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Local Holiday Parties Draw Big Crowds

By Alisa Hauser | December 14, 2012 5:37pm

WICKER PARK — It was a week of parties for hundreds of members of neighborhood and business groups in Bucktown and Wicker Park.

Events kicked off Monday, when over 100 residents and members of the Bucktown Community Organization closed down Hot Chocolate at 1727 N. Damen Ave.

Proceeds from the $75 admission and silent auction will be applied toward neighborhood beautification efforts and programming, said Steve Jensen, president of the group.

On Wednesday, 40 members of the Wicker Park Committee convened at Bar Bar Black Sheep, 1415 N. Milwaukee Ave.  The scheduling at the same time as a beat 1424 CAPS meeting, for the section of Wicker Park that draws many of its regular attendees from committee members, meant that there was few people at the CAPS meeting in the park's field house. 

"We had 25 or 30 at the last CAPS meeting and just three tonight. Everyone was here" at Bar Bar Black Sheep, said Mark Amundson, volunteer beat facilitator, who went straight to the Milwaukee Avenue bar at the close of the meeting.

Wicker Park Committee member Sylvia Ramos reported that close to $150 was raised at the party in gift cards to be distributed to 28 needy children who attend Pritzker School, 2009 W. Schiller Ave.

Across town, 105 Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce members celebrated at The Southern, 1840 W. North Ave.

The room was packed with local business owners, a fact that did not surprise Adam Burck, executive director of the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.

"About 80 percent of our members are local independent business owners.  We have members from the big corporate stores, but it's the locals that come to these events and put the time in," Burck said.

On Tuesday, Friends of Holstein Park volunteers will descend upon SmallBar, 2040 W. Division St., for their annual shindig.