Windy City Hot Dog Fest brings Chicago classics and wacky sausages to Six Corners this summer

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PORTAGE PARK – A hot dog festival is coming to the heart of Six Corners, bringing live music, a craft market and a hot dog parade to the business district to kick off summer.

The first Windy City Hot Dog Fest is scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. June 4-5 on Milwaukee Avenue between Cuyler Avenue and Irving Park Road. The event is organized by the Six Corners Chamber of Commerce.

Local businesses will compete to see who has the best hot dog, chamber leaders said in their latest newsletter. Entrants will judge and choose a winner.

Credit: Kathleen Hinkel/Block Club Chicago
The Chicago dog at Byron’s, located on Lawrence, is consistently named one of the best Chicago-style dogs in town.

Well-known hot dog joints — including Byron’s, a North Side staple, and Chicago’s Dog House — are expected to participate, but the chamber is looking for more vendors. Hot dog companies, artists and merchants interested in participating in the festival can apply online.

Aaron Wolfson, owner of Chicago’s Dog House in Lincoln Park, brings exotic hot dogs to the festival, including a rattlesnake and rabbit dog and an alligator dog called Chance the Snapper.

Chicago’s Dog House opened in 2009 and serves a range of gourmet sausages. Wolfson hopes to expand his customer base and provide the Northwest Siders with a new hot dog experience at the Six Corners festival.

“It’ll pique their culinary curiosity for sure, and it’s something exotic to try,” Wolfson said. “You’ll never know it’s a rattlesnake.”

But if you’re not feeling the exotic meat, the joint’s popular Midway Monster dog – topped with Colby cheese, giardiniera, bacon and BBQ sauce – and wild boar Bratwurst with sauerkraut will be on sale, along with hot dogs classics. Vegan dogs will also be available, the owner said.

“We want to raise awareness of what we serve here in Lincoln Park, and [we] hope to attract new clientele,” he said. “It’s a hot dog festival – we have to be there.”

Bands scheduled to perform at the two-day festival include tropical music group Chicago Latin Groove Band, Chicago-based horn band The Business, and Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin tribute band.

The chamber plans to share festival updates on social media as more vendors and musicians are secured.

Credit: Kathleen Hinkel/Block Club Chicago
The Midway Monster Dog with giardiniera, bacon and barbecue sauce and the Chicago-style dog at the Chicago Doghouse in Lincoln Park.

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