Monday, September 28, 2009

"Annual Fall French Market" Autumn Fun in Chicago

(En Francais) Most neighborhood street festivals are disappointing. Let's be honest. Cheap trinkets made overseas are hawked by vendors from outside of the hood, the food is predictable, and the entertainment often mundane. Well...

Lycée Français de Chicago has a cure for that with their Annual Fall French Market ("Marché d’Automne"), featuring food demonstrations by top Chicago chefs, great raffle prizes, and entertainment pour les enfants (for the kids).

Lycée Français de Chicago is "a private, not-for-profit, coeducational day school serving 558 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade." It's a great facility located on Chicago's north side at 613 W. Bittersweet Place just off Marine Drive. They are about to throw another "Annual Fall French Market" on Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18, 2009. The Fall French Market will introduce many Chicagoans to the French culture, which - I must admit - has given the world more than most. For those already familiar with French culture, this is a good opportunity to revisit fond memories.

The basic info:
When: Friday - Sunday, October 16 - 18, 2009
Where: 613 W. Bittersweet Place in Chicago. Enter from Irving Park Road at Marine Drive.
Admission: Adults $5 for adults. Free admission for children not participating in Children’s Pavilion activities. (More details below.)

Press releases are a dime a dozen, but now and then we get one that is (a) well written, (b) very informative and (c) fun. The following example of such a press release was sent to Chicago News Bench by the good folks at This is a great oppotunity to learn about another nation and to a great local institution. And so, voila, le press release:


Contact: Desta Davis
for Lycée Français de Chicago

Oh Lá Lá! Quel Marché!
Lycée Français de Chicago Hosts
Annual Fall French Market Bringing the Best of France to Chicago

Experience the tastes, sounds, art and antiques of a traditional French marketplace at the Lycée Français de Chicago Fall French Market on Oct. 16-18, 2009. The school will transform into a bustling bazaar with more than 60 vendors, culinary demonstrations from top Chicago chefs, great raffle prizes, and children’s entertainment. Proceeds from the market will benefit Lycée Français in its mission to provide a dual-language education focused on academic excellence.

“The Fall French Market is our opportunity to open the doors of Lycée to the local community and share the best of French culture with Chicago,” said Alain Weber, president of Lycée Français de Chicago. “With authentic tastes, sounds and children’s activities, there truly is a little something for everyone.”

The Fall French Market Cocktail Preview will open on Friday, Oct. 16, from 7 to 10 p.m,. offering a sneak peek at unique collectibles, women’s jewelry, artwork, and antiques. Famed artists and vendors will include Ipso Facto, Figaro, Katherine Anne's Confections, Benny and Moon and Marguerite Gardens.

Complimentary passed hors d'oeuvres, sparkling wine, and beer will be served. Tickets for this adults - only event will be sold in advance for $30 or at the door for $40.

Shopping and fun for the entire family will continue on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 18 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors from across Chicagoland and beyond will offer jewelry, home décor, as well as French candy and crêpes, linens, gifts, furnishings, antiques, tabletops and more. A complete schedule of activities and list of vendors is available at

Taste and learn from Chicago’s finest chefs, who will conduct cooking demonstrations of their famed French fare both Saturday and Sunday at no additional cost to participants. A complete demonstration schedule is available online.

Highlights for Saturday, September 17 include:

12 p.m. Meg Galus, Pastry Chef, TRU

1 p.m. Martial Noguier, Executive Chef, Café des Architectes, Sofitel Chicago, James Beard Award Semi-Finalist & Chicago Social Magazine Chef of the Year 2009

2 p.m. Charlie Socher, Chef and Owner, Cafe Matou
A French Bistro with authentic soups, salads, and sandwiches will offer a menu for sale throughout the weekend. Additionally, vendors will serve up artisan confections, pastries and cheeses.

“Divertissez Les Enfants!”
Shop without the kids! Supervised activities will be offered on Saturday and Sunday for children ages 3 and up at The Children’s Pavilion. The pavilion will be sectioned into three areas: a play area, an arts and crafts area and an entertainment area. Entertainment will include a variety of one-hour acts:
• Dance with Julie – An interactive show with singing, musical games and rhythmic improvisations for all ages (Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 at 2 p.m.).
• Sean Masterson Magic Show – A highly visual show where the children act out imaginative stories incorporating juggling, puppetry and more (Saturday, October 17 at 11 a.m.).
• Yoga with Janet – An introduction to yoga fundamentals fit for the whole family (Sunday, October 18 at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.).

Additionally, children and adults alike will be entertained by balloon artist Showtime Tony as he roams the market between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Amanda of FinePoint Productions will be painting faces from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Artist and oil painter Scott David Johnson will bring a true Parisian feel to the market, offering sketched portraits to market-goers during event hours Saturday and Sunday.

Photographer Denise Orlin will offer private outdoor mini-portrait sessions (weather-permitting) for couples on Friday evening and for families and children during market hours on Saturday and Sunday.

“Le Coûtet, L’Addresse, en Plus”
Adult admission to the Market is just $5 for adults, with free admission for children not participating in Children’s Pavilion activities. Admission to the Children’s Pavilion is $10 per child or $15 per family for a recommended maximum of two hours.

Lycée Français de Chicago is located at 613 W. Bittersweet Place in Chicago. Enter the Fall French Market from Irving Park Road at Marine Drive.

The Lycée thanks award-winning French artist and graphic designer Yann Legendre for donating his time and talent for the 2009 Fall French Market poster and logo design. For more information on the event, please visit

About Lycée Français de Chicago
Lycée Français de Chicago is a private, not-for-profit, coeducational day school serving 541 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The school’s mission is to prepare young people to be responsible global citizens by providing a dual-language education focused on academic excellence. For more information, please visit:

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