Unifest  Brings Chicagoans and Visitors to the Riverwalk


New Weekly Summer Series Celebrates Chicago’s 28 International Sister Cities through Food, Spirits and Music

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) recently launched “Unifest on the River: One Globe, Many Cultures,” a new weekly summer series celebrating Chicago’s 28 international sister cities through food, drink and music along Chicago’s iconic Riverwalk. Open to the public every Thursday through August 17 from 4:30  – 8:30 p.m., Unifest welcomes people of all ages to the newly revitalized Riverwalk on the jetty between Wells and Franklin to experience a global Chicago with international food, libations and entertainment.

“The Chicago Riverwalk offers residents and visitors alike a uniquely-Chicago experience,” Mayor Emanuel said. “With the Riverwalk’s surrounding architecture and bridges as a backdrop, Unifest celebrates what makes Chicago a world class city – a global mix of cultures and communities coming together to enjoy everything the city has to offer.”

Unifest celebrates culture and cuisine from Chicago and seven different international sister cities every week. Positioned directly across the river from the iconic Merchandise Mart, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy world music from countries such as Colombia, South Africa and India; spirits from Ireland, Mexico and Poland; beers and wines from China, Israel, Italy and Greece; and foods from Ukraine, Sweden, Morocco, Pakistan, Switzerland and other sister cities.

“Unifest is a truly unique experience for Chicagoans and visitors to tap into the authentic taste, feel and rhythm of Chicago’s international culture and our connection to our sister cities around the world,” said Leroy Allala, executive director of CSCI. “We’re proud of our partnerships with our 28 sister cities. The newly revitalized Riverwalk is the perfect stage to highlight the culture of these cities, what they bring to Chicago, and the great relationships we’re continuing to build.”

The Riverwalk complements the work Mayor Emanuel has done to increase river access for Chicagoans and underscores his commitment to making the river the next great recreational frontier. Earlier this year the Mayor convened mayors from around the world to discuss the future of urban waterways and highlight Chicago’s commitment to increasing access to and recreational activities on the river.

CSCI is the largest, most active sister cities organization in the U.S. and was recently recognized by Sister Cities International with the 2017 Best Overall Program Award for its accomplishments advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement. Through CSCI’s international relationships and innovative programs, such as Unifest, the organization continues to bring the world to Chicago and Chicago to the world.

Unifest is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available on-site for food and drink, with prices ranging from $2 to $10. For a complete schedule of music and food and additional information, visit Unifest.one.

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