Cindy Gatziolis, DCASE 312.744.0573
Nicholas Glenn, Chicago History Museum 312.799.2161
Bluesman Junior Wells called Chicago the crossroads of the world and the city has been earning that very reputation for 175 years. As the city celebrates this milestone throughout the year, Chicago’s official birthday party marks the day that the city was incorporated on March 4, 1837 with a birthday party that day at the Chicago History Museum (1601 North Clark Street) the museum where the city’s history comes alive.
There is free admission to the museum for Illinois residents during the celebration, 12 noon to 5pm, and the North and Clark Café, located in the museum lobby, will sell a hot dog for $1.75 in honor of Chicago’s 175th birthday. (Chips and Fries are available for an extra cost.)
Returning for the third year is Chicago’s Bleeding Heart Bakery whose owners and bakers, Vinnie and Michelle Garcia, will design a special commemorative cake highlighting all that is special about Chicago. Vinnie and Michelle will create this cake as well as another one to be served at the party, at their Lakeview bakery, located at 1351 W. Belmont. Party attendees will receive a free piece of cake, while servings last.
The Bleeding Heart Bakery opened in 2005 and was the first Certified Organic retail bakery in the United States. Owners Vinnie and Michelle Garcia strive to use local, organic and sustainable ingredients as they create what they call punk rock pastry.
The City birthday celebration will again feature readings from children who have participated in an essay contest about the city’s first settler and founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. The contest is presented in partnership with the Friends of DuSable.
DuSable was born at Saint-Marc in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue, present-day Haiti, to Suzanna and a French pirate named Pointe du Sable who served on the Black Sea Gull.
Mingling with guests at the party will be three of Chicago’s noted former citizens as actors playing Jane Adams, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable and Bertha Palmer will share history of the city and these important historical figures from 12:30pm to 4:30pm.
The party will feature musical performances from The Tony De Rosario Trio and The Chicago Children’s Choir, while the American Indian Center will once again perform the native drum song of Happy Birthday.
Additional activities for children include the award-winning balloon entertainer Smarty Pants recreating Chicago sites and historical figures in balloons and kids can design and wear their own Chicago style birthday hat.
Following the brief program and beginning at 3:30pm, the Museum’s auditorium will host a 4-Star Panel discussion exploring Chicago’s identity from the perspective of fields such as architecture, food, literature, the arts and its neighborhoods.
The City of Chicago’s 175th birthday party is the kick-off event of the many celebrations of Chicago’s 175th Birthday year. Enjoy 175 Ways and 175 Days to Love Chicago. Visit www.ChooseChicago.com to find events, festivals and significant dates in Chicago’s history as the city celebrates its 175th birthday.
Chicago’s 175th birthday party is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum.
# # #
In November of 1836, a committee was formed to apply to the state legislature for a city charter. A charter was prepared by this committee and submitted to the people for approval at a mass meeting at the Saloon Building on Monday, January 23, 1837. After slight alterations, the charter was approved and sent to the legislature. There, after certain amendments, it was enacted into law on March 4, 1837. Thus, on this date, Chicago became a city, population of 4,170. William B. Ogden was chosen the first Mayor of Chicago; Isaac N. Arnold, clerk; and Hiram Pearsons, treasurer.
DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting and supporting Chicago’s arts and culture sector. This includes, but is not limited to: fostering the development of Chicago’s nonprofit arts sector, independent working artists, and for-profit arts businesses; presenting high-quality, free or low-fee cultural programs accessible to residents and visitors; and marketing the City’s cultural assets to local, regional, and global audiences. DCASE produces nearly 2,000 public programs, events and support services annually, generating millions in economic benefits for the City of Chicago.
CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum can be reached by CTA buses 11, 22, 36, 72, 73, 151, and 156. Parking is conveniently located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets (enter on Stockton Drive). Admission to the Museum is $14 adults with audio tour, $12 seniors/students with audio tour, free for children 12 years and younger. Please call 312.642.4600 or visit us at www.chicagohistory.org. The Chicago History Museum is affiliated with the Chicago Historical Society and acknowledges the Chicago Park District’s generous support of all the Museum’s activities.