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At Hegewisch Fest, local business groups aim to further promote events showcasing the Far South East

HEGEWISCH — A neighborhood celebration in one of the city’s southernmost communities returns this weekend with food from local businesses, activities, clowns, artisan markets and more.

The Hegewisch Fest will be held at 13301 South Baltimore Avenue on Saturdays from 11am to 10pm. The event was held in the neighborhood for many years until it was discontinued in the late 90’s. In 2017, it was revived by the then newly created Hegewisch Business Association.

This year’s focus will be on live music, featuring some of the South East Side’s favorite bands. Local attorney George L. Tamvakis made a donation to allow organizers to invest heavily in this year’s music line-up, according to his Kevin Beauchamp, co-president of the Hegewisch Business Association.

Pink Floyd cover band Echoes of Pompeii will perform at 8pm, while the eponymous Phil Angotti Band from Hegevisch will play from 6:30-7:30pm.

Other performers include Violet Flame at 3:30pm and Kojak and Company at 5pm. His 8th grade band — the Marsh Ians — from nearby John L. Marsh Elementary School will also play at 2 p.m.

“This is kind of the highlight of the year as Hegewisch Business Association,” Beauchamp said.

Volunteer Tom Shepard said people who grew up in Hegevisch but moved out of their neighborhoods return to the festival every year.

“It’s a big feature for them that they come back every year and reunite with friends and people they’ve known over the years,” Shepard said.

Volunteer Bob With said the event was an important opportunity to step up support for businesses in the Far South East Side.

“Hegewisch is like a small part of the world. We think it’s the community furthest from downtown,” says Wisz. “Our business district has a problem … so we try to promote and support local businesses.

To that end, the business group is planning several other events in the area, including polka events, blues music events, farmers markets, and Mexican Independence Day events. Beauchamp said the group was ready to expand its activities thanks to more funding and paid staff to support the mostly volunteer group.

“We really want to expand and do other things throughout the year. We want to keep doing these things,” Beauchamp said.

The Hegewisch Business Association is still looking for Saturday volunteers, especially those to help with set-up and tear-down. Volunteers are needed from 6 a.m. to midnight on Sundays, but volunteers who are available only at certain times throughout the day will also be accepted, organizers said.

Food vendors are still accepting.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or food vendor can call the Hegewisch Business Association at 773-437-3680 or 773-213-3512, or send an email to hegewischba@gmail.com.

credit: Hegewisch Business Association
The Hegewisch Business Association helps promote business and community interests in the Southeast Side area.

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