Tall Ships Chicago
Through Sunday at Navy Pier; $9-$19
Find ships of all shapes and sizes, but mostly big, pirate-like vessels rolling in on Lake Michigan this weekend. In addition to boarding the ships, there are also plenty of kids activities on Navy Pier.
Through Saturday at Excalibur; $20
The best way to describe this performance is freaks, aerialists and burlesque artists, putting on a show in a nightclub shaped like a castle. "Phenomenal Phantasmagoria" comes with a Vegas-sized load of glitz and kitsch, but its ingredients are 100 percent pure Chicago. Don't miss guest artists like sleek, sly stripper Lady Jack or world-conquering show-woman Madam Barker (aka punk clown goddess Molly Brennan).
Bucktown Arts Fest
Friday-Saturday at Senior Citizen's Park; free
Fight the (gentrification) powers that be with a hearty roster of local bands, art, performances and local food. The event has drawn upwards of 30,000 people to the Senior Citizens Park (at the corner of Oakley and Lyndale) in recent years. Not just because it takes place in a park is this event grassroots; unlike many such fairs in the city, put on by commercial production companies, volunteers proudly run the fun.
The Original Wailers
8 p.m. Friday at Beverly Arts Center; $25-$27
Although this may not be the Wailers we all remember, this incarnation has proven that they have the ability to continue the traditions laid down by the legendary Bob Marley. Session players Junior Marvin and Al Anderson, who both appeared on Natty Dread and Exodus, have done a masterful job of reinterpreting Bob’s classic work, yet they still manage to honor his integrity by not straying too far from the original compositions.
Taste of Greece
Noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday in Greektown; free
Find Greek food (gyros, saganaki, lamb chops, baklava), music (from the Hellenic Five and Hellas 2000), belly dancing, the Jesse White Tumblers, kids' activities and more on Halsted Street in Greektown. Plus, you can learn the sirtaki (it's a dance) and possibly win a free trip to Greece.