It’s beginning to look a lot like fest time. The Logan Square Arts Festival is almost here, and a portion of donations taken benefit Logan Square’s Illinois Centennial Monument.
Organized by I Am Logan Square, this festival will bring music, arts, food and drink to our neighborhood. Originally, the event was called Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, and it took place at the square. Then, for two years, it was held along Milwaukee Avenue between Kedzie and Diversey Avenues. While the festival might have been larger those years, “it kind of lost some of that character that it had being on the square,” says Geary Yonker, president of I Am Logan Square. “It’s such a unique space to do something right on the square.”
The festival will take place at the square on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 26-28. Friday’s hours are 5-10 pm, and Saturday and Sunday’s hours are noon to 10 pm. A portion of the suggested entrance donation of $5 will go toward restoring and preserving the Illinois Centennial Monument via Logan Square Preservation.
Festival Sprawls Throughout Neighborhood
Two stages will be set up, by Comfort Station and by the monument, and popup art stations will be throughout the neighborhood. In previous years, the art was only along Milwaukee Avenue, so Yonker says that this year’s festival is in some ways more condensed from last year. In other ways, it’s expanding. “There’s a lot more to our neighborhood than Milwaukee Avenue,” Yonker says.
By expanding the area of the festival, Yonker says the event can then reach more organizations, art galleries and restaurants in the neighborhood. ”Our goal is to make this a neighborhood-wide celebration, a neighborhood-wide festival,” he says.
Food, Music Push Festival Beyond Art
Food vendors from the neighborhood include Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Thank You, D’Noche and Harding Tavern. Other eats will include Polish food and tamales, Yonker says. Beer from Goose Island, sangria from Lula Cafe and cocktails from The Whistler will be available to drink.
A variety of music will be played, with genres of Latin, hip hop, indie rock, country, and even death metal all represented on stage, according to Yonker. “We’re about as diverse as a neighborhood festival can be when it comes to the music that we offer.”
In addition to the variety of music, an undisclosed headliner will perform on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. The announcement of which band will perform will be made via social media on Friday morning. Yonker said this band is the biggest the festival has seen, and they play indie rock music.
”Everything that we do, we try to make it representative of the neighborhood,” he says. “And I think we’re kind of unique in that regard. There’s a lot of street festivals, and … they’re kind of all the same.”
He explained that many festivals in the neighborhood are segregated in regards to interest and language. Some are for English-speaking audiences, and others are for a Spanish-speaking audience. There aren’t many that cross over into both of those worlds. “I like to think that we [at I Am Logan Square] try to do that every year, that we go into it … trying to basically create a festival that everybody in the neighborhood can enjoy.”
Photo: I Am Logan Square