Memorial Day Events in Chicago

Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer in Chicago. It’s always an action-packed three days filled with fun events, and this year is definitely no exception. If you’re looking for a fun way to welcome summer, here are the top Memorial Day events in Chicago.

The weekend begins Saturday morning with a Wreath Laying Ceremony, followed by the Memorial Day Parade. The ceremony takes place at the Eternal Flame in Daley Plaza. During this ceremony the city recognizes fallen heroes and their survivors by presenting Gold Star and Next of Kin lapel pins. This moving presentation is followed by a parade through the streets of downtown Chicago, and it’s one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country.

Navy Pier kicks off the summer with a rousing fireworks show. Beginning the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, this top Chicago attraction celebrates the season with free fireworks every Saturday and Wednesday night through Labor Day. The boats that dock at the pier offer special Lake Michigan cruises during the fireworks, and these are definitely offer the best view.

Another annual Memorial Day event is the MB Bike the Drive. Chicago is a very active cycling city, and at no time is that more evident than when Lake Shore Drive is closed to all vehicular traffic. Starting at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Chicago’s most scenic drive is the province of bicycles. It’s a fundraiser for Active Transportation Alliance and helps fund their efforts to improve non-motorized transit throughout the area.

Summer in Chicago also means festival season. Mole de Mayo in Pilsen is one of the most popular of these street events, featuring local chefs and restaurants, live music, and lucha libre wrestling. Like other Chicago street fests, this one benefits the neighborhood it calls home.

These are just a few of the ways you can celebrate Memorial Day in Chicago. To find out about other fun events be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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