Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market will return on Sunday, May 28 for its annual summer run through to October. The historic free market is Chicago’s longest-running open-air market having first debuted back in 1912.
After being canceled completely in 2020 and heavily adapted in 2021, the beloved market returned to normal last year once again offering Chicagoans the opportunity to browse everything from clothes to crockery, and, of course, experience live music and some of the best street food in the city.
Taken from "Historic Chicago is in Chicago, Illinois"
Maxwell Street Market (1950s) pic.twitter.com/BFtPA422kU
— Joyce Hutchens (@JoyceHutchens3) October 2, 2022
For over 110 years locals have browsed the market’s motley mix of ornaments and trinkets hoping to come across a bargain.
While the majority of the city’s fabric is today defined by international commercial enterprises and shopping, in general, is now dictated by online 24-hour delivery services, every Sunday for a few hours, Maxwell Street Market briefly restores shopping to its historic form of browsing and bargaining.
The long-time fixture has become a cherished Chicago tradition and is a testament to the city’s authentic and creative routes offering a little bit of everything at the market.
To some extent, it is also to thank for being the birthplace and incubator of the Chicago Blues. Having fled the South due to the Jim Crow laws during the 40s and 50s many Black artists would perform at the market to large audiences and thus helped bring about the Chicago Blues.
“We are history…we are Chicago. Our mission is to promote entrepreneurship and provide opportunities for small businesses, including farmers, artists, makers, restaurateurs and re-sellers, as we have been doing since 1912” reads the Maxwell Street Market page on Chicago.gov.
Blues at the Maxwell Street flea market, Chicago, 1947.
Photo by Wayne Miller pic.twitter.com/Qsg9f45eoe
— Andrzej Orski (@OrskiAndrzej) December 19, 2020
Brimming with handmade crafts, arbitrary items, and undetected treasures, the free market offers a wholesome Sunday Funday browsing the wide range of knickknacks with friends or family.
Once it returns later this month, shoppers can expect the eclectic bric-à-brac, spirited live music, and sensational street food through to Sunday, October 29, 2023.
The market will open at 800 South Des Plaines Street every Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm beginning May 28.
More information can be found at Chicago.gov.
[Featured image from Chicago.gov]