Chicagoans head outdoors on holiday

July 5, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Sometimes, a breeze from Lake Michigan keeps things cooler along the lakefront, but that was not the case Monday afternoon. Conditions were just as hot near the lake as they were inland.

Even so, many Chicago area residents were making the most of the extended weekend outside.

Monday was one of the hottest days of the year, and even though the holiday weekend was almost over, festivals were still under way, like the Family Fun Fest in Millennium Park.

The fountains downtown offered a great way to cool off.

"We live in the neighborhood, and we have been down here about a half an hour. That is my kid over there, 2 years old, just trying to get him out of the house and enjoy a great day," said Shannon Sims.

North Avenue Beach was a popular destination, not just for Chicagoans, but even for people from other countries.

"We're showing our friends around from England," said Agnes Dielinsky. "We're here to play soccer and here to enjoy the beach in Chicago."

Monday was also the second day of the African Caribbean Festival in Washington Park. Some visitors attended Monday instead of Sunday, hoping to beat the crowds.

The largest crowd ABC7 spotted Monday was on Lake Shore Drive, which at one point was backed up from McCormick Place up to North Avenue.

In Washington Park, the African-Caribbean Festival had its last day.

"It gives me a chance to pick up some new African art for the house, so I always like to come out to do that," said Clifford Smith. "Then, later in the afternoon, my kids are barbecuing and I get to sit down and eat."

Marie Taylor and her daughter headed to Washington Park for the festival's last day.

"Just hanging out, I never get to spend any time with my daughter, so we came out here to just spend some time," said Taylor. "They have a lot of things that we both like."

At the Village of South Holland Independence Day celebration on Monday, the band Jamiah on Fire thrilled the crowd.

The band is a Jimi Hendrix tribute band with musicians between 11 and 14 years old.

Other children just wanted to play, and they had plenty of options on the July 5th legal holiday around the city.

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