St. Alphonsus Octoberfest vote at the April 2013 Meeting


Representatives from the Octoberfest Planning Committee reappeared before the SLN Membership to clarify the plans for the 2013 events to take place the last weekend of September.


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The major change is that the Party moves out to include Southport Ave. in front of the Church. The highlights of the plan are:

  1. Oakdale Ave. will be closed from Southport to Greenview. However, food vendors, merchants and beer booths will be on Oakdale only up to the east driveway of the the parking lot; thereby, reducing the impact on the neighbors. Beer trucks will leave every night.
  2. Southport Ave. will be closed from Wellington Ave. to George St. The Fest will occupy the street from Wellington to the alley north of George St. (basically to the St. Al’s parking lot on Southport) Traffic heading south would be diverted to Lincoln Ave. Cars heading north on Southport will be diverted west on George St to Greenview to Wellington then back on to Southport. The Committee indicated that signs would be placed towards Diversey to alert cars that Southport will be closed. A Fire Lane will allow for emergency vehicles.
  3. Bands: There will be stages for bands in the Church and on Southport near the George St. alley facing north, away from the residences homes.
  4. Security-increased to 10 off-duty police officers. Placed at each entrance point, bar location with increased security later in the evening to help with crowd control.
  5. The Church basement will be used for extra seating and for weather contingency plans.
  6. Groupon coupons will not be used. This caused huge, uncontrollable crowds a couple of years ago.

The Planning Committee feels this plan, though a larger footprint, will have a reduced impact on the residential neighbors, enhance the patron experience and allow St. Alphonsus to fully utilize the fundraiser element for which the event is truly designed around.

The immediate area was flyered (250 total) regarding the plans. A neighbor on 1400 Oakdale and 1400 George (now directly affected) voiced objections to the increased size and noise due the Southport Band Stage. The George St. resident noted that the stage will be right out her back window. No other comments were recorded.

A hand vote was taken. Do you support the proposed plans: In favor YES-12, against NO-8. Tepid support. A letter summarizing the vote was sent to Alderman Waguespack.

2 thoughts on “St. Alphonsus Octoberfest vote at the April 2013 Meeting

  1. Christopher Macsurak says:

    …and does any of the money go back to the community or does it all go to the church? I also wonder if the entry fee is legal? Is there more than one entrance? I’ve only ever entered through the basement of the church, but if the festival is occupying a city street then shouldn’t the entry fee be a suggested donation?

  2. Christopher Macsurak says:

    I think if it will give the festival more space, to make it less crowded that is a good thing. In past years I’ve found it very hard to exit the festival (or to simply walk around), with perfectly good exit routes being blocked by barriers which also seemed to be a safety concern. I also thought the bands outside and in the basement were way too loud. I don’t understand why the music has to be so loud that I have to shout to the person next to me. It’s a neighborhood church festival, not Lollapalooza.

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