Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thank You, Uptown!

Thank you Uptown Business Partners and a big thanks to all of you for stopping by to make the first annual Windy City Ribfest in Uptown a huge success! If you still haven't stopped by, RibFest runs from noon till 10pm today. We think it's safe to assume there will be a RibFest next year...if you build it, they will come.


  1. 1. It is FANTASTIC to have something normal and fun in Uptown for a change.. this is what we have been waiting for....

    2. Please note, this is taken place in Alderman Smith's portion of Uptown, NOT Shillers part... =)

  2. I thought it was nicely done. It was probably a bit more successful than expected because the lines were incredibly long for bbq & beer. But, that's a simple thing to improve upon next year.

    It was also great to see some of the 46th ward candidates for alderman manning the beer concessions. Phelan and Cappleman were working side by side at one point.

  3. Yeah -- North of Leland is Smith, south of Leland is Shiller. You think Shiller's office would put the effort into doing something like that? Still, great to have something like that in Uptown and thanks Ald Smith for putting is so close to Shiller's part of Uptown too. Probably would not have walked to the fest if it was closee to Foster.

  4. I agree - it was nice to see my neighborhood come out and join together to enjoy something fun and normal, like Uptown SuperHero! said.

    I volunteered and let me tell you, we were kept busy! But it felt good to be greasing the wheels of something new that was bringing people to Uptown, and that people actually appeared to be enjoying. I was working my butt off and still enjoying every minute of it!

  5. Loved it, but Sister Hazel kinda let me down.

  6. This is great. Streetfests in a hood give people a sense of excitement and draw in folks from other hoods.

    Next year I will work with Alderman Farinas to bring IRISHPIRATE Red Meat Fest to Broadway and Wilson. Entertainment such as the IRISHPIRATE Tumblers will be on hand. Yes, I know. Hookers on trampolines sounds naughty, but trust me it's very wholesome.

    If I had known James and Molly were handling the beer I would have gone last night. I bet either of them would slip me a free beer if I promised to support the other one.

    Aldermanic races, the mayor's poll numbers in the toilet, ribfests, peregrine falcons at the Uptown eating the pigeon is good.

  7. Ribfest was great! Hopefully next year they will have more participants and more beer tents, because the lines were a little long. The BBQ was awesome, though.

  8. What a fabulous event! I liked seeing folks from both our neighborhood and from beyond enjoying themselves in our streets.

    @Wayne - I saw Cappleman and Phelan working the beer tent, too. I also saw that Phelan started helping out only AFTER seeing Cappleman there. I learned a lot from this.

  9. This is what we're hearing from people "in the know" at the Fest, who wrote to UU privately:

    - The fest was put on by the Chamber.

    - The location was chosen because of the width of the street.

    - The rib vendors needed the bank parking lot for meat storage.

    - Both aldermen [Smith and Shiller] had to sign off and did so with enthusiasm.

    - Both police districts [20 and 23] had to sign off.

    - They never expected a first year fest to be this good.

    - They called in more people to work late Friday.

    - They called in even more on Saturday and ordered more ribs.

    - The 36,000 pounds of ribs were not going to be enough.

    - Molly and James working at the same booth at the same time was not set up. Volunteers were assigned times and places and then moved to where more help was needed. Many volunteers, including James Cappleman and Richard Thale, were assigned to work at the gates and then moved to the beer tents, where the biggest demand was.

  10. I loved the fest. But the only thing I would change is the kids corner. It was to much money to jump in the air ballons. 3 dollars for 15 min. what child do u know will only play for 3 min. To expencive. How about a rist band for the kids with unlimited turns for the jumping jacks.

  11. I have been following this blog for a couple of weeks, as my husband and I are moving from Lincoln Park to Uptown, near Weiss Hospital. Although we are a little turned off by what appears to be a recent spike in crime, we like the area, proximity to the lake, diversity, and access to public transportation. Also, it is refreshing reading this blog, where people seem to care about their neighborhood and are trying to improve it!

    We hit up the Ribfest yesterday and were really impressed. Everyone, volunteers and attendees alike, were so nice. It was great to see such a well-represented group of people there, all seeming to have a good time.

    Looking forward to joining you in the neighborhood!

  12. Does the 46th have any street fests that aren't small block parties?

  13. What a great street festival! This event brough so much pride and sense of community to Uptown. Here's to many, many more!

  14. I would say it was a success, and width of the street made it so open, unlike many other street fests. Ate some good bbq, excellent cupcakes courtesy of the Gallery. One problem was the placement of the portable toilets. It would probably be easy for someone to fall coming out of them. Yes, you step up on the curb to get into the toilet, but if you have a few beers in you you might forget about the step and take a tumble.

    Sadly, I was riding my bike down Wilson this afternoon and in front of the old Popeye's I saw two late teen kids punching each other. This just one block south of the fest.

  15. It was a great fest overall, but I would like to see a few changes next year. First of all, if you have a festival named "Ribfest" you should have more than 5 rib vendors. Next, smaller sample amounts and cheaper prices for samples of ribs should be available. $6 for a sample is a bit high. Finally, more beer vendors are definitely needed. The likes for beer were just too long.

    I'm glad that Uptown was portrayed in such a good light. Honestly, before the fest, I was anticipating potential gunfire. Nice to see that the gangbangers left the fest alone.

  16. First, I thought the fest was AWESOME. The folks who put it together should be very proud of what they accomplished. They made it happen!

    I think Uptown and our residents proved that there is a lot more here than thugs, gangs,and deadbeats that you normally see controlling our streets and decreasing the quality of life for the hardworking people that make this community great.

    I have a lot of positives to rave about, and yes, a few areas for improvement next year! I will be sharing my comments privately in a productive way to the Chamber and Uptown Business Partners, and suggest others do the same.

    On a personal note, I volunteered for the event (pouring beer of course) and it was tons of fun. Got to meet some cool neighbors.

    Thanks again all!

  17. it was awesome, so proud to see my neighborhood come alive. Good job

  18. I met Phalan. She decided to excuse yourself in mid conversation about "affordable" housing to have a conversation with someone else.

    I met Cappleman also. He kept on asking me if his answers were to long. Refreshing you have a canidate that will take the time to actually listen to someone and not decide to the end the conversation. The potential voters I think deserve a complete conversation on a topic.

  19. A Great Event!!

    Loved it.
    One of the rare time I actually felt comfortable walking this stretch in Uptown.....(no thanks to the 46th Ward Office, might I add).

  20. The fest was great! It had a sense of "change" in the air. The first time I've been within a crowd in Uptown and seen people smiling and having a good time without looking thugish. The police presence was really good, I don't think I heard about a single incident all weekend. I hope this festival becomes a permanent thing that keeps growing (and I'm a non-meat eater!) along with more festivals the rest of the summer coming to Uptown.

    @ Ne Leih

    Welcome to the neighborhood! You'll find Uptown MUCH more diverse then Lincoln Park with I think many more conveniences,(such as you can actually park here and have a choice between what EL stop you want to walk too). You and your husband should come out too a positive loitering, block club clean up, or any block club event for that matter. Volunteer and get to know your neighbors, it's the best way to get connected with Uptown.

  21. Moving to Uptown soon and its great to hear that events like this are happening in the area. The important questions is not to be satisfied, but to ask, what next!?

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  23. It's almost time for me to resume drinking for the night, but I have 1 question.

    Anyone see Shiller at Ribfest?

    I kid!

    Good night everyone and I look forward to seeing you next year at Ribfest.

  24. Loved RibFest. Was happy to showcase my neighborhood to my friends from other hoods.

  25. Pirate - I didn't see Shiller cop-suing Brendan was there on Friday night.

  26. Great fest, particularly in light of the fact that this is the first time (at least since 2003 when I moved into the neighborhood) that one has been organized. I'm sure next year will be even better!

    Great job also on the clean-up. I drove through the fest area this morning and there was no trace of the crowds and fun of the previous weekend.

  27. would also say that they should have had more than 1 local BBQ place represented (who also happened to have the best and cheapest ribs there)

  28. Great work everyone, and thanks to the volunteers who served me beer on Saturday AND Sunday :)