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posted: 5/31/2014 5:45 AM

On the road: Ride and sample around Madison

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  • Sample microbrews while pedalling through one of Wisconsin's most scenic cities during the Madison Brewery Bike Tour, held the first weekend of every month through October.

      Sample microbrews while pedalling through one of Wisconsin's most scenic cities during the Madison Brewery Bike Tour, held the first weekend of every month through October.

  • Professional and amateur rib eaters chow down during RibMania at Ribfest Chicago June 6-8.

      Professional and amateur rib eaters chow down during RibMania at Ribfest Chicago June 6-8.

  • Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair, now in its 66th year, is June 7-8.

      Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair, now in its 66th year, is June 7-8.

  • Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair, now in its 66th year, is June 7-8.

      Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair, now in its 66th year, is June 7-8.

  • Professional and amateur rib eaters chow down during RibMania at Ribfest Chicago June 6-8.

      Professional and amateur rib eaters chow down during RibMania at Ribfest Chicago June 6-8.

  •  

 
By Jacky Runice
Daily Herald Correspondent

Chicago

Bjorn to be wild
The 49th annual Andersonville Midsommarfest offers five stages of music, lots of vendors hawking handmade wares and more than a few Swedish meatballs. Nearly 50,000 people are expected to help celebrate the area's Swedish heritage with dances around a Maypole, performances by Nordic folk dancers, a showcase of more than 100 artisans, a pet parade and an area full of kids' activities. An ABBA salute, Chicago Spelmanslag, and Chicago Swedish Men's Chorus round out the Swedish entertainment.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 6, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8, at 5200 N. Clark St. $10 donation, kids younger than 12 and seniors admitted free Saturday and Sunday. (773) 728-2995 or andersonville.org/midsommarfest.

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Take a ribbing
Swallow your worries along with the business end of some smoky bones and a cold one at the 16th annual Ribfest Chicago in one of the city's nifty neighborhoods -- Northcenter. The three-day fest is intended for everyone: young noshers head to Kids Square for inflatables and games; 30 barbecue vendors from around the city serve up an aroma-rama of ribs and other goodies; and the tunes are nearly continuous with 20 bands. Don't miss RibMania, the Midwest's only professional rib-eating competition.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 6, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8 on Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Warner Avenue. Suggested $5 donation at the gate benefits community groups, schools and programs. (773) 525-3609 or ribfest- chicago.com.

Cross your art
Chicago's 57th Street Art Fair is celebrating its 66th year, and this year promises to be an excellent one with more than 250 artists participating in the annual Hyde Park event. The oldest juried art fair in the Midwest offers a family-friendly, alcohol-free environment and aisles of glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics and fiber art. New elements in 2014 include pop-up artists talking about their work, background, medium and inspiration, and an Artist-At-Work area demonstrating the process of some of the artists. Partnering with the acclaimed Buddy Guy's Legends, 57th Street Art Fair goers will enjoy some of Chicago's finest blues and jazz, too.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at 57th Street between Kenwood and Kimbark avenues. Free. (773) 234-3247 or 57thstreetartfair.org.

Midwest


Spot-on spa
Stare down that wretched cellulite that grips your thighs and dimples your keister at The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa's Spa Weekend. Attend spa demonstrations and fitness classes, plus enjoy food and beverage specials. Weekend packages include a $120 spa credit, $75 food and beverage credit, daily admission to Avani Spa, and access to classes and demonstrations throughout the weekend. You'll have access to the indoor pool atrium and a variety of evening dining options, as well as the Sunday morning Harborside Champagne Brunch featuring a build-your-own "Bloody Mary" buffet.
Friday through Sunday, June 6-8, at Abbey Resort and Avani Spa, Fontana, Wisconsin. (800) 709-1323 or theabbeyresort.com.

Bike and brews
Sample microbrews and drink in the scenery as you pedal around one of the Midwest's most scenic cities during a Madison Brewery Bike Tour provided by Hop Head Beer Tours & Machinery Row Bicycles. The easily paced ride takes you to several of Madison's local craft breweries where you will get a behind-the-scenes VIP brewery tour along with tastings of local brews. Tours are offered on weekends throughout the summer.
June 6, July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4. Cost is $40 per person when you bring your own bike or $55 per person when you rent a bike, helmet and lock from Machinery Row. (608) 467-5707 or hopheadbeertours.com.

Ready to rhubarb?
If you can ingest rhubarb, crawfish, bacon and Jim Beam in an afternoon, you need to consider a visit to western Illinois for the 23rd Annual Rhubarb Festival in Aledo. Sample and buy rhubarb pie or other delectable desserts at the bake sales in Central Park and downtown businesses. Get some of the 12,000 rhubarb seeds that will be given away, and see the biggest rhubarb leaves during the Big Leaf Contest. Concessions, trolley tours of the town, kid's activities, live music, entertainment, shopping in the historic downtown, flea market and huge craft show are part of the fun. Aledo is located about 25 minutes south of the metro Quad Cities.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 6, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 7, in downtown Aledo, Illinois. (309) 582-2751 or aledo mainstreet.com.

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