Chicago

Chicago: Retro on Roscoe Street Festival

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This past weekend was also Retro On Roscoe, a local two-day street festival in Roscoe Village. While not at Lollapalooza, we stopped by Retro On Roscoe to check out the live entertainment, the various merchants and artisan vendors, the local street food, and any freebies we can find. Roscoe Village is quite a neat neighborhood. Along W Roscoe St, there’s brunch spots, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and small boutiques too.

The admission to the festival is free, but they’ll happily accept a suggested donation of $5. Proceeds from the event goes to funding community projects such as their streetscape projects, the installation of garbage cans, and improving local parks.

There was live entertainment on three main stages. There was a live band performing when we first entered the festival. Later, we watched the energetic performance by the local ensemble, Chicago Samba.

There were a number of local restaurants serving up samplers of their specialties, as well as the usual street festival treats. The chocolate covered goodies and the deep-fried guilty pleasures totally caught my attention.

The chocolate dipped strawberries, bananas, and cheesecake looked perfectly delightful. The corn dogs, french fries, elephant ears, and fried dough were so tempting as well. I’m familiar with fried dough, but I don’t remember coming across elephant ears before. What are elephant ears? A large, round pita bread, deep-fried whole, and covered with your choice of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Wow!

It’s always fun to explore the various artists booths and vendors at street festivals. You can always find something unique or unexpected, like custom lucha masks or hand-painted guitars. The festival also had a children’s area with face painting, kids crafts and games for the young’uns. There’s also your regular carnival games, like the water gun game and basketball free throw.

Retro on Roscoe also has a really neat antique car show in the middle of the festival, with a bunch of antique, classic and muscle cars that are just fun to stare at.

Even though we didn’t eat anything at the festival, it was a nice relaxing afternoon and we left with a handful of freebies, thanks to local radio stations and companies. Domu.com tested our knowledge of Chicago neighborhoods in exchange for a t-shirt, while radio stations like K-Hits 104.3 asked us to spin a wheel and test our luck. We even won a free HIGH-FIVE!

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