Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sheridan Park Planters Pop Up On Wilson

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One of the new planters at Wilson & Malden
Something that would have been unheard of when Uptown Update began back in 2007 has taken place.

Planters that are nearly identical to the ones that line Broadway through Buena Park are being installed down Wilson Avenue through Sheridan Park.
This is certainly thanks to our Uptown SSA #34. If you are unfamiliar with our SSA in Uptown, check out this link to learn more.

Progress abounds.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Proposed Wilson/Broadway Development Passes 46th Ward Z&D Committee

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Night rendering of 4601 N. Broadway proposal, looking NE (MX3 Architects)
From Ald. Cappleman's newsletter:

"BROADWAY/WILSON DEVELOPMENT APPROVED. The 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee met Monday, July 25, and overwhelmingly approved a 10 story mixed-use development on the NE corner of Broadway & Wilson. The next public step will be for the development to go through the City's Zoning Committee. Click here for more information about this development."

According to the notes,. the votes was 14 in favor, 5 opposing, and 1 abstention.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Laundromat Coming To Wilson & Magnolia Strip Mall

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The strip mall at 4550 N. Magnolia (Google)
According to building permits with the city, a laundromat is coming to the corner space of the strip mall on the SW corner of Wilson and Magnolia. This space was most recently "Uptown Produce." It isn't the most exciting retail we can think of, but it is certainly something that a lot of people can use. Butcher paper has been up in the windows for a while, so inquiring minds were wondering what was in store for the spot. Now we know!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Buttercup Cinema Tonight Features Jungle Book, Yoga Saturday... and Martinis!

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Please join us this Friday, July 22nd, for the next movie, Jungle Book (1942,) staring Sabu, in our Movies at Buttercup at Dusk series, curated by Victor Herrera.

We would like to say a very special thank you to Somerset Place Apartments for their support in making this movie presentation possible.

Additional support provided by Green Team Properties at Keller Williams Realty, Big Chicks, Karen Ayers-State Farm Agent, Foremost Liquors on Argyle, and Cedar St/FLATS Chicago.

You can find more information about the event at the following site: https://www.facebook.com/events/1032624150184682/


click to enlarge
Yoga - Saturday, July 23rd at 8:00 am
Yoga at Buttercup with Toni Yogatones, RN, BSN, CYT. Every Saturday, at 8am - through August 13th. This class is appropriate for all experience levels. $5 Suggested donation.


Annual Fundraiser Sunday, July 31st, at Marty's
SAVE THE DATE: Please join us for our annual fundraiser event at Marty's Martini Bar, Sunday, July 31st, 2016, at 2pm - 1511 W Balmoral. The funds we raise support our efforts with movie nights, yoga, and other programming. It is also a good time to chat with neighbors, and exchange ideas about Buttercup Park. https://www.facebook.com/events/461085724085520/

Buttercup Park is located at 4901 North Sheridan, at Ainslie.

Alchemy Starts Here

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The signs are up at Lawrence House for Owen + Alchemy, the juice bar that won the #FLATSproject small business incubator project. It will be in the easternmost storefront of the building.

Positive Loitering Tonight At Wilson & Racine

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From Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering will take place this evening between 6PM and 7PM. The location will again be Wilson and Racine. Please join your neighbors in front of Jimmy John's. There was a definite change on the block when neighbors and police officers showed up last week.

Stop by for a few minutes or stay for the full hour. Bring a friend, bring a new neighbor, stop by on a dog walk, just come out! We have dog treats for your furry friends.

As always, the 19th District Police are aware of our presence and encourage participation."

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks

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It looks like the concrete is about ready to be poured for the sidewalks outside Bridgeview Bank at Broadway and Lawrence. It's been an extensive undertaking to shore up the infrastructure there, and is the reason the Broadway streetscape has been delayed. We look forward to having new sidewalks soon, and we're sure Starbucks is looking forward to having its sidewalk cafe space back.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Broadway & Wilson Development Approved By Truman Square Neighbors Block Club

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Night rendering of 4601 N. Broadway proposal, looking NE (MX3 Architects)
Residents of Truman Square voted overwhelmingly (86-9) to approve the zoning change required to construct an 11 story transit oriented development on the NE corner of Broadway and Wilson. Ballots were cast online and by paper ballots that were distributed around Truman Square. Residents living in the boundaries of Broadway to Sheridan and Lawrence to Wilson were eligible to vote.

The proposal includes 197 residential rental units. 80% of the units will be studios, but NOT the "micro-studios" that some are familiar with. The remaining 20% will be a mix of one and two bedroom units. Retail will comprise the entire ground floor and will be a mix of multiple storefronts.

Next stop for the proposal will be the next 46th Ward Zoning & Development meeting where it will be voted on by Uptown block clubs and other Uptown organizations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

No So Lucky

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Lucky, we hardly knew ye!

We had posted last November in the former Pecking Order spot at 4416 North Clark said a Mexican restaurant would be opening there soon. In February, the Pecking Order awning was painted over and the name "Lucky" went up.

But it turns out to be not lucky for the prospective restaurateur. Today there is a sign saying that the space, restaurant fixtures, and liquor license are for sale.

Know someone interested? Call 312-841-9322

We're Having A Heat Wave, A Tropical Heat Wave

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The next few days are going to be hot and humid, sauna level hot. Heat indices are predicted to be around 110 from Thursday afternoon until Saturday.  It's supposed to be hottest weather we've had in three years.

While you may have air conditioning, not everyone does, so please remember to check in on neighbors and friends who may be vulnerable. Every year we have the sad duty of reporting the heat-related death of someone in Uptown, usually someone who lives alone without a/c and is found in a closed-up home. Let's do our collective best to not let that happen this summer.

Below is the City's flyer on how to handle the heat. Remember that
  • several of Uptown's parks have water features to keep kids cool
  • there's a cooling center at 845 West Wilson (at Hazel) 
  • Gill Park, Chase Park, Welles Park and Uplift High School have public swimming pools
  • libraries and park fieldhouses are cooling centers as well

And this shouldn't have to be said, but don't leave your kids or your pets in a parked car. Call 911 immediately if you see this.

Good luck! May the blackouts be few and may the weather get temperate soon.



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Got A Story To Tell? Tonight's Your Chance!

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“Some coaches coach to win;
other coaches coach to save lives.
Coach Webb saved my life.” —Erik
The monthly storytelling series continues on Tuesday, July 19th at Uptown Underground, 4713 North Broadway. It takes place on the third Tuesday of each month.

No experience is necessary for this open mic evening. Bring your stories -- fact or fiction (no poems or stand-up comedy, please). Everyone gets no more than seven minutes to tell their tales. Arrive at 7pm to sign up for a spot, and the storytelling begins at 7:30pm. It won't go past 9:30pm.

All ages are welcome, and it's free.

Want to know more? Visit the website here, and start getting ready to enlighten and entertain.

They Do Rehab Right

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KFC and Nhu Lan Sandwich Shop were forced to close after a roof fire at Weiss Plaza (Lawrence & Sheridan) last December. Both have always intended to reopen, but have been slowed by the red tape of dealing with the insurance companies and Chicago's construction permit process.

Thanks to reader JMM, who provided the photo above, we know that reconstruction has finally been able to start at KFC. We hope Nhu Lan isn't that far behind.

Incidentally, we are hearing that Nhu Lan will be slightly larger after the build-out and KFC slightly smaller.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Paper Shredding/Electronics Recycling Next Saturday

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From Ald. Cappleman's recent weekly newsletter:

"Back by popular demand, the 46th Ward Office, along with State Rep. Greg Harris, will host our annual "Shred-A-Thon & Electronic Recycling Day on Saturday, July 23 from 9am to noon at the 46th Ward Office located at 4544 N. Broadway.

Here's your chance to get rid of old bank statements, cancelled checks, or old records that are no longer needed. Also, bring electronic equipment for recycling as well.

This service is exclusively for residents only; businesses are prohibited from participating."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Know A Kid Who Needs A Haircut? Help Pay It Forward

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La Ciudad To Appear on Chicago's Best Sunday Night

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WGN's Chicago's Best filmed a segment at Uptown's hidden gem, La Ciudad (4515 North Sheridan), in June. Now we'll get to see what happened that evening, as Chicago's Best features "Best Mexican" on Sunday night at 10pm (and several times during the week following).

Be sure to tune in to see Chef Hugo and your neighbors enjoy a meal and the spotlight. We hope it brings lots of business to one of our favorite Uptown spots.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hong Ngu To Open Next To Argyle Red Line Station

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According to Eater Chicago, a new restaurant from the co-owner of Anna's Asian Grill & Sushi Bar on Irving Park will open in the former space of Vinh Phat (1113 West Argyle). In an email with Eater Chicago, owner Oanh Ngo said, "Most of the restaurants on Arygle are old fashioned and very busy with their decor. We keep the traditions of Asia like the street food decor inside without putting 100 dishes on the menu."

Ms. Ngo also just opened a Taiwanese shaved ice shop at Racine and Grace this past week, called Snow Junkie. It doesn't look like much is going on at 1113 West Argyle at the moment, but we hope to see signs of life before long.

Vinh Phat has a big green "REVOKED" sign on its front door. Not sure what that's about; anyone know?

Wear Your Best Vintage Clothing To Vintage Garage This Sunday And Win Stuff!

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This Sunday is the fourth Vintage Garage of the season, and it sounds like a lot of fun. The themes are tiki, rockabilly (with a live band), and vintage clothing.

Show up wearing your best vintage clothes and you may win Garage Bucks (good for purchases at the Vintage Garage) or a season pass, which will get you into the remaining shows (August, September, and October) for free.

This Sunday is the first live band to play at the Garage. Enjoy the retro sounds of Rosie and the Rivets as you shop more than 100 vendors for treasures.  They'll be playing hits from the 1950s and 1960s between 11am and 3pm.

Vintage Garage is a perfect shopping environment. Enjoy the fresh air while being protected from the sun and the rain. The temps are always ten degrees cooler inside the parking structure.

Vintage Garage takes place on the third Sunday of each month between spring and fall. Admission is five dollars, and it runs from 10am until 5pm.

It all takes place in the parking garage at 5051 North Broadway, immediately north of Argyle Street.  For more information, check out their website.

Stolen Goods Recovered, Police Looking For Owners

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This isn't in Uptown, but often thieves come from outside the community. If you have had something stolen that you really would like to get back, this may be worth checking out:

Police recently arrested a man who had been running a massive fencing operation from his home on the West Side. They recovered a considerable amount of stolen goods from his property. He admitted that he had been trafficking stolen items for more than ten years. According to the police, "The types of items recovered include (but are not limited to) bicycles, snow blowers, landscaping equipment, chainsaws, ladders, construction grade equipment, power tools, and tool boxes."

If you have had something stolen and want to see if it was among the recovered items, you are invited to see what the police found.  The viewing will take place at the 15th District Police Station Community Room, located at 5701 W. Madison Ave.  Viewing takes place:
  • Friday, July 15th, 7am to 7pm
  • Saturday, July 16th from 8am to 3pm
The police say, "It appears that the items originated in the Cook County area.  Victims attending the viewing should bring identification, proof of purchase, copy of police report, as well as any evidence related to their loss (i.e. video, pictures, or witnesses).  Detectives will be in attendance to assist victims with recovering their property."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Uptown Community Garden Tours This Saturday

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For more information, go to the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1254502137901587/

Shelter Vacates Historic Home On Sheridan Due To Budget Cuts

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4506 N. Sheridan, formerly the "Neon Street" shelter by Heartland Alliance
Heartland Alliance is no longer operating its "Neon Street" shelter out of 4506 N. Sheridan. Due to budget cuts, Heartland has moved the shelter to another scattered site that is less costly to operate. Panels have put up around the first floor to protect the property. No word on what Heartland plans to do with this building, which has had an interesting past.

The home was built in 1902 for Julius H. Holsher and was designed by famed architect George W. Maher, who designed many homes in Uptown. It later served as the McCready Funeral home and had a morbid tie to gangster John Dillinger when his body was brought here to be embalmed and thousands of people rushed to this spot to catch a glimpse of his coffin as he returned to Indiana for his wake.

If this home eventually goes on the market, it will join another single family home just to the north at 4516 N. Sheridan that currently is listed as "contingent."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bezazian Buzz and Book Sale

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Two events coming up at the Bezazian Branch Library, located at 1226 West Ainslie:

  • Wednesday evening at 6:30, Friends of Bezazian meet at the library. If you'd like to join the group of volunteers who advocate for this neighborhood gem, please stop by.
  • On Saturday, there will be a pop-up book sale outside the library run by Friends of Bezazian. Last time hardcovers were a buck and paperbacks were 50¢. Stop by between 10am and 2pm and restock your shelves!

Budget Impasse Forces An End To Inspiration Kitchens

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We have been told by Inspiration Corp. for a long time about how badly the lack of funding from Springfield has impacted their programs. Even with the stopgap budget passed last week, they are only receiving from the state half of what they've paid out, half of the money they are due.

Last night we heard from a reader:  "I had brunch at Inspiration Kitchen on Saturday and sadly found out they are closing at the end of the month.  The lack of a passed state budget has put this restaurant out of business.  They will be having customer appreciation events between now and July 30th.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but wanted to make everyone aware."

We wrote to Inspiration Corp. to confirm, and today we got one of the saddest press releases we can remember:
"I am writing to share the news that we at Inspiration Corporation have made the difficult decision to close our Inspiration Kitchens – Uptown social enterprise restaurant after brunch on Sunday, July 31st.  I am sure that this decision will be difficult for many of the patrons who have so generously supported our first experiment in social enterprise over the last 10 years.

We are so proud of the amazing staff at the restaurant – many of whom are graduates of our Foodservice Training program – that has worked hard to serve up delicious food and superb customer experience, earning glowing reviews and universal praise.

More importantly, we have been able to assist more than 500 low-income and homeless job-seekers in finding careers in the culinary industry through our training program.

While we are closing one of our locations, we are not walking away from our commitment to serving Chicago’s most vulnerable residents.  We continue to operate our Foodservice Training program at our Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park facility, and remain committed to using social enterprise as a vehicle to help people build new careers and brighter futures.

And we are not walking away from the Uptown community, where we have operated since 1989 when Lisa Nigro pulled her little red wagon through the streets. Inspiration Cafe, at Wilson and Broadway, will continue to serve hot meals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect to individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, relying on more than 1,000 volunteers each year, many from the Uptown community.

Unfortunately, Inspiration Kitchens – Uptown has struggled to remain viable over the last three years as public support for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty has diminished or disappeared.

In 2014, we lost more than $350,000 in federal funding for our Foodservice Training program in Uptown and were forced to consolidate at our west side restaurant.  The following year saw cuts to funding from the State of Illinois for similar programs, culminating in an entire fiscal year without a state budget.

We can no longer justify the cost of running Inspiration Kitchens – Uptown, which as a full-service restaurant carries high fixed costs with low profit-margins.

Like many other nonprofit organizations in the state, we are struggling to meet the increasing demand for services with diminished resources, and we have been forced to make painful cuts to ensure that we are spending our limited funds on the programs that provide the greatest possible benefit for homeless and low-income Chicagoans.

As we look to the future, we are happy to report that we are already in talks with a partner to launch a new Inspiration Kitchens project in Uptown with an entirely new concept next year, so please stay tuned for updates.

In the meanwhile, we will be focusing on expanding our catering business, which is beginning to generate both net revenue for our organization and employment opportunities for our graduates.  And we hope that many of our loyal patrons will continue to enjoy our food and service by using our catering for their special events or visiting Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park.

Thank you to all of the patrons, donors, and volunteers who have generously supported us over the years." 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pride & Profiles (or, Buena Park's Getting A New Theater Company)

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Since the sudden closing of Buena Park's Profiles Theatre last month after disturbing accusations were made about the behavior of the two artistic directors, there's been concern about what will happen to the two theater spaces that were shuttered at 4135 and 4147 North Broadway.

Today's Tribune has the answers, and it's good news for those who didn't want to lose theater space. Chris Jones writes:
When Profiles Theatre announced its closure last month -- the theater shuttered amid the outcry over a widely shared story in the Chicago Reader wherein several women alleged unsafe and abusive rehearsal and performance practices -- many wondered what would happen to its very desirable spaces on the North Side.

The Tribune has learned the answer: A company called Pride Films and Plays is taking over both of Profiles' theaters, effective immediately.

"We already have the keys," said David Zak, 58, currently the only full-time employee of the non-profit enterprise, founded in 2010 and specializing in works with LGBTQ themes.
The entire article is here.

On its Facebook page, Pride Films and Plays says:
"Pride Films and Plays is thrilled to announce our move to a new home!

Pride Films and Plays, the LGBTQ+ focused company founded in 2010, will take up residence in the two theaters at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in Uptown that were recently vacated by Profiles Theatre, Executive Director David Zak announced today. The 90-seat space at 4139 N. Broadway will serve as the primary venue for the company’s stage productions and will be named The Broadway. The 50-seat studio a few doors north at 4147 N. Broadway, to be dubbed The Buena, will serve chiefly as a rental venue.

Zak says “We will welcome arts groups of all types – theaters, film fests, comics, musicians, performance artists - who share our mission to speak for the underrepresented populations of our community. The Pride Arts Center will be a safe and open place for all artists.”

46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman said, “We enthusiastically welcome Pride Films and Plays to Uptown. Performing arts organizations enhance the quality of life, bring economic activity and promote safety in our neighborhoods. We are thrilled to know that the tradition of live theatre on this block of Broadway will continue virtually uninterrupted.”

The company’s next production, Resolution - a world premiere by Heather McNama and Nancy Nyman - will be staged at Rivendell Theatre in October as previously announced.

The first production to be staged by Pride Films and Plays in the new Center will open in January, 2017. Both the 90-seat Broadway and the 50-seat Buena are currently available for rentals. Interested producing companies may inquire by calling 1-800-737-0984 or e-mailing prideartschicago@gmail.com."

Rique's On Sheridan Closes

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Some disappointing news from the Facebook page of Riques Cocina Mexicana:
"Dear friends: After almost 2 years in Uptown (768 likes, 1,318 "were here", 5.0 blue stars + 1 this week- according to facebook)- we are CLOSED, time to change gears; I will be pursuing Teaching Culinary Arts; and we still have couple of events to do in Beautiful Chicago before September of 2016.
Thank you, gracias mil to all our friends that they were always here to see what we were cooking every weekend...To our old friends thank you and to our new ones cant thank you enough...."
This is the second go-round for Rique's at this location, and we'll miss the delicious dinners... again. Good luck to you, Chef Enrique.

Meanwhile On Montrose ....

1 comment:

... the new building that will hold Ross Dress For Less and other retail is going up like gangbusters....


... and the building just to the west of it, 944 Montrose, has all new windows and workers doing renovations daily.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Apartment Fire At Leland/Beacon Saturday Night

1 comment:


Saturday evening at 8:20pm, there was an apartment fire at 4701 North Beacon, at the corner of Leland. Firefighters blocked off Beacon between Wilson and Lawrence. The damage seems to be limited and the building is open to residents tonight. If you have any further information, please put it in the comments.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bike Tire Thefts On The Rise

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We hate to have to run stories like this, but it's an annual event. There are predators who look for any opportunity to take something that isn't theirs. Here is the story and some words of advice to bike owners from a reader who was the victim of a theft. Take precautions, as he advises.

"It’s summer and the crime increasing.  I am writing to share the story of my bike tire being stolen from within the locked, gated yard of my building so you may share it with other, local readers.

This morning, Saturday July 9th, I went to ride my bike and discovered that my front tire had been stolen.  I last saw the tire when I rode my bike on Monday, July 4th and got home around midnight.  I have zero faith in recovering the tire, but did file a police report with District 19 Chicago Police.

I had the bike frame locked with my U-lock, but neither tire was secured through the lock.  The worker at the bike store I went to to buy the new $125 tire and rim lives in the area and said he has heard of more and more similar stories: locked up in a gated area and tires and parts have still been stolen.  I figured a large, locked gate was locked enough, and I was wrong.  I will be fully locking my tires now.  The bike store had previously suggested removing the quick releases as well, and I may do that now.

I hope no one else in the area needs to have their bikes victimized and that we catch the thief."

There are also some good tips on avoiding tire theft in the comments to this 2013 post.

Inspiration Corp. Founder Lisa Nigro & Family Need Support

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photo courtesy of My Hero
Lisa Nigro, the former police officer who started Inspiration Corporation and has helped improve the lives of so many vulnerable people in Uptown, even winning the Presidential Citizens Medal for her philanthropy and dedication to this community, is having some challenges of her own right now. Her 18-year-old son has had a series of heart attacks and that has put a terrible financial burden on the family.

A reader brought this our attention and said,
"Many of you know or know of Lisa Nigro, founder of Inspiration Corp. and CafĂ©. This amazing woman is, hands down, the fiercest force for good in Uptown. She and her family are now facing a challenge that would humble Hercules. As strong as I know she is, she and her family could use your help. Donate what you can, pray, and read: http://nick2127.tumblr.com. Yeah, she’s an amazing writer, too.

The YOU CARING Fundraising Page is at https://www.youcaring.com/the-nigro-family-463208."
If you can help this woman who has helped so many, please do so.

UU articles about Lisa are here.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sunnyside Mall Is Throwing A Block Party Saturday

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Spend the evening with your Sheridan Park Neighbors for the first ever Sunnyside Mall Block Party!

SCHEDULE:
  • Arriving between 10am - 1pm:
    JUMPING JACK FOR THE KIDS! (look for a Sunnyside Mall Facebook notification when it arrives)
  • 4pm:
    CARNIVAL GAMES: face-painting, balloon toss, donuts on a string, bike/scooter parade and more!
  • 4:30-6pm:
    BALLOON TWISTER!
  • 5pm:
    DINNER! Spend the evening with your Sunnyside Neighbors!
The Sunnyside Mall will provide burgers, hotdogs and drinks. Please bring a potluck contribution - If your last name begins with:
  • A - J: Bring an appetizer or salad 
  • K - R: Bring a dessert 
  • S - Z: Bring a side dish or fruit
Sign-up to bring a dish & help with activities HERE: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a4eabaa29a1f58-sunnyside
  • Requested Donation for food, soft drinks & water: $1.00 for children & $3.00 for adults
  • Bring Your Own Chair (B.Y.O.C.)
This event is made possible by The Sunnyside Mall Committee and all our generous Sheridan Park Neighbors!