Skip to consent to cookiesSkip navigation
Loading Events
Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

The Backward River Festival: Damen Silo City

The Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois Chicago will host “The Backward River Festival: Damen Silo City” on the west side of the Canalport Riverwalk Park to celebrate the efforts and achievements of environmental justice advocates and artists who live and/or work around the Damen Silos; bring attention to the history and current state of the Damen Silos; invite attendees to consider the impacts of demolition on residents; and highlight alternative community visions for redevelopment, design and integration.

The festival will include tabling and activities by community groups and Chicago organizations; a performance stage; and a chance for attendees to see and reflect on the Damen Silos from across the water. Because the silos areslated for demolition, the festival will provide a unique opportunity for a farewell to the structure and contemplation of its history. 

As with all of our previous events in parks along the South Branch, this will be free and open to the public.

The festival will be the final event of a program supported by the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative for Arts and Humanities in which The Freshwater Lab hosted cultural events along the South Branch of the Chicago River: atwo-day festival in October 2021 at Park 571; anactivation event in September 2022 at Canalport Riverwalk Park to launch Rio de Bienvenida/River of Welcome; andanother festival in June 2023 at Park 571 to unveil Rio de Bienvenida/River of Welcome.

More information about the festival will be made available onThe Freshwater Lab website and its social media channels. In the meantime, please email your questions to


Explore hotels, flights, deals, and more

Plan your trip


CTA Newsletter

Chicago Newsletter

Stay in the know

Sign up


Visitors Guide

Start planning today

Get the guide