Having trouble finding a neighborhood festival in Chicago that appeals to everyone from your five-year-old niece to your stylish best friend to your jaded hipster cousin? The Do Division Street Fest will not disappoint.
Do Division 2014 will run from Friday, May 30th until Sunday, June 1st on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt, which will be entirely closed to automobile traffic during the weekend. For the eighth year in a row, this signature West Town festival combines live music, local independent businesses, and family fun. Admission requires a $5 donation that will benefit LaSalle II Magnet School’s after-school programs and A.N. Pritzker School’s fine arts program.
The Family Fun Fest is set to take place on Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st from 12-6pm on Hoyne between Crystal and Potomac and on Crystal between Hoyne and Damen. Kid-friendly favorites such as face painting, train rides, a craft tent, balloon animals, punk rock hair styling, a toddler zone, inflatable obstacle courses, goodie bags, mini golf, and pony rides will likely entertain your little ones for hours.
The Pizano’s Family Fun Fest entertainment stage will offer youth-oriented live music and demonstrations from such acts as family yoga, Trinity Irish Dancers, Chang’s Martial Arts, Mad Science, and Corrientes Violins.
This year, the Family Fun Fest will focus its education on the animals of the Smoky Mountains, offering themed mascots to interact with child guests (and, let’s be honest, probably photobomb some adults, too). Kids can participate in a quiz about the Smoky Mountains for a chance to win a trip to the national park.
The Sidewalk Sale will commence on Friday, May 30th from 5-10pm and continue on Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st from 12-10pm. This year’s Sidewalk Sale will include the Do Fashion Area, a successful new addition to the Street Fest in 2013, to show off Division Street’s many exciting local retailers. The area of Division Street between Ashland and Leavitt overflows with restaurants, salons, cafes, bakeries, and locally owned boutiques that will demonstrate their wares at an elaborate sidewalk sale and offer excellent deals.
The Do Fashion Area features pop-up shops and merchandise booths from Division Street’s many boutiques and designers. The Do Fashion Runway Shows will occur often throughout the weekend to showcase the season’s most Anna Wintour-approved looks for kids, teens, and adults. Natalie Martinez of NBC 5 Chicago will also host nightly Wicker Park After Dark red carpet fashion shows featuring local spas Marquin Salon, Sorelle Salon, and Dynamic Salon.
Finally, as the piece de resistance, no Chicago neighborhood festival would be entirely satisfactory without a wide array of live music. The Do Division Street Fest keeps this requirement in mind by providing constant live music and DJs across three stages. The Family Fun Fest Stage offers entirely kid-friendly entertainment. The Empty Bottle Presents East Stage and the Subterranean West Stage will highlight original bands, both local and national. Chicago’s many music lovers can enjoy High on Fire, Radar Eyes, Marrow, The Weeks, and Velocicopter while browsing the Sidewalk Sale.
All of the details of this year’s Do Division Street Fest, from event locations to directions and transportation, can be found at http://www.do-divisionstreetfest.com/.
Insider Tip: Start your Saturday with a trip to the wonderful Division Street Farmers Market on Division Street between State and Clark from 7am-1pm (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/farmers_market3.html). The Farmers Market offers an excellent mix of locally grown produce and tasty snacks from Chicago artisans. Be sure to pick up a breakfast crepe from the Crepes Paname stand at the corner of Division and Clark (http://www.crepespanamechicago.com/).