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posted: 6/30/2013 6:00 AM

On the road: Headin' to Mississippi Valley Blues Fest in Iowa

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  • The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival celebrates its 29th year on Fourth of July weekend with an all-star lineup.

    The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival celebrates its 29th year on Fourth of July weekend with an all-star lineup.
    Courtesy of Dennis Freety



Ride the wave

Smear on the sunscreen, don't forget the shades and get ready to move as Montrose Beach turns into the Wavefront Music Festival, featuring the hottest DJs in the country. The electronic dance music fest boasts 100 artists performing on four stages and each day's finale is a fireworks display over Chicago's lakefront.

Noon to 10 p.m. Friday, July 5, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 6-7, at Montrose Beach, 601 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. Tickets range from $69.99 for one-day general admission to $32,000 for a three-day platinum cabana.

80 at 80

If you were one of those wide-eyed kids on a school field trip in past decades, you'll appreciate a special exhibition that pays homage to the Museum of Science and Industry's 80th anniversary. Browse 80 rarely displayed, fascinating artifacts, selected from the museum's extensive collection, that aims to tell the continuing story of science serving society. Exhibit highlights include a massive Paul Bunyan statue, Transparent Anatomical Manikin, 1909 Jones Live Map Meter, an engine from a British Supermarine Spitfire plane made famous during World War II and a Velodyne LiDAR sensor navigation system.

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Labor Day at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. The exhibition is included in general admission, which is $18 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older and $11 for kids 3-11.

This trumps that

Enjoy a luxurious getaway in the heart of downtown Chicago with one of the packages offered by Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Overnight packages include: Rise & Dine, a romantic overnight stay that includes breakfast; Stay Like a Celebrity featuring VIP access to the Terrace at Trump and a $50 food and beverage credit; and Kids in the City offering a one-night stay, special Trump Kids welcome gift for each child, movies for in-room, board games, in-room game systems and children 12 and younger eat free when ordering in-room dining from the kids menu and accompanied by an adult entree.

Available now through Sept. 29 at Trump Chicago, 401 N. Wabash, Chicago. Summer packages must be booked prior to arrival and rates begin at $465 a night. Call (312) 588-8000 or go to


Red, white and tons of blues

The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival celebrates its 29th year during Fourth of July weekend with an all-star lineup of 27 acts of blues legends and up-and-coming stars. Enjoy three days of fun, food and music on the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. Performers include the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band; singer Mighty Sam McClain; guitarist Walter Trout; C.J. Chenier, zydeco singer and accordionist; Davina & the Vagabonds; and W.C. Clark, who is known as the "Godfather of Austin Blues."

3 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, July 4-6, at LeClaire Park in Davenport, Iowa. One-day tickets cost $20 or $15 online in advance. Children ages 14 and younger admitted free if accompanied by an adult with a ticket.

Born to be wild

Get your roughage at the World's Largest Wild Rice Festival held for more than 60 years in Deer River, Minn. Expect a full schedule of activities including carnival rides, pow wow, live music and dance, flea market, parade, Saturday night fireworks and victuals like turtle stew, burgers, wild rice and turkey dinners.

5 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 5; 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday, July 6; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 7, in Deer River, Minn.

It's spit-acular

There are fewer and fewer activities that unite the whole family, so why not bond at the 40th annual International Cherry Pit Spit? The contest is held at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, Mich., 100 miles from Chicago, on the Official Cherry Pit Spitting Court. Nonspitters can pick fruit on the farm, nosh from the concession stands, and kids can head to the farm animal corral and playground.

10 a.m. to noon qualifying spit; 1 p.m. championships Saturday, July 6, at Tree-Mendus Fruit, 9351 Eureka Road, Eau Claire, Wis. Free admission and parking. or (877) 863-3276.

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