OLD TOWN — The Chicago History Museum leads a three-day celebration of the city's signature food staple with the Chicago Hot Dog Fest starting Friday.
Through Sunday, the museum, 1601 N. Clark St., plays host to bands, speeches and, of course, the eating of hot dogs outside its back door at the corner of LaSalle Drive and Stockton Drive at the southern edge of Lincoln Park.
The museum's own historian Peter Alter helps get things going with an address on "Dogs, Diamonds, Wieners and Losers: Baseball in Chicago" at 2 p.m. Friday, but the battle royale is Saturday, when Bob Schwartz, author of "Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog," speaks on "The Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame" at 1 p.m., immediately followed by Second City trouper Julie Marchiano declaring herself "In Defense of Ketchup," at 2 p.m.
Among the vendors are Big Bob & Fritzy's, Byron's, Chicago's Dog House and Edzo's.
Food must be bought with Dog Dollars, with dogs priced at $4-$8. Buying in advance online gets 30 Dog Dollars for $25.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Suggested donation is $5; families max out at $20.
The Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee St., holds its 62nd annual Ginza Holiday Festival, celebrating Japanese culture, all three days as well. Japanese master craftsmen known as Waza are being flown in from Tokyo to display their talents, Japanese food will be served and taiko drumming will be performed onstage. Ho Etsu Taiko is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Midwest Buddhist Temple Taiko is celebrating its 40th, and both will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday. The suggested donation is $5, with children under 12 admitted free if with an adult. Hours are 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday and 11:30-4:30 Sunday.
If roving bands of summer cicadas are singing, that means it must be time for Bugapalooza at the Notebaert Nature Museum. The museum, 2401 N. Cannon Drive, holds a three-hour celebration of all things insect-oriented from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. There will be guided bug walks, a look at what lives out the museum's back door in North Pond, lessons in how to pin an insect specimen and, for the daring, edible bugs. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members, $5 for kids 2-18 (free for younger than that), but be advised $5 a ticket fee will be added at the door, so buy in advance online.
The NewCity mall at 1457 N. Halsted St. lures customers with an End of Summer Bash from 3-8 p.m. Saturday. Merchants will be raffling off items, restaurants will be providing food and there'll be a nine-hole mini-golf course set up. Admission to the events in the outdoor plaza is free.
Chicago's all-woman Beastie Boys tribute band She's Crafty performs as part of its fifth annual MCA Day celebrating the life of rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch on Saturday at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. for those 21 and older, with several groups including She's Crafty performing starting at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation, as MCA died from cancer in 2012.