Labor Day weekend happenings in Chicago

September 5, 2009 8:44:20 PM PDT
Many people will stay close to home this Labor Day Weekend and there is no shortage of things to do in Chicago. (News Release) Celebrate the end of summer in Chicago! Spend Labor Day in the Windy City and enjoy the summer's last holiday by visiting lakefront beaches, experiencing the Chicago Jazz Festival, or attending a Major League Baseball game. Plus, don't miss this chance to explore Chicago's many unique and charming neighborhoods. From Albany Park to Beverly Hills, discover the many ways you can embrace the history, culture, and people of the Chicago's 75-plus neighborhoods as you uncover the world in our backyard. Begin your adventure at the Chicago Cultural Center's Visitor Information Center, 77 E. Randolph Street or, for more information, visit ExploreChicago.org or call 877-CHICAGO.

Fireworks:Have a blast! Enjoy free lakefront firework displays all weekend long. Festivities begin Saturday, September 5th at Chicago's Navy Pier. The show starts at 10:15 p.m. Can't get enough? Come back to Navy Pier on Sunday, September 6th and watch the fireworks ignite at 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit NavyPier.com

31st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival: Groove all weekend long at the 31st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival presented by CareFusion. This Labor Day weekend tradition begins with three full days of free music in Grant Park, September 4th-6th. Performers include Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Buddy DeFranco, Esperanza Spaulding, and Muhal Richard Abrams leading the Arthur Hoyle Orchestra and performing a piece commissioned for the festival. New this year is a stage dedicated to college and high school performers, The Chicago Community Trust Young Lions Stage and Wine Australia presents the Wine Oasis, a wine tasting experience. For more information, please visit ChicagoJazzFestival.us

Chicago's lakefront beaches:The Chicago Park District manages the city's 29 lakefront beaches for the enjoyment of Chicago families and visitors. Chicago's lakefront is also home to the lakefront trail, volleyball, soccer, concessions, golf courses, harbors, bird sanctuaries, and natural areas. Admission to Chicago's beaches is free and open to the public. Lifeguards are on duty through September 7th. For more information, please visit ChicagoParkDistrict.com

Hyde Park InstaGreeter: Pay a visit to Hyde Park, President Obama's long-time home, this Labor Day! Explore a presidential neighborhood with the new Hyde Park InstaGreeter program offered by the Chicago Office of Tourism. Drop by Hyde Park Art Center on Saturday, September 5th, anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a free one-hour guided walking visit of Hyde Park with a friendly, knowledgeable volunteer Chicago Greeter. Visits are given on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are needed. For more information, visit ExploreChicago.org

Chicago Kids Audio Tour: Do you know what ingredients it takes to make a real Chicago hot dog or why the "L" goes around the Loop? Find out with the free Chicago for Kids audio tour and interactive web site, a new way for young Chicagoans and visitors from around the globe to learn more about Chicago. The audio tour and website takes kids on adventures throughout the city and features eight destinations, plus games and challenges that highlight the rich culture and history of Chicago. The Chicago for Kids audio tour, produced by the Chicago Office of Tourism, can be downloaded at downloadchicagotours.com

Bash on Wabash: Venture into Chicago's South Loop for "Bash on Wabash - Sweet Corn Chicago," September 5th-6th. Bash on Wabash features national music headliners, continuous live music, a wide variety of food choices, including some top area restaurants, beer and wine, upscale arts and crafts, an elaborate kid's area with games and rides, and plenty of "corn-centric" activities. Performers include Sixteen Candles and Hairbangers Ball. Just blocks from downtown, this South Loop festival is fun for the whole family. Admission is a $5 suggested donation. For more information please call 773-868-3010 or visit GreaterSouthLoop.org

Taste of Polonia: Dance the polka and dine on pierogi at the Taste of Polonia September 4th-7th. One of the most popular ethnic fests in Chicago, the festival draws crowds of close to 40,000 during its four-day span. The Taste celebrates rich Polish heritage, customs and traditions through music, dance, cuisine and folk art. During the festival, food vendors serve delicious Polish cuisine, and there is a variety of non-stop live entertainment, games of skill and chance, performances by ethnic dancers and musical groups, and original arts & crafts. Admission ranges from $3-7 and children under 12 are free. For more information, please call 773-777-8898 or visit Copernicusfdn.org

African Festival of the Arts: Celebrate African culture at the 20th Annual African Festival of the Arts from September 4th-7th. This Labor Day weekend event transforms Chicago's Washington Park into an authentic African village complete with three stages of spectacular entertainment, an African Marketplace showcasing authentic art and culture, luscious African cuisine, cultural pavilions, and fantastic family fun. More than 250,000 attendees can enjoy interactive experiences with artists and artisans sharing their gifts and talents, or engage in community forums and village meetings to discuss social and cultural issues. The festival also includes performances by dozens of different musicians including the Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, and George Clinton & The Funkadelics. Admission is $5-15 and weekend passes are available. For more information, please call 773-955-2787 or visit AfricanFestivalChicago.com

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures, reserve hotel accommodations and receive trip-planning assistance by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246), or visiting ExploreChicago.org. Brochures and information on Chicago's exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. The centers are located at Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. For those calling from outside the United States, Mexico and Canada, please call 1-312-201-8847. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1-866-710-0294. The Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the official City agency dedicated to promoting Chicago to domestic and international visitors and to providing innovative visitor programs and services.


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