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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Chicago: RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL 2015 First Wave Lineup: FAITH NO MORE, NO DOUBT, THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION, and more!

After finally settling in on a new location, Chicago's RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL will take place in Douglas Park, September 11-13, 2015. Tonight comes the much-anticipated First Wave Lineup Announcement for this year's fest, which boasts some big surprises, and like year's past, features some bands performing seminal albums in their entirety. RIOT FEST might be Chicago's "second biggest music festival," but it's the only one that I care about - and FAITH NO MORE (who revealed their appearance during their recent Chicago stop) would be all that I needed to be on-board, but look at this lineup! THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION is gonna be there - the house band of ShowBiz Pizza, who I've written about multiple times! And the first wave of bands for 2015 are...

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Chicago's RIOT FEST Stays in the City, Announces Move to Douglas Park...

While I don't live in the City proper, I've always identified as a "Chicagoan," and have long looked at the annual RIOT FEST as a true Chicago tradition - one that's spread to other cities, including Denver and Toronto. Having attended, and having seen it grow from small clubs to a multi-venue, week-long event (I covered and shot it back in 2011) that then morphed into the RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL, I (like many) was disheartened to see the fest being squeezed as part of a larger debate about its recent home in Humboldt Park. Today, that debate ends as far as RIOT FEST is concerned, as the 2015 RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL will stay in Chicago, moving south to Douglas Park.

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KIND & zulily to Host "Kindness Safaris" at 20 Zoos on May 16, including Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo...

On May 16, the folks from KIND and zulily will partner for Kindness Safaris to be held at 20 Zoos across the country. For friends in my home City of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo will be the center of the action from 10am-5pm, where families can take part in the safari, and kids can discover how being kind through simple acts can be fun, and really brighten the world around us. It's all part of the ongoing Kind Parents, Kind Kids program, which uses fun family activities to teach kids the importance of kindness year-round.

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Preview: WONDERLAND, ALICE'S ROCK & ROLL ADVENTURE - The New Production from Chicago Children's Theatre

ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been reimagined with a rock and roll spin, and it's happened in Chicago. Director Rachael Rockwell and Music Director Michael Mahler have brought to life Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS as a new tale starring a pair of young stars - Isabelle Roberts and Ariana Burks - who will alternate performances as Alice. Performances run through May 24 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago), with tickets available through the Chicago Children's Theatre website. Details below...

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Test Drive: Rockin' the Road with the Kia Optima Hybrid, the NBA... and a Derrick Rose Action Figure from Jazwares...

KIA NBA LogoThe crew over at Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, and it's the Kia Optima that wears the crown as "The Official Vehicle of the NBA." If you've seen the commercials with Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, then you might already know that... or perhaps you've seen the ones with Cleveland Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James rockin' his car of choice, the K900 Luxury Sedan. Either way, Kia sponsors numerous initiatives within the NBA, along with partnering with over a dozen individual teams, one of which happens to be the Chicago Bulls.

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Chicago Auto Show: And the 2017 Ride that Readers are Most Interested in is...

Chicago Auto ShowAttending the media preview days of the just-opened Chicago Auto Show last week, I experienced and photographed hundreds of new vehicles that are all vying for attention - not just from members of the press, but more importantly, from potential drivers. While I have some personal favorites and top picks that will be rolling out here on THE ROCK FATHER in the days ahead, if Instagram is any indicator, I already know what car the public seems most interested in... and it's one from a nameplate that I've mentioned in passing, but have yet to review here on the site: FORD. The 2017 Ford GT Supercar caught the attention of automotive enthusiasts when a blue version made it's debut last month in Detroit, but here in Chicago the twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 is bringing 600 horsepower excitement to attendees in a striking silver package. That car has quickly become my most-liked Instagram post of all-time thus far. Check it out...

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SpongeBob Squarepants Hits the Road and Heads for the Chicago Auto Show #CAS15

Chicago Auto Show Soon, the world will get to see SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS on the big screen and on the road. Actually, think a 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan, customized to look a giant sponge coming to the Chicago Auto Show.

This “concept car” debuted earlier at the LA Auto Show and was created as part of a Nickelodeon cross-promotion for the upcoming THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, due in theaters this Friday, February 6.

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Tour of the Year: FAITH NO MORE Announce First North American Tour in over 17 Years!

This is the news I've been waiting for since FAITH NO MORE first reunited for their "Second Coming" shows that began in 2009...

FAITH NO MORE have announced their first North American Tour since 1997, and it's happening this April/May. At long last, the band will return to Chicago for a date at Concord Music Hall (5/7), and one way or another, I will be there. For those of you unfamiliar, not only is FNM my favorite band of all-time, but had it not been for them, my life could've taken an entirely different path. The reason? FAITH NO MORE were the first band to ever grant me an interview, and it happened back in 1992 when I was just 15 years old. In addition to the tour, the next single from their forthcoming new album has been revealed, with "Superhero" due out as a limited-edition 7" single on March 17, followed by a digital release on March 31...

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Rock Father Local: Cool Family Events & More in the Chicago Loop #LoopHolidays

When it's Christmas here in Illinois, some time spent in the Chicago Loop is an absolute must. I've written in the past about our family tradition of visiting Santa at Macy's on State Street (in fact, this year's visit is tomorrow), and then there's the always-festive Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza, which we've already visited once this season. No matter what you're into, there's something for the whole family, and the Chicago Loop Alliance has put together a definitive guide to all the Holiday Deals & Events this season. Better yet, they've even curated some daily itineraries of events, along with the full rundown on all that's family-friendly, and in some cases - free.

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