This Weekend: Bike Races, Food Trucks, and 16 Candles – The Glencoe Grand Prix

The forecast is 80 degrees and sunny for this Saturday’s 8th annual Glencoe Grand Prix!  Come to picturesque Glencoe for the bike races – both amateur and professional – and stay for the food and fun.  Or come for the food and stay for the races and fun.  One of the great additions to this year’s event is the presence of twelve food trucks, and the good news is: they’ll be around for the entire event.

Start the day by cheering on riders while noshing on doughnuts and biscnuts (a doughnut/biscuit hybrid…um, dying to try this) from Endgrain or gourmet egg sandwiches from Eastman Egg.  Before stopping by the highly popular kid races at noon, you can lunch on just about anything – Lillie Q’s barbecue, The Salsa Truck’s classic Mexican street food, Grill Chasers’ chicken, Tamale Spaceship’s authentic Mexican cuisine, or Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese from Chicago Lunch Box.  And don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with cupcakes and gelato from Flirty Cupcakes and Gelato Italiano!

Though you can visit any food truck at any time during the event, I’m planning to save Chicago Pizza Boss’s wood-oven pizza and arancini, Chubby Wieners’ hot dogs and fries, and gooey gourmet grilled cheese from Toasty Cheese (with gluten free options!) for my evening and late night meals.  I’ll need to pre- and post-dance carb load for the can’t miss 80’s cover band 16 Candles who will perform at the event-closing Block Party.  Don’t fret if you haven’t stepped foot on a dance floor since the actual 80’s – a beer from Goose Island or a glass of wine from The Bottle Shop in Wilmette will help you lose your inhibitions.

Click each link within the post to view corresponding food truck information and menus.  Prepare to get extremely hungry.

Click here for the full schedule of Glencoe Grand Prix events and here for a story I wrote two years ago on the history and evolution of the Glencoe Grand Prix and the event’s founder, Jon Knouse. 

The funds from the Glencoe Grand Prix directly support the Glencoe Schools and their technology initiatives.  Illinois Bone & Joint Institute is this year’s title sponsor.

Photo via the GGP website.


This Weekend: Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series and The Antiques & Garden Fair


Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the first installment of Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series, produced by Chicago’s Facets Multi-Media and presented at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  Milos Stehlik (pictured above), founder of Facets, travels the world to find films for children that engage, entertain, and empower.  Last Sunday’s short films carried themes of persistence, music, love, acceptance, courage, and the environment that were told mainly from children’s perspectives but loved by viewers of all ages.   The familiar sounds of children’s chatter, wiggling seats, and rustling popcorn bags came only in the moments between short films.  During the showings, kids in attendance were completely engrossed in the films, letting out bursts of infectious giggles and sometimes shouting enthusiastic proclamations of plot discovery.   This Sunday, April 13th, Facets returns to Gorton at 4pm to present three book-based short films, including the Oscar winning “The Gruffalo.”  Seating is limited but tickets are still available on Gorton’s website (link here).  Tickets are also available on Gorton’s site for the last installment on April 27th.

Also this weekend is one of my favorite Chicago Botanic Garden events, the Antiques and Garden Fair.  Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm each day, gorgeous floral displays surround 120 booths filled with treasures from around the world.  Year after year I walk out with a lighter wallet and a heavier trunk (remember this goody from last year?)!  Tickets available on the Chicago Botanic Garden’s site (here).

Happy Early Weekend! xo

Go See: Picasso and Chicago

Picasso's Nude Under a Pine Tree, Cannes or Vauvenargues, 1959, oil on canvas
“Nude Under a Pine Tree,” 1959, oil on canvas

ONLY SIX DAYS LEFT!  Run to The Art Institute of Chicago to catch “Picasso and Chicago,” an expansive exhibit that explores the integral relationships Picasso had with both the city of Chicago and the AIC.  Having interned in the museum education department during college (giving tours to school groups), I was aware of Picasso’s strong presence at the Art Institute, but did not understand the depth and breadth of their affiliation until I viewed this fascinating show last week.

"Bust of a Woman (Fernande)," 1909, bronze
“Bust of a Woman (Fernande),” 1909, bronze

From the Art Institute’s site:

A century ago, in 1913, the Art Institute of Chicago became the first art museum in the country to present the work of a young Spaniard who would become the preeminent artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. This February the museum celebrates the special 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago by bringing together over 250 of the finest examples of the artist’s paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections in the city, as well as from the museum’s collection, for the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years.


The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue

Open everyday from 10:30-5pm, Thursdays open until 8pm

Picasso and Chicago closes on May 12th

Where to Go This Weekend: The Glencoe Grand Prix

This Saturday the Sixth Annual Glencoe Grand Prix will take place in scenic downtown Glencoe, Illinois.  Experience the thrill of pro cyclists flying by, have your children participate in activities created just for them, watch the Chicago Sky’s McDonald’s Fly Kids tumble, enjoy great food and drink, and dance the night away at the block party with 16 Candles, the best cover band in Chicago!

My friend and cycling mentor Jon Knouse created the Glencoe Grand Prix six years ago to raise money for the Glencoe Educational Foundation in a way that the whole community could participate in and enjoy.  He married his love of racing with his passion for the community and as a result, the Glencoe Grand Prix has become a signature event for the Village of Glencoe and a wildly successful amateur and pro cycling race.  When I caught up with Jon recently, he shared with me why he developed the GGP, how it has grown, and what it means to him.

When Jon started racing regularly back in the early 2000’s, he thought Glencoe would be the perfect venue for a bike race because of its small town feel and its lovely downtown area.  It reminded him a lot of the scenic towns in Wisconsin that hosted the criteriums (short course bike races generally held on closed-off town or city streets) he was racing in.  When he decided to pursue the idea, the Village of Glencoe found a way to say yes.  It has, along with the community and many other Glencoe organizations, continued to provide great support to the race.  Knouse’s cycling friends also supported his efforts in the beginning with donations to the foundation to help make the event go.  Without them, he said, it would have never gotten off the ground.  Six years later, he loves that though the GGP has grown exponentially it has managed to maintain that small town feel.

Jon said that in the end, the Glencoe Grand Prix is about community.  It is an event where everyone comes together, has a great time, and shares with the outside world how wonderful Glencoe is and what it has to offer.

The Sixth Annual Glencoe Grand Prix takes place this Saturday, June 2nd.  Amateur races run from 8:15am – 3:45pm.  The BTIG Women’s Pro Race begins at 4:30pm and the AT&T Men’s Pro Race begins at 5:30pm.  Great activities run all day. To find more detailed information about the race and its surrounding activities, visit and choose the flyer option in the menu.

Photos 1 and 4 courtesy of Josh Dreyfus at, photo 2 courtesy of Andy Rogers, and photo 3 courtesy of Brian Lee.

And one more thing…

I was thrilled to be included in the GGP pre-race event held at Alberto’s Cycles in Highland Park with actor Matthew Modine.  Modine (appearing this summer in The Dark Knight Rises, the latest installment in the Batman Series) is an avid cyclist who created the foundation Bicycle for a Day with a mission “to help empower individuals with tools which they can use in their everyday lives to make a measurable, tangible, difference to our community, our environment, and our personal health.”  It was a great evening filled with talk of movies, biking, and global issues that touch all of us.  Visit for more information about Modine’s foundation and to find out how you can become involved.

Can’t Miss

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antiques and Garden Fair begins today, and if you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.  Vendors from the United States and Europe bring their best antique and contemporary garden and interior design wares, and the floral displays are spectacular.  Last year, I found an amazing antique English wrought iron and marble garden table (now an end table in my living room – see below) and I discovered Molly Flavin’s incredible floral designs (see here).

Today at 11AM world renowned interior designer David Easton (he designed the wallpaper in my dressing room – see here) is giving a lecture, “A Design Journey of Past, Present and Future” and he will be signing his new book, Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton.  Another can’t miss lecture is David Howard’s “My Gardening Life,” taking place at 11AM on Saturday morning.  He will discuss his four decades of gardening in England, most notably for the Queen and Prince Charles.

The Antiques and Garden Fair is Friday-Sunday, April 20-22nd, from 10AM-5PM each day.  Located in Glencoe, Illinois.

Image 1 via