We have been lucky this winter (so far). No major snow, no crazy cold, just jet stream goodness that keeps blowing in unseasonably warm air. Not that any of this makes the great Chicago summers seem any less fleeting. As we know, it's summer long before it's summer. So resolve to get busy with any of the zillion neighborhood festivals that vie for attention during the summer months. We won't even bother you with notations about how amazing the Grant Park Music Festival is, or how those free shows at Millennium Park are priceless. Last year, we saw the Oakley Festa Pasta Vino, in addition to giants such as St. Ben's, Midsommar and Ribfest. Most fests these days have a suggested donation, and only the truly churlish would have the temerity to observe that a suggested donation is not a mandatory one. The wee fee is usually a bargain for what you get, often great music. The 2012 schedule isn't final yet, so you'll have to wait until April to visit explorechicago.org and plan your attack.
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