Photo: Chicago's Christkindlmarket. Image taken by Flickr User Michael Kappel, used under a Creative Commons license.
The City Council on Friday approved city funding for a winter marketplace to replace the Holidazzle parade, reversing a vote from earlier in the week.
The proposal commits $395,000 in city money to the event, all of it coming from the city’s sales tax-funded convention center account. That’s a slight tweak from an earlier version, which failed in committee, that took some money from the city coordinator’s office.
The vote was 11-1, with Council Member Blong Yang voting no. Council Member Andrew Johnson, who voiced opposition to the earlier proposal in committee, was not present.
The money will be combined with about $1.3 million in private dollars being raised by the Downtown council. The event, potentially held in Peavey Plaza, will attempt to recreate European-style marketplaces that have been organized in other cities – including Chicago.
The switch from a Holidazzle parade to a winter marketplace and Holidazzle “district” is one component of a larger Downtown Council plan to have more continuous programming downtown. They are requesting $750,000 in the mayor’s 2015 budget to accomplish this.