In a grand celebration combining fire, pyrotechnics and live performance, Chicagoans will celebrate the city’s grit and resilience in the aftermath of the historic Great Chicago Fire of 1871, during the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival.
Produced by Redmoon, a production company known for its high-profile outdoor performances, the Great Chicago Fire Festival will take place Oct. 4, 2014, on the Chicago River, between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges, in the heart of downtown Chicago. Television and film actors Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, stars of the NBC drama “Chicago Fire,” will serve as event Grand Marshals, and will light one of 15 massive Fire Cauldrons that kick off the festivities.
Great Chicago Fire Festival Events
From 3-8 p.m., the Pre-Show Bazaar will feature crafts, food, music and urban dance stages from community partners at strategic locations along the river walk.
Grand Marshal’s Cauldron Drop
Spencer and Kinney will light one of 15 massive “Fire Cauldrons” that will be lowered from bridges to watercraft waiting on the Chicago River below.
Grand Spectacle Performance
An elaborate “Grand Spectacle” unfolds as watercraft deliver the fiery cauldrons to three moored platforms, while hundreds of kayakers pull flaming buoys. On the platforms, giant floating sculptures, resembling pre-1871 homes, will be set ablaze, each revealing a dramatic, symbolic interior core.
Some 400 performers will participate in the event, which ends with a choreographed fireworks display that provides a tribute to Chicago’s neighborhoods.
After the Grand Spectacle, Afterburn continues the celebration of Chicago’s rebirth. This lavish ticketed event (starting from $50) will feature musical performances, gourmet Chicago street food and signature cocktails.
In addition to celebrating the resiliency of the people of Chicago, the Great Chicago Fire Festival is also intended to become a signature event for the City of Chicago, similar to Mardi Gras or the Running of the Bulls.
The Great Chicago Fire Festival