Blogger network BlogHer brings its annual conference back to Chicago this year, July 25-27, at the McCormick Convention Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., and the Sheraton Chicago, 301 E. North Water St. Attend panels and talks by bloggers, technologists and celebrities, check out the exhibition floor, and party after hours at a variety of events. See the full schedule here [PDF]. Day passes for individuals are $149, or $398 for the full conference; other registration levels exist. Register online or at the door.
It's in nearby (~20 miles) Whiting, Indiana, but the Pierogi Fest is an experience all Chicagoans need to have. If you love the Polish delight, this three day festival for you. Runs Friday and Saturday, 10am-11pm; Sunday 11am-5pm at East 119th and Indianapolis Blvd.
The 29th annual Newberry Book Fair runs July 25-28 at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St. Browse through more than 120,000 used books for sale, most under $2. The fair is open from 10am to 6pm today. Admission is free.
Fork and the Road bicycling food tours takes a trip through South American cuisine today. The tour departs from Kitchen Sink Café, 1107 W. Berwyn Ave., at 11am and visits a Brazilian market, a Peruvian restaurant and a Columbian bakery on a ~17-mile route. Advance registration is required; tickets are $50 per person.
Printer's Ball, Chicago's largest annual celebration of literary and print making culture, runs today from noon to 6pm at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 821 W. Hubbard St. This year's theme is "Trip & Return." See Tony Fitzpatrick in conversation with Fred Sasaki, printshop demos with Brad Vetter & Alex Valentine, free jazz performances curated by Elastic Arts Foundation and much, much more! Free.
Wicker Park Fest fills the streets on Milwaukee Avenue from North to Paulina today and Sunday from noon to 10pm each day. Catch dozens of bands on three stages, enjoy tasty food from local vendors and shop local businesses. $5 suggested donation.
2:20pm - Walkie Talkies
3:25pm - Pet Lions
4:30pm - Santah
5:20pm - Kid Karate
6:40pm - Delicate Steve
7:45pm - Bahamas
9pm - Man Man
3pm - The Hecks
3:45pm - Workout Music
4:30pm - The Bright White
5:45pm - Young General
7pm - Leagues
8:30pm - Meat Puppets
2:05pm - The Dirty Pigeons
3:10pm - Damn Choir
4:15pm - Minor Characters
5:20pm - The Lighthouse and The Whaler
6:25pm - Their/They're/There
7:30pm - Tera Melos
8:45pm - Cults
Shop and enjoy fine weather on the patio beer garden at Small Bar Logan Square today for the first annual Hoo Ha Hootenany. The event features eight lady crafter exhibitors, and there'll be a wide range of goods and services. Bonus: the whole event is free, including the raffle, cookies, and cupcakes! Noon-5pm. 2956 N. Albany. Download a flyer (PDF).
This week the Paper Machete at the Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway, features Caitlin Bergh, Steve Delahoyde, Jet Eveleth, TJ Jagadowski and Beth Melewski, Marin Morrow, Claire Mulaney and Lindsay Muscato, plus cabaret music by Bethany and the Two Johns and special musical guests Beware My Lovely. Hosted by Christopher Piatt. The show is at 3pm. Free, 21+
A group of workers from the Resource Center's Food Recovery Program, which helps get unused food from stores and restaurants into hunger relief groups (soup kitchens, pantries, etc.) get honored for their efforts tonight at a dinner held at City Farm (1204 N. Clybourn, 5:30pm). The grub will be prepared by Fig Catering; admission $150.
Chicago Filmmakers and South Side Projections present the CAT Film Festival, devoted to films featuring felines. The same program of 14 films will be shown Friday at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., and tonight at 7:30pm on the patio at Cafe 53, 1369 E. 53rd St. Tickets are $8. You may want to bring a folding chair.
You're Being Ridiculous is a group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. With three shows this month, there's sure to be a date that matches your calendar. Come out tonight to hear stories on the theme "relationships." Stories start at 7:30pm at Mary's Attic (5400 N. Clark), tickets are $15 at Brown Paper Tickets.
US Air Guitar holds its Midwest Semifinals tonight at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Watch regional winners from 2012 as well as 2013 qualifiers from Chicago, Denver, Des Moines, Houston and Minneapolis compete to be the final three who will move on to the finals Aug. 17 in LA. Air Guitar legends Bjorn Turoque and Hot Lixx Hulahan will be on hand to host and judge, respectively, and Hot Lixx will also do a special air guitar performance with the current World Air Guitar Champion, Chicago's own Nordic Thunder. Plus special half time performances by other legends of air guitar. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. 18+
The Reigning Sound's garage rock sound has been honed in the many other bands that its members have been in, notably the Oblivians and Compulsive Gamblers. They'll headline Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., with Soft Speaker opening. The show's $12, 17+ and starts at 10pm.