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David Lissner
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10 delicious things to do in Chicago Memorial Day weekend

Fireworks (public domain image)

Kick off the summer season with fireworks at Navy Pier Saturday.

Summertime at last! Is there anywhere better than Chicago to spend Memorial Day weekend? We don’t think so. Here are just a few of the things to do this weekend.

  1. Watch the Chicago Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade in the Loop, 11 a.m. Saturday, May 28, free.

    After the opening ceremony at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington streets), the parade will step off at noon and head south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren.

  2. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner at Birch River Grill, Arlington Heights, 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 28, $12.

    Broasted chicken, cole slaw and sweet-potato fries feature.

  3. See the fireworks at Navy Pier, 10:15 p.m. Saturday, May 28, free.

    Navy Pier begins its summer fireworks season with a spectacular display over Lake Michigan. The Pier’s fireworks shows will take place at 9:30 p.m. every Wednesday and 10:15 p.m. each Saturday throughout the summer. They’ll also host July 4 pyrotechnics.

  4. Shop at the seventh annual Randolph Street Market Festival, West Loop, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 28, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 29, $8 in advance, $10 at the door (admission refunded with purchase).

    The indoor/outdoor European-style market at 1350 W. Randolph St. and 1340 W. Washington St. features more than 200 antiques dealers, plus artisanal goods and a fancy foods market selling chocolates, cakes, breads, spices, olive oils and salsas to take home or enjoy at the event.

  5. Rock out at the 27th annual Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, Lakeview, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, $5.

    Music from Velvet Jimis, Red Glare Rockets, Libido Funk Circus, Rock Candy, Too White Crew, Sorry for Partying, He Said, She Said, 7th Heaven, Hairbangers Ball and Wedding Banned plus arts and crafts, fashion, food and drinks on Sheffield Avenue between Belmont Avenue and School Street.

  6. Indulge in an all-you-can-eat ‘Patio Pig Out’ barbecue buffet at The Red Canary, River West, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 29, $20.

    The Red Canary’s enclosed garden will be open to serve whole roasted pig, Weber-grilled burgers, brats, chicken, corn on the cob, salads and more.

  7. Toast the troops with a free drink at Retro Bistro, Mount Prospect, dinnertime, Monday, May 30.

    Retro Bistro diners can salute those who’ve sacrificed for the country with a free Memorial Day sangria (California cabernet, Bombay Gin, Courvoisier Cognac and fresh fruit juices).

  8. Eat $20 steaks at 33 Club, Old Town, Monday, May 30.

    Any Allen Brothers steak on the dinner menu will be discounted (regularly priced $29.95 to $40.95).

  9. Learn Gulf of Mexico cooking at Mercadito, River North, 6 p.m. Monday, May 30, $55.

    Chef Patricio Sandoval will demonstrate and serve beachside barbecue recipes for seafood and grilled dishes, including stuffed crab shells; shrimp empanadas; Veracruz-style fish tacos; tampiquena, grilled skirt steak, and pastel de piloncillo, sugar and pineapple sponge cake. Reservations required.

  10. Eat 50-cent oysters at Shaw’s Crab House, River North and Schaumburg, 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 30.

    The restaurants’ oyster bars will be serving raw oysters on the half shell, up to two dozen at a time.