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Weekend picks: Long Grove Chocolate Fest begins

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  • Dig in to chocolate treats galore at the annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival, running from Friday to Sunday, May 3-5, in downtown Long Grove.

      Dig in to chocolate treats galore at the annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival, running from Friday to Sunday, May 3-5, in downtown Long Grove.

  • Cyberphobe, left, and Kentucky Gal duked it out in the first race on opening day last year at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. Opening day is Friday, May 3.

       Cyberphobe, left, and Kentucky Gal duked it out in the first race on opening day last year at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights. Opening day is Friday, May 3.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer, May 2012

  • Coaster enthusiasts ride the American Eagle roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. Great America's opening day is Saturday, May 4.

      Coaster enthusiasts ride the American Eagle roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. Great America's opening day is Saturday, May 4.
    Daily Herald file photo by Gilbert R. Boucher II/g

  • Students from the Rebecca McCarthy School of Dance McDance Company perform in a previous edition of Celtic Fest at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. This year's fest takes place Saturday, May 4.

      Students from the Rebecca McCarthy School of Dance McDance Company perform in a previous edition of Celtic Fest at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. This year's fest takes place Saturday, May 4.
    Daily Herald file photo by Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@da

  • Violin soloist Isabella Lippi performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra this weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

      Violin soloist Isabella Lippi performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra this weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

  • Frankie Avalon headlines the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday, May 4.

      Frankie Avalon headlines the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday, May 4.

  • Kids can learn about bike and traffic safety at the free Bike Safety Rodeo on Sunday, May 5, at the Advocate Condell Conference Center in Libertyville.

      Kids can learn about bike and traffic safety at the free Bike Safety Rodeo on Sunday, May 5, at the Advocate Condell Conference Center in Libertyville.

  • Tour the 18,000-square-foot greenhouse during the Cantigny Greenhouse Open House event at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on Sunday, May 5.

      Tour the 18,000-square-foot greenhouse during the Cantigny Greenhouse Open House event at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on Sunday, May 5.
    Courtesy of Cantigny Park

  • 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 makes a special appearance at Zanies in Rosemont on Sunday, May 5.

      Comedian Doug Benson makes a special appearance at Zanies in Rosemont on Sunday, May 5.
    COURTESY OF FRANK MICELOTTA/GETTY IMAGES

 
By Scott Morgan and Laura Stewart

Bring your sweet tooth
Dig in to chocolate treats of many varieties at the annual Long Grove Chocolate Festival in downtown Long Grove, at Robert Park Coffin and Old McHenry roads, Long Grove. Fare includes chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate doughnuts and other specialty chocolate desserts, sauces and wines. Other event highlights include live music, kids' activities and more. Admission is $5 per person; kids under 12 are free. (847) 634-0888 or visitlonggrove.com. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, May 3-5

Opening gates
Arlington International Racecourse 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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'Eggs to Chicks'
Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, hosts its "Eggs to Chicks" exhibit for the 11th year this spring. Watch the cycle of life, as more than 100 young chicks come out of their eggs in a child-height egg incubator. The exhibit also features a hatchery unit and a pen for the newborn chicks. Admission is $8.50-$9.50. Children younger than 1 admitted free. (847) 832-6600 or kohlchildrensmuseum.org. Exhibit runs through Monday, May 13. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Street fest at John Barleycorn
Join John Barleycorn's three days of music and drinks at an outdoor music festival May 3-5 held under a big-top tent. Drink specials include sangria, mint juleps and Miller Lite beverages, as well as festival food from John Barleycorn and Moe's Cantina. Food and drink prices range from $5 to $10. Musical acts include Modern Day Romeos, 7th Heaven, American English, Dennis O'Brien Band, Infinity, Lounge Puppets, Creedence Revived and more. Hours and admission prices vary by day. Take it all in at John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg. (847) 619-5540 or johnbarleycorn.com. 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 3; 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Family Fun Friday Night
The DuPage Children's Museum celebrates spring by hosting its Family Fun Friday Night -- Spring Art Fest on Friday, May 3. This event will include art activities focused on science, math and art subjects. The DuPage Children's Museum is at 301 N. Washington St., Naperville. Event is designed to give busy families the opportunity to take advantage of our extended hours at the museum. (630) 637-8000 or dupagechildrens.org. 6 p.m. Friday, May 3

Suzuki Concerto
The Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College presents the 28th Annual Suzuki Concerto and Chamber Music Concert in Pierce Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College, at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets, Wheaton. The concert features concerto performances by advanced CSA students on violin, viola, cello and piano. Free and open to the public. (630) 752-5099 or wheaton.edu. 7:15 p.m. Friday, May 3

BTE's 'Trumbo'
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble concludes its season with Christopher Trumbo's "Trumbo -- Red, White and Blacklisted," an homage his father, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo ("Spartacus," "Roman Holiday") who was found in contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and spent 11 months in prison. See it at Building K Theatre, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $25-$33. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org. 8 p.m. Friday, May 3

Comedy in the spotlight
Bronx native Mark Viera brings his own brand of comedy to the stage of the Chicago Improv, at 5 Woodfield Road, in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg. Viera is know for his stand-up routines about everyday life and for his impressions of well-known personalities. $19 plus a two-item minimum per person. For ages 18 and older. (847) 240-2001 or chicago.improv.com. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, May 3; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5

CLC Spring Choral Concert
More than 100 singers from four choral ensembles at the College of Lake County present their Spring Choral Concert in the Mainstage Theatre of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts on the CLC campus, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. The CLC Singers, the Choir of Lake County, the Chamber Singers and the Gospel Choir will perform. The program features selections from Renaissance madrigals to modern works. $4-$5. (847) 543-2300 or clcillinois.edu/tickets. 8 p.m. Friday, May 3

Northlight premiere
Emmy Award winner Rhea Perlman joins Steppenwolf Theatre's Francis Guinan Ed Flynn of Chicago's Gift Theatre Company for the world premiere of "Stella & Lou," Jeff Award-winning playwright Bruce Graham's drama about a couple of kindred spirits seeking solace in a bar. See it at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens May 10. $25-$72. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5

New 'Spoon River'
Provision Theater Company presents a new version of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," chronicling in poetry the life stories of the residents of a fictional small town. Artistic director Timothy Gregory adapted the script and directs the show featuring original music by Provision ensemble members Alaric Jans and Michael Mahler and Gary Fry. See the production at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. $10-$32. (312) 455-0066 or provisiontheater.org. Preview at 8 p.m. Friday, May 3; show opens at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5

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

Look to the skies
The Chicago Kids and Kites Festival returns to Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park, at Montrose and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. The city of Chicago will provide free kite kits for youngsters to make, decorate and fly. Families can purchase kites on site, watch professional kite-flying demonstrations and learn tips on flying a kite. The event also features a Big Kite Candy Drop (weather permitting). This pinata-like kite drops candy from the sky. Other highlights include crafts, balloon artists, face painting and more. Free admission. (312) 744-3316 or chicagokidsandkites.us. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4

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

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

Meet Daphne Oz
Television personality Daphne Oz, co-host of ABC-TV's "The Chew," discusses and signs copies of her book "Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style and Everyday Fun" at Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville. (630) 355-2665 or andersonsbookshop.com. 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Porter's Pub celebrates it all
It's a twofer -- celebrate the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo in one stop Saturday at a daylong celebration at Porter's Pub, 1250 Bowes Creek Blvd., Elgin. Drink specials include $5 mint juleps, $4 Corona and Corona Lights and $4 margaritas. A complimentary taco bar runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Additionally, there'll be a hat contest for the ladies with gift card prizes. (847) 214-5877 or porterspubelgin.com. 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 4

'Frankly, my dear ...'
See the legendary 1939 film "Gone with the Wind," starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, in a screening at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. The film, set against the American Civil War, is based on the Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell. Admission is $6 adults; $3 for seniors, kids younger than 12 and military with ID. (800) 982-2787 or visit geneseetheatre.com. 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Fresco 21 wine dinner
A wine dinner featuring La Spinetta and winemaker Giorgio Rivetti comes to Fresco 21, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. Dinner includes ocean pizza, country chicken terrine, mushroom cigar with la tur fonduta, prime New York steak sous vide and raspberry panna cotta. Wine pairings include Contratto Millesimato Brut 2007, La Spinetta il Colorino di Casanova 2008, La Spinetta Barbaresco Bordini 2008, La Spinetta Campe Barolo 2003 and La Spinetta Moscato d'Asti 2012 and Contratto Millesimato 2007. $125 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations required. (847) 447-4275 or fresco21.com. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Genre blender
Corky Siegel, a master of the blues harmonica, combines traditional blues with elements of classical music in his Chamber Blues ensemble, which comes to the Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College, Washington and Franklin streets in Wheaton. Siegel is a treat to see live, so put this on your calendar. Tickets start at $37. Go to www2.wheaton.edu/ticketoffice. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4

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

Power-pop pioneers
In the 1970s, the Zion natives in the band Shoes paved the way for the indie-rock revolution by recording their guitar-based power-pop on their own. A stint on a major label followed, but the band never lost sight of its DIY ethic, which made it a revered touchstone for the indie bands of the 1990s. Shoes released "Ignition," a well-received album of catchy, hook-laden songs, in 2012, and will perform at Fitzgerald's, 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $20. Go to fitzgeraldsnightclub.com. 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Everything's blooming
The Horticulture Department at Cantigny Park hosts its Cantigny Greenhouse Open House at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Garden enthusiasts are invited to step inside the 18,000-square-foot greenhouse -- the indoor garden where more than 1,000 varieties of flowers are grown each year. Self-guided tours are offered. Other highlights include demonstrations of "green" activities for kids and environmental exhibits. Free admission and parking. Visitors for this event should enter Cantigny Park on Winfield Road, not at Shaffner Road. Complimentary trams will be running. Visit cantigny.org. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5

'Touch A Truck'
The Women's Board of the Kohl Children's Museum of Glenview presents its 10th annual "Touch A Truck" family event Sunday at Fields Chrysler Jeep and Dodge, 670 W. Frontage Road, Northfield. Kids can explore 20 full-sized vehicles, including fire engines, dump trucks, semis and tractors. Other highlights include food, music, face painting and kiddie rides. All proceeds benefit the Kohl Children's Museum. Admission is $35 per family, for up to six people. For an additional $10, families can have exclusive early access, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., to the event. Visit kohlchildrensmuseum.org/truck. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Tokio Pub's $1 tacos
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the Japanese fusion eatery Tokio Pub, 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, offers up one of its favorite items -- $1 tacos -- all day. Choose from crispy chicken, steak, nacho tacos, crying tiger shrimp, and crispy fish tacos. (847) 278-5181 or tokiopub.com. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Bike Safety Rodeo
Advocate Condell Medical Center and the village of Libertyville will host a Bike Safety Rodeo at the Advocate Condell Conference Center, 700 Garfield Ave., Libertyville. Kids can test their biking skills on an obstacle course and then receive a safety certificate. Find out if your bike helmet is fitting properly, while learning about bike and traffic safety. Event is open to children of all ages. Free. Call (847) 990-5017 or visit libertyville.com. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5

Big fat Greek Easter
Celebrate the Greek Orthodox Easter at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in MB Financial Park, 5445 Park Place, Rosemont. Chefs will cook a whole lamb on the patio, and it will be ready to eat at noon. Dinner costs $15 and includes veggies and a choice of rice or potatoes. Greek beers will be on special that day. (847) 905-6828 or mybigfatgreekchicago.com. Noon Sunday, May 5

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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