Fringe Festival offers performances, after parties in Elgin

The Elgin Fringe Festival will open its fifth year when performances featuring dance, music, theater, and the undefined descend upon the downtown. The two-weekend festival will run Friday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 16.

This year's festival will host more than 100 performances at a variety spaces that are easily within walking distance from each other.

The festival begins during the "First Friday" event on Sept. 7 at Fringe Central. The opening reception of the EFF Visual Art Gallery will be 6 to 9 p.m. at Side Street Studio Arts gallery, 15 Ziegler Court. Artists featured at the gallery include: Bam!, Lance Long, Victoria Johns, Chris Block, David Bremer, Ursula Kempken Buol, Karl Jahnke, Amy Rose Ribbon, Jane Erlandson, Amanda Davila, Doug Hanson, Kira Fox.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the free and popular Family Fringe will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carlton Rodgers Park, Spring Street and Highland Avenue. It is a free celebration of family and fun with live performances, art making, games and more. This year, check out the "Flying Creatures" created by Elgin artists as part of the "Flying Creatures on Wabash" initiative.

The Martini Room 161 E. Chicago St., will once again host the opening party, as well as the closing and after-parties for the Elgin Fringe Fest. Join the artists and the Royal Court of the fifth annual Elgin Fringe Festival for a pre-fest cocktail from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, as we crown a King and Queen to reign over the annual four-day exercise.

The 2018 Elgin Fringe Festival Royal Court is Jennifer Bowden, David Bremer, Jennifer Fukala, Chris Mau, Kathleen Kenney-Mau and Tara L Morrison. The King and Queen (two top vote-getters) will receive Fringe Fest swag and a selection of fringe tickets to donate to the organization of their choice. Voting will be open until noon Wednesday, Sept. 12. The King and Queen will be crowned at the 2018 Elgin Fringe Festival Opening Party. Vote early. Vote often.

Festival Buttons are on sale at Fringe Central. They are $3. Because 100 percent of ticket revenues goes directly to the artists, proceeds from button sales are needed to help cover the costs of producing the festival. You will need to buy a button before you can buy tickets. Show tickets are free, $5 or $10 each, and can be purchased online at or at Fringe Central.

This year, the outdoor live music venue also moves to Carlton Rodgers Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. Admission is free. It is sponsored by the Martini Room and Side Street Studio Arts.

Elgin Fringe performances will happen at the Blue Box Cafe, Elgin Art Showcase, Elgin Public House, Imago Studios, Martini Room, and Side Street Studio Artsk Backspace and Theater.

The performance lineup this year includes popular returning artists Kelly Bolton, David Boyle, Robert Frosty Theater Company, Creative Moves, Captain Ambivalent, and La Groove Fatale.

Newcomers to this year's fringe, include The Bipeds, Fremont Street Theater Company, Lamar Lockett, and Pat O'Brien to name a few.

The Elgin Fringe Headquarters is in the gallery at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court.

This is not only where people can get show information, purchase tickets, meet the artists, and find out about the events and all activities associated with the fringe, but also check out the visual art component of the festival.

To learn more about the Elgin Fringe Festival, or how to purchase fringe buttons and tickets to shows, go to Check out the Facebook page: Elgin Fringe Festival.

The Elgin Fringe Festival is sponsored by the City of Elgin, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, Side Street Studio Arts, Bravo Media, Blue Box Cafe, Elgin Art Showcase, Elgin Public House, Imago Studios, and Martini Room. The Elgin Fringe Festival is part of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, the United States Association of Fringe Festivals and is the proud recipient of Elgin's Image Award.

Kelly Bolton returns with her quirky characters to the Elgin Fringe Festival. Courtesy of Kelly Bolton
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