Market Street Moonwalking
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 25, 2008 4:50PM
A popular block party staple could be a thing of the past after City Council hiked up the fees that Maxwell Street Market vendors pay for inflatable “moonwalks” or “jumping jacks” – those bouncy fun houses that attract kids of all ages – that the city provides free of charge for block parties. According to the Sun-Times, last week’s spikes brought fees up to $80 per day from $40 – and from $25 to $75 for a yearly license. Though the Maxwell Street Market is not unfamiliar with the rise in fees over the years, this particular increase took even longtime vendors by surprise
"That's a drastic change, especially on the daily fees," vendor Cesar Delgado, who has worked at his family’s booth since the age of eight, said Sunday. "It sounds like something that could finish the market off. Some vendors will find it very hard to make the money back."The moonwalks are big draws and vendors fear if they can't pay for them, crowds won't come and they'll be forced to shut down. Bargain hunters have flocked to the legendary Near West Side market for decades, and it would be a shame for vendors to have to close up shop due to these ever-increasing fees.
Story by Amy Wilschke, Photo by JOE M500