Thursday, Sept. 18 Stephanie Kuehnert, Oak Park punk princess turned masters-in-fine-arts graduate of Columbia College-and acclaimed author, visits the Oak Park library to read from her first novel I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, published this summer by MTV Books. Kuehnert’s edgy story, set in early ’90s Oak Park, is about a young woman who abandons an infant daughter to follow the punk-rock scene and then is sought out by that daughter years later. Main branch, 834 Lake, Oak Park.

8 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 18 Gizzae, a Grammy-winning reggae quintet from Chicago, headlines the first night of a three-day oyster festival at the new eat-and-drink-o-plex off Madison Street. The festival-which includes more live music, wine tasting, microbrew sampling and, yes, shucking-runs through Saturday. The Proviso East High School Drum Corp will perform at Saturday afternoon. Admission is $10, a portion of which goes to hurricane relief. La Bella Bistecca and Whole Cellars Wine, 410 Circle Ave., Forest Park. 771-8466,

8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18
Avitas, an acoustic rock foursome that hails from Oak Park, plays FitzGerald’s along with three other acts – Alex Mizicko, Trakan and Pamela Richardson of the Pralines. $5 cover. 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn 788-2118.

4 to 10 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 19 Downtown Oak Park’s OakToberfest, a two-day festival on and around the new Marion Street, opens with three bands on Friday night: Joe Hurley & Rogue’s March, Justin Townes Earle and the Waco Brothers. Of course there will be beer-check out the selection at food, the angle we checked out. Here are our picks: cheesecake on a stick (Marion Street Cheese Market), fried ravioli (Mancini’s), funnel cake (Puree’s Pizza and Pasta/Ben & Jerry’s), crab wontons (Luo’s Peking House), quesadillas (The Golden Lamb) and, yes-they’re back!-chicken makni and mango shakes at Khyber Pass. The much-missed Indian restaurant resurfaced two weeks ago in the space just vacated by Moveable Gourmet. Naeem Iqbal says they’ll be serving from a small operation at 118 N. Marion till the renovation of their space on

Lake Street
is done. 

OakToberfest also runs from
to Saturday, when, early on, there will be such kids’ activities as zucchini races, a root beer garden, karaoke, and games from Wonder Works. The seventh graders in Girl Scout Troop #4603 from Ascension will be volunteering to help the young festival-goers.

Admission is free. Parking will be available in the Lake/Marion and the Lake/Forest garages. 383-4145,

Friday, Sept. 19
Two release parties for Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr,the third book in his Inheritance series. 

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. at
River Forest Public Library, make a Brisingr T-shirt, play trivia games and vie for prizes in anticipation of the book’s release at midnight. Free. 735 Lathrop, River Forest. 366-5205, ext. 318. teens(@)

At 11 Oak Park, hang out in Hunter Court, the
cobblestone courtyard near the Magic Tree Bookstore, to see dancer Patricia Hruby Powell perform an original story by the winner of the bookstore’s dragon-tale writing contest. Nibble on Brisingr-inspired treats from Winberies-hot cider, mead, honeycakes-’til the countdown to an egg hatching.

To attend the party, you must order the book from The Magic Tree. $27.50. Call 848-0770 or go to

141 N. Oak Park Ave.

Friday, Sept. 19 A tribute to Beatle George Harrison is Wonderwall Music Shoppe & Emporium’s contribution to this weekend’s art walk on

Harrison Street
-that’s right: Harrison on Harrison. Opening reception for Paul Saltzman’s The Beatles in India photo exhibit, with live sitar music. Harrison on Harrison runs through Sunday. 329B Harrison, Oak Park. 754-7026,

The art walk in
Oak Park‘s Arts District will be along

Harrison Street
from Austin to Elmwood. The arts district festival, Art on Harrison, runs from to Friday, from to Saturday and from to Sunday.

Saturday, Sept. 20 A concert by Mark Brewer, the Oak Park musician who can render jazz and bossa nova on a harp. Another destination event during the art walk on and around

Harrison Street
. At Val’s halla Records, 239 Harrison. 524-1004,

2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20
A specialty fashion show: hip maternity and nursing wear. Part of the fun Part of the fun during the weekend art walk in Oak Park’s Arts District. At Majamas, 909 S. Lombard. 524-9668,

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 
Darkhouse Productions is holding auditions for Halloween-minded inhabitants of its Murder Mansion haunted house. Call 574-8179 if you’re a snake charmer, sword swallower, fire eaters, stilt walker, contortionist or have any related talent that would amaze or terrify people. Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 Madison, Oak Park

Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 
Ya know all those artsy chairs at Buzz Café? Wonder how they get done? This is the weekend for your inner artist to surface. Painting is free. Coffee’s on you. Buzz Café, 905 S. Lombard

1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 
This is the second day of the Oak Park Film Festival, which starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. Check for Saturday’s screenings. On Sunday, here’s what’s playing from local filmmakers: The Devil Came on Horseback, Save Darfur, Genocide in Darfur and Tapioca. At the main branch of Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St.

6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 
If you’re an architecture and design buff and you can afford this investment, you’ll be in heaven with a rare and cool workshop at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio. Work with accomplished architects to plan and design a structure right in the magical drafting room of Wright’s studio. The workshop concludes with execution of an expertly crafted blueprint drawing. $650 for Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust members, $700 for nonmembers. Space is limited. 951 Chicago Ave., 848-1976,