The celebration is also part of a national tribute to the 30-year anniversary of open trade relations between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China. Chicago is also the sister city of Shenyang and Shanghai, China.
Michelle O'Young and her three-year-old son, Prosper, attended the ceremony.
"I wanted to participate, but I also wanted for my son to have this experience of Chinese culture," said O'Young.
Performances included the Tianjin Dance Drama and Opera House on tour from China, excerpts from "Qi Xi ? The Story of Miulang and Zhinu" by the Chinese Fine Arts Society and "Bright Spirit" by Cirque Shanghai.
The celebration wraps up on July 25 and will include events all around town that will explore the richness of China and Chicago's Chinese-American community.For a complete schedule of daily events please visit www.explorechicago.org.