Best Street Festival in Chicago? Definitely Wicker Park Fest.

by Kelley
(Chicago, IL )

A typical crowd at Wicker Park Fest.

A typical crowd at Wicker Park Fest.

Chicago, Illinois is a place known for its high winds and cold winters. When the summer comes along, everyone in the city is ready to get outside and enjoy the weather and their neighbors, and many neighborhoods in the city have free street festivals.

The favorite among the best street parties has to be Wicker Park Fest, which is located at the six corners intersection of Milwaukee, Damen, and North Avenue. There are many vendors with amazing food, including Mediterranean food from Sultan’s, beer and snacks from Estelle’s, amazing ice cream from Margie’s Candy, and assorted kebabs from Skewers.

Every year, Wicker Park Fest recruits amazing musical talent to play the festival. For example, in 2010 Capt’n Jazz and Mission of Burma played, while the Thermals headlined in 2008. This year, Blitzen Trapper, Wavves, and Flosstradamus headline the three day event.

The musical talent is amazing, but even better is the chance to catch up and coming local acts that often play the festival. Whether you get to check out your friend’s band that is playing on stage in front of thousands, or a new local act that you weren’t aware of before, it’s a great chance to make new friends and learn about local music. Sponsor venues such as the Empty Bottle, Bottom Lounge, and Double Door help book, and you can stop by their tents and grab a schedule of upcoming events in the area.

Also, the event is great for families as well; every year the Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce books local children’s and folk artists, and offers games and attractions for kids anywhere from age 4 to age 18. You can catch the action from the street, or you also can get some snacks and stand on the “L” platform at Damen Avenue for a birds-eye view. Local businesses get a nice boost, as crowds flood the streets and eats amazing food from local vendors.

The whole event is a great way to bring the neighborhood together, and people talk, laugh, eat, and drink together; even if you didn’t know anyone at the festival before, you certainly will when you leave one of the best street parties in America.

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