There will be food. There will be music. There will be movement. And yes, it’s free.
Open Streets (@OpenStreetsChi), which extends this year to Logan Square, is a free event that closes down a section of streets in Chicago to foster community engagement through recreational activities. The festival takes place on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 am to 3 pm and will stretch nearly three miles up Milwaukee Avenue, starting from Ashland and ending at Kedzie.
“It’s a celebration of community,” says Julia Kim, director of Open Streets.
Latent Design and Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative are bringing the Blah Blah Blob to Open Streets. Photo: Hannah Helbert
Transforming everyday transit paths into a safe, interactive, community building space, Open Streets brings Chicagoans a truly unique, hands-on experience. Roughly 45,000 people participated in last year’s event. Now in its fifth year, the festival was held in Logan Square boundaries just once in the past.
Inspired by Central and South American car-free events, particularly Bogota, Colombia’s annual event Ciclovía (translated “bike path”), the concept behind Open Streets is popular for events in major metropolitan cities both in the U.S. and around the world.
The event is a high-quality production with numerous sponsors and neighborhood businesses set up along Milwaukee Avenue to offer food, activities and health awareness opportunities.
Food and Drink
Aldi (1767 N. Milwaukee Ave.) handing out fresh fruit and water in the morning and grilling hamburgers and hot dogs in the afternoon. Two beer gardens provided by Revolution Brewery (@RevBrewChicago, 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will be set up along the streets, including one in Logan Square near the Farmer’s Market (@LSFarmersMarket). Chirp Radio and WXRT will provide musical ambiance for the BBQ-styled beer gardens.
The family friendly event will feature playful activities for all ages, including adults. A 500-square-foot movable playground—including blocks, crates, sand and water, and even green grass—will be set up for children to play. Adding to the fun are field day-esque activities such as four square, relay races, and newer games, including human tic-tac-toe. Latent Design’s collaboration with Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, a multicolored inflatable architecture installation called Blah Blah Blob, will be set up along the path for onlookers to experience.
There also will be free bike rentals provided by Bike and Roll Chicago, allowing attendees to enjoy the full stretch of the event.
For those who enjoy more structured movement, there will be a dance-off presented by Silver Room, yoga classes on the hour from Core Power Yoga (mats included) and skate art, where skaters transform a sculpture into a skating platform.
Within the Milwaukee stretch, the Walgreens wellness bus will be offering free health tests that may indicate symptoms and potential risks for cancer, measuring 10 key indicators that include cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and BMI.
Biking, running, walking, playing and even skating are all encouraged. This event is made possible by The Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33 and Active Trans and is free to the public to enjoy.