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Shake your groove thing, rock a grapevine or get ready for some soul stepping at the 15th annual Chicago SummerDance. The free program offers the most musically diverse lineup in its history and showcases dance styles from all over the world. Each night of the 11-week series offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing on an open-air dance floor.
Dance lessons run from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays with live music and dancing from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. On Sundays, dance lessons will be from 4 to 5 p.m. with live music and dancing from 5 to 7 p.m. SummerDance runs from Thursday, July 7, to Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 742-4007 or visit ChicagoSummerDance.org.
Returning for a sixth summer, the free Music Without Borders series features music spanning five continents -- Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America -- at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. On stage this week is Diogo Nogueira, who will perform samba-canção, a more melodic variation of the samba. Freshlyground opens the night with a blend of folk, jazz, blues and indie-rock with traditional South African beats.
6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Call (312) 742-1168 or visit millenniumpark.org.
Eat, drink and be cherry
Get those taste buds ready for the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich., a tasty event held annually since 1926. Travel to the heart of the nation's tart cherry capital and cherry pick among 150 events including an air show, pie-eating contests, an arts and crafts fair, parades and a fireworks finale over Grand Traverse Bay. Get in on cherry cuisine and regional wine tasting, kids' activities, a cherry pit spit contest, tournaments and much more.
Saturday, July 2, to Saturday, July 9, in Traverse City, Mich. Call (800) 968-3380 or visit cherryfestival.org.
Global treasures have a home in Indy
Here's another reason to visit Indianapolis this summer -- the Children's Museum of Indianapolis' newest permanent exhibit, "National Geographic Treasures of the Earth." The whole family will get into the adventure of archaeology, the history and arts of ancient Egypt and China and the "Golden Age of Piracy."
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. Admission is $16.50 for adults and $11.50 for children. The first Thursday of each month is Target Free Family Night with free admission from 4 to 8 p.m. Parking is free. Call (317) 334-3322 or visit childrensmuseum.org.
Red, white and the blues
Go with the flow and head to the 27th Annual Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in downtown Davenport, Iowa. Enjoy a fireworks display over the Mississippi River, free workshops and hands-on instruction from blues musicians, and a free photo exhibit of blues artists. The event is considered one of the top five blues festivals in the country.
5 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 1, and 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3, at LeClaire Park, Davenport, Iowa. Fest tickets at the gate cost $20 each day. Call (563) 322-5837 or visit .mvbs.org
Worth the trip
If a Hubcap Hurl, Bobbin' for Pig's Feet Fest and Redneck Horseshoes sound like a heehaw good time, get yourself down to East Dublin, Ga., for the annual Redneck Games. Don't miss the Mudpit Belly Flop, Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest or the Armpit Serenade. Winners in each event are awarded a shiny, half-crushed, mounted beer can. Thousands attend the one-day ode to all things hillbilly and all profits from the Redneck Games go to local charities.
10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9, in East Dublin, Ga. Admission costs $5; free for children younger than 7. Visit summerredneckgames.com.