Fans Flock To Old Town Art Fair After COVID Closed It Last Year – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) —  It’s been more than a year because huge crowds were seen at Wrigley Field.

However the modifications extend far beyond the ballpark.

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CBS 2’s Brandon Merano reports from Old Town where organizers are establishing for its yearly art fair.

For more than 70 years, Old Town hosted its yearly art fair. Organizers are cleaning up the streets and obstructing off traffic in Old Town as the city and state totally resume for the very first time because the pandemic started.

“We were open all the time and never closed down for one day, business was down for sure and it was hard but we had a lot of support from our customers,” stated Old Jerusalem owner Ahmed Awad.

While individuals flock to bars and dining establishments, a block west of Wells and North Opportunity the Old Town Art Fair is preparing to host a few of the very best artists throughout the nation.

However a brush with a pandemic detered in 2015’s celebrations.

“We had a run of 70 straight years of doing the art fair but we sadly had to cancel last year,” stated Anne Giffels of the Old Town Art Fair

That left numerous artists stuck in their houses not able to go to any occasions.

“All of the art shows just closed because it was too dangerous to have large groups of people so we’ve been at home for a year. Good and bad, I get a lot of studio time,” stated artist Julie Keaten-Reed.

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For artists and entrepreneur alike, offering their items took some imagination.

“We had clients sitting at home looking at bare walls like us. So we got a lot of commission work,” included artists Russ Keaten-Reed.

However not every organization was as fortunate as Russ and Julie.

According to the Illinois Dining Establishment Association, 20% of dining establishments have actually closed down or will close down due to COVID.

And Illinois is still down more than 90,000 dining establishment tasks because the pandemic.

It’s why Ahmed’s coffee shop has such an unusual story.

“A lot of people closed down or had half their employees working but we had everybody working,” stated Awad.

Other entrepreneur stated another issue is avoiding them from totally resuming, particularly 24 hr companies, is that they’re having a tough time discovering employees.

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Some are even providing finalizing rewards.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.