175 Days to Love Chicago: Preview of Upcoming Events

Fireworks light up the night sky above Navy Pier twice a week every summer.Celebrate Chicago’s 175th anniversary this year with 175 Days to Love Chicago, featuring the following events taking place over the next 10 days, May 30 – June 8, 2012.  From dining and shopping deals created exclusively for this celebration, to guided tours of the city and marquee special events, 175 Days to Love Chicago offers hundreds of new and unique ways for both residents and visitors to enjoy and explore Chicago.

Since the city’s official birthday on March 4th, we have been featuring 175 Days to Love Chicago events daily through August 26, 2012.  For a full listing of all 175 Days to Love Chicago events, visit www.explorechicago.org/175days.

Celebrate Chicago’s Demisemiseptcentennial (yep, that’s 175th anniversary!) with :

  • Wednesday, May 30: The skies above Navy Pier erupt in a dazzling fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night through Labor Day.  Whether aboard an evening sightseeing cruise or from the Pier itself, there are plenty of perfect vantage points to take the Navy Pier Fireworks this summer!
  • Thursday, May 31: Ring in spring with music, food, fun, and the crowning of the May Queen at Lincoln Square’s annual Maifest, a three-day authentic German celebration of the season.
  • Friday, June 1: The Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale one again kicks off summer street festival season in Chicago.  Head to Bucktown for this popular annual event that draws tens of thousands for a weekend of great shopping, live music, family entertainment, and awesome people watching!
  • Saturday, June 2: Head to Symphony Center to hear the next generation of musical-stars-in-the-making during the 49th annual Chicago Public Schools All-City Music Festival Concert, showcasing a broad range of genres and performances by CPS students.
  • Sunday, June 3: Art lovers and collectors from all over the country will flock to Hyde Park this weekend for the 57th Street Art Fair, Chicago’s oldest juried art fair.
  • Monday, June 4: Extended until June 20, the DuSable Museum’s special exhibition, Spread the Word!, traces the evolution of Gospel Music from its Chicago roots to its popularity worldwide through Mahalia Jackson, Thomas Dorsey and other legends of the genre.
  • Tuesday, June 5: Chicago was founded 175 years ago in 1837, so enjoy a Wendella boat tour for just $18.37 by saying ‘Happy 175 Years Chicago‘ when booking tickets for either a Architectural River Cruise or a Combined Lake and River Cruise.
  • Wednesday, June 6: Sample four of Chicago’s iconic food groups: pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes and beer, on Bobby’s Bike Hike’s Bikes, Bites, & Brews Tour through the city’s diverse and popular neighborhoods.
  • Thursday, June 7: If you haven’t yet experienced the Dining Room at Kendall College, be sure to reserve your spot at a special, four-course dinner and reception pairing French wines from Alsace with locally sourced haute cuisine befitting their status as a Certified Green Restaurant.
  • Friday, June 8: The 175 Days to Love Chicago pick for Friday, June 8 has yet to be determined.

This Week in Chicago History, from Alderman Edward Burke

With little fanfare or celebration, Chicago’s first elevated train line opened to the public on June 6, 1892, ushering in a new era of rapid transit that promised to ease congestion on the city’s crowded streets.  3.6 miles of elevated tracks were built in a straight line through city-owned alleyways, earning it the nickname “Alley L.”  The first northbound train departed the 39th Street Station at 7 am, surprising many residents who forgot the announcements and left their private lives very much on display through open windows and blinds along the train route that morning.  The first olive-green passenger coaches were roomy and comfortable, and gave many Chicagoans their first taste of a true rapid transit system.  The commute from 39th Street to the terminus on Congress Street took 14 minutes total – a huge improvement over the loud, crowded street-level cable cars that were often delayed by trains and heavy wagons.  An impressive fleet of steam-powered engines and passenger coaches providing 24-hour service soon gave birth to Chicago’s famous ‘L’, and helped the city grow into one of the nation’s most livable big cities.

Alderman Burke is the longest serving alderman in Chicago history.  He has represented the city’s 14th Ward in City Council for the past 43 years.  Alderman Burke is also the author of several books on Chicago history and its heroic firefighters and police officers.

175 Days to Love Chicago celebrates Chicago’s 175th birthday with an exciting 175-day-series of programs, promotions, and fun history. Launching on the 175th anniversary of the city’s incorporation on March 4 and continuing through August 26, 2012 this cultural calendar offers visitors and residents exciting opportunities to explore Chicago everyday. From special events to special packages at local hotels, the campaign showcases the breadth and vibrancy of Chicago’s cultural landscape.  Visit www.explorechicago.org/175days to see all featured events.