Bucktown Garden Walk sports a new look


Darien Hallagan is seen in black shirt lower right as Kahil El' Zabar Trio performs outside of 1844 N. Wood

The 2020 annual Bucktown Garden Walk sports a new look, another side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event officially continues through Sun., July 12, early evening.


The garden appears to be in another world, tucked back from the street in the 2000 block of N. Hoyne

It is a self-guided tour with street facing gardens, in-garden musical entertainment and a nod to many points of interest north of North Ave., south of Armitage and east of Western to approximately Ashland Ave.  

Using the downloadable Guide from the Bucktown Community Organization's (BCO) website, anyone may take the tour at any time. It includes 17 parkway gardens and street visible gardens and twelve points and structures of interest. 

Four maps direct you to the featured places in each of the area's four quadrants. 

This year's Garden Walk Chairman Darien Hallagan expressed his delight in how the event came together in a rather short time and the number of people that have attended the music venues during the first day.


Kahil El' Zabar is performing in the lower left corner on a glass fronted balcony in the 1800 block of N. Wood St.

In determining whether or not to have entertainment, Hallagan set up a test venue and reported the results to the BCO Board. Based on the feedback from those participating and how they behaved, it was believed this could be a safe activity.

With only three weeks to pull the entertainment together, Hallagan engaged 11 acts to entertain over the two day event. Listing, time and locations are shown on the Guide. 

"Having people by the gardens, seeing what is going on and hearing the music, I think this will lead to more of this next year. At 10 a.m., the first venue we had included 13 adults, 60 people were at the family event and at this 4:30 p.m. event there are 80 people," explained Hallagan.

With five time slots per day at a total of nine locations, the talent is presenting a wide range of music.


Entertainment schedule: what you've missed and what you can experience


This home is in the 2000 block of N. Hoyne

"The community has responded well to this new approach. It is a good way to present art that is safe and accessible," commented Hallagan.

Financially BCO pivoted from asking businesses to entirely fund the event to asking the community to fund part of it. That is inspiring the volunteers to seek other ways to engage community involvement, said Hallagan. 


in the 2000 block of N. Oakley, these plantings greet your entrance

The dedicated few who volunteered to make the event happen, along with Hallagan, are Sam Marts, Kim Kozimor, Aaron Blanke, Jennifer Ackerman, Steve Jensen, Eva Bergant, Jeff Biggus and the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area (SSA) #33.

"Our Board and event volunteers were very concerned about the safety of people attending this year's event. They have done a great job and we will review everything in planning for next year's event," said Steve Jensen, BCO President. "Our sponsors went from 70 to 17 this year. But, we are still offering some nice experiences and the community is supporting the event."


Garden Walk goers are used to be able to see enter garden hidden from street view.

A complete view of a garden is what visitors have been able to see in the past.

Event notables
The suggest donation for the event is $5. 

Masks are required to attend and people are asked to observe the six-foot distancing rule.

The weather is causing everyone involved with this celebration to encourage neighborhood residents and visitors to stay hydrated. Because of COVI, there will NOT be any official water stations.


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