Chicago Loop

Chicago's ‘Sundays on State' Festival Strives to Draw Visitors Downtown

The festival offered plenty of food, different shopping experiences, music and recreational activities

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Even with the rain, some motivated folks from Chicago and suburbs turned out for a massive block party on one of the city's most iconic streets Sunday, complete with artwork, music, food and plenty of enticing attractions.

State Street from Lake to Madison was cordoned off for the first Sundays on State festival and transformed into what organizers called "an open street full of surprises."

The Chicago Loop Alliance, a non-profit, organized the summer series to bring people back into the neighborhood as its economy is typically driven by employees and tourists. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the neighborhood, any many others, faced unprecedented challenges.

"We certainly wanted to stimulate the Loop economy, specifically that is our MO, but we always wanted to reach out to every corner and get folks from all over Chicago to get together downtown in the heart of the city and experience some joy together," said Jessica Cabe, a spokesperson for the Chicago Loop Alliance.

Vendors lined State Street on Sunday afternoon, some displaying goods for sale, while others offered experiences including recreation classes.

"It’s very diverse things to look at, which is good, because we are with a crowd, and I think it’s good we’re all intrigued by different things here," said festivalgoer Ashley Ostrosky.

Each event, organizers say, will offer something different.

"We wanted to make sure this wasn’t an average street festival where you’re walking down the line of tents," Cabe explained. "We’re going to have wrestling. We have a rink set up in the middle of State Street. We have circus performers, We have a kickline. We have Irish dancers."

Sundays on State will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the following days:

  • July 11 and 18
  • August 8, 22 and 29
  • September 5 and 12
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