Weekend picks: Celebrate your fandom at Wizard World

Fan-tastic: Fans of all things fantasy and sci-fi won't want to miss the Wizard World Convention Comic Con 2014 starting on Thursday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. Single day tickets: $40 Thursday; $50 Friday and Sunday; $60 Saturday. (847) 692-2222 or noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24


Exquisite & crafty: More than 150 artists have been invited to show their one-of-a-kind wares at the 30th American Craft Exposition this weekend at Northwestern University's Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, 2311 Campus Drive, Evanston. $15 three-day pass. (224) 364-7270 or 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

Dames to die for: Meet and get autographs this weekend from actresses Patricia Rodriguez Vonne, Crystal McCahill and Rosario Dawson (Aug. 23 and 24 only) before screenings of “Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Die For” at the Hollywood Palms Cinema, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville. $20 per autograph and $20 per professional photograph. $50 autographed poster (movie ticket purchase also required). (630) 428-5800 or Screenings at 5, 7 and 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 2:30, 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; Noon, 2:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

'Willy Wonka Jr.': See author Roald Dahl's classic tale of an eccentric candy maker and the five children who tour his chocolate factory in “Willy Wonka Jr.” at Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia. This musical is a stage adaptation of Dahl's children's novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” $13-$15. 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

Nostalgia ride: The Turtles once again headline the Happy Together Tour, which features a 2014 lineup of Chuck Negron, Mark Farner, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and more tonight at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $59.50. (630) 896-6666 or 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22

Still 'Money': Eddie Money scored a slew of big hits in the 1980s (“Think I'm in Love,” “Two Tickets to Paradise”) with a meat-and-potatoes brand of pop-rock. He visits the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. Tickets start at $26.50. Go to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22

Guy Code: Comedian Chris DiStefano of MTV's “Guy Code” fame appears starting Thursday at two Zanies locations: 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago, (312) 337-4027, then at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 813-0484. $25 plus a two-item menu purchase. 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, in Chicago; and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, in Rosemont


For the birds: Scan the landscape and skies for woodpeckers, blue jays, sandhill cranes, Baltimore orioles and other bird species at the McHenry County Audubon-guided Bird Walk at the McHenry Dam, on Brandenburg Road, west off U.S. Hwy. 12, between highways 120 and 134 in Ingleside. Participants are welcome to bring binoculars and field guides. Program is for adults and attentive youth, ages 6 and older. To register, call (815) 344-1294 or email Walk-ins welcome, if space allows. Free. Meet at the south end of the McHenry Dam parking area. 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23

Art on parade: See artwork from more than 260 artists from around the world at the annual Port Clinton Art Festival in Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park. Other highlights include kids' activities. Free. Visit 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24

'The Producers': See the 1967 comedy film “The Producers,” written and directed by Mel Brooks, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The film stars Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Dick Shawn. $8. (773) 871-6604 or 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, and Sunday, Aug. 24

Sister in suburbs: If you've never been willing to head into Chicago to see the long-running comedy hit “Late Nite Catechism,” then you can catch Sister explaining the finer points of Catholicism for two shows on Saturday at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $30-$35. (815) 356-9212 or 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23

Up and away: The 2nd Annual Color Aloft Balloon Festival features hot air balloons, music, food vendors and even a Civil War-era baseball game. The festival is Saturday at Central Park, 250 Library Lane, Grayslake. No admission charge. (847) 223-6688 or 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23

Dancing festival: The Chicago Dancing Festival culminates with a free outdoor performance featuring companies like The Joffrey Ballet, The Julliard School, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Washington Ballet and more on Saturday at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Free. (312) 742-1168 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23


Family square dance: Singles, couples and families are welcome at the Family Square Dance Party at the Butterfield Park District, 21W730 Butterfield Road, Lombard. Learn the basic steps of square dancing. No experience is required. Free. (630) 858-2229 or 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

Hopvine dinner: Join a beer maker's dinner at Hopvine Brewing Company, 4030 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Pairings include Urban Tumbleweed, Ukranium Krusher, Saison Sombre, Pine Randalled Golden Saison, Aurora Amber and IBA. Eats include deviled quail egg and lox; black walnut, cherry gelee soup; a rabbit confit salad with watercress, pickled cranberries, roasted squash and sunflower seeds; a walleye and polenta chive souffle; venison Wellington and sweet corn ice cream. $65 per person. (630) 229-6030 or 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24

  Balloons are launched during the Color Aloft Balloon Festival last year in Grayslake. The second annual event is Saturday, Aug. 23. JOE LEWNARD/ 2013
See ceramic works by Jennifer McCurdy of Vineyard Haven, Mass., at the American Craft Exposition at Northwestern University's Henry Crown Sports Pavilion in Evanston through Sunday, Aug. 24.
Rosario Dawson will sign autographs at the Hollywood Palms in Naperville. Associated Press
The Turtles return to celebrate music acts from the 1960s as part of the Happy Together Tour at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Friday, Aug. 22.
Keb' Mo' performs at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Saturday, Aug. 23. Courtesy of Keb' Mo'
Comedian Chris DiStefano performs at Zanies in Chicago and Rosemont.
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