Chicago's 35th annual Northhalsted Market Days® will take place the weekend of August 13th & 14th, 2016, when a crowd of more than 100,000 people from across the country will converge on Halsted Street to celebrate our annual event. For 48 hours, the neighborhood of Boystown becomes filled with food, art, music and fun. In which Chicago welcomes the largest street festival in the Midwest. It’s a two-day free-for-all of over 400 vendors, 40 concerts/acts, yummy gourmet street food, street dancing & street "booze", with plenty of people dressed up in costumes and lots and lots of half-naked men. You see, Market Days takes place in Boystown, a stretch of Halsted Street in the Lakeview neighborhood that is home to the majority of the city’s gay bars and adult shops (plus plenty of trendy restaurants and unique boutiques for any orientation) and many of its gay residents. While the festival isn't exactly "adults-only", you’ll definitely see some things you might have a hard time explaining to your kids (“Mommy, what’s a speculum?”).
While Market Days is predominantly one long weekend "party" (since you’ll see more champagne-slushy stands and margarita vendors than anything else) – it’s also a chance to support the local community. The money raised from the voluntary $10 donation goes to support the Northalsted Merchants Association that represents the local business owners. They also profit greatly from the event in the form of extra business during Market Days, both at their restaurants and at booths they operate at the fest. Need a new “special toy”, some knock-off designer sunglasses, a hammock for your backyard, a set of “pitcher” and “catcher” t-shirts, or maybe just an arm full of used books? Market Days has you covered with it’s eclectic collection of vendors. You’ll also find giveaways and contests; last year a friend of mine won two sets of round-trip tickets from Travelocity’s “cash-grab” booth.