Memorial Day Weekend & Unofficial Start of Summer – Finally!

Finally, Memorial Day Weekend has arrived here in Chicago and one can only hope that it brings us some summer temps!  After all, it is the “unofficial” start of summer, which has been a long time coming this year!!

The city of Chicago will be kicking off this Memorial Day Weekend with their annual Wreath Laying Ceremony & Memorial Day Parade this Saturday. This is in honor of all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country.  The wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Daley Plaza (Dearborn & Washington Streets) in The Loop at 11:00 a.m. and the Parade begins at 12:00 p.m. at State & Lake Streets south to Van Buren Street.  This year’s Grand Marshal is Lieutenant General Robert S. Walsh, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration!  Come out and show your support!!

Unofficially kicking off Chicago’s outdoor summer street fair season, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest is celebrating its 33rd year in the Lakeview neighborhood. The fest is on Sheffield Ave. from Belmont Ave. to Roscoe St. this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.).  Highlights of this music fest include the region’s top tribute bands, plenty of food and libations, as well as arts & crafts with artisans rolling out their newest handiwork creations!

The Greek & Mediterranean Wine Festival will be making its debut this Saturday and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) on Halsted Street between Van Buren & Jackson Streets in the West Loop neighborhood.  This festival features scores of European wines with ticketed afternoon wine samplings from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., tasty cuisine from the neighborhood’s iconic Greek restaurants, artisans and more!

Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood is the place to go for free, live, outdoor music performances at their Memorial Day Weekend at the Miller Lite Beer Garden.  From May through October, not only can guests enjoy views of Chicago’s lakefront and city skyline while listening to the hottest local bands, but they can also enjoy a large menu of beers, cocktails, frozen drinks, beer-soaked brats, burgers, hand-tossed pizzas and more!  Best of all, there’s no cover fee and all ages are welcome!!

But, that’s not all that’s happening at Navy Pier this weekend!  The AON Summer Fireworks kick off their bi-weekly firework shows on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day this Saturday at 9:15 p.m. The evening fireworks are synchronized to The Rolling Stones albums to coincide with Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones.  Why not arrive early and check out this major exhibit held in Festival Hall B?  It’s an incredible journey of the most influential rock ‘n roll band in the world!!

Finally, the MB Bike the Drive takes place on Sunday (5:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.), meeting up at Grant Park (Jackson St. & Columbus Dr.) in the Loop.  So, grab your bike, or rent one on-site, and enjoy almost 5 hours of car-free riding on the city’s crown jewel roadway – Lake Shore Drive!  What better way to celebrate the kickoff to another summer than on Lake Shore Drive with no traffic!!

Are You Ready for Summer?