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updated: 5/2/2013 2:24 PM

Best bets: Opening weekend for Great America, Arlington

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  • Arlington International Raceway opens for the season this weekend.

      Arlington International Raceway opens for the season this weekend.
    Daily Herald file photo by Bill Zars/bzars@dailyhe

  • Check out Celtic Fest at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

       Check out Celtic Fest at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Violin soloist Isabella Lippi performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin on Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5.

      Violin soloist Isabella Lippi performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin on Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5.

  • Frankie Avalon performs at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

      Frankie Avalon performs at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

  • Frank Ferrante brings his critically acclaimed one-man show "An Evening With Groucho" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights on Sunday, May 5.

      Frank Ferrante brings his critically acclaimed one-man show "An Evening With Groucho" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights on Sunday, May 5.

  • Comedian Doug Benson, pictured here in the Comedy Central show "The Benson Interruption," makes a special appearance at Zanies in Rosemont on Sunday, May 5.

      Comedian Doug Benson, pictured here in the Comedy Central show "The Benson Interruption," makes a special appearance at Zanies in Rosemont on Sunday, May 5.
    Courtesy of Frank Micelotta

  • Raging Bull remains a crowd favorite at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, reopening for the season this weekend.

      Raging Bull remains a crowd favorite at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, reopening for the season this weekend.
    Daily Herald file photo by STEVE LUNDY/slundy@dail

 
 

Start your screams
Ride and roller coaster-deprived suburban residents can rectify this seasonal deficiency once Six Flags Great America reopens this weekend at I-94 and Route 132, Gurnee. $20.13 opening weekend only if purchased online; otherwise $41.99-$61.99 or $41.99 for kids under 48 inches in height. Kids ages 2 and younger admitted free. (847) 249-4636 or sixflags.com. 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5; season runs through October

Opening gates
Arlington Park reopens this weekend with two major events: Fan Appreciation Day with free admission and Kentucky Derby Day. Join in the horse-racing fun at 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. Free admission on Friday, May 3; $12 general admission Saturday, May 4. $69 Derby Day Party Zone. (847) 385-7500 or arlingtonpark.com. 1 p.m. gates open, 3 p.m. first post Friday, May 3; 10:45 a.m. gates open, 12:15 p.m. first race Saturday, May 4

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Emerald Estates
Explore your Irish or Scottish heritage by hearing Celtic bands and partaking in traditional food and drink at Celtic Fest at Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. No admission charge. (888) 732-7784 or searscentre.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Go fly a kite
Bring the kids to create and decorate kites for the Annual KidFest Kite Fly Saturday at Citizens Park, 511 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington. Free admission. (847) 381-0687 or barringtonparkdistrict.org. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Celebrate Poland
Celebrate Polish Constitution Day by attending Polish Fest and May Fest Weekend, which features bands like Mucca Pazza, Rebel Roots and more at Copernicus Cultural Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. $5; kids ages 12 and younger admitted free. (773) 777-8898 or polishfestchicago.com. Noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Rising scales
Violinist Isabella Lippi and conductor Andrew Grams team with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to perform Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending," Mussorgsky's introduction to "Khovanchina" and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $18-$68. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Tribute to Annette
Singer and actor Frankie Avalon pays tribute to his late beach movie co-star Annette Funicello Saturday in a special concert at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49-$89. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Wiggling cigar
Get a sense of the comic performing genius of the late Groucho Marx when Frank Ferrante brings his show "An Evening With Groucho" back to the Chicago area Sunday at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $35. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5

High comedy
Comedian Doug Benson ("Super High Me," "The Doug Benson Interruption") will no doubt have kind things to say about Colorado and Washington state, which both recently passed marijuana initiatives, when he performs Sunday at Zanies Comedy Club, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $20 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5

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