Deco Fest | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

Deco Fest 

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It's the art deco fair, not the White City, that's the focus of this weekend's World's Fair Memorabilia Show in Elk Grove Village, organized by fair fanatics Rick Rann and Bob Conidi. There'll be collectibles from the 1893 Columbian Exposition and world's fairs held in other American cities (like Saint Louis in 1904 and Seattle in 1962) but Chicago's 1933-'34 event, in all its streamlined glory, will be the main attraction. It was built along the lakefront between Roosevelt Road and 39th Street, and its title, "A Century of Progress," marked the 100th anniversary of Chicago's founding. Although staged during the Depression, the fair was privately funded, attracted 39 million visitors, and was one of the few to ever turn a profit. Since it included working factories, cranking out products like cigars, whiskey, and cars that were sold on the spot, there were opportunities to buy deco-designed souvenirs beyond the usual postcards and gewgaws. Some of those will be on exhibit and offered for sale or trade at this ninth annual event, which also features continuous screenings of "Century of Progress" home movies and newsreels. It runs from 10 to 4 on Sunday, March 30, at the Holiday Inn, 1000 Busse in Elk Grove Village. Admission is $5, $4 for seniors; it's free for anyone with an employee ID from the 1933 fair. Call 708-442-7907 for more information.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Rick Rann.

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