Mayor Lightfoot Joins CDOT and DCASE To Announce ‘Open Boulevards’ Series as Part of Open Streets Program
Three day-long events are planned in neighborhoods along the Historic Boulevards starting with Logan & Kedzie activation on Sunday, September 19th
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to announce ‘Open Boulevards’—a series of three-day-long street activations along Chicago’s Historic Boulevards. Each activation is being planned with local aldermen and community partners to bring day-long programming to the neighborhoods.
"Our boulevards are more than just spaces for cars. They also provide unique recreation and programming opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy," said Mayor Lightfoot. "'Open Boulevards' will allow us to take advantage of these wonderful neighborhood assets through several activations, as well as continue the revitalization efforts that came with the launch of our 'Open Chicago' and 'Open Streets' initiatives. I am excited for people to explore our boulevards in a new way and engage with the communities and businesses that make them so vibrant."
The first ‘Open Boulevards’ event takes place on Sunday, September 19th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Logan Square. During this time, the main boulevard thoroughfares will be closed to traffic from Sacramento/Logan to the east, Logan Circle, and Kedzie/Palmer to the south. This activation will seamlessly connect Logan Square to Palmer Square with over a dozen pop-up performances and activations including Mucca Pazza, the Chicago Cellar Boys, Sammy Trap, the Chicago Chorus Girl Project, Comfort Station DIY record fair, Aloft Circus Arts highwire act, yoga, gardening workshops, and more along the way. The street closure will also provide the Logan Square Farmers Market with a boost in space, increasing the number of vendors to 70+ at the popular Sunday market.
"We are thrilled to be hosting Chicago's first Open Boulevards event in the 32nd Ward on Kedzie and Logan Boulevards," said 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack. "This gives all of our residents a great opportunity to get outside and make full use of these historic boulevards and Logan Square and Palmer Square, assets that we are so fortunate to have in our ward.”
In addition to the street activation, the Chicago Department of Public Health will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination tent on-site as part of the farmers market from 9 a.m. to noon.
"Chicago's boulevards are one of our most valuable civic assets -- a continuous expanse of green space and roadway connecting the neighborhoods they touch,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “We’re excited to partner with communities and local officials to include boulevards in our Open Streets program that reimagines how we can put our infrastructure in service of programs and activities that bring people together.”
“DCASE is proud to partner with CDOT and the Park District to program the City's historic boulevards and parks, “said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “This is a tremendous opportunity to engage with community programs, like the Logan Square Farmer Market, to reimagine our shared spaces, providing Chicagoans much-needed opportunities to gather and experience culture safely.”
"Open Boulevards is a great way to continue to enjoy the outdoors. For the Logan Square Farmers Market, this initiative will allow vendors that have been on our waiting list for quite some time to participate. We're excited to include so many additional participants and can't wait for folks to come by for another pleasant Sunday in Logan Square," said Nilda Esparza, Executive Director of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, which manages the Logan Square Farmers Market.
The City will continue the ‘Open Boulevards’ series in October with the two additional events, one on Independence and Douglas Boulevards and the other on Drexel Boulevard that is currently in planning stages. Additionally, City departments are also working closely with the Chicago Park District to connect the activations and programming to vital parks along the boulevard system.