Friday-Sunday at 1900 Indianapolis Blvd., Whiting, Indiana; free
Make your way to Whiting for this unique ethnic event featuring pierogi, polka bands, a parade and Mr. Pierogi. This costumed character, along with his friends The Pieroguettes and Miss Paczki, makes the rounds of the fest and performs a number of musical spoofs. There will also be plenty of family fun, a pierogi toss contest, a beer garden and an art show. Don't want to travel? Check out Centerstage's guide to the best pierogi right here in Chicago.
Newberry Book Fair
Thursday-Sunday at Newberry Library; free
Come indulge your inner bibliophile at the 25th anniversary of the best little book fair in town. The Newberry Library has more than 100,000 donated titles, priced to move. From antiques to zoology, you'll find texts on every topic, most for less than $2. Stop by on Saturday for the infamous Bughouse Square Debates in nearby Washington Square Park.
Run, Blago Run!
Friday-Sunday at 1925 N. Milwaukee; free
This group art show, made possible by a Kickstarter fundraiser, pokes fun at our former governor with all manner of street art (you may have seen the Blago stencils on buildings around town). The opening reception is from 6-9 p.m. Friday, and features DJs Sol Son and DIZ. The show will also run Saturday and Sunday from noon-7 p.m. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to Street Level Youth Media.
Wicker Park Fest
Saturday-Sunday on Milwaukee Avenue between Damen and Wood; $5
When it comes to neighborhood music fests, this is about as good as it gets—and the residents of this eclectic area wouldn't have it any other way. This year's lineup includes Junior Boys, Grand Duchy (featuring Frank Black of the Pixies), Mickey Factz, Van Ghost and more (and the after-party at the Congress Theater features Jamie Lidell). Make sure to bring an appetite, too; local BBQ fave Smoke Daddy is a sponsor.
Fun O'Clock: A Very Special "That's Weird Grandma"
Through Sunday at Theater on the Lake; $17.50
Barrel of Monkeys, one of our favorite non-profits, touches down for a week in one of our favorite city-sponsored venues. The Monkeys, adults who stage stories written by Chicago school-children, are on a noble quest to encourage literacy among the youth. As a pleasant side benefit, they produce the most insanely entertaining cheap show in the city. Do good, laugh hard.