“Open Boulevard” series debuts in Logan Square


A popular street in Logan Square was inundated with people – no cars – on Sunday for the first of several street festivals along the city’s historic boulevards.

People mingled with friends and neighbors and stopped at various vendors and tents along Logan Boulevard for the start of “Open Boulevard,” a three-day street festival series that will include pop-up performances. , food and other activities organized by locals. businesses within the community.

Ira Cox, of Logan Square, took her two children to Palmer Square Park where they took turns walking a tightrope set up by Aloft Circus Arts, a local performing arts school. But for Cox, who admittedly struggled to gain a foothold, it was good enough to be outside on a beautiful day.

“Being in the city, you have the impression of having human contact all the time. But when everyone avoids each other in some way, it really isolates, ”he said, referring to the toll from the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s spectacular at this point in history to have good pieces of the outdoor community coming back.”

Shayna Swanson, owner of Aloft, said she lives in Berlin, Germany, where “this type of open street concept is very common.”

“I’m really into the idea of ​​creating a more pedestrian friendly environment, especially in Logan Square,” Swanson said. “Because there are so many good things in Logan Square, but I noticed when I came here that no one was walking around. I’m like, does anyone live in town?

“It’s really weird because Chicago in the summer is so beautiful. So I think something like that to encourage people to go out and walk around and be with their neighbors and form a community, I’ll be totally behind.

Bobby and Laura Irons were walking around their neighborhood before helping their daughter, Edie, set up a lemonade stand. His past forays into the lemonade business have been so successful that they have created “an unrealistic expectation of what work is for this child,” his father joked.

As Edie enjoyed a fresh mango from the farmer’s market, her mother said she wished the city would close the streets more often.

“It’s a cool expansion,” she said. “We don’t do a lot of things for obvious reasons. We’re pretty cautious because she’s at school. So to be able to be outside and do stuff, hopefully they keep going before the clock turns.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the Open Boulevard series in a press release Thursday with CDOT and DCASE, stating, in part, “… ‘Open Boulevards’ will allow us to take advantage of these wonderful neighborhood assets through several activations, as well. that to continue the revitalization efforts that accompanied the launch of our “Open Chicago” and “Open Streets” initiatives.

The “Open Boulevards” series will continue in October, with two additional events – one on Independence and Douglas Boulevards and another on Drexel Boulevard – in preparation. More details on this will be available soon.

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