Wells Street Art Festival Returns To Old Town For 47th Year This Weekend

OLD TOWN — The Wells Street Art Festival returns to Old Town this weekend for its 47th year.

This year’s festival happens 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday along Wells Street between North Avenue and Division Street, according to the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association, which organizes the festival.

This year’s Wells Street Art Festival marks its return to its normal size after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and then scaled back and postponed until August last year, said Giulia Sindler, co-chair of the festival committee and owner of Kamehachi restaurant.

“We’re hoping that people will be as excited as we are to return and experience all that Old Town is famous for and everything the neighborhood has to offer in terms of arts and entertainment, food and beverages,” Sindler said.

This year’s festival will feature works by more than 240 local and national artists that people can admire or purchase, Sindler said. Art will range from traditional painting and sculpture to woodworking, metalsmithing, ceramics, jewel-crafting, photography, digital arts and more.

The festival will also have a stage for live music, including from cover band 16 Candles and Rod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress.

Eleven local restaurants and drink vendors will set up booths, including:

  • Adobob Grill
  • Benchmark
  • The Fireplace Inn
  • Kanela Breakfast Club
  • Kamehachi
  • Orso’s
  • Greek Delights
  • Lee’s concessions
  • Banges Mexican
  • Tandoor Char House
  • The Glunz Tavern

Businesses are looking forward to the festival’s foot traffic as a boost after two years of the pandemic, Sindler said.

“The businesses have been through a tough couple of years, so they’re excited to return to some kind of normalcy and just have people returning back to our favorite neighborhood,” Sindler said.

A donation of $10 to the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association is suggested to enter the festival. More information can be found on the festival’s website.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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