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posted: 8/2/2014 6:15 AM

On the road: Beach Butlers make hotel stay even better

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  • Thompson Chicago's Beach Butler service, offered throughout beach season, makes it easy for hotel guests to soak up the sun on the lakefront without having to carry beach chairs and towels.

      Thompson Chicago's Beach Butler service, offered throughout beach season, makes it easy for hotel guests to soak up the sun on the lakefront without having to carry beach chairs and towels.

  • Remember the good old days at Retro on Roscoe, Aug. 9-10, in Chicago.

      Remember the good old days at Retro on Roscoe, Aug. 9-10, in Chicago.

  • There's nothing but big fun at the 33rd annual Paul Bunyan Fest in Eagle River, Wisconsin, Aug. 13.

      There's nothing but big fun at the 33rd annual Paul Bunyan Fest in Eagle River, Wisconsin, Aug. 13.

 
 

Chicago

Ab-Serb-ly festive

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Grab some krofne and cevapcici and you'll be ready to spin to Serbian sounds at Serb Fest. In addition to music and dancing all day and night, there will be tours of the ornate Holy Resurrection Cathedral, films, a Serbian Orthodox culture exhibit and activities for the kids. The menu features Serbian specialties, including roasted lamb, pita, barbecued chicken, krofne (doughnuts), nut rolls, cookies and cevapcici, grilled minced meat considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Admission and parking are free.

5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 8; noon to midnight Saturday, Aug. 9; and 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, 5701 Redwood Drive, Chicago. (773) 693-3367 or serbfestchicago.com

Beach, blanket ... bingo!

Thompson Chicago, the residential Gold Coast hotel, beckons you to experience a favorite Chicago summertime pastime with a private and luxurious twist. Just launched is Thompson Chicago's Beach Butler service, which eliminates carrying bulky essentials to the beach or waking up early to get a prime piece of beach real estate. The Beach Butler will handle the sandy details so you can enjoy a hassle-free day at Oak Street Beach. Get transportation, towels, beach chairs, water, sun block, beach umbrella and even a picnic lunch from Nico Osteria.

The offer is weather-permitting and should be ordered through in-room dining by any guest of the hotel at least four hours in advance. A packaged beach lunch from Nico Osteria is a premium add-on. Thompson Chicago is at 21 E. Bellevue Place, Chicago. (312) 266-2100 or <URL destination="http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/thompson-chicago">thompsonhotels.com.</CHARACTER>

Jumping Jack flashback

Retro on Roscoe, a flashback weekend of pure fun, features six full blocks of great global cuisine, continuous entertainment, antique vendors, an Antique and Classic Car & Motorcycle show with more than 50 vehicles, a children's area with family activities and tons of artisan vendors offering one-of-a-kind items. The 19th annual street festival uses proceeds to improve the business district and parks.

Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-10, at 2000-2300 W. Roscoe St., Chicago. Admission is $10 suggested donation. (773) 665-4682 or retroon roscoe.com.

Midwest

Got you covered

Brodhead, Wisconsin, hosts Covered Bridge Days and a Wildflower Festival simultaneously for a weekend packed with activity. Pontoon rides, native plant tours, educational programs, a juried art festival in downtown Veterans Park and a performance by the First Brigade Band, which was originally formed in Brodhead during the Civil War, are part of the fun. Covered Bridge Days activities include garden displays, tractor show and pull, horse show with pony rides, flea market, vendors on the Square, Model A antique car display and classic car show, a street dance, parade, food stands and beer gardens.

8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday to Sunday, Aug. 8-10, in Brodhead, Wisconsin. Free admission. For more information, call the Brodhead Chamber of Commerce at (608) 897-8411 or visit cityofbrodheadwi.us.

Leave a colossal footprint

Leave behind the small plates and modest mindsets because there's nothing if not great, big fun at the 33rd annual Paul Bunyan Fest in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Legend has it that Paul Bunyan was a giant lumberjack who traveled the Midwest cutting down trees for townspeople, carving out the Grand Canyon with his pal, Babe the Blue Ox, and getting awfully hungry in between. All you need do is bring your appetite for chainsaw wood-carving demos, arts and crafts, live musical entertainment and massive meals of a huge beef sandwich, potato salad, corn, pickle, and cookie for a pittance (served from 11 a.m. while supplies last). Stop by the Paul Bunyon Festival and see what over 75 crafty vendors offer, too.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 13, at Wall and Railroad St., downtown Eagle River, Wisconsin. (800) 359-6315 or eagleriver.org

Permission to come aboard?

Now in its 30th year, the New Buffalo Ship & Shore Festival is a three-day, family-friendly event with fireworks, live music, a lighted boat parade and unique art vendors. Sample local cuisine, regional artists, crafts, clothing, jewelry, live music and the 'Family Fun Fest' section with kids' activities ranging from ice-cream-eating contest to face painting and carnival games.

5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 8; 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, Aug. 9; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug, 10; at Whittaker Street in downtown New Buffalo, Michigan. Admission is a $5 donation; children 12 and younger enter free. (888) 660-6222 or newbuffalo.org

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