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Make a Harmonica, Paint Murals, Watch Jugglers at A Day in Avondale Fest

By Ariel Cheung | September 25, 2015 6:44am | Updated on September 25, 2015 8:45am
 A Day In Avondale, a home-grown art walk, will take place Saturday.
A Day In Avondale, a home-grown art walk, will take place Saturday.
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Provided/Avondale Neighbors

AVONDALE — If you're looking for a true neighborhood street festival, look no further than Avondale.

On Saturday, A Day In Avondale — organized solely by neighborhood organizations and businesses — will celebrate the neighborhood's Polish and Latino roots with jugglers, dancers, crafts and family activities.

The festival runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. along an extended Milwaukee Avenue route, from Belmont to Diversey and Kimball.

"Whether you take the bus, the train or your bike, all roads lead to Avondale. It's a great, vibrant neighborhood that's growing. Avondale is a destination," said organizer Jennifer Hyman.

Check out a video from last year's festival:

 Families gather at A Day In Avondale in 2014.
Families gather at A Day In Avondale in 2014.
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Provided/Avondale Neighborhood Association

Organizers of the free festival took special care this year to include a wider audience, particularly seniors and teens. Between Diversey and Wolfram, teens can paint murals and learn about screen printing, while the ChiTown Hoofers senior dancers will offer tap lessons and performances on the festival's north end.

"There's always lots of events for little kids to do, but teens need a good outlet for their energy, and seniors feel like nobody is paying attention to us," Hyman said.

The main attraction, though, is the wide range of artists stationed in local businesses. The Oz Art Center, 3429 W. Diversey Ave., will have family art workshops and an exhibit, while Crown Liquors, 2821 N. Milwaukee Ave., will host photographer Maggie Keeler and have a cocktail-making challenge.

"New businesses in the community grabbed me and said, 'Yes, we want to do something.' And that kind of enthusiasm was just really exciting," Hyman said.

New businesses like Brew Brew Coffee Lounge will join community old-timers like Kay Shoes (which will have psychic and tarot card readings), and the festival will have everything from Giordano's pizza to a make-your-own harmonica station.

Pop-up boutiques will fill a couple empty storefronts, giving candidates from the Women's Business Development Center a chance to shine with plus-size clothing and artistic outfits.

Also new this year are Avondale After Dark events at a handful of locations — Fireman's Park, Hairpin Arts Center and Moe's Tavern.

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