Celebrate Hyde Park returns July 20 and 21

Staff Writer

Hyde Parkers are getting ready to participate in the fourth annual Celebrate Hyde Park, the neighborhood’s biggest street festival.
The annual street fest will take place on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21.

This year’s street fest will feature The Family Stone and Funkadesi as headliners.

The Family Stone first came to national attention as Sly & The Family Stone in the 1970s and ’80s. Sly Stone no longer tours with the group. The Family Stone will headline on Sunday night.

The festival this year didn’t have the initial operating budget for two national headliners, so Chicago band Funkadesi will close out the festival Saturday night.
Both days will open with local dance troupes: The Hyde Park School of Dance and Iona Calhoun School of Ballet will perform at noon on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Festival organizers the South East Chicago Commission’s executive director Wendy Williams said the dancers will perform ballet routines to funk, rock and other musical genres that are not traditional to their medium.

Bronzeville-based artist Senabella will play jazz, classical, pop and contemporary music on Saturday afternoon. Jamiah “On Fire,” a trio of Chicago musicians ranging from 10 to 16 years old, will play the blues. Other Saturday acts include soul singer Andrea McNeal and the Rockin Johnny Blues Band.

On Sunday, attendees will get to watch 11-year-old Mae Ya Carter Ryan, a Bronzeville singer whose voice has been compared to Mahilia Jackson.

Sunday will also feature the Osezua-Ian Reggae Band, jazz singer Terisa Griffin and rhythm and blues cover band Chicago Catz.

VIP seating can be purchased for both The Family Stone and Funkadesi sets for $50 per seat. All proceeds will be used to fund Oktoberfest later this year.

A DJ from Hyde Park Records, 1377 E. 53rd St., will play music between sets each day.

Food trucks will provide food service, said Williams. This is the first year that food trucks will participate. Williams also said Ald. Will Burns (4th) donated the cost of tables and chairs to be placed outside of participating restaurants along the festival route.

Jackie Jackson, owner of Kilwin’s, 5226 S. Harper St., will be distributing 500 cones of Hyde Park Mud each day. The single serving cone is available first-come-first-served to customers who make a purchase of any amount. Anybody who misses out can come in later for a sample of Hyde Park Mud Fudge. Jackson said Hyde Park Mud is a vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls and dark chocolate chips.

Artists Shawn Bullen and Eric Guo will put on a painting display near the festival’s entrance on Harper Avenue. There will also be carnival games and prizes.