Ginkgo Tree mural by Kevin Garbacz, an exhibitor this weekend's smART Show.
1. Wicker Park Bucktown First Friday and smART Show
Friday-Sunday at Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee
On the first Friday of each month, the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods host an artists' open house. This month, the First Friday event coincides with the Winter smART show. For a suggested $5 donation you can explore the historic Flat Iron Arts Building and view the art of over 100 resident, guest and student artists. Many studios offer refreshments, and impromptu performances will occur throughout the evening. Also look for performances and events at neighborhood venues Debonair, the Double Door and Piece.
2. Flashback Weekend's Twilight Convention Chicago
Friday-Sunday at Wyndham O'Hare, 6810 N. Mannheim, Rosemont; $15-$425 (depending on package)
Based on the best-selling book series by Stephanie Meyer, the film "Twilight" was a box office smash in 2008. Its sequel, "New Moon," is set for release in 2009. In addition to taking advantage of autograph and photo-op sessions with celebrity guests Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), and Justin Chon (Eric Yorkie), fans can participate in panel discussions, the Friday-evening Forks Prom Party, the Saturday-evening Vampire Costume Ball and custom fang-making.
3. The Unlympic Spelling Bee
7 p.m. Saturday at Quimby's, 1854 W. North; $5 entrance fee (limit 50 competitors)
The Official Unlympics, the people behind physical games such as "run around the block and we'll time you" and emotional games such as "solitary confinement," present a mental game, the Spelling Bee. The ultimate grade-school competition of intellectual prowess and rote memorization will take place at Quimby's Bookstore. Attendance is free and open to the public. If you wish to compete, you must pay a $5 entrance fee and sign up. A month-long sporting event series, the Unlympics intends to encourage active dialogue around the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.
4. Cycle World International Motorcycle Show
Friday-Sunday at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River, Rosemont; $13 for adults, $6 for children
Presented by Toyota, this 13 city nationwide tour cruises into Chicago with hundreds of the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, and ATVs. Several manufacturers will showcase new models and offer an up-close look at the latest in fuel efficient transportation.
5. University of Chicago Folk Festival
Friday-Sunday at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th; $20-$25, some events are free
2009 marks the 49th anniversary of the University of Chicago Folk Festival. In addition to evening performances on the cheap where dancing in the aisles is the norm, the annual jamboree offers free daytime workshops. The family-friendly outing features performances by Brian Conway and Brendan Dolan (Irish), Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers (bluegrass), Paul Daigle and Sons (Cajun), and Lisa Orstein and Andre Marchand (Quebecois), as well as old-time string, Appalachian, blues and bagpipe music.