If the Taste of Chicago wasn’t enough, loosen your belt buckle and get ready for this buzzworthy hoedown. With a delicious lineup, live country performances and an expected 45,000 taste testers turning out to Grand Avenue near the River, Windy City Smokeout is sure to overload your senses (in the best way). To help out, we pegged the best five spots to hit at the fifth annual fest July 14-16.
The Biggest Happy Hour of the Summer
Barbecue and beer go hand-in-hand. Head over to the festival after work on Friday for a whole hog slow roasted by Texan pit master Patrick Feges, and discounted beers to wash it down. July 14, 2-5 p.m.
Windy City Sweatout Group Cycle Class & Fundraiser
Feeling a little full after the Day 1? Join a group cycle class taught by a Fitness Formula Clubs instructor and ride for a good cause. Register now and donate $200 to Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS for a seat. July 15, 8:30-10 a.m. To register (a $200 donation is required), visit Classy.org.
DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections
For dessert, we suggest the newest rage in the sweet-tooth community: safe-to-eat cookie dough. This one-day pop-up will be the brand’s first time outside of New York. July 15; Cookiedonyc.com
Martin’s BBQ brunch
Get the brunch squad together for the Belvedere Bloody Mary bar and a variety of dishes sure to cure the Sunday scaries. Tickets are $55 in addition to a Sunday or three-day pass. July 16, 10 a.m.
This year, the fest also features a lineup of non-barbecue options to snack on. The list includes Mac Shack, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits and Aloha Poke, just to name a few.
For tickets (starting at $40) and more information, visit Windycitysmokeout.com. Plus follow all the action on Twitter and Instagram at @Wcsmokeout.