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Great Chicago Fire Festival

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A rendering of the Great Chicago Fire Festival procession

(click on image to enlarge)


Presented by Redmoon in partnership with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District, the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival introduces what will become an annual tradition celebrating the diversity of Chicago's great neighborhoods and the City's powerful spirit of renewal. It will take culminate on Saturday, October 4 with interactive activities and a fire spectacle that will place between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges in the heart of downtown.

Beginning at 3pm patrons are invited to a neighborhood bazaar with music performances begin at 5pm and then the Grand Spectacle begins at 8pm. Television and film actors Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, both stars of the hit NBC drama “Chicago Fire,” will ignite the festivities – literally – as they light one of 15 massive “Fire Cauldrons” that will be lowered from bridges to watercraft waiting on the Chicago River below. From there, an elaborate “Grand Spectacle” performance will unfold as the watercraft then ferry the flames out to three moored platforms, where giant “Fire Sculptures” will be set ablaze, transforming to reveal three different symbolic cores. Some 400 different performers and singers will participate in the event, which culminates with a choreographed fireworks display designed by Las Vegas-based company Pyrotechnico. The Great Chicago Fire Festival is completely free and no tickets are required.

Tens of thousands are expected to participate in this city-wide signature event that so genuinely reflects the city that it becomes a cultural and economic beacon for Chicagoans, the nation, and the world.




Great Chicago Fire Festival · Preview Event

Love Under Fire: The Story of Bertha and Potter Palmer

Tuesday, September 30, 6:30-8pm

Experience The Great Chicago Fire through a film showcasing the story of one of Chicago’s great families, Bertha Honoré and Potter Palmer. Their passion for one another and the city they loved would inspire Chicago to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of The Great Chicago Fire. Immediately followed by a panel discussion with Executive Producer Lori McGunn, Director Amelia Dellos and notable Chicago historians. (Great Chicago Fire Festival produced by Redmoon in partnership with the City of Chicago is October 4, on the Chicago River. For details visit

Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North


Great Chicago Fire Festival Kick-Off

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12 noon

Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

The Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and Redmoon present the Great Chicago Fire Festival Kick-Off, an interactive event featuring live music by Redmoon's original spectacle contraption, The Mobile DJ Unit, a cross between a Segway, a classic car, and a DJ booth, an underground Chicago DJ mixes live tunes while an onboard bubble machine leaves fields of delicate bubbles in hie wake. Also present are eight interactive Great Chicago Fire Festival Writing Kiosks. Participants can write themselves a short letter prompted by the two Great Chicago Fire Festival mission prompts "I overcome..." and "I celebrate...", The letters will be included as a part of the Great Chicago Fire Festival performance on Oct 4th and ceremonially burned as a part of the Grand Spectacle acknowledging the fire of 1871 and the rebirth of our city.




October 4, 2014




Spectacle from 8-9 pm, Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 pm




Chicago River and City-wide








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