One of my favorite things about summer in Chicago is the nonstop parade of street festivals, art shows, vintage markets and concerts open to the public. Entry is usually free or a $5-10 suggested donation, and there are always local makers on hand to share their stories and crafts. I seem to stumble into street festivals more than I make plans to attend–last weekend, I got off the train to walk to brunch with a friend and wandered right into the Green Music Fest in Wicker Park.
Recently I had the chance to check out Randolph Street Market‘s summer kickoff and attend a media breakfast–the first event I’ve attended as a blogger, four years into the game. Before I talk about the market, can I just say how much fun it was to get to know Giedrė, Lisa and other bloggers? I didn’t feel like a weirdo for whipping out my camera or pausing to make sure I got the angle of a picture just right, and I had a lot of fun hearing about different approaches to blogging and freelance writing.
We also received swag bags, which is a pretty great concept to begin with, made even better by the fact that one was a cooler bag full of Pre Beef grassfed steaks. If you’re ever looking to give me a present, take note: a bunch of delicious food for the grill is always appreciated. So thanks, Pre and Mariano’s, for your generosity!
Now that I’m done nerding out, I can tell you a little about the actual market: Randolph Street hosts a variety of antiques, vintage, arts and furniture dealers, covering everything from hand-sewn bowties to antique glassware to tables made of salvaged wood. It was a beautiful day when we stopped by, so we started with a stroll through dozens of outdoor booths and then made our way through three floors of antiques and collectibles inside.
While I loved some of the larger pieces available, like a wine rack made out of wood from the old Chrysler factory in Kenosha, I’m saving my apartment furnishing budget for when I have a bit more space. At the market, it was the little things that caught my attention: hand-carved wooden spoons with mustaches and smiles instead of slots, dinosaur planters, a beautiful collection of vintage dresses, and silkscreened clutches.
The market also had music going all weekend long, from bluegrass to pop, and tunes drifting through the air made it easy to spend a few hours idly perusing all of the booths. If you’re in the city, it’s worth a stroll through Randolph Street Market to enjoy the atmosphere and find some treasures of your own. The market will be open this coming weekend, June 27 and 28, and throughout the summer–check the website for future dates and more information.
Are there any special summer festivals where you live? If you’re in Chicago, are there any can’t-miss events you’re looking forward to this summer?