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The Annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival was created by C Johnson and Associates in collaboration with the Greater Auburn Gresham Dvelopment Corporation and the Faith Community of Saint Sabina in 2006 to highlight and promote all of the wonderful changes and new developments taking place in the community, in general, and on 79th Street in particular.

The mission of the festival was to show case and promote the vibrant small business community, the local agencies, and community groups in ways that illustrated all the resources the community and surrounding businesses had to offer. The Fest was a direct response to negative mainstream media that always protrayed the community in a less than favorable light. The mainstream media was never interested in showing the development, the improvements, the togetherness, the stability that those who live in the community are proud to be a part of. With its focus on the "culture of poverty" that is so accepted in our world today, media only focuses on reporting about crime, food deserts, foreclosures, and gaps in education. So we decided it was time to tell the whole story and show the whole story in a one day festival that celebrates EVERYTHING we value, cherish, and provide to the businesses, individuals, and families that live, work, and play in our community every single day.

People live to ripe old ages here - nearly 50% of our residents are senior citizens who are still active, engaged, and committed to serving this area. People have access to food here - we have black farmers who provide wonderful fruits, vegetables, and other fresh produce. Families own and care for their homes here - our families have long and rich histories of owning their properties and take pride in keeping them up. We even have a protected, historical bungalow belt here and each year hundreds of people participate in guided tours of them. Students get great educations here - we have some excellent schools that take preparing and educating our students seriously. It's time for us to control our story and tell things the way we see and experience them. Our community is RICH in resources, RICH in history, RICH in a community spirit that is evident in all that we accomplish - together.

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival represents the best that we have to offer. It's a one-day festival that is an opportunity for the entire family to come out and share the last days of summer and celebrate the start of a new and promising school year. Each year thousands and thousands of Chicagoans attend the fest and hundreds of local vendors, performers, government agencies, and restaurant owners come out to party like one, BIG family. Please click the side links to see posts of past festivals.  -------------------->

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival is broken into "Corners." If you are interested in participating in the Annual 79th Street Renaissance Festival, please read below and contact us at 773 723 3557:


If you want to sell drinks, beverages, candy, desserts, food, etc - you are a Food Vendor. Food vendors must contact us asap to get the paperwork completed. Food Vendors will need to complete the Food Vendor Application and attend our free Summer Food Licensing Seminar or prove that you have attended a seminar on your own through the CIty Colleges of Chicago. Booth rental fee is $150.00 before June 1 and $175 after June 1. Call for more details. Bring your own generators and storage/cooking materials.


If you sell clothes, shoes, perfumes, books, trinkets, soaps, posters, products, or services - you are a non-food vendor. Non-food vendors need to complete the Retail Vendor Application and are not allowed to sell any food products. If you are interested in selling food - fill out the Food Vendor Application. Booth rental fee is $150.00 before June 1 and $175.00 after June 1.


We welcome all levels of performers at the Renaissance Festival. Performers are not compensated. You must be willing to perform for free or be willing to donate your performance. In either case, you must provide a contract stating such or complete our "standard performer's contract." Performances are 10 - 30 minutes depending on the size and type of act. Performance times are set by event planners, not performers, and are not negotiable once agreed upon unless by event planners. Performers must submit a press kit or links to videos of their previous performances. Acts that we welcome include: Foot Work Dance Crews, Dance Crews, Ethnic Dance, Magicians, Pop Stars, Emerging Pop Stars, Ethnic/Tribal Groups, Youth Groups, Puppeteers, Roller Skating Crews, Designers, Gospel Groups, and many more. If you want to perform at the Renaissance Festival, please call 773 723 3557 or email Karen Hamilton at (provide full contact information and links to performances).


The Kids Corner contains activities for youth ages 0-12. There are a number of bounce houses, clowns, face painters, balloon artists, a petting a zoo, and a pony carousel.There are toys and snack giveaways for the kids.


The Seniors Corner is a special section for the seniors so they can enjoy being a part of the festival without dealing with the crowds and the pop music. The seniors program lasts from 11:00am to 2:00pm. The seniors have their own private "villa" where they are served a free lunch, they have a private seating area, and a DJ who plays "oldies but goodies." There are games and giveaways.


The Green Corner houses all the vendors that are environmentally and green focused. We are very serious about learning how to preserve and sustain the local economy and environment. The Green Corner is the place to go find information on healthy programs, products, and services.


The Park is where the teens go to find a spot to enjoy the festival. There are activities for teens like archery, painting/arts and crafts, and dance/exercise tutorials. Renaissance Park has a Teen DJ and dance area where teens and young adults ages 13-24 can chill out, dance, and listen to the kind of music that interests them. A special Basket Ball Clinic and Tournament is held each year for amateur ballers. Trophies and prizes are awarded. And there is


The bulk of the festival's activities will take place on 79th Street between Racine and Loomis. The streets are shut down so there is no through traffic at all making it safe and convenient for attendees to go from section to section and one end of the event to the other safely. Roughly 100 colorful vendor booths are spaced along this stretch of street flanked at the front by the impressive concert-style main stage and at the back by a wonderful Ferris Wheel. Here festival attendees can expect to spend their money buying any and everything from food (rib tips, pizza, nachos, Italian, Spanish, Vegan, Soul, etc) to clothes and shoes to perfumes and soaps. We highly encourage attendees to bring at least $20 to spend during the fest since admission is free and we are trying to support the local business economy! There are also government and other local agencies present to make sure attendees learn about important programs, services, and information that may be relevant to them. The Main Stage performers are local, up-and-coming artists to watch as well as seasoned festival favorites.

If you are interested participating in any aspect of the Renaissance Festival - please contact us. We are always in need of volunteers, crew chiefs, and active members to attend our quarterly planning breakfasts. We would welcome your contribution. If you are a local business owner who cannot attend the fest, but would like to donate - please contact us. We also welcome all levels of donations and sponsorships (corporate and/or individual). Call 773 723 3557 for more details or email


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