Hyde Park Garden Fair set for this weekend, needs volunteers

Staff Writer

In the 59th annual year, the Hyde Park Garden fair will return to the south courtyard of the Hyde Park Shopping Center this weekend. Patrons can buy herbs, houseplants, shrubs and trees, hand-selected, bought wholesale from nurseries around Chicagoland and sold without taxes at the not-for-profit event organized by a Hyde Park–Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC) committee.

The Fair will take place at the Hyde Park Shopping Center’s southern courtyard, by the Bonjour Bakery Cafe, 1550 E. 55th St., on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organizer Lesley Bloch said money raised at the Fair has contributed to HPKCC projects in Nichols Park, 1355 E. 53rd St., like the new fence at the park’s wildflower meadow and a new garden at its north end. In addition, Bloch talked of the Fair’s place in Hyde Park social life. “People see each other who they haven’t seen since the last garden fair,” she said. “They’re happy to say hello.”

The Garden Fair needs volunteers, Bloch added, saying those interested can report to the courtyard on Thursday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. to unload plants from trucks and label them by price. As an added incentive, volunteers get a sneak peak at this year’s merchandise as they work.