Battle of the Fests: Summer vs. Burgers

By Patty Wetli | Friday, July 20, 2012

It's man vs. slider at this weekend's Burger Fest.

Lakeviewians, are you ready to party? We hope so, because double the festival fun (or annoyance) is headed your way this weekend with Summer on Southport and Burger Fest.

If you can’t make it to both — seriously, that laundry’s not going to wash itself — we scoped out the highlights to help you play Sophie’s Choice.

Burger Fest, July 21-22, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. both days, centered at Belmont and Damen in Roscoe Village. The main selling point is in the name: this fest is all about the burgers. Beef burgers, tuna burgers, salmon burgers and yes, even veggie burgers. Burgers topped with salami, burgers with jalapenos, green chili cheeseburgers and bourbon BBQ burgers. (OK, now we’ve typed “burger” so many times, the word is starting to look weird.) Would you like fries with that? They’ll be serving up hand-cut, curly, waffle and sweet potato.

Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap is looking to defend its crown as fan favorite, with Butcher & the Burger among the newcomers aiming to steal the title. Restaurants will offer full-sized and slider portions, no judgment either way.

Entertainment is a notch above the usual cover-band fare. Sure, Rusted Root and the Freddy Jones Band (Saturday’s and Sunday’s headliners, respectively) are practically nostalgia acts at this point, but at least they play their own songs.

Summer on Southport, July 21-22, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, centered at Southport and Waveland (3700 N. Southport). SoS is a classic Chicago street fest: food, drinks, “artisan” vendors and a children’s area with mini golf and a climbing wall.

More unique aspects include a gospel brunch Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and a kids bike parade with Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Though technically not part of the festival, the Music Box (3733 N. Southport) is hosting a sing-a-long Mary Poppins at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a facsimile of the magical nanny strolling the sidewalk outside the theater. For the more original (ie, non-cover) bands, hit the fest in the early afternoon or plant yourself near the center music stage.

Proceeds benefit the Southport Neighbors Association, which has donated $20,000 to Blaine Elementary over the last three years.

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