ANDERSONVILLE — Midsommarfest has been postponed, but the Andersonville business community will still mark the traditional Swedish holiday with a virtual party and fundraiser.
Midsommarfest — the biggest event of the year in Andersonville — was slated to start June 12. But with Chicago still under a stay at home order, the festival was postponed until the weekend of Aug. 21.
While neighborhood officials have to wait to see if street fests will be allowed in August, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce will press on with a virtual event. The chamber will host Andersonville at Home: A Midsommarfest Experience & Fundraiser on June 12.
The event will provide Midsommarfest-themed entertainment while raising money for the chamber, which organizes the street festival and other events and initiatives in Andersonville.
Andersonville at Home will include performances from former Midsommarfest acts, including Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute and Catfight. Molly Callinan, lead singer of Catfight, will host the event.
Local businesses will be involved in the programming, including instructional cocktail videos from Elixir, a performance by Gus Giordano Dance School, trivia by Stewpendous Productions and video messages from Women and Children First and other neighborhood fixtures.
Similar to street fests, the chamber will seek donations at the virtual event. The non-profit chamber is heavily funded by special events like Midsommarfest, and the prospect of not having those festivals could hurt the chamber, “especially as we enter an important chapter of post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Executive Director Sara Dinges.
To help Andersonville’s small business community rebound from the pandemic, the chamber has installed curbside posts and sidewalk markings to make retail pickup and social-distance shopping easier for neighbors.
Funds raised at the virtual event will help the chamber assist local businesses and provide future community events and programming, Dinges said.
“While we still have the August postponement weekend on the calendar, we are also working to prepare for many months without special events, on which the chamber depends to sustain year-round programming,” she said.
Andersonville at Home will take place with a preshow at 6 p.m. and the main event at 7 p.m. June 12. For more information, click here.
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