Clark Street Festival a Success

On Sunday, the 1st Annual Clark Street Festival was held in Rogers Park. Clark was closed from Morse to Touhy where local restaurants and vendors set up to sell their wares.

The streets were filled with people enjoying the music from the bands playing at either end of the festival. The diverse crowd feasted on everything from crab ragoon to enchiladas to just plain burgers.There was something for everyone. People had their eyebrows braided, got henna tattoos, kids had their faces painted and got twisty balloons from the clown booth. For $1.00 a minute, you could even get a massage.

The fest wasn't without its problem vendors as Commander Rottner (24th) told me. 'There was a vendor giving out free shots of tequila and selling bottles of it. I told him I signed off on beer but not tequila either you stop it or we will. We have a guy watching them.'

Before the fest opened, the Health Department came through to ensure all of the vendors were up to code. Several weren't and were shut down which left empty tents which were quickly occupied by fest goers to get relief from the sun and the drizzle that persisted in the early hours of the event.Field School and Gale school were represented selling their wares. Field sole jewelry made by the children and their parents and Gale sold plants and herbs which were grown in the school's greenhouse.

One of the parents manning the Gale booth said ,' They had this greenhouse that was being used for storage. So we turned it back into a greenhouse. We put in over 2000 hours, both during the day during school hours as well as on the weekends for any children that wanted to come in. They gave up cartoons and everything. They loved to watch things grow.'

Proceeds from the sale will go to fund their science program.The bands played primarily Latin music, but one band, Soundstation, played music from the islands. As their set came to a close, the lead guitarist launched into some rock and even played the Star Spangled Banner a' la Jimi Hendrix to the delight and cheers of the crowd.Alderman Joe Moore (49th) was in attendance wearing his pink shirt from the opening of the CTA Pink Line. Also attending were Don Gordon and Jim Ginderske, both of whom are challenging Moore in the next aldermanic race.