Maxwell Street Market returning to its original home

CHICAGO — Chicago’s iconic Maxwell Street Market will return later this month to its original home on Maxwell Street.

Beginning Sunday, May 26, Maxwell Street Market opens its 2024 season with six market days: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month through Oct. 27. The market will be located on Maxwell Street between S. Halsted Street and S. Union Avenue and on S. Union Avenue between W. Rochford Street and W. Liberty Street.

“The Maxwell Street Market has been a Chicago tradition for more than a century,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson in a written statement. “It not only promotes entrepreneurship but also provides critically important opportunities for small businesses, including craftspeople, artists, farmers, restaurateurs, and re-sellers. Our hope is that the move back to its original neighborhood will spur memories of the historic Maxwell Street Market, bring back that entrepreneurial spirit, and ensure its longevity for generations to come.”

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According to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, this year’s Maxwell Street Market will feature an “eclectic mix of foods and finds—including handmade crafts, resale housewares, clothing, and much more” and will also feature live entertainment and programming.

History of Maxwell Street Market

Maxwell Street Market, centered at Maxwell and Halsted Streets, was established in the late 1800s by newly arrived Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

The City of Chicago officially recognized Maxwell Street Market in October of 1912.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Maxwell Street became known as a place where many Black musicians who had migrated to Chicago began to develop a new musical genre, in what would later become known as “Chicago Blues.

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In 1994, Maxwell Street Market relocated to Canal Street to accommodate the expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In 2008, the market relocated to South DesPlaines, where it has remained until this year.

Maxwell Street Market remains the oldest open-air market in the country.

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