Over 250 vendors promoted and sold products in booths from Belmont Avenue to Addison Street along North Halsted Street, and a diverse music lineup on five stages featured acts such as Russian protest group Pussy Riot and queer Australian singer Betty Who.
The headliner stage, which is now sponsored by Nutrl Vodka Seltzer, was relocated to the northern end of Halsted Street and a food court was created in its previous location. Vendors there sold ice cream, traditional Mexican cuisine and buckets of cheese fries, among other goodies.
To work off the calories, free group workouts at noon on both days were hosted by Orangetheory and Crosstown Fitness. Underwear fashion designer Andrew Christian had hunks displaying the results of their exercises, but kept it brief.
DJs were spinning heavy beats for scantily-clothed party people in the streets. Luckily record cleaner was readily available and in demand along the route for the talented disc jockeys.
Some people at the festival chose to play various games and this year no one was feeling board with these fun endeavors thanks to sharp, creative minds. Popular media personality Ricky Cornish played Pop Haus Collective’s card game It’s Kind of a Fun Story with fans at one vendor stop, and bathhouse Betty Derry Queen from the spa Steamworks played Twister with volunteers who walked by their booth mixing in adult film stars.
Sponsors for this massive undertaking included automobile manufacturer Nissan, biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences and microphone producer Shure, among others.
A $20 donation from patrons supplied funds for improving and maintaining the LGBTQ+-focused neighborhood. Look for more information about the 1/2-mile-long festival visit northalsted.com .