Folk Music, Food, Dance and Crafts from Brazil, China and Poland
Navy Pier is like the Proud Papa of Chicago, embracing the talents and eccentricities of its diverse population. In February, Crystal Gardens at the pier flings its arms wide open for Neighborhoods of the World, an annual tribute to multiculturalism. Featuring folk music, ethnic cuisine, traditional dance and handicrafts, the free event runs for seven weeks. Here are the highlights for February 2018.
Culture of China
February 12, 2018
First up for 2018 is a focus on the Culture of China, which celebrates the Chinese New Year. Get ready for elaborate floats, costumes and dances, culminating in the traditional Lion Dance. You can also celebrate the Chinese New Year later in the month at Cai Restaurant in Chinatown, featuring the Lunar New Year dinner on February 20. Wear red, and loosen your belt for a 12-course spread of New Year’s specialty dishes, accompanied by the Lion Dance.
Culture of Poland
February 19, 2018
Return to Crystal Gardens on February 19 to enjoy the Culture of Poland, featuring Baltic traditions and music ranging from polka bands to Polish symphonies and Baltic folk tunes. Save your appetite for potato pancakes, zapiekanka, and the traditional Polish Plate of pierogi dumplings, smoked sausage and sauerkraut. Mark your calendars for the Taste of Polonia Festival on Labor Day weekend, where you’ll find music and entertainment, Polish food and beer, carnival rides and games, and even a casino.
Culture of Brazil
February 26, 2018
Chicago never tires of the energetic flamboyance bursting from its Brazilian community. The Culture of Brazil takes center stage at Crystal Gardens on February 26. You’ve likely heard of the Samba and Carimbo dances, but how about Capoeira, Forro, Jongo, Coco and Lundu? It’s all on display and free to everyone during Neighborhoods of the World. If you’d like to learn some Brazilian dance steps yourself, snag some tickets to the Brazilian Mardi Gras celebration at Logan Square Auditorium on February 10. You’ll get dance lessons by Edilson Lima and Brazilian food by Sinha Cuisine.