'Explore Chicago' this Fall

October 2, 2010 (CHICAGO) Karen Vaughan of the Chicago Office of Tourism visits ABC7 to talk about few upcoming events.


Chicago Highlights from September - October 2010

The autumn season is the perfect time to explore Chicago. An array of festivals and one-of-a-kind events makes Chicago an ideal choice for a getaway this fall. There is always something to do in Chicago. Visitors to the city are invited to make their first stop the Visitor Information Center in the Chicago Cultural Center, located at 78 East Washington Street.

For more information on visiting Chicago this fall, or to book accommodations, visit www.explorechicago.org.

Fall Festivals
The Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival music festival showcases local, national and international talent in various Latin music genres, including salsa, reggaeton, mariachi, norteña, and Spanish pop y más. The festival takes place September 17 - 18 in Millennium Park, with headliners Cristian Castro and Mexican Institute of Sound. Chicago celebrates the best of today's international music at the 12th annual World Music Festival September 21 - 30. The city-wide festival showcases free and low-cost ticketed concerts featuring both traditional and contemporary music from diverse cultures across the world and is presented at area museums, parks, cultural centers, plazas, theaters, clubs, and other venues.

On September 24 - 26, don't miss Chicago Gourmet 2010 - A Celebration of Food & Wine. One of the nation's most anticipated culinary events, this interactive, epicurean extravaganza showcases more than 100 of Chicago's finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers and premium breweries from around the world. It also features live cooking demonstrations, gourmet tastings, wine seminars, and book-signings by internationally-renowned chefs, master sommeliers and wine makers, all in Chicago's world-class Millennium Park. Head North to the South Lakeview neighborhood to enjoy beer, brats, music and fun at St. Alphonsus' tenth annual Oktoberfest, one of Chicago's famous neighborhood festivals. Located at 3000 N. Lincoln, the festival runs September 24-26 and adission is $5.00.

In one of the largest collaborative artistic efforts across Chicago, twenty-five of the city's prominent arts institutions will join together in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to present The Soviet Arts Experience, a 16-month-long showcase of works created under (and in response to) the Politburo of the Soviet Union. Spearheaded by the University of Chicago Presents, The Soviet Arts Experience (October 2010 – January 2012) will present more than 100 events in 25 venues across Chicago, including 7 art exhibitions, 9 dance performances, over 50 concerts, 2 theater productions, plus numerous lectures, classes and symposia.

Those boots were made for two-stepping, so grab a pair and head to Millennium Park for the Chicago Country Music Festival, October 8-9! Enjoy with two days jam packed with the best country music this side of Nashville, including Clint Black, during this free festival.

Coming out of a dark theater, everything seems brighter. Film illuminates the world. It opens our eyes. It shows us things we don¹t see every day, makes us feel things we don¹t always feel. For 45 years, the Chicago International Film Festival has been committed to taking you all around the globe to discover some of the most exciting cinema the world has to offer! This year's festival runs October 7 - 21 at venues throughout the city.

Immediately following, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, takes place from October 21 – 31. It is the largest annual festival of films for children in the world, programming over 200 films and videos from 40 countries. The Festival showcases the best in culturally diverse, non-violent, value affirming new cinema for children and youth and is the only Academy Award qualifying children's film festival in the world.

Unique Activities
Experience two of Chicago's most unique neighborhoods - Old Town and Hyde Park - with free, on-the-spot Greeter visits, every Saturday through October 9th from 10am - 3pm. The Old Town visits depart from Second City, while the Hyde Park visits begin at the Hyde Park Arts Center.

Highly respected for both the diversity and quality of its theater offerings, Chicago is known for producing highly creative works performed by top-caliber talent. The 2010/11 theater season kicks off in September. The League of Chicago Theatres, an organization of more than 200 theaters, recently launched the new Chicagoplays.com website, where theater-lovers can learn more about Chicago theater and purchase performance tickets. Celebrate play and the timeless, universal appeal of toys! Mexico: Festival of Toys at the Chicago Chidlren's Museum is a a museum-wide experience showcases a unique collection of toys, on loan from Papalote Children's Museum in Mexico City through March 13, 2011. Dating from 1920 to the present, they include handmade dolls, colorful puppets and marionettes, traditional puzzles and games, musical instruments, and wood-carved and paper-mâché animals, all of which reflect Mexican culture and traditions. Additional interactive experiences -- a puppet theater, toy-making workshop, special area for infants, and more -- located throughout the museum will engage children and families and invite them to explore, construct, and play with toys!

Throughout October, you are invited to meet hundreds of Chicago visual artists at exhibitions, workshops, open studios, tours, neighborhood art walks and more in venues across the city. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with more than 200 program partners, Chicago Artists Month aims to showcase the extraordinary talent and vibrancy of Chicago's art community. This year's theme, "The City as Studio," explores the impact of the urban environment on Chicago artists and their work, and the contributions that artists make to the vitality of our cit

As one of the five World Marathon Majors, The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On Sunday, October 10, 2010, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream. In its 33rd year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually produces big numbers - 45,000 registered participants, 1.7 million spectators, and 12,000 race day volunteers.

Fashion Focus Chicago, a celebration of Chicago's thriving fashion industry, returns for a sixth year in 2010. Running from Monday, October 18 through Sunday, October 24 Fashion Focus Chicago showcases some of the city's top designers, and features runway shows in Millennium Park and at various locations around the city, shopping events, and industry seminars.

Halloween is more than a day in Chicago; it's an entire season, known as Chicagoween. The city, its parks, buildings and streets are decorated and filled with an array of activities for children and the child within you. The Chicago Park District offers many different pumpkin patches, haunted houses and scary theatre. The Spooky Zoo Spectacular is a day or free, family-friendly entertainment at the Lincoln Park Zoo on October 23. Cultural institutions also get into the fun and the city center, Daley Plaza, is transformed into a new destination known as FrankenPlaza from October 29 – 31.

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 www.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. 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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