The 47th Annual Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk

Crowds flocked to Sheffield once again for the city's best neighborhood festival. Photo for SNN by Matthew Rubinberg Photography ©.

Mother Nature threw some wicked curveballs at our festival this year. Despite being the hottest weekend of a summer that was cooler than normal and a torrential downpour on Saturday afternoon, this year’s SMF&GW was a success.  More than 3,000 people viewed the 80 gardens, and all of the specialty garden tours and architectural tours were filled. Taking this into account with a record number of kids enjoying the expanded Kids’ Corner on Belden, the diverse assortment of food and beverages, and the great line-up of music, the SMF&GW was very successful.   

This year, the Sheffield Neighborhood Association again partnered with Special Events Management to organize the festivities. SNA’s participation was coordinated by the SMF&GW Executive Committee comprised of Laury Lewis, Patty Hayes, Dan Hermann, and Richard Ashbeck and St. Vincent DePaul Church with Fr. Jeremy Dixon. This success simply was not possible without great planning by the SNA’s managers, the professionals at SEM, and our many 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 SMF&GW 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 GSMF&GW. Finally, our community schools and other social service organizations receive much-needed support, especially important with governmental financial support dwindling.  

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Thanks to all of our major sponsors, which included: Bud Light, Sparkling Ice, 97.1- the Drive, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, DePaul University, Treasure Island, Home Depot – Lincoln Park, Christy Webber Landscapes, Christy Webber Farm and Garden, Wintrust Community Banks, Green Mountain Gringo, Emmi Cheese, Screamin’ Sicilian, 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 organizing this year’s successful Patrons’ Party, generously hosted by 2 Point Perspective, Inc, Lisa and Ron Elkins.  A record amount of donations was raised through their efforts.

Chicago Craft Beer Festival

For the second year, this event during Saturday and Sunday afternoon offered over 75 different beer tastings. With an improved layout and live music and great food, over 3,000 thirsty patrons enjoyed some great beers.

Kids’ Corner

Allison Spriggs in her first year at Kids’ Corner assembled another terrific mixture of activities for our neighborhood kids. These included reptiles from the Chicago Herpetological Society, rides, face painting, athletic demonstrations from Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, music from DePaul University and Midwest String Rentals and hands-on crafts from Home Depot-Lincoln Park.  Special thanks to The Friends of Mayer, which again provided the food service in Kids’ Corner.

Architectural Tours and Garden Tours

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.  Gardening professionals Brian Shea of Voltaire’s Gardener and Laury Lewis of Foliage Fantasies again provided informative and educational specialty garden tours.


The music festival facet of our event was coordinated by Dan Hermann in conjunction with SEM.   Headliners on the two stages included Rusted Root, Cowboy Mouth, Sister Hazel, Miles Nielson and the Rusted Hearts, Trippin Billies, and Start Making Sense, all of whom drew large crowds and provided great entertainment.  

And of course, shouldering the workload were our many managers, some of whom have been involved for over 15 years. They were Randy Royer, David Zoretic,  Polly Kelly, Sabrina Lee, Terry Tolwin, Laurie and Tony Dombrowski, Hillary Szanto, Ted Wrobleski, Allison Spriggs, Tom Call, and Bob Beatty, as well as the scores of volunteers that helped at the gates and with beverage sales.   See you next year for our 48th Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk, July 23-24, 2016.

Laury Lewis is chair of the Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk. Patty Hayes chairs SNA’s Neighborhood Relations Committee.

For a complete gallery of 2015 SMF&GW photos, please visit

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