Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team
It’s back….and we’re not just talking about summer. Somewhere in the midst of the beach, beer and BBQ’s , make your way over to Chicago’s annual Randolph Street Market Festival (1350 W. Randolph St.) in the West Loop. Going on year six, this urban treasure hunt is held one weekend of each month, May through September. Carrying items of both quality and uniqueness (and of all price ranges), it quickly earned an international reputation as one of the most diverse markets in the world and has been compared to Paris’ legendary Le marche’ puces de Saint-Ouen. The grand opening festivities happening this weekend will exude a Garden Party theme, showcasing outdoor living and home accessories – perfect timing for getting those patios ready for some serious summer entertaining!
The Randolph Street Market Festival encompasses several smaller markets in one, including the Chicago Antique Market featuring a diverse array of treasures from the past, the Indie Designer Market, where top designers of fashion, art, jewelry and decor showcase eclectic artwork and crafts, plus the Fancy Food Market, the Vinyl Swap Meet, the Global Goods Bazaar and much more.
New this year is the Oprah Store – no hysterical screaming required. While the store isn’t giving away any “favorite things,” you may find a favorite of your own, in the form of apparel, home goods and more. (Side note: The Oprah Store is open every month but June). Also new is this year is the opportunity for guests to trade in their gold jewelry for cash – please think twice about the family heirloom folks!
Another highlight is the Retro Re-vamp Corner. Get crafty by putting your own modern twist on traditional crafts with the opportunity to decoupage bead a variety of items transforming them into one-of-a-kind treasures. Craft themes will vary each month, so what can you look forward to this weekend? Maybe for the first time in your adult life, you’ll be sewing flowers onto a sunhat, embellishing sunglasses with jewels, or silkscreening a floral design onto a messenger bag. Engage yourself with this economy friendly DIY activity that will have everyone asking, “where did you get that?”
WHEN: May 23-24; June 27-28; July 25-26; Aug. 29-30; Sept. 26-27
Saturdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free hours for shopping:
Saturdays: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: Two entrances: 1350 block of W. Randolph Street and 1340 W. Washington Street
PRICE: General admission $10, good for both days. $5 admission for students with ID. Children 12 and under free. Special Offer! With every admission purchased, patrons receive a shopping refund voucher. Season Passes are also available and are priced at $75. A Season Pass includes unlimited admittance throughout the season for two people, as well as free valet parking.
PARKING: Free and ample street parking is available. Valet Parking is also available.
TROLLEY: Trolleys depart Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., at the top of each hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and depart the Market for Water Tower at regular 30 minute intervals from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.