City of Chicago Special Events
Chicago’s 2010 Birthday Cake - Bleeding Heart Bakery.  They are baking the 2011 cake as well!  Get free piece of cake on March 4 at the Chicago History Museum - starts at 11am!

Chicago’s 2010 Birthday Cake - Bleeding Heart Bakery.  They are baking the 2011 cake as well!  Get free piece of cake on March 4 at the Chicago History Museum - starts at 11am!

Happy 174th Chicago!


In November of 1836, a committee was formed to apply to the Illinois state legislature for city charter for the township of Chicago.  A charter was prepared by the committee and submitted to the people for approval a t a mass meeting at the Saloon Building on Monday, January 23, 1837.  After a debate and a few slight altercations, the charter was approved and sent to the legislature.  There, with a few amendments, it was enacted into law on March 4, 1837.  William Ogden was selected as the first Mayor of Chicago.  At the time, Chicago had a population of 4,170 and today the number is just around 2.7 million. 

March 4, 2011 marks the 174th birthday for the City of Chicago. For a number of years the city has celebrated this occassion at the Chicago History Museum.  All are invited, particularly those who share March 4 as a birthday are invited as well as city officials.  This year, the festivities begin at 11:00 am and all attendees will get a free piece of birthday cake, courtesy of Bleeding Heart Bakery.

For more details visite

Snow Art at Snow Days Chicago


Last year’s winning snow sculpture and crowd favorite.  The team is from Harbin, China and will return this year.


Snow Days Chicago is back!  This weekend at Navy Pier, fifteen teams of professional artists from the U.S., China, Russia, Holland, Canada and Mexico will compete in a snow sculpting competition carving their artwork from 10 foot blocks of man-made snow.  On Saturday, event goers can vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice Award from 11am-4pm.  Last year’s first place winner and crowd favorite (see photo below) was a team from Harbin China - they are back this year to defend their title. 

This is a great event for families and a perfect excuse to get out of the house and off the couch!  In addition to snow sculpting, teams from the Raging Buffalo Snowboard/Ski Park will compete in the Snowboard Rail Jam.  If that’s not enough, the Green Valley Dog Drivers will be demonstrating the talents of their dog sled teams…not just for dog lovers!

Finally there is something to love about Chicago winters!

The event is free and starts Friday at 11:00 am through Sunday (January 28-30) at Gateway Park and Navy Pier.  For more information and times visit

Franken Plaza, part of Chicagoween begins Friday through Sunday on Daley Plaza in the heart of Chicago’s Loop! 

Halloween on Franken Plaza, It’s a “Thriller”

Halloween is right around the corner and Chicagoween on Franken Plaza (Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington) will delight young and old alike.  Beginning Friday, October 29 through Halloween, October 31 you’ll be dazzled by performances from Midnight Circus, fire dancing with Pyrotechnique, arts and crafts, storytelling, costume contest and more.  Highlights this year include the Monster Bash on Saturday the 30 featuring a costume contest, hayrides and trick-or-treating and on Halloween learn the Michael Jackson “Thriller” dance with the Chicago Dance Institute!  The best part is Franken Plaza is FREE and is open from 11: a.m. - 8:00 p.m. daily. 

Get your apples, carrots, squash, pumpkins, jams and other Harvest Market food items all three days of Franken Plaza.  FRANKEN PLAZA is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and is presented by Underwriters Laboratoiries (  Be sure to visit the website for additional programming information,


Chicago Voting on a Christmas Tree

The Polls are open early in Chicago!  For the first time Chicagoans are coming together and selecting the City’s Official Christmas Tree.  The tree will be lit by Mayor Daley on November 24 at the Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by Underwriters Laboratories.

During a contest that started at the end of July and ended on October 11, seventy-five trees were subimitted by area residents.  Three finalists were selected and announced today in the Chicago Sun Times ( Beginning today through October 24 at midnight all who visit the site can vote on to select this year’s tree.  The winner will be announced the week of October 25.

Below are the three finalists:

The Colomer Family, McHenry, Illinois - 70 foot blue spruce

The Smith Family, Willowbrook, Illinois - 56 foot blue spruce

The Spangler Family, Western Springs, Illinois  - 55 foot blue spruce

Hosting a contest was a new challenge to the Mayor’s Office of Special Events this year and was done in an effort to find a tree that all could gather around. The winning family will join Mayor Daley on Daley Plaza on November 24.  The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. and the tree will be lit at 5:00 p.m.

Now go out and vote!  CHEERS! 

Ramsey Lewis Celebrates 75 years at the Chicago Jazz Festival

This week the Chicago Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday, September 2 for four days of riffs and improvisation in three locations. With funding provided by the Chicago Jazz Partnership, the Chicago Jazz Festival presented by Carefusion will feature free music events on Thursday, September 2 at Millennium Park and Friday, September 3 at the Cultural Center and an evening concert in Millennium Park, before moving to festival grounds in Grant Park on Saturday and Sunday.

One of many highlights during this four day event is the Friday evening 75th birthday celebration of Ramsey Lewis in Millennium Park.  Lewis, a Chicago native born here May 27, 1935 has enjoyed a long career as a legendary jazz pianist and composer, topping musical charts in the sixties with hits such as “The In Crowd”, “Hang on Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water”.  Winner of three Grammy Awards, the septuagenarian was invited to perform his recently premiered “Proclamation of Hope” at the White House by President Barack Obama.

Ramsey Lewis will take the Jay Pritzker Pavillion Stage at 8:30 pm.  Opening perfromances start in Millennium Park at 4:00 pm with the Lincoln Park High School Jazz Ensemble and CPS Music Teachers Jazz Ensemble Noteworthy, followed  by James Dapogny at 5:00 pm, Mike LeDonne Trio at 6:00, Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Orchestra at 7:10.  Admission is FREE. For a full schedule visit