Friday, June 17, 2011

Vendors, Volunteers: Ribfest Needs YOU

Photo by Kevin Byrne of the
2010 Windy City Ribfest
from UU's Flickr Photo Page
Remember how great Ribfest was last summer?  How Uptowners came together and ate and mingled and literally danced in the streets?  It was, for many of us, a sign of hope, a promise of what our community can be on its best days.

So we're doing it all again, in just a month (July 15-17), and your help is needed.  Want a bigger, better and even more amazing Ribfest?  Help out.  Donate a couple hours. Do what you can to make Uptown a destination spot for the whole city on that weekend.
"After so many kudos from last year and so many promises of participation for the coming year, apathy has set in.  The locals have disappointed me.  We are short so many volunteer workers, but most importantly, local vendors are looking scarce.  Cupcake Gallery will be there again and that looks like that's about it. We will have some local block clubs and not-for-profits, plus both aldermen will be sharing a booth.  The time has passed for cooked food vendors and there are about two minutes left to apply for a booth in the pre-made food section.  In other words... if anyone is planning on selling food at the fest, this is the time to speak up.  Info can be had from the Chamber at 773/878-1184."
If you're a vendor, particularly a local one, get on the phone and make arrangements to strut your stuff in front of one of the biggest audiences you'll have all summer.

If you're a resident who's always saying we need to have better events in Uptown, check out the volunteer slots here and email or call 773-878-1184 with the date, time, and location you would like to volunteer.

2011 is a year of change!  We can all have an effect on how Uptown reshapes and reinvents itself.  Here's a way to help our community be known for hosting a great festival.

Update:  There will be 12 different performers, including Cowboy Mouth and Rusted Root.  Check the line-up out here.


  1. Eek! Just one food vendor? That ain't good.

    Honestly, though - as much as I was excited to see activity last year, and to see it would be going on again, this year, I always thought the idea of a "RibFest" was a bit ... meh. Especially since there's already one in North Center.

    That said, if there's chatter about Uptown being the musical mecca of yesteryear, this should really be a music fest of some sort - or something which is more representative of the area.

    With that said, I hope any issues can get resolved quickly and we can have another fun weekend.

  2. Okay, just re-read the post and see that, indeed, the term "local" did classify the type of vendor the organizers are looking for; that said, has there been an announcement of the rib vendors who will be present this year? Thanks.

  3. Is there space for an art vendor?

    Probably too late for that......

  4. Maybe if the so called promoters of this event, sought to represent places like Agami, Annoyance Theater, Marigold, Demera, Fiesta Mexicana, Fat Cat, Uptown Recording, Green Mill and the Kinetic Playground instead of schlock rib joints and bad lemonade combined with crappy groups that in reality draw no one it might be interesting.

    How do you avoid the Green Mill? It's world famous.

    I guess by having groups like Cat Fight last year and other groups that really don't play beyond a amateur level.

    Whats' wrong with Patricial Barber, Bobby Broom.

    Bobby Broom played with Miles Davis.

    That doesn't mean you can't have popular groups like Rusted Root. Just mix it up instead of the usual tired lineups of Afrodisiacs and the Waco Brothers who play all the festivals.

    This is a musical center and it's being ignored.

    And there are theater groups as well.

  5. Yes, the musical acts are not huge, however, Cowboy Mouth tours nationwide (and has for years). They play at some very well known events, including Summerfest. Rusted Root is also a nationwide band. Hopefully, the event can get more vendors and bigger name musical acts in the future. Frankly, it was amazing the event ever got off the ground with the past alderman at the helm. Like many other things with a supportive leadership, this should improve.

  6. I would love to see this become an event featuring lots of different ethnic foods to celebrate the great diversity of Uptown. Having so many different and authentic styles of food (and people) in our hood is part of what makes it special. Also, I'm a vegetarian so the whole ribfest thing is kind of a bummer for me.