A New Street Festival For Division Street

by Kara Salgado

Exciting News! The West Town Chamber of Commerce proposed planning and managing a new
street festival for Division Street to the Division Street Merchants Association (DSMA) at their May 16th meeting, and everyone there agreed to the plan. The Renegade Craft Fair is moving their event out of Wicker Park, and thus the chamber proposed that Renegade move to Division Street and partner with us to create an all new fabulous street festival event: The Do-Division Street Fest & Rengade Craft Fair September 15th & 16th, 2007.

The chamber has received preliminary approvals from the City to close down the street for the event and permit applications have been submitted. Willa Reynolds (former owner of Wag Artworks on Division Street and Vendor Coordinator for West Fest) and chamber Executive Director Kara Salgado measured the site and the event will take place on Division Street
between Damen and Marshfield Street (traffic reroute at Ashland.)

The Renegade Craft Fair will bring over 200 high quality cutting edge artsy craft vendors and will be placed on Division Street between Damen and Wood. The Do-Division Street Fest will feature live music, more local art and craft vendors, retail vendors, and food and drink vendors on Division between Wood and Marshfield. The live music will be booked by the same talent buyer from West Fest and the live music stage will be on the east side of the event (just west of the post office).

As a locally planned event, The Do-Division Street Fest will offer numerous opportunities for the businesses on Division Street to participate. Willa Reynolds is putting together the vendor applications now, and we encourage retailers to be vendors and/or to utilize the sidewalk space in front of their establishments to promote their stores and sell goods. We also want to feature LOCAL restaurants as food vendors, and local bars will be given the opportunity to bid on the alcoholic beverage vending.

We all need to work together to make this a GREAT event. We are still pending some major sponsorship deals and permit approvals, but we are confident that we can pull off a high quality event with the support of the business community. We ARE going to need Division Street bars, banks, and bigger businesses to step up and sponsor. We will be sending out more information as it is available, and we will soon be launching an all new website www.dodivisionstreetfest.com with information and vendor applications online.

The majority of the proceeds from the Do-Division Street Fest (80% of the net) will benefit the DSMA and will be used to finance programs to specifically benefit the Division Street commercial corridor. Please contact the chamber if you have any questions, or would like to get involved 312-850-9390.