LOGAN SQUARE — For one day only, The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail will serve as a stage for a select group of musicians and visual artists.
On June 22, to celebrate the summer solstice, neighbors are invited to the first-ever Sounds of Solstice”on the popular jogging and biking path.
The six-hour event, beginning at 4 p.m., will bring more than 30 musical and visual performances, local food and family-friendly activities to the western end of the trail from Spaulding Avenue to Ridgeway Avenue.
Benjamin Helphand, president of Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, said his group came up with the idea after event partners put the kibosh on the trail’s annual block party.
“Folks really wanted to do something that would continue in that spirit, but be more sustainable — something the community groups and volunteers could handle for a relatively low budget,” Helphand said.
Unlike the block party, which was held next to the trail, the Sounds of Solstice event will be on the actual trail.
Performances will range from “very professional to garage bandy,” Helphand said. Acts include a bluegrass band made up of longtime friends, a rapper with backup dancers, house music DJ Paul Johnson, blues musician Lurrie Bell and a women’s chorus that specializes in medieval music, among many others.
Neighborhood art groups including Opera-Matic and Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center are also slated to participate.
The event will last 4-10:30 p.m. in celebration of the June 21 summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
The idea is to “invite people out in the late afternoon as the sun is setting so you can roll up there with your whole family and really be surprised to discover a lot of wonderful things,” Helphand said.
Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail partnered with the Chicago Park District on the event, which is also a celebration of the trail itself, Helphand said.
“Me and many folks I work with used to go trespassing [on the abandoned railroad tracks] 15 years ago,” Helphand said, referring to the tracks that have become the trail. “It was always exciting — you never know what was going to happen.”
Helphand said while the trail is built up now, “you still get some of that,” whether it’s seeing an interesting bird or bumping into a friend.
“This event is a chance to celebrate that chance of discovery,” he said.
Food-wise, event-goers can expect to find Mexican treats like elotes and paletas from local vendors, as well as hot dogs served by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.
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