong players, a breakdancing battle, a mural by Chris Orta and Jose Quezada, body painting, music from Ifficial Reggae Movement and the Four Star Brass Band, and plenty of drinks. Thu 6/15, 5-10 PM, Sullivan Center Alley, Monroe between State and Wabash, loopchicago.com/activate, free.
- MICHAEL LUCAS
Chicago Pride Fest This two-day street fest is just a warm-up for the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25. The Boystown takeover kicks off with a Pride Pageant, local street vendors, and three stages of music with performances by Taylor Dayne, Thelma Houston, and Kristine W. Sat 6/17-Sun 6/18: 11 AM-10 PM, Halsted between Belmont and Addison, northalsted.com, $10 suggested donation.
The Shermer Club: A John Hughes Fest Last year's celebration of Ferris Bueller's Day Off sparked this spin-off event featuring screenings of six of the writer-director's films followed by Q&As with those involved, including Howard Deutch, Anthony Michael Hall, Andrew McCarthy, and Lea Thompson. 6/22-6/25, various times and locations, theshermerclub.com, $30 per screening, $50-$85 for a one-day pass, $350 for a four-day pass.
Chicago Whiskey Wine & Spirits Beach Festival Enjoy 60 wines, whiskeys, and other spirits at this lakefront party featuring live entertainment, food trucks, and a souvenir tasting glass. Sun 6/26, 12:30-3:30 PM and 4-7 PM, Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore, playerssports.net, $10-$30, $25-$55 for VIP.