• Supporting Community Through Events

  • Our neighborhood is well-known in Chicago for its special events.  From Strolls and Crawls to Runs and Festivals, there's never a weekend with nothing to do.  LSRCC plans many of these events, all of which are designed to direct traffic to local business and improve the community.  Explore the ways we give back using the tabs below.

  • Why does LSRCC conduct special events? Why does LSRCC conduct special events?

    Our special events are designed to draw awareness to Lincoln Square and Ravenswood, and to support local business.  Businesses who participate in LSRCC events have the chance to market, network, and make a profit at the same time.  Businesses who don't participate can still see spillover benefits from all the potential customers our events draw to the neighborhood.

  • What events does LSRCC organize for the community? What events does LSRCC organize for the community?

    The following events are organized by LSRCC.  Click the event name to learn more about each event and find out which businesses participate.

  • How does LSRCC work with local businesses? How does LSRCC work with local businesses?

    The LSRCC offers local businesses a variety of membership packages to choose from based on their needs.  LSRCC members receive help marketing their business, obtaining permits and licenses, networking with peers, and learning new skills at trainings and workshops.  Many of these services are made possible through income generated at LSRCC special events.  For complete details on membership benefits for small businesses click here.

  • How many businesses participate in LSRCC events? How many businesses participate in LSRCC events?

    Some LSRCC events involve many businesses, while some others are more exclusive.  Small events like Damen at Night and Wine Stroll may have 25 to 40 local businesses involved, while larger street festivals such as Apple Fest and Square Roots tend to have 50 to 80 businesses.  Each special event page contains more details on which businesses participate and what they offer at each event.

  • How many people attend LSRCC events? How many people attend LSRCC events?

    The LSRCC organizes events both large and small.  A smaller event such as Wine Stroll might see about 500 people purchase tickets, while larger events like Apple Fest and Square Roots can draw crowds in upwards of 30,000 people.

  • Why should I donate at the gate of a street festival? Why should I donate at the gate of a street festival?

    Any time LSRCC asks for a gate donation at a street festival, your dollars go toward one of the following items:

    • Volunteer Nonprofit Grant Program
      LSRCC invites neighborhood groups, schools, churches, and other local nonprofits to become part of the Volunteer Grant Program.  This program helps the Chamber staff several of its largest events, while promoting and benefiting local nonprofit organizations.  Over the years organizations that have participated in the grant program include:
    • Neighborhood Improvements
      LSRCC manages the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program which provides many beautification services to the area.  Many of these improvements and enhanced features are initially funded with money that LSRCC receives from street festival gate donations.  Recent projects include:
      • 56 hanging street pole planter baskets installed onto Lincoln Avenue between Gunnison and Foster Avenues.
      • Enhanced tree beds in Gunnison Plaza on Western Avenue and Claremont Plaza on Lawrence Avenue.
      • Installed community identifier banners and hardware to 174 street poles.
      • Provided seed money to the startup of the Lincoln Square PaintWorks Mural program that has completed 5 murals as of 2019.
    • Free Community Events
      Throughout the summer LSRCC provides a weekly Summer Concert Series in Giddings Plaza each Thursday Night, as well as provides two weekly Farmers Markets on Tuesday and Thursday for 22 weeks each year.  Funds raised from donations at street festival gates ensure that the programming of these events is made possible for the community's benefit.
    • Business Community Marketing
      Providing marketing benefits to small business owners is integral for their success, so LSRCC offers several campaigns free of charge for businesses to be involved in with monies raised by gate donations.  This includes marketing campaigns such as Coffee Bingo, Unwrap Lincoln Square Ravenswood, Small Business Saturday, and many more.
    • Event Logistics
      There are a lot of moving components to organizing a street festival.  Not only does a non-profit like LSRCC have to pay city permit fees to utilize the public way, there are numerous expenditures that must be made to put on an event the whole community can enjoy.  Expenses include:
      • Cleaning Crews - LSRCC works with social enterprise CleanSlate for trash and recycling services at all outdoor events, helping people secure transitional employment and valuable job skills so they may reenter the workforce.   
      • Security Services - LSRCC works with local Chicago Police Department precincts to hire off-duty officers to ensure the safety of all of our attendees.
      • Entertainment - A street festival wouldn't be complete without live music and paying for quality musicians isn't cheap.  From musical acts, stage rentals, sound equipment, safety inspections, and stagehands entertainment becomes one of the largest expenses to provide a quality street festival experience.   
      • Equipment Rentals and Labor -  The hundreds of tents, tables, chairs, portable restrooms, traffic signage, generators/electricity, fencing, communication systems, beverage/food refrigeration, and so much more wouldn't be possible without the numerous employees of the rental companies that supply equipment to our festivals.

     

    Past LSRCC Board President, and Director of Marketing at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Dave Zibell explained our donation strategy in a past interview with Crain's Chicago Business.

  • Which non-profits benefit from LSRCC events? Which non-profits benefit from LSRCC events?

    Running a community event is often harder than it looks!  Just to give you an idea, Square Roots has nearly 600 volunteers to help run the event for a three day weekend. Luckily, LSRCC receives a lot of help from community volunteers.  Our Volunteer Grant Program provides a financial reward, funded by gate donations, for local non-profit organizations who help staff our events.  Past beneficiaries of this Program include:

  • To which public projects does LSRCC contribute? To which public projects does LSRCC contribute?

    LSRCC manages the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program which provides many beautification services to the area.  Many of these improvements and enhanced features are initially funded with money that LSRCC receives from street festival gate donations.  Recent projects include:

    • Hardware and labor costs to install 56 hanging street pole planter baskets along Lincoln Avenue between Gunnison and Foster Avenues.
    • Seed money to enhance tree beds in Gunnison Plaza on Western Avenue and Claremont Plaza on Lawrence Avenue.
    • Hardware and labor costs to install community identifier banners to 174 street poles.
    • Seed money to kick-off the Lincoln Square PaintWorks Mural program that has completed 5 murals as of 2019.
    • Supplemental public trash receptacle pick-ups along arterial corridors.

     

    "On-Deck" projects include:

    • Seed money to begin implementation of the Lincoln Square Master Plan.
    • Enhanced Biking-Infrastructure along the proposed Leland Avenue Greenway.
  • To which other activities does LSRCC contribute? To which other activities does LSRCC contribute?

    LSRCC conducts several Buy Local Campaigns every year to encourage local commerce in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood.  Through initiatives such as Unwrap Lincoln Square Ravenswood during the holiday season LSRCC has sent special rebates to over 825 local shoppers, totaling over $41,000 during the 7 years of the program.

  • How can I learn more and/or volunteer? How can I learn more and/or volunteer?

    Learn more about our Volunteer Grant Program and how to get involved by contacting the LSRCC.


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  • Square Roots Volunteer Grant Program Recipient
  • Local food pantry, The Friendship Center, awarded a Volunteer Grant Program donation for assistance at the Square Roots street festival.

     

  • Street Pole Planter Basket
  • Hanging flower baskets purchased and installed along Lincoln Avenue, solely funded through special event revenue.

  • Lincoln Square Summer Concert Series
  • Donations from street festivals provide funding for the weekly summer concert series that takes place in Giddings Plaza from June through August.

  • Giddings Plaza Christmas Tree
  • Enhanced holiday decor purchased and installed through special event revenue to increase holiday shopping foot-traffic.

  • Street Pole Banner
  • 174 Lincoln Square community identifiers have been purchased and installed through funds generated at special events.

  • Lincoln Square Farmers Market
  • Donations from Square Roots and Apple Fest provide funding for the Lincoln Square farmers market that takes place twice weekly between June and October.

  • Upcoming Events Upcoming Events