The air was cool, the streets were a buzz, and the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival was under way. It was a decent day to head out on an adventure and that’s exactly what I did. There was a ton of buzz around the river, random chatter, fellow city dwellers peering over bridges and balconies to get a glimpse at the floating structures waiting to be torched. Kiddies pointing and squealing and of course like always participating in the joys of bumping into perfect strangers and making awesome connections. I don’t think the evening could have started out any better…
Redmoon Theater, The City of Chicago, and The Chicago Park District hosted the event signifying unification of the city and celebrating “Chicago’s Grit,” resilience, and rebirth succeeding the great fire of 1871. Unfortunately, weather conditions, prior rainfall, and an ignition system that just didn’t want to ignite played a huge role in the floating structures not being able to fully burn (you’ll see in the pictures below). There were over 30,000 attendees, what a fantastic turn out! I’ll call that a success, I’m sure this year’s fire will pale in comparison to next, hopefully they will figure out how to start a fire!
The fireworks show on each structure was synchronized to perfection, I’ve never been so close to fireworks in my life (it was also quite terrifying, have you ever seen Maximum Exposure?) I was crouching under my friend it was so loud and each initial burst made me jump, I couldn’t even take pictures, but luckily I had enough courage to snap a few amazing shots.
Shout out to all the hard workers that ran around trying to get those fires going, they were working their butts off!!
It looked as if once the semi-blaze was extinguished the current skyline would be revealed with “GRIT” in the center, take a look at the pictures in the full gallery.
The event was a celebration of gathering, community and bringing positive awareness to a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city and all taking place on the Chicago River.