This family event started as the brain child of Celia and George Cheung, owners of the “Junk Restaurant” who were very active in the community as members of the Chinese American Civic Council. Celia and George began the Chinatown Summer Fair on July 29, 1979 as an art fair with ethnic entertainment. William Fong and Charlie Soo, along with the entire Cheung family and friends, volunteered their time and resources during the first three years of the fair, which included the Chinatown 5K Run. The fair was designed to promote Chinatown and allow organizations such as Chinese American Civic Council, Chinatown American Legion Post #1003, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, an opportunity to work together for the common good, and to provide leadership and support on a rotational basis. This event was adopted by Mayor Jane Byrnes’ “Summertime in Chicago”.
Celia and George Cheung were honored during the 25th Annual Chinatown Summer Fair in 2004 as the FOUNDER’S of this great Community event by the Chinatown Special Events Committee.
The Chicago Chinatown Special Events Committee was formed in 1992 to coordinate and produce the Annual Chinatown Summer Fair with members and friends of the Chicago Dragons Athletic Association. Our mission is to give back, help promote the culture & heritage of our Chinatown Community and to continue the LEGACY started by Celia and George Cheung. (CCSE – Lunar New Year Parade and Summer Fair merged with the Chicago Chinatown Community Foundation in 2014.)
Our thanks to Celia Cheung and her husband, the late George Cheung, William Fong, the late Charlie Soo, and all who contributed to the success of the Chinatown Summer Fair throughout its history.