Children’s Book Fair, Garden Fair and the South Side Science Festival kick off fall season | Evening Digest


Thousands of Hyde Parkers browsed book stalls, tulip tables and science stalls last weekend, ushering in the final days of summer. From recurring events like the Children’s Book Fair and Fall Garden Fair to the inaugural South Side Science Festival, here’s a look back at the weekend.

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The Children’s Book Fair







Children's Book Fair

dr Tasha Thompson-Gray signs a copy of her book ‘My People are Innovative’ for Phyllis Calderon during the Children’s Book Fair in Hyde Park on Sunday September 18th.




“This is our first year in full force,” said Anna Sawyer, one of the main organizers of Sunday’s children’s book fair in Hyde Park.

The theme of this year’s children’s book fair was banned books, and it launched the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week by celebrating universally banned books like Art Spiegelman’s Mouse.

Still smaller than pre-pandemic fairs, this year organizers brought back Marsha’s Music, Hyde Park School of Dance, South Side Suzuki and In The Spirit Storytellers. Local State Senator Robert Peters (D-13th) read “Where the Wild Things Are” and Mother Goose and the Kenwood Academy Marching Band marched down 57th Street.

“Rebecca Janowitz started[the book fair]35 years ago along with a bunch of other book lovers,” Sawyer said. “So we’re excited to be having live performances again and seeing all the kids enjoying (the event).”

The Autumn Garden Fair







garden fair

Patricia Northcott browses the bulbs at the Fall Garden Fair in Hyde Park Shopping Center, 5450 S. Lake Park Ave., Saturday, 09/17




Chicago’s oldest community garden sale, the Fall Garden Fair, returned after a pandemic hiatus and was met by an eager crowd of early risers. This year, organizers set up tables in the central courtyard of the Hyde Park mall at 5450 S. Lake Park Ave. and lined the section of wall in front of Walgreens at 1554 E. 55th St.

“It was packed with people, they were excited to buy what we like; lots of questions about what we enjoy,” said veteran organizer George Rumsey.

The sale started at 9 a.m.; They were sold out by 11:30 but still had onions until the afternoon.

Joy Rosner, who orders the bulbs, estimated they had about 8,600 mums by the start of the day.

“So many of our long-time breeders have gone out of business or are wholesalers that we’ve had a very difficult time getting the number of mothers that we normally have,” Rumsey said. He added that they had less than half the amount of previous years.

Garden fair patron Erin Flynn said of her purchase: “We moved into a house from the middle of Hyde Park, so I’ve given it a front yard and a back yard now… and I’m able to plant bulbs for our house for the first time than.” next spring.”

Flynn chose daffodils “because they’re said to come back every year” and tulips because they remind her of her grandfather.

The South Side Science Festival







A South Side science fair

With his brother Umi watching, Malachi Clark, a University of Chicago Charter School student who “may want to have a YouTube channel that teaches kids about science” when he grows up, learns from a University of C. graduate student on angular momentum during the South Side Science Festival, Saturday, September 17th.




In its inaugural year, the South Side Science Festival began on the Science Quad at the University of Chicago with booths and activities showcasing the fascinating world of science.

The science fair was organized by the University’s Departments of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences and its Pritzker School of Engineering. By the end of the day, more than 1,500 participants had come through the quad.

“We’re here with our kids on a field trip,” said Eric White Jr., physical education and wellness instructor at UChicago Charter School-Woodlawn, surveying the yard to keep an eye on a dozen seventh and eighth graders.

“We learn a lot. We learned about animal skulls over there; You have the liquid ice, we went to a battery presentation. So there’s a lot going on,” added White.

Attendees were also able to hear a Field Museum ornithologist discuss the red-headed woodpecker and learn about angular momentum from a University of C. Physics graduate student, among others.

Tyreese Petty, an eighth grade student of White, said of his experience: “I liked everything here today. It was a very cool experience. I learned a lot today, more than at school. So it was a blessing.”



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