Plans To Go Ahead With Market Days This August After Cancellation Last Year
After being called off last year for the coronavirus pandemic, plans are on to resume the annual Northalsted Market Days festival this August.
The Northalsted Business Alliance reported in a news release issued Tuesday that it hopes to host Market Days from Aug. 6 through Aug. 8 – adding a Friday night edition for the first time.
“While vaccinations increase and the world begins to see some light in the pandemic fight, organizers are in full planning mode to produce the iconic event,” organizers said in a news release.
The first Market Days was held in August 1982. Since then, the LGBTQ+ positive event has grown to occupy the full half-mile of Halsted Street between Addison Street and Belmont Avenue – what was long known as the Boystown strip.
The festival features all-day lineups of music on five stages, as well as vendors, arts and crats, food and drinks, and dancing in the streets.
“We look forward to the possibility of welcoming neighbors and visitors alike to this iconic event,” Northalsted Business Alliance President Ramesh Ariyanayakam said in the release. “While planning is underway, we will remain in continual contact with the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and monitor the CDC guidelines to be flexible in our approach to meet all necessary requirements to produce a safe event.”
Organizers also hope to hold a Chicago Pride Fest at an unspecified date. The festival is usually held during Pride Month in June.
As to the Chicago Pride Parade – traditionally held the last Sunday in June – organizers have been quoted in published reports as saying it was “highly unlikely” to go ahead on the traditional schedule this year, but it could happen in the late summer or early fall.
The Pride Parade was canceled for the pandemic last year, while the Pride Fest was replaced by virtual events.