September?! September. This new month either fills you with dread ("Where did summer go?") or with elation ("Finally! I'm not sweaty!"). Whichever camp you're in, this weekend's fests are a great excuse to enjoy the final weekends of summer, or to get out to a fest without worrying that you'll melt on the asphalt. Popular late season fests are back, including Shock Top Oyster Fest, Renegade Craft Fair and the Hideout Block Party/Onion & A.V. Fest. You also have your choice of tasty fests including The Great American Bacon Festival, Windy City Wine Festival, Chicago Turkish Festival and more. With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, there's no time like the present to get out there. @redeyeeatdrink

Shock Top Oyster Fest

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday Where: Roscoe Street at Damen Avenue

How much: $7 suggested donation

Don't miss: Formerly the Guinness Oyster Fest, this Roscoe Village staple is back for a 16th year with a new beer sponsor, Shock Top. Expect seasonal brews, raw oysters from Village Tap Bar & Grill plus two stages of music, including Irish acts and cover bands. Headliners include California-based Celtic band Gaelic Storm (8:30 p.m. Saturday) and pop/rock act 16 Candles (7:45 p.m. Saturday).

The Great American Bacon Festival

When: 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday (VIP access from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.)

Where: Union Station (500 W. Jackson Boulevard)

How much: General admission ($65 until Thursday; $80 at the door); VIP ($95 until Thursday; $110 at the door):

Don't miss: The bacon train rolls into Union Station for this pork-centric fest which offers unlimited samples of dishes such as bacon caramel corn, bacon-wrapped sushi, smoked gouda and bacon mac 'n' cheese, bacon s'mores and more. Also expect beer for purchase, bacon-cooking demonstrations and even bacon trivia. VIP access includes an extra half hour at the fest, a VIP lounge, a chef panel and a Chicago bacon poster.

Chicago Turkish Festival

When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.)

How much: Free to attend

Don't miss: The 12th annual celebration of Turkish heritage returns to River North for two days of dancing, musical performances, an Ottoman-era fashion show, plus Turkish food and art. Snack on Turkish and doner kebabs, simit (Turkish bagels), Turkish tea and coffee, Mado orchid ice cream and more while watching whirling dervishes, folk dances and musicians.

The Hideout Block Party/Onion & A.V. Fest

When: 5-10 p.m. Friday; 1-10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia St.)

How much: Two-day passes ($65) and single-day passes ($39) available at

Don't miss: The A.V. Club and The Onion again team up with beloved performance space Hideout for a two-day music fest, headlined this year by Death Cab For Cutie (8:30 p.m. Friday), The War On Drugs (8:45 p.m. Saturday), The Dismemberment Plan (7:30 p.m. Saturday), Mac DeMarco (5:15 p.m. Saturday) and The Handsome Family (6:20 p.m. Friday). Death Cab fans especially will want to be there Friday night for guitarist Chris Walla's final U.S. show with the band.

Windy City Wine Festival

When: 4-10 p.m. Friday; 2-8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park (301 S. Columbus Drive)

How much: General admission tickets include 12 drink tickets ($30); designated driver tickets include two soft drink tickets ($15); both available at

Don't miss: Take your pick of more than 300 global wines in the shadow of Buckingham Fountain and the skyline at this tenth annual festival. Relax at tables set up around the fountain and enjoy live music and food for purchase from restaurants including Ruth's Chris Steak House, Packing House, Brown Bag Seafood Co. and others.

Renegade Craft Fair

When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Division Street between Damen Avenue and Paulina Street

How much: Free to attend

Don't miss: The 12th annual Renegade September Market returns to Wicker Park with nearly half a mile of artists' tables, a Reckless Records DJ booth, food vendors and workshops. Like all the best parts of Etsy come to life, the fair showcases jewelry, home goods, clothing, art prints and more from independent craft makers, along with food and drinks for purchase from Mana Food Bar, Black Dog Gelato, Blue Sky Bakery, La Colombe, Bow Truss Coffee Roasters and others. Learn a thing or two with demos led by Bernina sewing group and the Chicago School of Shoemaking.

Ukrainian Village Festival

When: 1-11 p.m. Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday

Where: Superior Street between Oakley Boulevard and Leavitt Street

How much: $5 admission

Don't miss: This annual celebration of Ukrainian heritage expects to draw 10,000 attendees across two days. Look for local and international musicians including folk and contemporary singers, plus Ukrainian dancers and food for purchase such as pierogies, blintzes, potato pancakes and cabbage rolls.


Each week, we're issuing a mini-challenge to help you make the most of the weekend's festivals. Snap a photo and tag it #getfested for a chance to see your photo in RedEye. Last week, we asked to see your best North Coast shots. We love this day/night mashup from @bamahawk1 and this cool photo from @oscararriola of Joseph "Sentrock" Perez's mural. This week, show us the twee-est craft you can find at Renegade (the more owls/deer/mustaches, the better) and tag it #GetFested on Instagram.


See RedEye's complete summer festival calendar at