What was different this year, however, was a visible increase in security surrounding these events
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Plenty enjoyed the sights and sounds of summer of the AVP Gold Series Chicago Open Beach Volleyball Tournament at to Oak Street Beach Saturday as the city celebrates the last few moments of the season.
"This is the best summer activity we have in Chicago, this and surfing," said volleyball spectator Grant Framburg.
For most, the long Labor Day holiday weekend is a sign that the unofficial end of summer is here, even if no one really wants it to be.
"Winter's kind of like, I don't want it to happen because of snow and everything. It's not very great. You can't be shirtless," said fellow spectator Jose Caldera.
Sunny skies and a warm breeze meant nearly perfect weather for an enjoyable day.
The holiday weekend's farewell to the season didn't end there. There were plenty of other activities in and around the city.
The city's Labor Day parade returned to Chicago's Southeast Side for the first time since the pandemic.
The mayor, local politicians and the community were in attendance as the popular, long-running event stepped off at 104th and Ewing Avenue. The parade featured dozens of floats celebrating Chicago's unions and labor history. Afterwards, there was a festival with food and live music.
Over in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood, the community marked the day in a different way.
With the help of the Better Boys Foundation, Mothers And Men Opposed To Violence Everywhere and the Boxing Out Negativity Group held a mini carnival and school supply giveaway in an effort to keep kids safe.
"I can't talk about nowhere else in the city of Chicago, but today, you will not get shot on Pulaski and 15th Street," said community activist Rev. Robin Hood.
While the quest to get out and enjoy summer's last hurrah may look and feel different depending on where you are, the goodbye that we must say to summer remains the same.
"Summer's got its beach volleyball and fall's got its soup, so each season got its own thing and it's great to celebrate this part of the season," said volleyball spectator Grant Maleski.
What was different this year, however, was a visible increase in security surrounding these events. From Millenium Park to Taste of Polonia on the city's Northwest Side, all were carried out under the watchful eye of Chicago police.
Three years ago, officers with long guns would have been a strange sight at the Copernicus Center's tower. Today, sadly, they are deemed a necessity.
"It's sign of the times," said Hubert Cioromski, chairman of Copernicus Foundation. "We had several meetings with our local police department in Chicago. They've been exemplary. 16th district. all the phenomenal. very supportive. We have a little extra security of our own."
Those in attendance, however, didn't seem to mind and were grateful for the additional steps being taken. They were even more grateful to be back enjoying live music and all things Polish, especially the food.
"The food is awesome. I'm 100% Polish. I'm happy to be here," said Karina DeHaynes. "I love it. We actually were here many years ago and it wasn't, it was only this parking lot. it didn't have any of the areas out there. So it's a lot of fun. The kids love it."
Taste of Polonia, along with Jazz Fest and many many other festivals continue until Sunday, if not Monday, so there's still a lot of fun to be had this weekend across the city and suburbs.