WICKER PARK — Before there was a Wicker Park Fest, there was a block party.
Billed as a "homegrown event with mass appeal," the 11th annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party is scheduled for noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and is expected to bring a crowd of at least 4,000 people to Wicker Park, said organizer Eric Williams.
Held on Evergreen Avenue between Milwaukee and Wicker Park avenues, the party features more than 50 musical and visual art performances on three stages (lineup here) as well as a fashion show and family-friendly activities such as hopscotch, children’s art lessons and a double dutch jump rope competition.
DJs Timmy Regisford and Ron Trent will headline the event, spinning from 7-10 p.m. Saturday.
A resident DJ at Club Shelter in New York City, Regisford is "recognized worldwide as a technically gifted DJ and producer with his own brand of soulful house music," while Trent has been at the helm of house and dance music since the '90s and incorporates Afro-Latin influences in his sounds, according to a news release.
But there's more than music; the party includes a live art mural installation.
For the last eight years, a wall facing Evergreen Street alongside Hollywood Cleaners at 1438 N. Milwaukee Ave. welcomes a new mural during the block party.
Graffiti artist Tyrue "Slang" Jones has been working on the mural since Tuesday and said he planned to finish it during the party Saturday.
With "Look up" being the theme of this year's party, Jones said he created "an imagination constellation" background that looked similar to the space galaxy seen on a desktop computer when it starts up.
"It's about Imagination and looking up [from your phone or computer] and not being tied to technology," Jones said.
Phil Luparello, owner of Hollywood Cleaners, donates the wall space to the block party artists.
Luparello is also the landlord for The Silver Room, an apparel and jewelry shop founded by Williams that relocated to the storefront next to Hollywood Cleaners in 2005.
Luparello said Williams loves the annual celebration: "He runs around like a chicken with his head cut off [before the party]."
Jones called the block party the highlight of his year and said his children love it, too.
"There's a good mixture of local talent that's been around for decades. I think it's one of the most diverse and fun events happening in Wicker Park. You see people of every culture and background," Jones said.
Jones, who previously lived in Wicker Park and has since moved to West Town, said the neighborhood "has been kind of segregated with urban renewal, it's not as cultural as it used to be. There are certain things that you miss. This block party brings it back where everyone is together."
In addition to a community grant from the Special Service taxpayer district, Williams said 20 people have volunteered their time to help him organize the party and 65 donors have contributed $3,470 as of Thursday morning, with donations being made online at gofundme.com/silverroomblockparty.
Though admission is free, this year Williams said he would be requesting a donation of $5 to offset the costs of putting the event together.
The Block Party's Full Lineup is as follows:
11 a.m. AL BUMZ
Noon THE MOSES GUN
1 p.m. DENMARK VESSEY
1:30 p.m. KAMANI RASHAD
2 p.m. INSPIRACIÓN DANCE CHICAGO
2:30 p.m. KILLER MOON
3:30 p.m. AO [Formerly Animate Objects]
4:30 p.m. MATTHEW SANTOS
5:30 p.m. PRECISE
6: p.m. FASHION SHOW featuring Kokrokoko, Futurgarb, Iridium, Venus Meets Vintage, Pink Label, Vintage Revival, Rehab'd Vintage
6:15 p.m. KAHIL EL ZABAR
7-10 p.m. RON TRENT & TIMMY REGISFORD [Shelter NYC]
Red Bull Stage
11 a.m. JOHN SIMMONS
Noon RYAN ROSS
1 p.m. AFRO LOCS & TREEHOUSE FLAVOR
2 p.m. SEAN ALVAREZ
3 p.m. DIZ
4 p.m. JESSE DE LA PENA
5 p.m. VIC LAVENDER
6 p.m. DJ MOPPY & BEYOND LUCK
7 p.m. SLO'MO W/ DJ TESS
8 p.m. MADRID
9 p.m. SHRED ONE
1 p.m. RAJ MAHAL
2 p.m. DJ B VAX
3 p.m. IMPOLITE SOCIETY
3:30 p.m. YCA COLLECTIVE
4:15 p.m. MWELWA
5:15 p.m. APRIL FOOLS
5:45 p.m. LILI K
6:15 p.m. SINCERELY YOURS
6:45 p.m. SHON DERVIS
7:45 p.m. MC ADAD & PUGS ATOMZ
8:15 p.m. QUESE IMC
8:45 p.m. TIME NICE
11 a.m. DJ JUST JAZZ
Noon DJ SHANI
1 p.m. EDDIE MILLS
2 p.m. HEY CASEY
3 p.m. SATCHEL
4 p.m. CORDELL JOHNSON
5 p.m. DUANE POWELL
6 p.m. ELBERT PHILLIPS
7 p.m. SPACES OF DISAPPEARANCE
8 p.m. VICTOR LOPEZ
9 p.m. LARRY MILLER