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Chicago Lakefront And Arts Festival (May) Take Over Lakefront This Summer

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 14, 2013 8:20PM

Both RedEye and DNAInfo Chicago have written about the Chicago Uptown Lakefront Carnival & Entertainment Festival. This ambitious festival, if it happens, will turn the lakefront from Lawrence to Wilson into a giant thoroughfare for over two weeks between mid-June and early July.

We say “if it happens” because currently there’s a lot of talk. Festival organizer John Howard told RedEye it’s a festival for everyone, but will have specific celebrations for first responders and veterans because he doesn’t believe they “get the respect they deserve.” Two other organizers behind the festival, Michael Snell and Derrick Sorles, submitted application materials to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and permits to the Chicago Park District.

The festival’s projected dates coincide with Wavefront Music Festival at Montrose Beach and the Chicago Pride Parade, which will already have traffic around Uptown taxed to the maximum. The festival’s proposed free admission have us wondering how far Snell, Sorles and Johnson have gone into obtaining the sponsorships and vendor fees necessary to underwrite a festival of such scope. Snell would only tell DNAInfo three unnamed restaurants are willing to plunk down between $3,000 - $10,000 for vendor booths

Tressa Feher, chief of staff for Ald. James Cappleman (46th) told DNAInfo the proposed festival and what will actually happen (if it does) will be markedly different. Feher also believes Snell and Sorles “jumped the gun” by sending out a press release for the event.