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Chicago Area To Host Festival Devoted To Redheads

By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 19, 2015 3:35PM

They are said to have fiery tempers and high libidos, lack souls and be the spawn of Satan. Now the creepy cultural fetishization of redheads continues with the region's first-ever festival devoted to them.

The festival, scheduled for June 6 and 7 in the city of Highwood, is dubbed Redheads Day Chicago, and is the first-ever American affiliate of the Dutch festival Roodharigendag.

The point of that festival, according to the official website, is to celebrate people who have red hair and the art they have inspired, such as the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh and Dante Rosetti.

The Chicago festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day on the lawn of Highwood's city hall, and will cater to the lowest common denominator with "ginger"-themed food and beverages and a carrot cake contest.

Festival organizer Jim Stoecker, the owner of Alex's Washington Gardens in Highwood and a redhead himself, told the Tribune he got the idea for the festival when he travelled to Holland in 2012 and stumbled on Roodharigendag by accident. Last year the main festival's organizers put a call out for international affiliates, and Stoecker said he scored the spot for America.

Stoecker, who is also known locally for eating pizza every day for several years, said he's hoping the Chicago branch of the fest will draw enough red-haired participants to break a world-record:

"On Sunday, we'll be at Everts Park and put up a big perimeter fence. We're going to ask all the redheads to get inside for a photo shoot and if it's a beautiful day, who know, maybe we'll beat the world record!"

A fest that plans to round up redheads inside a fence so people can gawk and take pictures—sign us up.