JEFFERSON PARK — Sweet home Jefferson Park.
The Chicago Fringe Festival — which moved from Pilsen to the Far Northwest Side earlier this year — will return to Jefferson Park after attracting more theater and art lovers than the previous two years, festival organizers said.
The nine-day festival, which ran from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, transformed a church, liquor store and several empty storefronts in Jefferson Park into homes for 200 experimental, avant-garde and do-it-yourself performances from 50 artists and groups.
The number of 5- and 10-show passes sold tripled over last year, and more than 25 performances sold out, festival Executive Director Vinnie Lacey said.
That meant more money for the artists, who receive 100 percent of the festival's ticket sales, Lacey said. The 50 artists split $28,000, he said.
Performances included an aerialist dance company, a group that roasted characters from fairy tales and an avant-garde theater company devoted to presenting fantastical realism and challenging the definition of gender and sexuality.
“The Jefferson Park businesses and residents were just as excited as the artists for this year’s festival in its new location," Lacey said. "We saw a great number of people from Jefferson Park and from around Chicago attending the Fringe."
Next year, the festival is scheduled to take place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
Ald. John Arena (45th) said he was proud to host the festival this year, and was pleased it will return to Jefferson Park.
“Jefferson Park has become a destination for people looking for entertaining and dining experiences that they cannot find in other parts of Chicago," Arena said. "The Fringe Festival epitomized this perfectly. For one week, all eyes were on Jefferson Park to see the new, the different, the fringe of performing arts."