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Photographer's Note

It's spring time ... sooner or later, the streets of Chicago will be alive with street performers of all kinds just like in any other big city in the world.

Chicago has had a love/hate relationship with street performers. There have been proposals in the city council to pass ordinances to cut down on the noise and activity of street performers in the city. In particular, street performers, such as bucket drummers, saxophonists, bagpipers and singers were to be banned on Michigan Ave., (the Magnificent Mile, especially in the congested area between Delaware and Superior) while ordered to lower their decibel levels - nothing more than an average conversational level from 50 feet away - everywhere else.

From Chicagoist: Street performers would also be required to pay a $150 permit fee, wear a photo identification tag at all times, and aside from steering clear of the Magnificent Mile, must stay away from Randolph between Columbus and Michigan, and Columbus between Michigan and Monroe whenever concerts are under way at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park.

In addition to those restrictions, the stricter ordinance would allow the Department of Cultural Affairs to have control in “governing the time, place, manner and duration” of street performances.

The ordinance was proposed by Alderman Burton Natarus. In 1999, he wanted to ban performers completely from Michigan Avenue and State Street, but later compromised to limit their volume after some performers accused him of “urban cleansing.”

Mayor Daley has called street performers a “part of urban life.”

On Feb. 8, 2006, the Chicago City Council voted 42-4 to ban street performers on portions of Michigan Avenue.

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Additional Photos by Ken Ilio (flip89) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 538 W: 173 N: 576] (3418)
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