North Mayfair festival adds local flavor
by BRIAN NADIG
The North Mayfair Improvement Association is adding more local flavor to its annual Labor Day weekend festival in an effort to showcase the area’s business and bike trails.
The "Bikes, Bites & Brews" festival will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3, in a parking lot at the northeast corner of Lawrence and Kostner avenues. A children’s play area will be located on Kostner between Lawrence and the first alley to the north.
Proceeds from the festival will be used to fund murals and other public artwork. "We know that art is good for the community and drives economic activity," said festival chairwoman Lynn Burmeister.
The association is looking at installing murals on two former railroad viaducts which are expected to be used as bridges for the planned Weber Spur bike and pedestrian trail. Those viaducts are located near Foster and Kenton avenues and near Elston and Kimberly avenues.
The planned trail will run in a northeasterly direction from Cicero and Sunnyside avenues through Mayfair, Sauganash and the north suburbs. Construction of the Chicago portion of the trail has been delayed, as city officials have said that negotiations to acquire the land from the Union Pacific Railroad have slowed.
The festival’s beer garden will feature Chicago area breweries, including Alarmist, Lake Effect, Old Irving, Begyle, Revolution and Right Bee Cider. Last year’s festival, which was held in the 4800 block of North Elston Avenue and was called "Cider and Sliders," offered Budweiser products.
Festival organizers said that attendees will see more Chicago food vendors this year, including Seafood City and Tina’s Chicago. The musical headliners are Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press at 8 p.m. Friday, Breakfast Club at 8 p.m. Saturday and 97Nine at 8 p.m. Sunday.
The festival also will include a free family bike ride that will leave the festival grounds at 10 a.m. Saturday and take riders along the North Branch Trail, returning at noon. Tailwind Cycles will provide bicycle tune-up and repair services before the ride, and secured bicycle parking will be provided throughout the festival.
Also, the Friends of Palmer is sponsoring a variety of children’s activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission to the festival is $5, and free for children younger than age 12 and seniors age 65 and older.
More information is available at www.bikesbitesandbrews.com.
Two other area festivals also are planned for Labor Day weekend, the "Taste of Polonia" at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., and the Chicago Fringe Festival at various locations in the Jefferson Park business district.