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History & Happenings, the Great Lakes Tattoo Blog. Sharing news, events and fascinating tidbits on Chicago Tattoo History.  

WUC3 in Review

Chicagorillas WUC3 Line

The weekend of the Walk Up Classic is one of our favorite times of year. It gives us the chance to gather some of our favorite tattooers, welcome hundreds of people through our doors and gain the satisfaction of working tirelessly to put on such a unique high energy event. 

Walk Up Classic 3 Opening Party WUC3

This year we celebrated the Walk Up’s third year and kicked off the weekend Friday with our opening party and flash reveal. The party was packed, with crowds of people coming by for drinks, hangs and a chance to prepare for Saturday and Sunday by picking their tattoo design ahead of time. We offered an open bar featuring Stolen spirits, Virtue Cider, Revolution Brewing and Bangers and Lace. The Donermen food truck was parked out front serving up their famous doner kabobs and german street food. Plus, new this year we welcomed Jen Jansen to take tintype photos on site!

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Steve, Greg and Chad tintype by Jen Jansen
Glennie tintype by Jen Jansen

Saturday the event began by welcoming our instagram #walkupwalkin contest winner who was randomly chosen out of over a hundred people who re-posted the contest image on social media. By winning the contest she won the privilege of skipping the line, a prize package consisting of gifts from our sponsors and first pick of tattoo and tattooer. She chose Chad Koeplinger and an American traditional eagle and dagger tattoo from his flash.

Opening the doors to the public promptly at 11AM we greeted our first person in line. He had been camping out since 1am and was excited to pick his tattooer and tattoo. He chose a skull and snake design from Tony Hundahl and then defrosted while looking through his gift bag he received for the being the first in line. 

Walk Up Classic 3 #walkupwalkin contest winner
Walk Up Classic 3 #walkupwalkin contest winner American traditional eagle dagger tattoo Chad Koeplinger
First person line Walk Up Classic 3
Tony Hundahl skull snake tattoo first person line

For the next two days the event went off without a hitch and we tattooed everyone in line both days. Some had fun waiting in line and camping out the night before while others came throughout the day and enjoyed the option of which tattooer was first available. This year we even had a few people who decided to really go for it and get multiple tattoos from different tattooers the same day. 

Virginia Elwood tattooing Walk Up Classic 3
Tattooers Walk Up Classic 3
Tony Hundahl tattooing at the Walk Up Classic 3
American traditional dragon tattoo Steve Byrne
Chicagorilla tattoo stencil Walk Up Classic 3
American traditional girl tattoo Chip Douglas

Many of the tattoo artists have said one of their favorite parts of the event is tattooing the designs other tattooers have painted. Despite the reputation of being known mostly for American traditional tattoos, there are several other designs and styles of flash to choose from including; Japanese, Black work, Dot work, Geometric, Illustrative, and more. On this year's flash sheets in particular, we saw several designs paying homage to those popular in 90’s tattoo flash such as; tribal, biker, bio-mechanical and pop culture characters like Taz and Yosemite Sam. 

tribal butterfly flash by Dan Smith
Yosemite Sam flash by Tony Hundahl
Virgina Elwood Taz flash
Biomech cube flash by Steve Byrne

When we started the Walk Up Classic, we had no idea what it would be like. We are so thankful for the support of everyone who has participated. We could not do it without our customers and sincerely appreciate your excitement for the event. Thank you to our sponsors for your continued support and collaborative efforts with us. Hope to see you all next year for the Walk Up Classic 4!