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updated: 7/13/2018 1:11 PM

Weekend picks: Rosemont goes 'Supernatural' with fan convention

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  • Jensen Ackles is set to make an appearance at the "Supernatural" fan convention at the Hyatt O'Hare in Rosemont.

    Jensen Ackles is set to make an appearance at the "Supernatural" fan convention at the Hyatt O'Hare in Rosemont.
    Courtesy of Liane Hentscher/The CW Network


By Scott C. Morgan

TV phenomena

The Supernatural Official Convention is exclusively dedicated to The CW's long-running sci-fi/fantasy TV series. See the show's stars and meet up with other die-hard fans this weekend at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont. Weekend packages: $275-$359; single-day admission: $70-$160. (847) 696-1234 or 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday, July 13 to 15

Windy City Smokeout

Country is king, but barbecue is close behind at the Windy City Smokeout, a three-day celebration of tangy country music, quenching craft beer and smoky delicacies. The fest features a stacked lineup of hot and rising country stars, including Brett Eldredge, Brett Young, Ashley McBryde, Brothers Osborne, The Turnpike Troubadours, Cale Dodds, Renee Blair, Reece Phillips and many more. 2 p.m. Friday, July 13; noon Saturday, July 14; and noon Sunday, July 15, at 560 W. Grand Ave., Chicago. General admission tickets are $45 for Friday, $55 for Saturday, $50 for Sunday and $130 for the three-day pass; VIP packages range from $200-$700.

Space Camp ready for takeoff

Wealthy Habits Entertainment takes over Lisle's BaseCamp Pub this weekend for an out of this world (pun totally intended) musical event. The Space Camp Festival features three stages of music -- hip-hop and live performances at the Gravity Stage, a house focus at the Lunar Platform, and electronic, trap and more on the Rocketdyne Rage Stage -- drink specials and BaseCamp's full menu in a space-themed atmosphere. Strap in for some Chicago-area musical treats this weekend. 6 p.m. Friday, July 13, at BaseCamp Pub, 5750 Lakeside Drive, Lisle. $10-$15. (331) 777-4712 or

Buffett on base

Jimmy Buffett, that master of margaritas himself, brings his tropical tunes to the not-so-beachy Wrigley Field this weekend. Catch the good vibes as he performs his many hits -- "Margaritaville," "Fins," "Come Monday" and more. Maybe come early and grab a cheeseburger; just watch for flying beach balls. 7 p.m. Friday, July 13, at Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago. Tickets start at $28.

Ezra, Barenaked and KT

New Orleans-born alternative band Better Than Ezra first made waves in the mid-1990s with "Good," the first single off its 1995 album "Deluxe." It quickly followed up with "Friction, Baby," which delivered the radio hits "Desperately Wanting" and "King of New Orleans," solidifying Ezra's place in the pantheon of '90s rock influencers. Five albums later and marking 30 years together, the band is still touring and playing big shows to nostalgia-seeking Gen-Xers, with frontman Kevin Griffin (an incredibly gracious performer, by the way) also playing solo shows of new and classic tunes. Catch Better Than Ezra when the band hits Chicago as part of the Barenaked Ladies' "Last Summer on Earth Tour" with KT Tunstall. Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago. $29-$75. (800) 745-3000 or 7 p.m. Friday, July 13

Guffaws by Gary

Actor and comedian Gary Owen ("Ride Along," "Think Like a Man") returns for a series of standup shows this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $44-$54 plus a two-item purchase. (847) 240-2001 or 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, July 13; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, July 14; 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15

A Scotsman in America

Tony Award-winner and TV star Alan Cumming ("Cabaret," "The Good Wife") returns with his latest cabaret show, "Legal Immigrant," tonight at the Ravinia Festival, 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. $70-$80 pavilion seating; $15-$20 lawn seating. (847) 266-5100 or 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 13

Choo! choo!

Families who are fans of the "Thomas & Friends" TV series won't want to miss the "Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018" this weekend and next at the Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, Union. $21 (plus taxes and fees). (815) 923-4391 ext. 452 or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15 and 21-22

Gardens and music

Cantigny Park in Wheaton officially reopens its many Display Gardens (closed since fall of 2017) on Saturday with a ceremony and ribbon cutting. Then stick around later that evening for a performance by the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra performing American classical music by the likes of Copland and John Williams. It's all at Cantigny Park, 1s151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Garden visit: free admission, but parking is $5-$10; concert admission: $35 (includes parking). (630) 668-5161 or 10 a.m. ribbon cutting; concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14

Pop journey

"The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore" is a big summer music tour that also includes Wes Period on the bill. Rock along with these chart-topping stars on Saturday at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. $23.50-$137. (708) 614-1616 or 7 p.m. Saturday, July 14

Parker steps up to the scene

When Chicago's Parker dropped the Adam Krier-produced single "Never Growing Old" early last month, it was a strong introduction that only hinted at what the rock band had in store for the upcoming EP. Released last week, the "Never Growing Old EP" comprises four songs of good, solid Chicago-style rock 'n' roll capped with a stirring, introspectively crafted hidden track. See Parker live when they play Chicago's Bottom Lounge with Eddy and the Arsons, The Dead Seahorses, The Dead On and Comatoast. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago. $8. (312) 666-6775 or

Mötley Crüe vocals

Vince Neil, the celebrated vocalist of the metal band Mötley Crüe, rocks out in concert on Saturday at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $59-$99. (630) 962-7000 or 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14

Folk fun

Corky Siegel, Spook Handy, Garnet Rogers and more are featured in the 33rd Annual Woodstock Folk Festival on Sunday. Concerts are outdoors in Woodstock's historic square, though the rain location is Unity Spiritual Center, 225 W. Calhoun St., Woodstock. $20; $30 family admission; $15 seniors and teenagers. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 15

Anonapalooza fest

Join the Anonapalooza Sober Festival in Geneva's Good Templar Park for an afternoon of music and fellowship aimed at supporting the efforts of folks recovering from alcohol and substance abuse. The family-friendly fest, now in its 10th year, features "From Dope to Hope" author Tim Ryan, food from area vendors and musical performances from artists (many from the Chicago area) including Phil Circle, Matt Butler, Jam Alker, Smoke Filled Room, GutterFlower, The Loose Cannons and the Gary Steczo Project. The fest is free, but donations are welcome and will benefit Aurora's Hope Outreach Foundation and Naperville's A Man in Recovery Foundation. 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Good Templar Park, 528 Eastside Drive, Geneva. Free, but donations are welcome.

Broadway royalty

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs "Sunday in the Park with Audra McDonald" as part of a Gala Evening benefiting the charity Reach*Teach*Play. See the six-time Tony Award winner perform today at the Ravinia Festival, 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. $25-$135 pavilion seating; $10 lawn seating. (847) 266-5100 or 5 p.m. Sunday, July 15

Concert highlights

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