Early bird tickets are now on sale for the second annual I Heart Halal festival returning to Navy Pier from April 12 – 14, bigger and arguably better with halal bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, tacos and even kung pao chicken.
Last year, 17,000 people attended the inaugural halal lifestyle festival billed as the first of its kind. This year an expanded food court will feature restaurants from across the city, plus three Lettuce Entertain You restaurants at Navy Pier. Neapolitan-American style Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice, Chinese and Thai inspired Big Bowl and fried bird counter Big City Chicken will offer halal food exclusively at the festival.
“Given Lettuce Entertain You’s fantastic reputation amongst our foodie-focused town, this collaboration helps place halal cuisine in the ‘mainstream,’ to be seen as a delicious, nutritious option as opposed to a dietary restriction,” said festival co-founder Salman Chaudry in a release.
Cooking demonstrations will be held alongside a full program that goes beyond food. “Halal” means permissible according to Islam, but among Muslims today, it means more than halal products, but halal actions too, explained festival organizers.
Chicago-based nonprofit organization Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) produces the festival. Founded in 1982, IFANCA connects halal consumers and producers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is a partner in the festival.
The full program will be announced in March.
Each ticket includes entry for the full three day festival: $10 (general admission), $5 for children 2 to 13, free for children 1 and under. A $50 VIP ticket includes access to music and comedy shows, plus a $100 premium VIP ticket offers premium seating for shows.
Apr. 12-14. I Heart Halal; Navy Pier, Festival Hall A and B, 600 E. Grand Ave.; 312-646-0559; ihearthalal.com