WICKER PARK— The first weekend of March is packed with reasons to enjoy the Wicker Park area, whether taking in a critically-acclaimed play about a small Michigan town trapped in a perpetual winter, joining a free outdoor block party, or cheering on people running through the streets with shopping carts.
Here are a few of the highlights.
7 to 11 p.m. Chicago Bike Winter Art Show. If you see a bike traffic backup on Milwaukee Avenue's "Hipster Highway," it is not just tonight's Critical Mass ride. A new bike shop will be hosting a bike-inspired art and fashion show. Get inspired by "Two Bikes in Love" and head over to Ancien Cycles, 688 N. Milwaukee Ave. in River West.
7 to 10 p.m. Toy de Jour Preview Party. Be among the first to check out a vintage toy shop that is at the tail-end of its crowd-sourced fundraising campaign. At Friday's party, supporters of the shop will get first dibs on whatever is in stock. Toy de Jour, 2064 N. Western Ave. in Bucktown/Logan Square.
7 to 10 p.m. "Shock of the Gently Used Group Show Opening." Explore works by three artists (Mary Lou Novak, Dru Hardy, Kristina Smith) whose diverse painting styles will make for a "visually dynamic show," according to curators. Firecat Projects, 2124 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown.
8 p.m. "Rose and the Rime." The House Theater's play about a small Michigan town trapped in a perpetual winter focuses on a young heroine named Rose who tries to save Radio Falls from the "vicious curse of the Rime Witch." There are aerial spectacles and magic, too. Tickets are $20-$45. Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park.
7:30 p.m. "A Memory, a Rant, a Monologue and a Prayer." Catch the second of two performances showcasing writings to stop violence against women and girls presented as part of a V-Day initiative by Eva Ensler, of "Vagina Monologues" fame. Produced by Justine Houghton, the show offers "a powerful group of essays, stories, plays, and poems about the importance and value of marginalized voices." Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
8 p.m. The Lincoln Lodge Comedy Show. A long-running weekly stand-up comedy show has a new home in Wicker Park after the closing of North Center's Lincoln Restaurant. Tickets are $10, with no drink minimum. Ages 21 and over. Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave in Wicker Park.
10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dark + Deep Dance Party. A basement-level dance party in Debonair Club's Obsidian room celebrates its one year anniversary, with spins by Nu: The Outer Space Disco Dancing Society. Entry is free; RSVP requested by email. Debonair Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park.
12:30 p.m. Chiditarod Epic Urban Shopping Cart Race. If you see Ghostbusters and pregnant nuns pushing shopping carts down area sidewalks and alleys, don't be alarmed: it is just the annual race to raise money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. There are nine "checkpoints" in the Wicker Park area, including Nick's Beer Garden, 1516 N. Milwaukee Ave. View the map here. Race begins at the Wolcott Avenue and Hubbard Street intersection in West Town.
1 to 6 p.m. Music Frozen Dancing: a Winter Block Party. Join over 500 people that have RSVP'ed for a block party offering beer, coffee, a chili buffet and live music by Marnie Stern, Heavy Times and Diarrhea Planet. Admission is free but bring cash for the food and drinks. Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. in Ukrainian Village.
6 to 9 p.m. Grant William Thye: Three Sides to Every Story. A Chicago-based artist whose work can be found in museums and national advertising campaigns opens a solo show featuring acrylic paintings, collage on paper and oil paintings. Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave. in Ukrainian Village.
8 p.m. Rose and the Rime. Tickets are $20-$45, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park.
8 p.m. B The Blackout Diaries Stand-up Comedy Show. The relocated weekly comedy show hosted by Sean Flannery offers up real-life drinking tales from comics including Mr. T's daughter, Erica Clark. Tickets are $10, with no drink minimum. Ages 21 and over. Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave in Wicker Park.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Indoor Farmers Market in Logan Square. Find fresh produce from several vendors every Sunday through March 30. 2755 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square.
5 p.m. Golden Gala: Oscars Viewing Party. Get your best dress (or suit) on and rock the red carpet inside of a vintage theater, which will play the 86th annual awards ceremony on its big screen. Tickets are $25. Logan Theater, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square.
5 p.m. Oscars Watching Party. Steps from the CTA Damen Blue Line "L" stop, a local lounge is hosting an awards party with $5 martinis. Blue Line Lounge and Grill, 1548 N. Damen Ave. in Wicker Park.
5 p.m. Oscars Party. Inspired by the season's best films, a Division Street bar has created an "American Hustle" mixed drink along with a "Pink Stiletto." The Boundary, 1932 W. Division St. in Wicker Park.
5:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday Family, Group Suppers. Indulge in a four-course dinner from the Tuscan region of Italy during a "Sunday Supper" offering a traditional, family-style feast. Prices are $23 for adults; $13 for children ages 8-12. Azzura EnoTavola. 1467 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park.