DOWNTOWN — A new weekly festival coming to the Riverwalk this summer will feature food, drinks and music from Chicago's sister cities across the globe.
Unifest will celebrate "culture and cuisine" from seven of Chicago's 28 international sister cities every Thursday night on the Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin streets, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced Sunday. The debut Unifest this Thursday will include Polish vodka and Japanese whisky, Mediterranean food and French tunes spun by DJ Sadie Woods & DJ Madrid.
“With the Riverwalk’s surrounding architecture and bridges as a backdrop, Unifest celebrates what makes Chicago a world class city — a global mix of cultures and communities coming together to enjoy everything the city has to offer," Emanuel said.
The festival will run from 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Aug. 17, the mayor's office said. Admission is free, with food and drink tickets ranging from $2 for bottled water and pop to $10 for cocktails.
Unifest is the latest attraction city officials have announced to promote the Riverwalk as a destination since its multimillion dollar renovation was completed last year. The city, which took out a $100 million loan from the federal government to revitalize the Downtown riverfront, also announced new art installations and a "river float" that will dock at various points along the Riverwalk.
The stretch of the Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin streets reopened last year as "the Jetty," a walkway that includes floating gardens.
The complete Unifest lineup is posted on the festival's website.