The New Girl’s Guide to Elgin: Part 2: Nightmare on Chicago Street
There was a shift in the air. Something wasn’t right. The roads were eerily empty, overturned cars and tanks abandoned, toxic waste oozing from barrels, boarded up windows, and flashing reds made the night wind colder than expected. No cars moved on Chicago Street. The only movement through the streets was that of the undead. On October 22, 2016, Nightmare on Chicago Street came to Elgin, Illinois.
Over the past six years, Nightmare on Chicago Street has become a staple in Elgin. Envied by other nearby towns for the artistic individuals that come together to create this post-apocalyptic outdoor party and promote the community. This year I had the opportunity to go to the event that attracted over 15,000 people to our city!
I will admit I’m not a big fan of zombies and despite how Walking Dead-esque the event sounded, Nightmare on Chicago Street was a blast! There were people dressed in scary costumes everywhere, hanging on the tanks, and enjoying adult beverages or a bloody good bite from the food court. I weaved in between the crowds of people listening to tribute bands of dearly departed performers such as David Bowie, Prince and Michael Jackson that kept the party rocking all night. Those bands were SSSA Battle of the Bands Winner: Home Burial, DJ Joe Black, Who’s Bad : The Ultimate Michael Jackson & Prince Tribute, DJ Cold, Stone Trippin Pilots, Smells Like Nirvana, The Doors of Chicago, DJ Shane So Ill, Kiss the Sky: The Jimi Hendrix Tribute Experience, and Kashmir: The Led Zeppelin Show.
The parking deck on Chicago Street was a Scream-tastic Circus of fire breathers, sword swallowers and freak show performers. Once the clowns came out though I headed for safer haunts (clowns are just too creepy for me, no thank you.) Everywhere you looked people were either dancing, singing, laughing, or taking selfies and photos of all the awesome props and decor. The most overheard comment from the crowd was, “This is really cool!”
My favorite parts of Nightmare on Chicago Street would have to be the section near the graffiti wall, sections of cryo-tanks in DuPage Court, and the Thunder-dome on Grove Ave.
With artists lined up end to end painting parts of the wall, the graffiti wall was a great addition to the event along with the piled up cars. It really felt like I was in a villain Marvel movie. Next, I enjoyed the DuPage Court area with the zombie cryogeneic tanks that showed the progress of how humans were transformed into mutant zombies. It brought the whole experience around and made it seem life-like. Finally, I thought the Thunder-dome structure on Grove Avenue was cool a cool Mad Max style cage that could house matches between two competitors all for the enjoyment of the Thunder-dome crowd.
Every year Nightmare on Chicago Street continues to grow in popularity as Elgin’s signature Halloween event. If you didn’t make it to Nightmare this year, you seriously missed out! But if you’re lucky enough to have survived this year’s Zombie Apocalypse, maybe you can make it to next year’s event.