Opening Ceremonies: Polish Fest at Copernicus Center
Festival season kicks off in a blaze of pierogies, potato pancakes, kielbasa, and plenty of imported Tyskie beer.
Party starters: Live music ranges from polka groups to punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza (pictured).
Sat-Sun Noon-5p. Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Jefferson Park (847-864-4000). $5.
Nearby: China Star; Gale Street Inn; Taqueria La Estrella
Home Brew: Wicker Park Bucktown TAP Beer Fest
Local brewers from neighborhood bars and restaurants pair specialty beers with live music at this first-ever event.
Hood rats: From Bangers & Lace to Fatpour to Bar Bar Black Sheep, tour the neighborhood without leaving your stool.
Sat 1-5p. Dolphin, 2200 N. Ashland Ave., Bucktown (773-384-2672). $35 here.
Nearby: Webster’s Wine Bar & Grill; Danny’s; Hollywood Grill
Pinkies Up: Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour Chicago
Sample more than 200 of the top-scoring selections picked by the expert winos from Wine Spectator magazine.
Meet market: Meet and mingle with the winemakers over a light buffet of paired cheeses, fruits, and pastries.
Fri 7-10p. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., River East (312-595-7437). $200 here.
Nearby: Riva; Odyssey; Harry Caray’s Tavern
Street Riot: John Barleycorn Street Festival
John Barleycorn blocks off the streets to bring in beer trucks and live bands at this three-day binge.
Holiday treats: In addition to endless pours from the Miller Lite roadster, sangria and mint juleps form a drink trifecta.
Fri-Sun. John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg (847-619-5540). $10-25.
Nearby: Weber Grill; Chevys Fresh Mex; Champps Americana