On Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2, thousands of neighbors and others joined together for a celebration of community and diversity.
The ON Devon Fest, sponsored by the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, Republic Bank, SSA#43 and Alderman Deborah Silverstein, brought together dozens of artists and makers, entertainers, food vendors, and human services organizations.
Among the entertainment was the American Indian Center’s singers, young violinists from West Ridge’s Music House, Bollywood dancers from Mandala Arts, Tsukas Taiko Drummers, youth tap dancers, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and more. Delicious treats were on sale from Fresh Farms, Helix Café, Badou Senegalese restaurant and Urban Tables plus a local brewery. Other features included: Bee Love Honey was selling products made from beehives located at O’Hare International Airport (This program supports formerly incarcerated people providing them with skills and employment); a bouncy house and a balloon maker; LOOM Chicago, plus bookmaking with North Branch Projects, portraits by William Estrada, and paper pet cartoons drawn by David Sokoloff at the WRCO table.
Over the course of the 2 days the Fest was attended by over 3500 people, but a very special guest came on Monday – Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She came to see our community and learn about our neighborhood.
The diversity of the 50th ward is its strength. ON Devon – which brought together neighbors of every age and from all over the world, new immigrants and old timers – was a beautiful example of that diversity.