Stage venues have gone to YouTube, Facebook and various web sites to keep their performers and to give something to the vast majority of stay-at-home audience members. Here is one that goes live today and can become a noon plus 30 tune-in habit.
The popular music festival has canceled this spring’s concerts and has moved some artists to September. However it has started a new, online concert series called Noon30 that starts today at March 26 12:30 p.,. EST and will continue through April 11, 2020.
Find Germain Lopez premiering the series from his home in Spain where he will be performing an acoustic version of “A Punto de Nieve” at You Look for tube/SMForg.
Look for Vasen, also performing today from Uppsala, Sweden. You can find his performance of “IPA Gubben at You Tu Be.
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, claim a little Irish blood. Wear something green. Say Sláinte for cheers and toast Éire go Brách! (Ireland forever). But you don’t have to wait until March 17, the commemorative date of St. Patrick’s death to celebrate his feast day.
Chicago celebrates this patron saint of Ireland with parades, multiple pub toasts, Irish dancing, music, special boat cruises and of course, the famed turning of the Chicago River green several days before the official date.
The festival, concert and river scene
Siamsa Na Ngael celebration at Symphony Center, 220 S.. Michigan Ave. brings Celtic music, dance and stories to the Chicago symphony’s home, March 11.
House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, features the famed Gaelic Storm on March 13-14.
March 13-15 Cruises take off from Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue docks to the sounds of Irish music and tour the Chicago River or watch it turn green. For March 14’s river dyeing event check with Wendella for a 21 and older cruise and a kids cruise. Or visit Shoreline Sightseeing’s Architecture River Cruises that celebrate Saint Paddy’s weekend by also learning about Chicago’s buildings. Other cruise choices are to see what the Spirit of Chicago Lunch Cruise has on the menu for March 14 or consider the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Clover Cruise to watch the river change color, March 14.
Irish American Heritage Festival is the annual popular place to head for food, drinks, good Irish dancers and good bands when the City of Chicago parade is over on Saturday. The Heritage Center is at 4626 N Knox Ave. Tickets are needed for the festival which goes from 1 to 11:59 p.m.
Shamrock on the Block is another popular post Saturday parade spot for food, drinks and entertainment. It’s like a large block party outside Old St. Pats Church at 700 W. Adams St.
River Dyeing happens at 9 a.m. March 14 along Wacker Drive between Columbus Drive and State Street. To watch from the Michigan Avenue Bridge or the walkways, get there early because the event normally attracts crowds.
City of Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is considered the largest of its kind in the U.S. Beginning at noon, politicians, floats, bagpipers, dancers and bands take three hours to go north on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Monroe Drives.
Southside Irish Parade on March 15 is a neighborhood, family-friendly parade that draws from other areas. Once canceled because of drinking there is a strictly enforced no drinking policy in the neighborhood and along the parade route which goes along Western Avenue from 103 rd St. to 115th.St. The parade steps off at noon.
Northwest Side Irish Parade starts at noon at the William J. Onahan School then goes south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway then north to Harlem Avenue. Parade watchers often go to a post parade party at St. Thecla Falcon Hall, 6725 W. Devon Ave,. for food, drinks and entertainment from 1 to 5 p.m.
A one-time walk-through at “Brilliance,” the Chicago Botanic Garden’s orchid show, had lifted the mood when the show opened on a cold, winter day. But going back for a second, more leisurely stroll meant finding delightful orchids clustered low under and along the garden’s regular greenhouse inhabitants and orchids seeminly glowing in the March sunlight.
How the orchids look in varying sunlight, but also the artificial light turned on during Orchids After Hours, (Thursdays March 5-19) is no accident. Called “Brilliance’ this year, the show is about color.
To complement the orchids’ hues, the garden has added bromelads in the entrance walkway, blue pipe-like glass forms in the center greenhouse’s shady walk, a bright magenta chandelier-like glass over that greenhouse’s water feature, hanging metal circular planters outside the greenhouses’ walkways and chrome-style reflecting ball-halves along a walkway.
The effect is stunning day or night. But a good way to see the show is to return at night when river-like blue stone is lit from below and the greenhouses’ lights pick up other colors and reflections.
To enjoy the orchid nightscape with special beverages, consider coming for Evening With Orchids March 11 that features beer and spirits tastings.
If you are a morning person, Tuesdays and Thursdays feature Morning Music in the Nichols Hall that range from guitar to jazz to classical.
However, if after seeing the gorgeous array of color inspires some home plant décor, know that many of the orchids in the show are available to members and the public at reduced prices during the afternoon of the Post Show Sale March 26, four days after the show closes on March 22.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway. For Garden ticket and other information call (847) 835-6801 or 835-5440 or visit Chicago Botanic.
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual Orchid Show takes on another dimension in 2020.
“We’ve done destinations. This time it’s more modern,” said Visitor Events and Programs Coordinator Sara.Harlow.
Titled “Brilliance,” the show also calls attention to orchids’ colors. “Color is important because it is part of the survival strategies of wild orchids so they can reproduce,” Harlow said, referring to how color attracts pollinators.
When visitors walk in to the exhibit in the Garden’s Regenstein Center, they will see towers of colorful orchids in the Nichols Hall, gorgeous groupings with bromeliads at their base and interesting pipe ensembles above and around them in the area leading to the greenhouses. The bromeliads add even more color.
The exhibit continues around to the left in a semi-circle of greenhouses. On the way to each greenhouse, the corridor’s walls tell stories about the importance of color and offer more orchid information. The greenhouse walls along the corridor display charming metallic circle planters filled with artistically arranged orchids.
What visitors will see during the day are sun-lit orchids seemingly planted along colored stones, orchids filling towering frames and orchids hanging from the ceiling between colorful tubes of light.
However, those rivulets of stones really cover lighting circuitry that will create a different dimension during special evening hours, according to Harlow.
“Visitors should also try to come at night We are doing After Hours Thursdays. It will look different,” she said.
The Orchid Show is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe (just east of Edens Expressway) through March 24. General hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. After Hours goes until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Feb. 14. For tickets, parking and more information visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid.
Maybe groundhogs Woodstock Willie in Illinois and Punxsutawne Phil in Pennsylvania will not see their shadows on Feb. 2, 2020, this year’s Groundhog Day. So maybe spring will come early.
However you feel about a creature’s ability to predict the end of winter, the place to be if you are an early riser and live in Illinois is the village of Woodstock where Harold Ramis had filmed “Groundhog Day,” the popular 1993 movie that he and Danny Rubin wrote.
The celebratory highlight is a very early morning wake-up call for Woodstock Willie. The prognostication takes place Sunday in the town’s historic Woodstock’Square at 7 a.m.
But even if not willing to witness the weather prediction first hand, the town’s Groundhog Day festival is worth the drive. Woodstock has been celebrating the movie and it’s filmed locations for more than 25 years with a free movie showing, marked locations and tours.
To learn about Punxsutawne Phil and the location where Bill Murray was supposed to go as TV weatherman Phil Connors, and how repeating each day until he could get Rita, the accompanying reporter to like him (Andie MacDowell) visitGroundhog.
Lanterns, dragons, colorful dances, art and instrumental music – there are Chinese New Year events in the next couple of weeks that will enrich our appreciation of Chinese culture.
But do you know your zodiac animal? If you go to any of the Chinese New Year programs in Chicago, you will likely hear that 2020 is the Year of the Rat. Because different elements also take turns, you might hear that it is the metal rat. A good, easy place to find out your animal sign and more about the Chinese Zodiac is the astronomy site of Time and Date.
Now you’re ready to check out the following events to see which fits into your calendar. They are free, open to the public and in Chicago unless otherwise noted.
Chinese Fine Arts Society Chinese New Year Kickoff
On Jan 24 at noon go to the Chicago Cultural Center during the lunch hour to see lion dances, martial arts, traditional Chinese dance and hear China’s Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre. The location is the Preston Bradley Hall on the third floor of the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. For more information visit ChicagoCulturalCenter/events.
Foodies, listen up. First Bites Bash, the yummy event that annually kicks off Chicago Restaurant Week. will be at the Field Museum Jan. 23, the night before Restaurant Week begins.
The event is a chance to sample dishes that will be on more than 60 Chicago Restaurant Week menus. Plus there are always wine tastings from different countries and restaurants’ specialty cocktails.
Several ticket levels are already sold out so to snag a ticket go now to firstbitesbash.com
A portion of the proceeds from First Bites Bash will go to the James Beard Foundation’s Chicago EATS Week Scholarship Fund that provides financial assistance to a Chicagoland student seeking a culinary arts career.
Celebrity chef/director/owners this year are Thai and Danielle Dang of the award winning HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen and Cà Phê Dá in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
“First Bites Bash is an amazing opportunity for Chicagoans to meet many of the most celebrated chefs in the city and to preview a range of exciting flavors that will only be found during everyone’s favorite culinary moment of the year, Chicago Restaurant Week,” said Chef Dang. “We are also very passionate about the cause it supports, which bolsters opportunities for our next generation of culinary leaders.”
Co-organizing agency Choose Chicago’s President and CEO David Whitaker pointed out that First Bites Bash celebrates Chicago as a “culinary destination.”
“The breadth of both neighborhoods and cuisines represented at this event and throughout Restaurant Week provide an unparalleled opportunity to make memorable dining a part of an amazing Chicago experience,” said Whitaker.
Chicago Restaurant Week, showcasing more than 400 restaurants actually takes place for well over a week. Going from Jan. 24 through Feb. 9, it features restaurants across Chicago neighborhoods and culinary styles.
Operating with prix fixe menus, it’s a chance to dine at upper-end restaurants for $24 at brunch or lunch and $36 or $48 for dinner. Reservations can be made at eatitupchicago.com
Enough of looking back at 2019. Instead, start putting some of the great shows, exhibitions and festivals of 2020 that you’ll want to see on the calendar. To start with, here are two biggies at McCormick Place (2301 S .King Drive) and a festival that takes place all across the city.
Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show
The Chicago Boat, RV and Sail show celebrates 90 year anniversary at McCormick Place, Jan. 8-12. Sponsored by Progressive® Insurance, the show features more than 700 of the newest power and sailboats and 100 RVs.
Along with oohing and dreaming while meandering the aisle, there are fun activities including learning to sail with the Chicago Sailing’s Sail Simulator, fishing in the Huck Finn Trout Pond, remote control sailboat racing and a chance to build a boat with aluminum foil (see if your design can hold golf balls and not sink). For more information visit www.ChicagoBoatShow.com
Chicago Restaurant Week
Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 24 through Feb. 9, is a chance to experience a restaurant at a favorable price. For example, The Signature Room with great views from the 95th floor of what used to be called the Hancock Building (875 N. Michigan Ave), will offer a special three course dinner (includes coffee or tea) for $48 and Lowry’s Prime Rib in the historic McCormick Mansion (100 E. Ontario), will have also have a dinner for $48.
Actually going for 17 days one week really isn’t enough to visit even a few of the 400 participating restaurants. After all, Chicago really is a foodie town with new restaurants constantly coming on the dining scene. For more information visit and restaurant choices visit Choose Chicago Restaurant Week. For participating restaurants visit Chicago Restaurant Week restaurants.
Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show, the country’s largest display of what’s coming in design and technology, is at McCormick Place Feb. 8-17. First staged at the Chicago Coliseum in 1901, the show features everything from what was, what is, what will be and what may be categorized as science fiction in some minds.
In 2020 look for concept cars, super cars, sedans, sport utilities, hybrids, crossovers, electric vehicles, minivans, luxury cars,, sports cars, convertibles, pickups, minivans, economy vehicles, hatchbacks, sporty coupes, vans diesel vehicles and wagons. Of course there will be interactive displays, test drive opportunities and simulators.
Shopping the old fashioned way, leisurely browsing in person without worrying that the items will be gone by 8 a.m. or that the internet will be overloaded, can be a treat at museums and annual gift shows.
Listed here are two examples of excellent gift shows and really good, large museum shops. They are likely to take a while to explore and are fun excursions while filling the gift list. Continue reading “Where to find unusual gifts”