By: Celia Borg
In the Chicago summer, there isn’t a weekend that goes by that there isn’t a festival occuring in some part of the city. This weekend, the place to go to another street festival was in West Town where the 14th Annual West Fest was held.
Although West Fest is another street festival, this one is slightly different. West Fest is an eclectic mix of booths of all kinds of food and music that offers fun for all ages.
Located from the 1800 to the 2000 block of Chicago Ave, West Fest has been occurring since 2004 where it celebrates the essence of West Town. The festival is locally managed and planned by the West Town Chamber of Commerce. The elements that are highlighted in the festival are the local goods and talent. This year the festival ran throughout the weekend starting on Friday July 6 to Sunday July 8.
When you start the walk down the 1800 block of Chicago Avenue, you are greeted with a live band playing a variety of different music ranging from electric to alternative rock. From there, the blocks are aligned with rows and rows of booths.
When you walk down the street, you experience a variety of different booths ranging from selling clothes, bags, purses, handmade steel work, posters, soap, and much more of different necessities. There were also different booths for companies like T-Mobile and Uber. One element that most of these booths had in common however was how each one of them celebrated Chicago culture in their own away.
Without a doubt, there was a booth for everyone at West Fest. When you come to the intersection of Chicago and Wolcott St., there was a section for two important groups who entered the festival- pets and kids. Some booths sold products for dogs, however the west side of Wolcott was dedicated to pets of all kinds. The east side was dedicated for the children as there were several bounce houses and games that the children can play.
Apart from the booths, there was also food of all kinds. It was a diverse mix of cuisine ranging from steaming empanadas and curry to ribs and fried chicken. Don’t forget never-ending beer, wine and spirits.
Overall, West Fest was a nice time to not only celebrate the culture in Chicago, but specifically in West Town. It is important for a neighborhood to honor its culture, and will continue to do so for years to come.