Your weekend fest plans really depend on your answer to one question: Do you have Lolla tickets? The three-day fest is sold out, but it's not the only game in town. You can escape the crazy downtown crowds with your pick of two tasty fests, Fiesta del Sol in Pilsen or Taste of Latin America in Logan Square. Both offer plenty of tempting eats plus music and other entertainment. Whether you're crowd-surfing at Lolla or feasting at the smaller fests, make the most of your first August weekend with our guide. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeeatdrink
Each week, we're issuing a mini photo challenge to help you make the most of the weekend's fests, and we know you've spent days, if not weeks, planning your Lolla outfit. Show us what you're wearing at any of this weekend's fests and tag it #GetFested on Instagram for a chance to have your photos appear in RedEye. Last week, we asked for your nighttime fest photos, and we love the colorful ones from @chicagofoodpharaoh.
When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Where: Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.); main festival entrance at Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway; North entrance at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street; box office located just north of the main entrance at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street
How much: All tickets sold out
Don't miss: We'll leave it to the experts at RedEye's Sound Board to give you the scoop on which bands to see and which to skip. Look for all of their coverage—including guides to which smaller bands to check out, 40-plus after shows, plus daily lineup breakdowns and more—at redeyechicago.com/lolla. That's also where you'll find our ScribbleLive, a constantly updating ticker of RedEye staff's tweets, photos and other on-the-scene coverage of the festival all weekend long. Lollapalooza itself also has released an official app for Android and iPhone; opt in to receive push notifications about important announcements and emergency info. Before you pack your bag, give the festival's FAQ page a solid read—for example, it's OK to bring a tube of sunscreen but not an aerosol bottle.
Fiesta del Sol
When: 5-10 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Where: 1400 W. Cermak Road
How much: Free to attend; carnival rides and food for purchase
Don't miss: One of the largest festivals in the city, this long-running Pilsen event draws an estimated one million people during its four days. An alcohol- and tobacco-free festival, the focus is on family-friendly carnival rides as well as food and music. Check out House of Sol, a stage located at Cermak Road and Loomis Street that hosts dozens of house music DJs across all four days, plus other performers including former Menudo member and X Factor finalist Carlito Olivero (8 p.m. Sunday). Hungry? Take your pick of Latin American snacks including arepas, churros, tamales, pambazos (a sandwich similar to a torta), sopes, aguas frescas and more.
Taste of Latin America
When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Where: 3600 W. Armitage Ave.
How much: Free to attend
Don't miss: This fest is all about the food, from favorites such as empanadas to lesser-known treats including alcapurria (banana fritters stuffed with meat), pork milanesa and Chicago's own sandwich creation, the jibarito, from restaurants including Cemitas Puebla, Piko Riko Pollo, The Scoop Neveria and others. Mexican, Puerto Rican, Colombian and Caribbean cuisines all are represented at this fest, which also offers wine, live music and arts and crafts.
Plan the rest of your summer with RedEye's full summer fest schedule at redeyechicago.com/fests.