Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade
noon Sunday at Halsted and Belmont; free
Floats, bands, politicians and hundreds of thousands of people invade Boystown for a summer event unlike any other. Midwestern friendliness – not to mention colorful costumes, dancing and drunkenness – will be on full display at this rowdy event, the highlight of a weekend of Pride parties (including Pride Fest).
SKALD Storytelling Festival
Friday-Saturday at Studio Theater (Chicago Cultural Center)
The 10th annual yarn-spinning competition comes to a close this weekend with two fun events. On Friday (7:30 p.m., $15), Maelstrom pits six storytellers against one another as they improvise tales based on audience suggestions. The audience votes for the winner. On Saturday (7:30 p.m., $20), Steve Edwards of WBEZ Chicago hosts a panel of expert judges at the main competition, which features professional storytellers.
Taste of Chicago
Friday through July 5 at Grant Park; free
The city's annual ode to gluttony gets even bigger this year, with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and a whole new music stage full of independent and local acts (bigger names like Buddy Guy, Ne-Yo and Counting Crows headline the main stage). Take a look at the vendor list, plan your concert schedule and prepare for total grill domination. It's Taste time, baby!
Rock the Bells
Saturday at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre; $38-$176
For the past five years, Rock The Bells has been the celebratory convergence point for hip-hop's past, present and possible future. For one day a year, legends of the golden era (this year's representatives include Nas, Busta Rhymes, GZA and Common) share fertile ground with the future sounds of hip-hop (including K'Naan and The Knux). The Chicago stop on the tour won't necessarily have a show-stealing headliner like in years past, but the overall balance of stellar acts should more than make up the difference. Some of the more notable performances will come via The Roots, Slum Village, Sage Francis, Raekwon, Big Boi, Reflection Eternal and the Blastmaster himself, KRS-One.