CHICAGO (WLS) -- Setup is underway for the inaugural Englewood Music Fest at W. 63rd Street & S. Halsted Street, which is set to get underway at noon Saturday.
"I said 7 years ago I'm going to create this environment, the space of love, of pride, of unity right here in the Englewood community," said Alderman Stephanie Coleman who represents Chicago's 16th Ward.
She said she was inspired by attending festivals in other city neighborhoods. The free festival will feature a variety of vendors and musical acts, including R&B singer and Chicago native Syleena Johnson.
There will also be a job fair and a booth offering the COVID-19 vaccine.
"It's so important to not just have an event, but to have an event with purpose," Coleman said.
The festival will take place near Englewood Square.
The strip mall that's anchored by Whole Foods is celebrating its 5-year-anniversary. The developer behind Englewood Square, DL3 Realty, is one of the sponsors of the festival.
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"This mall proves with investment, a community thrives and rises," Coleman said.
Longtime Englewood residents said the festival could help others see the potential in the neighborhood.
"I have invited people who live outside the neighborhood," said Denise Dyer. "I want them to come see what's happening here."
"It's going to present opportunities for people to rethink about Englewood, reimagine Englewood if you will, and perhaps become more interested in becoming stakeholders," said fellow Englewood resident, Sharon Fountain.
In order to get into the festival, you have to have proof of COVIDvaccination or a negative test within 48 hours.