Chicago Fest brings a taste of the Windy City to the Valley

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Fest at Mesa Riverview will bring a taste of the Windy City to the Valley of the Sun. It's a three-day celebration of all things Chicago.

"All Chicago, all the time," says Kerry Dunne of Chicago Fest. "It's going to be food, which we love in Chicago. Italian beef, and all the Vienna stuff. Blues! Jazz! Polka! You've got to do polka if you're doing Chicago."

Chicago transplants will find their mouths watering when they visit the Vienna Beef Taste of Chicago Food Court. The spread will feature Italian beef, Polish sausages, Vienna beef hot dogs and Chicago-style cheesecake.

Ditka's Restaurant will also be open showcasing Ditka Dogs all weekend. And “The Coach” Hall of Famer Legend Mike Ditka himself will be making a special appearance from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 15.

Sunday's menu features corned beef & cabbage in homage to St. Patrick's Day, along with Goose Island beer, the most popular craft beer in Chicago.

Besides all the great food and drink, folks can find plenty to do at the festival.

"We've got a history of Chicago exhibit," Dunne told Tess Rafols. "We've got a find-your-neighborhood map, so people can put a little pin in where they're from. We've got a meet-up area."

There will also be lots of great entertainment, including blues guitar player Seth Lovelace, and Irish band The Brazen Heads.

Tickets (only $10 in advance) and music schedule/info at  You can get in for free if you have a spring training ticket. Kids 12 and under are free.

Hours: Friday, 3:30-10:00 p.m.; Saturday, noon-10:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Location: Mesa Riverview, 1061 N. Dobson Road in Mesa,  adjacent to the new Chicago Cubs Spring Training complex.