The McKinley Park Holiday Guide

Published December 5, 2019

Swing into the holidays with an amazing lineup of community events, all taking place in the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago

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Krampus, Gymnastics, Christmas Market Ring in Holiday Events This Week in McKinley Park

The east wing of the McKinley Park field house contains the newly refreshed gymnastics center, which plays host to the Holiday Gymnastics Showcase on Friday, December 6.
The east wing of the McKinley Park field house contains the newly refreshed gymnastics center, which plays host to the Holiday Gymnastics Showcase on Friday, December 6.
Published December 2, 2019

The holiday season kicks into full swing this week in the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago, as Marz Community Brewing Co. leads the Christmas event lineup starting with demonic fun at the Krampusnacht Party on Friday, December 6. The next day, Saturday, December 7, head to Marz for the ThanxMingling benefit, held in conjunction with S.H.E. Gallery to assist local families. On Sunday, December 8, The Wildest Flea Holiday Market presents unique, locally created gifts and stocking stuffers for sale in the Marz tap room.

McKinley Park's gymnastics facility received a lot of upgrades and attention over the past year, and on Friday evening, December 6, the public can check out the upgrades and marvel to the acrobatics of young athletes at the Holiday Gymnastics Showcase. All programs will be presented to holiday music, and Santa will be present alongside hot chocolate and other concessions.

Read more: Krampus, Gymnastics, Christmas Market Ring in Holiday Events This Week in McKinley Park

Winter Clothing, Toy Drives Seek Community Help to Deliver Neighborhood Cheer

Dulce Maria of S.H.E. Gallery and Harrison Jones of Marz Community Brewing Co. welcome donation drop-offs at the tap room entrance through the ThanxMingling event on Saturday, December 7.
Dulce Maria of S.H.E. Gallery and Harrison Jones of Marz Community Brewing Co. welcome donation drop-offs at the tap room entrance through the ThanxMingling event on Saturday, December 7.
Published November 29, 2019

Residents of McKinley Park and nearby neighborhoods can contribute to local families in need this holiday season by bringing toys and winter clothing to local donation drives. The Thanx 4 Giving project brings together Sharing His Energy (S.H.E.) Gallery and the McKinley Park neighborhood's Marz Community Brewing Co. to collect food, toys and winter gear, culminating in the ThanxMingling fund-raiser on Saturday, December 7.

Now is the time to donate, said Dulce Maria, founder and proprietor of S.H.E. Gallery. "It's apparent that homelessness is a serious problem in the city. Helping to provide warm clothes, food and toys for those in need is what a community should do," she said.

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Our Neighborhood Deserves a Historical Society to Remember and Acknowledge Our Rich Heritage

The Marquette-Joliet marker at South Archer Avenue and South Leavitt Street memorializes one of the many historic events that took place in the McKinley Park neighborhood.
The Marquette-Joliet marker at South Archer Avenue and South Leavitt Street memorializes one of the many historic events that took place in the McKinley Park neighborhood.
Published November 28, 2019

By Mark Kinsella

A small marker lies on the southwest corner of South Archer Avenue and South Leavitt Street, across from the 35th/Archer Orange Line station. Thousands pass this marker on their walk to the El and take little note of it: You have to look up close to see the drawing and words etched there. This is ironic, since this spot commemorates the passage of French explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, an event that changed Chicago, United States and world history.

McKinley Park and its neighbor Brighton Park just to the southwest lie along a very historic corridor that led to the birth of Chicago, opened up a passage to international trade and made Chicago the transportation hub of the nation. This marker, the Orange Line and all the businesses on Archer Avenue rest on an ancient Native American trail that dates back thousands of years. It is the road that paralleled the route of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, which brought many Irish immigrants to the area. This main spine of the neighborhood is one of many local features that makes McKinley Park and Brighton Park one of the most historic stretches of geography in all of North America.

Read more: Our Neighborhood Deserves a Historical Society to Remember and Acknowledge Our Rich Heritage

Turkey, Food Giveaways Fill Neighborhood Thanksgiving Platters

12th Ward staff give away turkeys and bags of holiday food at the Thanksgiving Turkey Raffle on Friday, November 22, at the 12th Ward office at 3476 S. Archer Ave., Chicago.
12th Ward staff give away turkeys and bags of holiday food at the Thanksgiving Turkey Raffle on Friday, November 22, at the 12th Ward office at 3476 S. Archer Ave., Chicago.
Published November 27, 2019

A block-long line stretched down Archer Avenue for the 12th Ward Thanksgiving Turkey Raffle on Friday, November 22, resulting in donations of turkeys and bags of holiday food to ward residents. Sponsored by 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, the event was one of two giveaways that weekend, which also featured the MAT Asphalt-sponsored Turkey Giveaway on Saturday, November 23.

"It is important to me that we do our part to ensure every home has the essentials to have a happy and joyous holiday," Cardenas, said. "Over the years, the turkey raffle has become something families can rely on."

Read more: Turkey, Food Giveaways Fill Neighborhood Thanksgiving Platters