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Chicago’s South Loop, just past downtown, was once home to a number of book-making businesses. Although those buildings have largely been converted into posh residential lofts now, the spirit of “Printer’s Row” is celebrated every year during the Printers Row Lit Fest—founded by the Near South Planning Board as the Printers Row Book Fair—attracting over 125,000 bibliophiles. The 33rd annual event (June 10 and 11), presented by the Chicago Tribune, is the biggest free outdoor festival of its kind in the Midwest, uniting over 100 national booksellers selling new and vintage tomes alike. This year’s speakers include heavyweights like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Senator Al Franken, Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated), and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), while panels and discussions will cover topics ranging from the Beatles to beer and food pairings to racial and class divides. Bonus: a demo from local celeb chef Rick Bayless showcasing Mexican cuisine.

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Rick Bayless courtesy of rickbayless.com

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Kareem Abdul Jabbar, image courtesy of Facebook

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Al Franken, image courtesy of Facebook

 

Featured Photo by John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune via Facebook

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