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A view of the Great Lakes from space. (USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency / Flickr)

Issues impacting the Great Lakes and communities surrounding the massive freshwater system will be at the center of a two-day conference in Chicago starting Wednesday.

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Advocacy group Milwaukee Water Commons holds an event in support of clean water in August 2016. (Milwaukee Water Commons)

Organizers of a clean water summit in Chicago next week hope to draft a plan for replacing the city's nearly 400,000 lead water pipes. 

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(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

With nearly $300 million in federal funding on the chopping block, leaders from across the Great Lakes region will convene next month in Chicago to address lead poisoning, oil pipelines and other threats to the area’s waters.

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Easy Rider, a member of the Disc-Connected K9s Frisbee Dog Team, is performing at the Chicagoland Pet Expo this weekend. (Courtesy of Disc-Connected K9s Frisbee Dog Team)

A pet expo, classical music-themed brunch, cultural events and more usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.  

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(Art by Ambrosia Gertraude Bartośekulva)

Artistic responses to the politically pointed term are on display starting this week at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Learn about the “Sanctuary” exhibit.

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(Courtesy of UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library)

Days away from the 40th anniversary of his death, UIC announced it will offer a new honors course next semester on Chicago and its late mayor’s role in local, national and international politics in the late 1960s.

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ZooLights kicks off Friday at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo)

Helicopter tours, helium balloons, Amy Schumer and Julie Andrews usher in the Thanksgiving weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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Ali Brice appears as the title character in “Graeme of Thrones” at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. (Paul Wilkinson / Broadway in Chicago)

Strange foods, fall benefits, a “Game of Thrones” parody and massive art show usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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The Chicago Public Library’s revamped Chinatown branch opened last year with a feng shui-influenced interior design and expansive views of the city. A design competition for three new CPL branches kicks off next year. (Steven Kevil / Wikimedia Commons)

A new partnership between the Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Libraries will put affordable housing and learning centers under the same roof in three city neighborhoods.

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Lee “Scratch" Perry performs this weekend at the inaugural Reggae Fest Chicago. (Courtesy Reggae Fest Chicago)

Take in live music, pedal through city streets in the wee hours, line up for an iconic parade and sip wine in the suburbs. Get details on those events and more things to do this weekend.

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Taste of Chicago (Courtesy City of Chicago)

Eat your way through 200 menu items at the 36th annual mega-fest in Grant Park, where Billy Idol and Sheila E. are among this year's musical guests. Get details on that event and others in this week's roundup.