Svengoolie will be among the spooky stars at this weekend's Ghost Conference. (photo via myspace.com/svengoolie26)
Chicago Ghost Conference
5-11 p.m. Friday and 8:30 p.m.-midnight Saturday; Portage Theater; $50 for a two-day pass
Join paranormal experts and speakers for this annual event about all things otherworldly. This year's speakers include Lorraine Warren from A&E's "Paranormal State" and Jeff Belanger, paranormal author and creator of Ghostvillage.com, who join members of paranormal groups from around the country to educate, inform, network, share ideas and entertain others that are fascinated with the supernatural. If that's not enough, Chicago legend Svengoolie makes an appearance on Friday night.
Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; The Plaza at Park Grill (south tent); free
Sample concoctions from eight local breweries (including Goose Island, Metropolitan, Two Brothers, Bell's and Three Floyds) at this free event. No reservations are required, but you might want to get there a little early. After all, we did just say "free beer."
10 a.m. Saturday (registration starts at 8 a.m.); Grant Park; $30 to enter
Join in on the 5K run/walk for a good cause, or just come cheer everybody on, as the Chicago AIDS Foundation looks to add to the more than $2 million it has raised for AIDS awareness. Nearly two dozen entertainment acts will perform, from the Joffrey Ballet Middle School Dance Club to the Chicago Spirit Brigade. Your race bib gets you a free post-race drink at Crew, and the bar will be serving $2 Bud Lights all day.
Chicago Country Music Festival
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Grant Park; free
Dust off your hat and boots and head out to Grant Park for some ol' fashioned two-steppin'. Actually, this year's lineup features some rather fresh faces, like local boy Joe Pug (fresh from his Lollapalooza gig over the summer), who headlines on Saturday with Miranda Lambert. Good ol' boys John Rich and Alejandro Escovedo headline on Sunday.
Ravenswood Art Walk
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Ravenswood from Waveland to Foster; free
View works from more than 150 artists head to this "Tour of Arts & Industry," celebrating its eighth year. This year's highlight is "The Blago Project," a unique, multi-artist exhibit housed in the actual wiretapped office of "Friends of Blagojevich" (4147 N. Ravenswood). There will also be children's entertainment and live performances.