Fall into Fun: Your guide to this weekend’s festivals

By Tatum Bartlett | Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo by bigbrowneyez.

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air,” said American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It seems the neighborhood agrees. Throngs of strollers pass under falling leaves, while smiling faces are blanketed by an occasional cool, crisp gust of air. So was the vision I took in walking around the neighborhood last night. Fall is unsettling, yet calming; beautiful, yet sad. It is also a season marked by celebration and the coming together of neighbors, families and friends.? And this is something our neighborhood does well ? all the time!

Concordia Place?s annual street fair?s tagline, “Fall into Fun,” is indeed a perfect title for this weekend?s happenings in the neighborhood. Three fall celebrations will take place, each offering up a little taste of fall.

The Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce will host the 23rd annual Apple Fest on the 4700 Lincoln Square Avenue block. According to Mindi McCreless, membership director at the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, the 4700 block will be shut down to passing vehicles this year. ?We?ve grown so big,? says McCreless, ?that for safety?s sake, this was the right move.?

Apples are indeed a sign of the season and as the name suggests, this celebration is all about apples ? 1,200 pounds of the sweet (or tart) goodness were sold in only eight hours at last year?s festival.?Although the genus has around 25 varieties, six varieties are available for purchase by the bushel (and cider by the gallon) at this year?s Apple Fest.?Three-dozen vendors will decorate Lincoln Avenue, selling a variety of seasonal favorites ranging from the fresh produce of local farmers, to candy apples, warm apple cider, apple-infused butters, and to get you ready for the season to follow, warm, fuzzy mittens and scarves.

Also, the Chamber will have its own booth set-up where the item du jour is caramel apple sundaes! County Affair will perform live from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., while apple pie cooking demonstrations and tastings, and a variety of children?s activities such as hop scotch, a Hogwash kids show, story time with the Book Cellar, and the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine will certainly draw welcome attention from adults and children alike.
Apple Fest is Saturday, September 25, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 4700 block of Lincoln Avenue.

Head over to 3855 North Seeley to celebrate with the folks at Concordia Place.? Their annual event, Fall into Fun, is a street festival with a little bit of something for everyone!?Live music, carnival games and pony rides are just a few of the surprises that Concordia Place has in store.? Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase during the event for an opportunity to win such prizes as an Apple iPad, Nintendo Wii, and a children?s basket complete with a brand-spanking-new set of wheels ? two, that is!? The event will also feature a health fair where seniors and adults can participate in free blood pressure checks, and cholesterol, diabetes and bone density screenings.?Flu shots are free for seniors over 65 and available for $35 for all others.

Proceeds from the event are used to support Concordia?s long list of community-centered programs including their early learning, preschool, afterschool and emerging leadership programs, in addition to a seniors program that hosts an abundance of senior-centered activities and health awareness classes, in addition a friendly visitor program that sends out church leaders and volunteers on weekly visits with local seniors.
Fall into Fun is Saturday, September 25, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 3855 North Seeley Avenue.

If you are looking to celebrate fall in the form of a lager as opposed to an apple?cider, then head over to the DANKtoberfest.? DANK Haus German American Cultural Center will celebrate its version of Oktoberfest, keeping mugs full with six featured beers (four straight from Munich, two locally brewed in Chicago).? For those that can see beyond the stein, try a taste of the Doppelbock chocolate gelato or apricot Riesling gelato and stop by the Alpine Sausage Stand for a sampling.? Schuhplattler dancing and the music of Wil Smaka’s MusiConnection will round-out the festivities.
DANKtoberfest is Saturday, September 25, at 8 p.m. in the Marunde Ballroom ? 4740 North Western Avenue.? Admission is $5.

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