LINCOLN PARK — Lincoln Park Zoo's Summer Wine Fest kicks off the weekend Friday, with Taste of Lincoln Avenue hot on its heels.
The Taste — is there any other for true Chicagoans? — is the main event. Open from noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, it's now in its 34th year as the primary fundraiser for the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.
Two music stages run for the duration at the ends of the fest on Lincoln Avenue at Fullerton and Wrightwood avenues. The Fullerton main stage is being labeled "Tribute-palooza," as bands pay homage to Cheap Trick, Abba, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Who and the Beatles, among others.
In addition to local restaurants and food vendors selling their wares and a Kids' Carnival, new this year is a SausageFest area, including the Paulina Meat Market, Byron's Hot Dogs and the new Big Bob & Fritzy's.
Also new is a whiskey tasting from 2-6 p.m. both days courtesy of Delilah's, where for a $25 daily tasting pass one can sip from up to 10 quarter-ounce samples. Back and with the same hours is wine tasting where a $20 daily pass gets up to 15 wine samples. Tickets for the alcohol tastings can be bought online.
The new Elevate Lincoln Park development, going up along the stretch of Lincoln with an an address at 930 W. Altgeld St., also plans to offer virtual tours of its rooftop pool deck to come later this year.
The Wrightwood Neighbors Association touts that Taste of Lincoln Avenue has generated $2.5 million in grants for local public schools and nonprofit organizations, including the Wiggly Field dog park, since it began in 1984.
Warm up for it all with Lincoln Park Zoo's Summer Wine Fest — that is, if you've already bought tickets to Friday's sold-out event.
It opens the zoo from 6-9 p.m. to those 21 and older, with the $49 general admission getting 20 wine tastings, and a $99 VIP ticket gaining access to a separate seating area with exclusive wines.
Along with live music, a horticulture garden walk will be offered, as well as close-up looks at the zoo's giraffes, aardvarks and red pandas.