Halsted Winter Fest: Organizer of Pride Fest Throwing Cold Weather Event

By Serena Dai on February 5, 2014 8:10am 

 A local business alliance is soon hosting a winter festival on Halsted Street.
A local business alliance is soon hosting a winter festival on Halsted Street.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

BOYSTOWN — The organizer behind popular summer street festivals Pride Fest and Market Days wants to pull people out of cabin fever.

Northalsted Business Alliance is holding a Winter Fest for the first time later this month, with hopes that fire dancers, an ice sculptor and free hot soup will attract people out into the cold.

The group wants to continue the festival every year as a tradition, said Jen Gordon, spokeswoman for the alliance.

"If you can't beat winter, you gotta join it and celebrate it," she said.

Many businesses on Halsted from Belmont to Irving Park will be participating in the "fire and ice"-themed festival from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 23.

The street won't be closed like for the group's summer festivals, but some patios and a parking lot will be used for outdoor ice activity.

In the 7-Eleven parking lot at 3407 N. Halsted St., an artist will be sculpting chunks of ice into works of art with a chainsaw during the day. At Taverna 750's patio, 750 W. Cornelia Ave., dancers will be performing with fire.

And outside Kit Kat Lounge, 3700 N. Halsted St., the club's drag queen divas will be dressed up as ice kings and queens for photos.

A lot of the bars and restaurants will also be offering winter-related deals that day, such as hot chocolate or spiked hot chocolate. For those looking for a hot savory beverage, many retail shops will also be offering free soup samples from local restaurants as part of a "Soup Walk."

"Hopefully it’s a good way to beat cabin fever and get out," Gordon said.

 A new winter festival in Boystown will feature an ice sculptor, who will use a chainsaw to craft sculptures such as this.
A new winter festival in Boystown will feature an ice sculptor, who will use a chainsaw to craft sculptures such as this.
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flickr/Dave Straven

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