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Fighting Festival Fatigue

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 26, 2005 2:28PM

Our town’s known for big honking summer festivals. They draw the tourists and our friends from Schaumberg to spend their hard earned cash and contemplate someday moving here. Those of us living here already know the real joy of a Chicago summer lies in the smaller neighborhood fests. Chicagoist can’t wait to grab a kabob and exotic pastry and take in some local culture.

Hamsa camel.jpeg
Best place to enjoy all three is HAMSA - From the Middle East to the Midwest at the south end of Lincoln Park (the park, not the neighborhood). The festival’s brought to us by Genesis at the Crossroads who are working towards a peaceful Middle East by fostering dialogue, and parties, here in Chicago. This Saturday and Sunday, that means munching on a falafel, dancing to hip Israeli and Palestinian bands, and riding a camel if you’re so inclined.

Taste of Greece can’t promise any camel rides, but 22 hours of partying in the heart of Greektown ain’t too bad. FlavorFest in Lincoln Park (the neighborhood, not the park) should be much more low-key and mainstream as it features 10,000 Maniacs and Spiro (“Didn’t my parents groove to them?”) Gyra. The street fest at Jonquil Park celebrates 25 years of Whole, kids, please behave...

Closer to home, for some of us, the Bucktown Arts Fest celebrates a vibrant local arts scene through an art walk; theater, salsa, rock, folk, and flamenco performances; and really “out there” poetry. As a bonus, stock up on remaindered books to support literacy then take a dip in the pool.

HAMSA will be held Saturday (noon – 9pm) and Sunday (noon – 7pm) at the south end of Lincoln Park near Stockton & LaSalle Streets. $5-10 donation benefits Genesis at the Crossroads.

Taste of Greece takes place Saturday and Sunday, noon-11pm, on South Halsted St between Monroe and Van Buren Streets. $3 donation benefits the Hellenic Museum. For more info, call 847-509-8050.

FlavorFest rolls through Jonquil Park, Sat & Sun, 11am – 8pm, at Wrightwood and Sheffield. $5 donation benefits neighborhood groups.

Bucktown Arts Fest spills out around Holstein and Senior Citizens Memorial Parks, Sat & Sun, 11am – 7pm, Oakley and Lyndale Streets. It’s free, so you’ll have more money for purchasing that wonderful art.