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August/September

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Friday 28

Once again, it's time to break out the dental floss and be proud of our midwestern heritage: De Kalb is sponsoring its annual Corn Post today through Sunday. Sidewalk sales in downtown De Kalb precede the kickoff at 7 tonight; there's also bingo beginning at 5 PM. The big event--the free Corn Boil--begins Saturday at 11:30 AM. Events are scattered all over De Kalb, which is about 75 miles west of Chicago on Interstate 5; call 815-756-4881 for details.

Twenty-four years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech before 250,000 people in Washington, D.C. In remembrance, the Global Committee Commemorating King Days is sponsoring the third annual Dream Day, highlighted by a parade beginning at 11:30 AM at Dearborn and Jackson. There will also be a program of entertainment at the Daley Center Plaza. Participants and watchers are encouraged to wear black and white. For more information call 436-5582.

Ireland is green, beautiful, home to friendly people, and torn with strife; Ed Childs of Workers World newspaper recently spent a month there. He'll describe his impressions of the IRA, Sinn Fein, and the British at a Workers World Party slide show and forum at the Wellington Avenue Church, 615 W. Wellington. The affair begins at 7 PM; details at 489-3829.

Saturday 29

A heavy acorn harvest is said to warn of a harsh winter; North Park Village Nature Center says there will be plenty on hand--and underfoot--at its Fruit and Nut Workshop at 10 AM. Dr. Margaret Murley will show how to use the things, and also discuss attracting wildlife with wild produce. The center is at 5801 N. Pulaski. There's a $1 fee; pre-register at 583-8970.

It began as a working-class Polish area, but lately low rents, attractive streetscapes, trendy night spots, and an authentic "neighborhood" feel have made Bucktown a hot address for young artists and their ilk. Today and tomorrow from 11 to 6 the Bucktown Arts Fest will showcase the area's talents, from paintings and textiles to poetry and experimental music. Vendors will offer an array of foods as ethnically diverse as the music. The festivities center on Senior Citizens Memorial Park at 2200 N. Oakley; call 565-1200 ext. 454 for details.

The great old grape-stomping method of wine making has sadly given way almost entirely to mechanical processing, but you can still try your foot at it at what Michigan's Tabor Hill Winery bills as the "World's Largest Competitive Grape Stomp." It's part of the fun at the winery's annual Harvest Festival, which includes great live jazz: Joe Sonnefeldt and View Point, the Jeff Kiem Quartet, the Judy Roberts Trio, and the Brad Goode Quintet will all be playing today and tomorrow. Hours are 1 to 8; call 616-422-1161 for info. To get to the winery, take I-94 east to Michigan's exit 16, then go north to Lake Street, right to Hills Road, right to Mount Tabor Road, and left to the winery.

Sunday 30

If you haven't purchased your fall fashions yet, run to the Adams Street flea market hosted by the Modalisque Salon. Artists, designers, and vintage-clothing dealers will line the sidewalks from from Jefferson to Desplaines Street and sell their distinctive wares. The trend--oops, the sale, rather--lasts, from 10 to 4; call 559-0107.

The Cubs are unlikely to be in a pennant race this September, but you can relive some of the glory and trauma 18 years ago as the 1969 Cubs play a benefit softball game for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and the rest will be there; Jim Belushi will guest-hit. Tickets are $10 at any Hackney's Restaurant or First Illinois Bank. The game starts at 11 AM in Thiliens Stadium at Devon and Kedzie; more at 724-7171.

Just what are the contras up to in Nicaragua? The Christic Institute, which filed suit in May 1986 against Adolfo Calero, Richard Secord, and 27 others, has spent a lot of time trying to find out. The Reverend William Davis presents the institute's answers at 7 PM at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary, room 154. A $3 donation is requested; details at 227-2720.

Monday 31

The circus is in town! Or in lots of towns, really: Circus Vargas is taking its football-field-sized big top to eight suburban towns in one month. Today's your last chance to catch the show's 15 tigers, 5 lions, 14 elephants, clowns, trapeze artists, and so on at their second Chicagoland stop, in Villa Park's Odeum, on Villa Avenue between Lake and North. Shows are at 4:30 and 7:30; prices and other details at 827-7370.

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday 1

You may not have wanted to learn that one scientist predicts a collision between our Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy in 4 billion years, in what another stargazer calls "an awesome display of cosmic fireworks," but that's only one of the fascinating and downright astronomical facts involved in the Adler Planetarium's new sky show, Secrets of the Hidden Universe. We're promised a look at some of astronomy's most recent developments. Show times are 2 PM Monday through Thursday, 2 and 8 PM Friday, and 11 AM, 1, 2, 3, and 4 PM Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Admission: $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for kids 617, and free for seniors. The planetarium is at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive; 322-0300.

After that disturbing cosmological briefing, you may need to relax; Hope Hornstein of Ravenswood Hospital's Medical Center presents Quick Fix, an introduction to relaxation techniques that can be practiced in five minutes or less, wherever you are. The workshop begins at 7:30 PM in room 8210 of the hospital's Adler Pavilion, 4550 N. Winchester; there's a $3 registration fee. More at 878-4300 ext. 1455.

Wednesday 2

Whither NASA after the Challenger disaster? Jan Kaplicky and David Nixon have some ideas on the subject; their firm, Future Systems, acts as a consultant to the space agency on the space station project. Designs for Earth and Elsewhere, an exhibition of their elaborate and visionary technological drawings, is being presented by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts at 4 W. Burton through October 1; gallery hours are 9 to 4 Monday through Thursday, except tonight, when the exhibition opens at 8 PM with a lecture by Nixon. Admission is free; call 787-4071.

Thursday 3

The music may not be exactly what the Founding Fathers would have chosen, but we're sure they would have agreed with the spirit behind the Maine Township Commission for the Constitution Bicentennial's Freedom Fest, today through Sunday at Maryville Academy, 11150 N. River Road in Des Plaines. Even dour Alexander Hamilton would let his hair down for the carnival rides, fireworks, and beer garden. The Glenn Miller Orchestra plays at 7:30 tonight; the Kingston Trio and Sha Na Na follow on Friday and Saturday. The grounds are open from 4 PM to midnight; admission is free, and the number for more information is 297-2510.

For those who feel like celebrating the old world, there's the Taste of Polonia festival at the Copernicus Center Plaza (Lawrence at Milwaukee). The party begins at 4 PM today with a salute to Chicago and its service organizations, and continues through Labor Day. Come hungry, and load up on pierogis, blintzes, dumplings, sausages, and funnel cakes from a variety of Polish restaurants. There's a $2 donation, $1 for seniors (who get in free on Thursday and Friday). For details, call the Copernicus Foundation at 777-8898.

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