Maxwell Street Market is moving back to its original home

The open-air flea market will return to Maxwell Street from May through October.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
Maxwell Street Market
Photograph: CC/Wikimedia Commons/Edsel Little

One of Chicago’s longest-running traditions is returning to its original home this year.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has announced that the Maxwell Street Market, the open-air flea market in the Near West Side, will be relocating to Maxwell Street between Halsted Street and Union Avenue, as well as Union Avenue between Rochford and Liberty Streets for the 2024 season.

Unlike previous years, when the market was held every Sunday, the latest edition will only take place across six dates—the last Sunday of the month from May through October. The scheduled dates are May 26, June 30, July 28, September 1 and 29, and October 27. The market will be open from 9am-2pm.

“The Maxwell Street Market has been a Chicago tradition for more than a century,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson in an official release. “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.”

The original Maxwell Street Market was established in the late 19th century by Jewish immigrants arriving from Eastern Europe. Over the decades, it’s been a gathering point for vendors hawking all sorts of wares, musicians, cooks and more. It’s also the birthplace of Chicago Blues and the iconic Maxwell Street Polish.

In 1994, the market was moved to Canal Street to accommodate the expansion of the University of Illinois at Chicago. It moved again in 2008 to Desplaines Street.

This year’s market will feature an eclectic mix of vendors and live entertainment, and incorporate businesses with longstanding ties to the neighborhood, like Jim’s Original and Express Grill.

Looks like we’ve got another reason to be excited for Memorial Day weekend in Chicago.

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