News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

2012 Summer Festival Expected to Draw More than 60,000 to 53rd Street

The third annual Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival will bring the sounds of summer concerts back to East 53rd Street Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1. The 2012 festival will feature both first-time and returning attractions, as well as a new option for VIP concert access.

With featured performances by two 1970s music icons—the Average White Band and Roy Ayers—Celebrate Hyde Park sponsors expect more than 60,000 people to attend this year’s festival.

“The Summer Festival has grown from a single-day of concerts in 2010 to a two-day event that brought nearly 60,000 Hyde Park residents and visitors out last year to enjoy the music, food and activities on 53rd Street,” said Wallace E. Goode, executive director of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, one of the festival sponsors. “This year we expect to easily exceed that.”

In addition to AWB and a return performance by Roy Ayers, the schedule of musical acts includes the Dee Alexander Jazz Band and R&B performers Chicago Catz. Dozens of local vendors and shop owners will offer food and merchandise along 53rd.

“Celebrate Hyde Park’s Summer Festival is intended to offer an opportunity for families and individuals to have a fun weekend while also exploring what the shops and vendors in the neighborhood’s historic shopping district have to offer,” said Wendy Williams, executive director of the Southeast Chicago Commission. “Each year, we look for more ways to make the event more enjoyable.”

The main festival will be held on 53rd Street between Harper and Kimbark Avenues, with activities for children in Nichols Park. Festival hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days, with face painting and other children’s activities from noon to 4 p.m.

Admission is open to the public, and a $5 donation is requested.

Text for a chance to win 2 VIP seats

New to this year’s festival: a VIP seating area close to the main stage, with easy “in and out” access. Festival fans can get two of the reserved seats and two Celebrate Hyde Park t-shirts with a $100 donation to Friends of Celebrate Hyde Park.

For a chance to win free VIP seats, anyone can text “CHP VIP SEATS” to 72727. One winner will be selected for each festival day. The drawing for the free seats will be held on June 28.

Celebrate Hyde Park festivals are sponsored by the Hyde Park Vitality Committee, which includes the SECC, the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and UChicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, among others. Other sponsors of the 2012 Celebrate Hyde Park Summer Festival include Art Works Chicago, Chicago Park District, Direct Effect Newmedia, Fifth Third Bancorp, Heart & Soul, Hyatt Regency, Hyde Park Herald, Quadrangle, and WBEZ and WCPT radio.

For more information, visit http://www.celebratehydepark.org/.