a lucha libre wrestling match in a ring set up outside in chicago's unity park
A complicated match in motion during Lucha Libre in the Park 2015 Credit: Courtesy of Unity Park Advisory Council

From 20th-century wrestling promoter Fred Kohler to former WWE Champion CM “Chick Magnet” Punk, Chicago is a town steeped in professional wrestling history. We’ve got it all. Chicago boasts a historically strong wrestling scene (including groundbreaking independent women’s professional wrestling promotion SHIMMER), we’re a constant tour spot for larger companies, and there’s a strong lucha libre contingent here as well. Chicago’s become a bit of a mecca for die-hard wrestling folks, especially with one of All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW’s) largest pay-per-views (All Out) often hosted in the Chicagoland area. 

Over the past seven years, the Unity Park Advisory Council has carved its name into the annals of Chicago wrestling history with its yearly event Lucha Libre in the Park. Lucha Libre in the Park features mostly local wrestlers putting on a delightful show for an audience of kids, parents, and a small handful of black T-shirt-wearing dorks, all assembled outdoors in Logan Square’s Unity Park. 

One of my favorite forms of wrestling is the hyperlocal indie wrestling show—a show designed for people who aren’t religious attendees of the sport, such as children and other sorts who like hollering and having a nice time. So an annual wrestling show that features the Logan Square Championship and wrestlers who get jeered for “being from Wisconsin” checks all my boxes. It’s a perfect entry point to the wide world of wrestling, trading the cramped and elitist vibes of many indie wrestling shows for a wonderful day in the park where you can watch some flips, some suplexes, and some kids losing their minds. Also, they’ve got pretty good popcorn!

Lucha Libre in the Park
For future events, check out the Unity Park Advisory Council’s website (unityparkchicago.org) or Facebook page (facebook.com/UnityParkLoganSquare)

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