45th Annual Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival was a success!

Once again, crowds flocked to Sheffield for the annual Garden Walk & Music Festival. (Garden Walk photos for SNN by Craig Skorburg.)

Finally, Mother Nature provided the Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival with warm but tolerable weather. Since July 1, it has been one of the driest summers on record despite a very rainy spring. However as luck may have it, it started to rain on Saturday night, July 20, around 9 pm, when J. C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound were in the middle of their set. Many hardy souls stayed, but many also left.  

More than 4,000 people viewed the gardens and all of the specialty garden tours and architectural tours were filled. Taking this into account with a record number of kids enjoying Kids’ Corner, the diverse assortment of food and beverages and the great line-up of music, the SGW&MF was successful.   This success simply was not possible without great planning by the managers and the diligence of our 350 volunteers. As a result, the Sheffield Neighborhood Association can continue to maintain its beautification program and provide benefits to schools, parks, and other community organizations.

Over the years, monies from the Garden Walk always have been used to improve Sheffield, from its public spaces to the organizations and schools serving our community. For example, the playground area at Trebes Park was rebuilt and the balance of the park totally renovated, including the baseball field, the walkways, the wrought-iron fencing, and the garden beds. Similarly, the beautification planters throughout the Sheffield neighborhood would not be possible without financial support from the Garden Walk. Finally, our community schools and other social service organizations receive much-needed support, especially important with governmental financial support dwindling.  

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Tom Lawson, in his fifth year as Chair of Sponsorships, did an unbelievable job of selling our festival and its benefits to a great group of sponsors.  Thanks to all of our major sponsors, which included: Blue Moon, Coors Light, WXRT-FM93, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, DePaul University, Hotel Lincoln, Treasure Island, Home Depot – Lincoln Park, Christy Webber Landscapes, Christy Webber Farm and Garden, Wintrust Financial/First Chicago Bank & Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Yelp, and St. Vincent DePaul Parish. Our festival simply does not exist without their support.

Patrons’ Party

Hilliary Szanto, Allison Spriggs, and Patty Hayes did an outstanding job of organizing this year’s successful Patrons’ Party, generously hosted by Malcolm Lambe and Linda Usher. A record amount of donations was raised through their efforts.

Kids' Corner

Kids' Corner never fails to please.Shannon Gehringer and Ami Albert assembled another terrific mixture of activities for our neighborhood kids. These included the petting zoo, rides, face painting, athletic demonstrations from Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, music from DePaul and Midwest String Rentals, and hands-on crafts from Home Depot – Lincoln Park.  Special thanks to The Friends of Mayer, who again provided the most successful ever food service in Kids Corner.

Architectural Tours

Sheffield's architecture continues to delight visitors.We again were overwhelmed with visitors wanting to experience the architectural history of Sheffield.  A perennial thanks to Polly Kelly for organizing the architectural tours, which were totally filled.


There's nothing like rocking out at the Garden Walk.The music festival facet of our event would not be possible without the knowledge, contacts, and dedication of Dan Hermann, Bryan Robson, and  Malcolm Lambe.   Headliners Poi Dog Pondering, J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Gaelic Storm, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation drew large crowds and provided great entertainment.  Other great music included the sounds of Carbon Leaf, Flow Tribe, Funkadesi, and Archie Powell and the Exports.

Richard Ashbeck and I again were Co-Chairs of the Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival, assisted by our executive committee, Tom Lawson, Patty Hayes, Dan Hermann and Father Chris Robinson. And of course, shouldering the workload were our many managers, some of who have been involved for over 15 years. They are Randy Royer, Polly Kelly, Josh McClaren, Sabrina Lee, Dean Savakis, Paul Lundy, Terry Tolwin, Rhonda Emrich, Ami Albert, Mark Shearer, Randy Hiller, Pat Casey, Malcolm Lambe, Bryan Robson, Wayne, Renee, and Nicholas Przyby, John Roberts, Jeannie Lawson, Don and Cathy Breen, Laurie and Tony Dombrowski, Sheila Mehigan, Hilliary Szanto, David Bassin, Paulie Bassin, John Lader, Art Schalk, Shannon Gehringer, Charlotte Osterman, Linda Wadley, Ted Wrobleski, Allison Spriggs, Father Chris Robinson, Kathy Bathhurst, and Bob Beatty.  See you next year for the 46th Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival, July 19-20, 2014.

Laury Lewis and Richard Ashbeck are co-chairmen of the Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival.

For more SGW&MF photos, visit http://www.sheffieldgardenwalk.com/gallery.

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