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posted: 7/7/2013 6:00 AM

On the road: A taste of BBQ

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  • The first Windy City Smokeout will feature the best in barbecue and country music from July 12-14.

    The first Windy City Smokeout will feature the best in barbecue and country music from July 12-14.

  • The Unicorn is just one of the vessels anchoring at the Tall Ships Challenge in Bay City, Mich.

    The Unicorn is just one of the vessels anchoring at the Tall Ships Challenge in Bay City, Mich.
    Courtesy of Jessica Marsan



The square root of summer

Chicago's Square Roots festival is a craft beer and music experience in the Lincoln Square neighborhood presented by the Old Town School of Folk Music. There will be multiple music stages, inside and out, with a mix of performers from local indie rockers to world music stars plus local and regional craft breweries offering a wide variety of beers. Dine on food from eclectic neighborhood eateries and join nightly dance parties, open jams and plenty of family activities. Performers include the Sanctified Grumblers, Birds of Chicago and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. Sample the African Drum Circle for Families, yoga for kids, 11th Midwest Fiddle Championship, clogging, and Brazilian and Tahitian dance lessons.

5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 12; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 13 and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Wilson avenues. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 seniors/kids and $20 for families.

Burger business

Roscoe Village Burger Fest appeals to meat and veggie eaters with burgers of all permutations as well as lots of live music. Patty lovers can enjoy traditional and gourmet burgers from restaurants such as Butcher & The Burger, Hamburger Mary's, Rockit Burger Bar, Cortland's Garage and Yoshi's Cafe, to name a few. Performers include The Ivorys, Super Happy Fun Club, Dot Dot Dot, Sister Hazel and Cowboy Mouth. Arts and crafts and a kids' zone round out the activity.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, at 2000 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. $7 suggested donation. (773) 868-3010 or www.

Country Q

In a city of summer festivals, why not another? The first Windy City Smokeout will offer the best in barbecue and country music. Barbecue master and chef Doug Psaltis teams up with Chicago barbecue institutions Smoque and Lillie's Q as well as Texas's Salt Lick and three-time barbecue world champion and cookbook author Myron Mixon. A full lineup of country performers adds to the celebration.

3 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 12, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, at the corner of Rush and Illinois streets, Chicago. Tickets cost $30 for a one-day pass or $60 for a three-day pass.


Sitting on the dock of the bay

If you need another reason to finally visit Bayfield, Wis., it may be the free Concerts by the Lake in Memorial Park this summer. A different musical talent performs live each week for visitors and locals as the sun sets over Lake Superior. Ten evening shows featuring popular musicians from throughout the Chequamegon Bay and beyond are on the roster.

7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 3 at Memorial Park in Bayfield, Wis. (800) 447-4094 or

Bash on the beach

Detroit Lakes, Minn., rocks for nine days during the 78th Northwest Water Carnival. There will be bike tours, night golf, a sand castle contest, water fights, arm wrestling, hula hoop contests and bingo. For the kids, there will be geocaching, games, family entertainment and a shipbuilding contest with duct tape, cardboard and Styrofoam. Stay for the big parade and water-ski show on the festival's closing day.

Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 21. Ticket prices for events vary. (800) 542-3992 or

Bay City strollers

Bay City, Mich., hosts the largest gathering of tall ships in the state as well as the only official Michigan stop on the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2013. Tall ships line both sides of the Saginaw River just like they did more than a hundred years ago. The Maritime Festival will include activities like the grand arrival of the ships, interactive deck tours, international maritime music, hands-on children's crafts, a sail training rally, tall-ship excursions, re-enactors, live performances, lighthouse tours, maritime exhibits and more.

11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 11, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 12-14. Daily admission is $8. Children 36 inches tall and under accompanied by an adult get in free.

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