As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Wednesday, January 18
There are multiple oyster fests in September in Chicago (hooray!), so snag your first meal of mollusks this Saturday at the Shock Top Oyster Fest. Sponsored in part by the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, the fest features fresh seafood, arts & crafts, and an eclectic music lineup. 11am-10pm, $7 suggested donation. Enter at Roscoe St. and Damen Ave.
The Renegade Craft Fair returns to Division Street from Damen to Paulina today and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Browse the creations of dozens of artisans and crafters, take crafting workshops and enjoy tasty snacks. Admission is free. Read our preview in A/C.
German American Fest takes over the street in Lincoln Square, on Lincoln Avenue from Western to Leland. Enjoy German music, dancing, beer and food from noon to 11pm today. At 2pm, the Von Steuben Parade makes its way through the festival. Admission is free; you'll need beer tickets to drink.
The Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., hosts the Internet Cat Video Festival today. Hosted by Lil Bub and her owner, Mike Bridavsky, the festival includes everything from Vine clips to short films, all featuring cats from the Internet. There are four showings -- 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm and 10:30pm; doors open 30 minutes before showtime. The shows are all ages except for the last one, which is 18+, and there's an afterparty at midnight next door at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St., that's 21+. Tickets for the festival are $12 general admission, $20 seated, $75 VIP and $100 for VIP with a meet'n'greet with Lil Bub. All proceeds benefit Tree House Humane Society and Chicago Cat Rescue.
The Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest brings us another wonderful weekend of amazing music. Saturday's lineup includes the War On Drugs, The Dismemberment Plan, funky METERS, Mac DeMarco, Sylvan Esso, Valerie June, Empires and Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra. Doors open at 1pm today. Single day and two-day tickets are available for $39 and $65. Read our preview in Transmission.
Threadless hosts Bit Bash, Chicago's indie videogame festival, today from 2 to midnight at its headquarters, 1260 W. Madison St. Check out more than 30 independently developed games, enjoy beer from Arcade Brewers, listen to live music and generally geek out. Admission is free but tickets are recommended, and donations are appreciated. First come, first served, so get there early.
The Chicago Fringe Festival runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 7 at several venues in Jefferson Park. More than a dozen works of experimental theatre are staged each night. Tickets are $10 per performance, plus $5 for a festival button; Multi-show packs are available for $45 to $175. Performances start at 2:30pm today.
The Gene Siskel Film Center presents a series of films by Filipino directors, starting this afternoon with the Chicago premiere of Norte, The End of History at 3:00pm. A total of five films will be screened throughout the month at the Film Center: see the Film Center Website for details. Film Center: 164 North State Street. Box office: (312) 846-2085.
Where can you find Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Billy Williams and Ozzie Guillen (to name a few) all on one baseball diamond? In Schaumburg at Boomers Stadium, that's where! It's the Second Annual LAP (Larry A. Pogofsky) Chicago All-Star Softball Challenge with tickets as low as $15 and all proceeds going to benefit Chicago White Sox Charities, Cubs Charities, and local children's charities.
Come learn the basics of making and canning homemade fruit jams at this workshop hosted by Susie of Pear Tree Preserves. ReBuilding Exchange, a nonprofit whose mission is to "create a market for reclaimed building materials," is located at 1740 W Webster Ave. The class is $20 and runs from 2:30pm - 4:30pm.
Another day, another opportunity to love bacon at this event, which will be held at the Great Hall of Union Station (500 W. Jackson), 7:00-9:30pm (VIP early entry begins at 6:30pm). Tickets $45-110. Event benefits St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
The 21st edition of Stay Smooth -- the celebration of yacht rock hosted by STV SLV, Kriz Baronia and DJ MR -- departs from DuSable Harbor, 200 N. Breakwater Access, tonight at 7pm for a cruise on Lake Smoothigan aboard the Anita Dee II. Excellent music and a hosted bar await. Tickets are $60 general admission, $85 for VIP treatment including dinner and drinks at Schubas before the cruise.
Eugene Sun Park's indie film, Self Deportation: The Untold Tale of a Marginal Woman, will be shown at 8pm today at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St. See September 10 for a second screening. The 15-20-minute rough-cut film will include a post-show discussion with writer/director Sun Park and other members of the cast and crew. Shorts by four other Chicago-based Asian-American filmmakers will also be shown. Tickets are $8. For more information, contact Chicago Filmmakers online or call 773-293-1447.
The Chicago all-female performance variety revue, Beast Women, kicks off its new season at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave, at 10:30pm. Performers include sword dancers Jeanette Daft & Viktoria, singer Elle Cassaza and storytelling stalwart, Lily Be. Tickets are $20.