This family event started as the brain child of Celia and the late George Cheung, owners of the “Junk Restaurant” who were very active in the community as members of the Chinese American Civic Council. The Chinatown Summer Fair began on July 29, 1979 as an art fair with ethnic entertainment. William Fong and the late 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 FIRST 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 of Chinatown. This event was also adopted in 1979 by Mayor Jane Byrnes’ “Summertime in Chicago”.
In 1989, Alderman Fred Roti of the 1st Ward suggested the formation of Chicago Chinatown Special Events to coordinate and produce the Annual Chinatown Summer Fair and Annual Lunar New Year Parade with members and friends of the Chicago Dragons Athletic Association. In 2004, Celia and George Cheung were honored at the 25th Annual Chinatown Summer Fair as the FOUNDER’S of this great Community event by the Chicago Chinatown Special Events.
In 2014, Chinatown Special Events joined the Chicago Chinatown Community Foundation founded in 2011 by the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce insuring the success and well being of major events in Chinatown. Our mission is to promote and share China’s culture and heritage.
Our gratitude and thanks to Celia Chung, her late husband George Cheung, William Fong, the late Charlie Soo, the late Fred Roti – Alderman 1st Ward, former Alderman, Ted Mazzola – 1st Ward, former Alderman Ambrasio Medrano – 25th Ward, the late Stanley Sue – Member. Chicago Chinatown Special Events, the late Woodie Lee – President of Chinese American Civil Council, current Alderman Daniel Solis – 25th Ward and all who have contributed to the success of the Annual Chinatown Summer Fair throughout it’s 38th year history.