It’s time to come out from hibernation, Logan Square. If the transition of that last bit (probably?) of snow to gloomy rain wasn’t enough to convince you that spring is here, the multitude of outdoor and spring-bloom-themed events this month should do it. Read on for our picks for the best events going on each week this month in Logan Square (and the area).
Wednesday, May 1: The Skewer “May Day” @ Cafe Mustache, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
On the socialist holiday of May Day (in which the notoriously mischievous imp Leon Trotsky reputedly hid baskets filled with flowers and candy for his favorite neighbors), Logan Square’s fairly lefty live political-satire show hits Cafe Mustache’s stage (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.). A pretty fantastic LoganSquarist writer once described the show as a “band of merry political satirists bringing … a review of op-eds, comedic debate and political games,” and I’m inclined to agree with him. This edition, co-host Tom Harrison writes, promises co-host erica dreisbach’s “triumphant return to the stage” and “a supernova of greatness you’d have to be a fool to miss.”
Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5: Gose Eisley “Star Wars” Popup @ Go Tavern, 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
The unofficial “Star Wars” holiday of May 4 (for “May the Fourth be with you,” in case the nerdiness is weak in you) began all the way back in 1979, or in the early 2010s, depending on whom you ask. Either way, it eventually expanded to include May 5 (“Revenge of the Fifth”) and, at least according to this event, May 3 (for “Third Hope”). That one may be a stretch, but the point is that Go Tavern and Liquors (3219 W. Armitage Ave.) wanted to spread its “Star Wars” Mos Eisley cantina popup over three days. Expect themed cocktails, costumes from a galaxy far, far away, and a muddy Dagobah-inspired patio. “Armed with drink specials and Jedi bartenders, the rebellion is poised for a revolution, ” Go says. “Join the rebellion.”
Saturday, 5/4: Derby Day @ The Old Plank, 11 a.m.
Long anticipated, long delayed, the Old Plank (2700 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will finally open this month. LoganSquarist got a preview of the new sports bar taking over the old Parts & Labor space at an industry event April 28, and a VIP soft opening happens May 2. But the taco-slinging space will officially launch its brunch menu for Derby Day. Instantly the biggest sports bar in this part of Logan Square (just down the street from Harding Tavern and its decent offering of TVs), the Old Plank missed the Super Bowl and March Madness when its original January opening day passed. But it will open to the public for “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.” Come cheer on your favorite weird horse name and enjoy what looks to be a fairly delicious menu of Tex-Mex and creative cocktails. And you can keep it going the next day (or into the next morning) with the spot’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, which will highlight the Plank’s agave drinks.
Sunday, May 5: Plant Shop Pop-Up @ Heavy Feather, 7 p.m.– 10 p.m.
It’s spring in Chicago, which means the beautiful green buds and brilliant, multi-colored flowers have returned for a chance to die in a late-spring freeze. Luckily for us humans, indoor, climate-controlled conditions mean that both animal and vegetable life can thrive year-round. Get your next year-round-living, oxygen-producing, hungry-cat-tempting plant at Heavy Feather’s (2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.) partnership with the nursery Plant Shop Chicago. That northside greenery specializes in “tropicals, succulents, cacti” and others, it says, and will buy a one of Heavy Feather’s neo-retro ’70s cocktails for the first 25 flora lovers to purchase a plant.
Wednesday, May 8: Friends with Benefits: Planned Parenthood @ Logan Bar, 7 p.m.– 11 p.m.
I’m not here to tell you which of the things currently under assault in America should be your priority, but maybe one of them should be reproductive rights. Beat back the tide of said assault in some small way via the most enjoyable form of activism: drinking and laughing. The Friends with Benefits Show brings up-and-coming comedians to Logan Bar (2230 N. California Ave.), with a DJ-helmed dance party to follow, all to raise funds for Planned Parenthood.
Saturday, May 11: Chicago River Day @ various sites, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Did that Earth Day cleanup give you a taste for green volunteerism, and you’re jonesin’ for your next hit? Settle down, eco junky, because Chicago River Day is here to help. The Friends of Chicago Rivers event sends volunteers to 60-some locations around the city to clear up litter around vital habitat for dragonflies, turtles, herons and more. This year, the event will also analyze the litter hauls at seven sites to better understand and address the problem. All cleaning supplies are provided, and volunteers also get a T-shirt and invitation to post-cleanup beers: The two afterparties are at Metropolitan Brewing Company and Blue Island Beer Company from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and your cleanup T gets you one free suds. The closest sites for Logan Square residents are the Lathrop Homes site (register here) and the Riverpoint Shopping Center (register here), Friends reps told LoganSquarist.
Sunday, May 12: Farmers Market Outdoor Season Opening Day @ 3107 W. Logan Blvd., 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.
Winter doesn’t officially end in Logan Square until the outdoor Farmers Market returns. It’s all smooth sailing weather-wise from here on out, and we’ll have nothing to complain about until fall returns and the last outdoor session closes shop, Oct. 27. You know the deal: produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods and more from a rotating cast of 80 vendors, all hailing from within 250 miles of the neighborhood. This Sunday, too, you can nab a free tulip for Mother’s Day from Petals Farm.
Wednesday, May 15: LoganSquarist Annual Fundraiser @ The Joinery, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Every year, Logan Squarist volunteers work to put together fun events to “socialize the neighborhood” and interesting, hyperlocal articles to keep you informed about Logan Square (or, at least, somewhat distracted at work). To ensure that all of that runs smoothly, we also host an annual fundraiser — which doubles as our biggest, funnest get-together of the year. Plus, 5% of proceeds go to our charity partner. Come and join us for this year’s event, a posh picnic at The Joinery (2533 W. Homer St.). Dine on light snacks, get social after a few craft cocktails, get photographed by your friends dancing as DJ Select Inverse spins, and make funny faces alongside your friends in our photo booth. You can also bid on cool prize packages from area businesses in our silent auction, or win something in the raffle. Prizes come from All Star Press Chicago, Ampersand Cowork, Canine Sports Dog Training, Fleur, The Logan Theatre and more. Get your tickets and view prize donors here!
Saturday, May 18: Avondale Seed Swap and Sale @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Everything’s blooming this spring, including the mysterious, little-understood lands to the north known as Avondale. There, at Sleeping Village (3734 W. Belmont Ave.), the Avondale Gardening Alliance invites you to the hardscrabble world of plant bartering: Bring your seeds to trade for “veggies, natives, showy annuals and perennials — expect them all!” You can also trade America’s greenest natural resource: cash money. Proceeds support the alliance, a volunteer-run nonprofit that hosts free events to educate and connect gardeners. Specifically, you’ll help support the group’s August gardening and agriculture fair. Sleeping Village, from the owners of Logan’s Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.), boasts 56 taps for beer and cider.
Sunday, May 19: The Book Was Better Beer Bash @ Logan Theatre, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Book nerds, come show those movie snobs up by quietly declaring the superiority of your preferred medium. At this trivia event at Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.), focused on books that became movies, you’ll help fundraise for nonprofit Literature for All of Us. That group aims to bring reading to all Chicagoans by “activating spaces for readers, writers and artists.” Logan Theatre’s retro lounge serves craft beers and specialty cocktails to lubricate the trivia storage areas of your brain. That night, come back for a truly great book-to-movie adaptation, as Logan shows “The Wizard of Oz” synced to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Sunday, May 19: Uncle Dad’s Vintage Popup @ The Native, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Miller Lite T-shirts. Jean vests. Striped polos and retro Cubs gear. Dad style hit a peak, of sorts, in and around the ’70s, and Uncle Dad wants to sell that, let’s say, “classic” look back to you at this vintage popup at the appropriately vintage neo-dive The Native (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.). As the good uncle’s Instagram page shows, you’ll be in for a wealth of old-school stuff in which you can somehow see the smell of cigarette smoke (though you won’t smell it, unless you supply your own). That should all pair perfectly with The Native’s Wisconsin-style “North Woods” old fashioned.
Monday, May 20: Premiere of “Multitudes,” Walt Whitman’s Bicentennial @ Sleeping Village (Avondale), 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dive bars and poetry events? Does the LoganSquarist events column contradict itself? Very well then, it contradicts itself. Celebrate 200 years of Walt Whitman’s iconic piece of American verse, “Song of Myself,” with this world-premiere screening of “Multitudes.” Referencing, of course, Whitman’s famous “I contain multitudes” line from the poem, this short film explores eight sections of “Song of Myself.” Created by the Poetry Foundation and Mutual Cinema, the work features poetry readings from the former and puppets from the latter. A live reading precedes the film, and you can get a look at the puppets afterward.
Friday, May 24: Bowie Best-Dressed “Labyrinth” party @ Logan Theatre, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
What musician or actor had more memorable and just flat-out cool looks than David Bowie? From the spangly sci-fi of Ziggy Stardust to the elegance of the Thin White Duke and more, Bowie left us with a fashion legacy nearly as cool as his discography. The Logan Theatre (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) wants to see your best Bowie cosplay outfits. Choose any era you like—including the Goblin King getup from Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth,” which begins its late-night run at Logan at 11p.m. tonight. Best dressed get prizes: Pitchfork tickets for 1st place, a $50 Logan gift card for second and $25 Logan gift card for third.
Wednesday, May 29: Lawn Screening: Galaxy Lords @ Comfort Station, 8:20 p.m. – 10:20 p.m.
Keep the sci-fi/fantasy theme going with a lawn showing of this crowdfunded “grandiose star fable” shot on a “micro budget,” as per the Amazon description. That blurb also calls the weird little film a “completely ridiculous yet uncomfortably sincere … space fantasy” that pays “homage to otherworldly B-movies of the ’70s and ’80s.” It screens at Comfort Station (2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.) as part of the community events space’s “Released and Abandon: Forgotten Oddities of the Home Video Era” series. You’ll watch out on the lawn, should the space weather prove accommodating, or inside Comfort Station should it not.
Wednesday, May 29: Belles and Chimes Women’s Pinball Tourney @ Logan Arcade, 7:45 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Knock some balls around in Logan Arcade’s (2410 W. Fullerton Ave.) monthly pinball tournament for women. The arcade has a vast selection of pinball machines, from movie tie-ins like “Back to the Future” to old-school treasures like “Mousin’ Around” to curiosities like “Shaq Attaq.” Sign in at 7:45, with play starting at 8. It’s $5 to play, and prize money goes the to the top four flappers.
Thursday, May 30: Folkways Happy Hour @ Cole’s Bar, 7 p.m.– 9 p.m.
Ease out of the month with a soothing session of old time folk music. Fiddle away those blues. Give yourself a big ol’ accordion hug of Americana. Washboard away your sadness. You get the idea. This edition of Cole’s (2338 N. Milwaukee Ave.) folk session in the front room brings you Can I Get an Amen’s “old-time fiddle music” and a “raucous old time party.”
Featured image: Ed Corcoran