I have lived and owned a business in the West Loop for almost 15 years. My path to work would be east on Washington and then dodge and maneuver the lines of Oprah fans. Today, it is filled with hipsters walking to work, food trucks leaving for the day and strollers everywhere.
The West Loop was once synonymous with the words Oprah’s Winfrey. Since Sterling Bay paid $12 million for a food storage-facility and signed Google as an anchor tenant, the neighborhood’s identity has matured and become independent from the Harpo Campus. The West Loop is attracting an eclectic, yet sophisticated dog-loving and family-focused resident.
Despite being around since 2000, I do not even consider myself as one of the pioneers like my neighbors Joel Nicholson, Owner of Wishbone, Dan Krasney Owner of Vivo and J.P. Grazianos a 4th generation family-owned Italian grocery store. However, I am contributing to the West Loop community’s growth and committed to its divergence from an hood that once only attracted singles with dogs. I love the fact that I am raising my family in a community that spends its weekends walking to vintage art fests, farmer’s markets, food events and now an art festival.
The West Loop is following suit with other high-profile Chicago neighborhoods like Old Town and Gold Coast. This weekend is the inaugural West Loop Art Fest. The West Loop Community Organization (WLCO), Amdur Productions and Star Events are launching a new type of Art Fest. It will be held this Saturday, August 22nd and Sunday, August 23rd on Washington Blvd from Halsted to Aberdeen. Aside from the residents of the West Loop, the WLCO is hoping it will become a destination for Chicago-land art lovers, they have even arranged parking with SpotHero (coupon code on the fest website).
5 Reason to Visit the West Loop Art Fest
- Interactive art tents through the festival for all ages to participate in creating art. Interactive tents will be guided by local artists Bryan Butler , Bennett Day School, Steve and Kate’s Camp, Cat & Mouse Games and LEEP Forward.
- POW! Kids will be offering a variety show on both days for kids and FREE 30 minute classes for children including: Superhero Training, Ninja Obstacle Course, Nerf: Hunger Games and more.
- Two music stages will anchor the event on the east and west end of the fest. Over 30 musicians’ and dance studios will be featured along with a Fivestarboogie Dancers. Look forward to musical guests like: 16 Candles, Tripping Billies, Mark Grant and Jesse De La Pena.
- As usual enjoy amazing food. You will be able to sample some of the West Loop’s including Publican Meats, Mas, Bar Che, Parlor Pizza, Nicholas Quality Meats and the Chicken Shop.
- A wide variety of mediums will b e represented in the art tents. You can look forward to paintings, glass, ceramic, photography, jewelry, as well as Russ Riendeau’s interactive sculpture and biomechanical artist Lewis Tardy.