Mayor Brandon Johnson and City of Chicago Announce New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular on Chicago Riverwalk
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“Best of ART on THE MART” Presentation Will Precede the Fireworks Display
Fireworks Show Will Ring in New Year, Launched from Six Downtown Bridges from Franklin St. to Columbus Dr.
CHICAGO—Mayor Brandon Johnson and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced today the return of the New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular on the Chicago River to ring in 2024. In partnership with ART on THE MART, the New Year’s Eve celebrations will include a custom projection highlighting ART on THE MART’s five years of programming, beginning Sunday, Dec. 31, at 7:30pm. The evening will culminate with a fireworks display from six bridges along the river beginning at midnight, coinciding with the grand Navy Pier fireworks display on the lakefront.
“Chicagoans have the unique ability to find hope and resilience in each day and New Year’s Eve is the foundation of beginning a new year with the same unbridled optimism,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “As an icon of our city’s landscape, the Chicago River is what unites our town and we are excited to bring everyone together in a big way, continuing traditions and beginning new ones."
The fireworks show can be best viewed along the Chicago River from Upper Wacker Drive from McClurg Court to Franklin Street. Bridge closures will be in place at Franklin Street, LaSalle Street, Clark Street, Dearborn Street, State Street and Columbus Drive beginning Sunday, Dec. 31, from 11:45pm until 12:15am. The Wabash and Michigan Avenue bridges will remain open. Public transportation is recommended for the best experience. ART on THE MART, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2023, will present a new program of the “Best of ART on THE MART,” featuring works from the public art series’ past five years, including projections (in order below) by the following renowned artists and performers:
- Jonas Denzel | explore
- Nick Cave | Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop
- Derrick Adams | Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons
- Charles Atlas | The Geometry of Thought
- Wills Glasspiegel and Brandon Calhoun | Footnotes
- Jan Tichy | Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago
- Jason Salavon | Homage in Between (Chicago Art, 20th Century)
- Spectralina | Woven
- Yuge Zhou | Love Letters
- Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project | The Big Bang: Movement Theory + the Black Dancing Body
The Riverwalk will be closed beginning at 11pm, with only a section from Wells Street to Orleans Street open until 12:15am for spectators to enjoy the full audio/visual projection program for the ART on THE MART show. Projections will begin at 7:30pm and repeat until 11:55pm before displaying a countdown to the New Year. Following the fireworks, a special New Year message will be displayed until 12:15am. Note: The Chicago River will be closed to boat traffic from Franklin to Columbus from 11:30pm to 12:15am.
Revelers are also invited to take in Navy Pier’s nationally award-winning fireworks show, presented by Flyover, an immersive flying journey opening at Navy Pier this spring. The free show starts with a countdown to midnight, followed by 10-minute celebratory fireworks display featuring 100,000 pyrotechnics across Lake Michigan, with the iconic Chicago skyline as the breathtaking backdrop. “The New Year's Eve Fireworks Show not only serves as a vibrant celebration but also stands as a testament to Navy Pier's dedication to providing free, family-friendly programming year-round,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is reminding everyone to be safe and vigilant especially in crowds and report suspicious activity and suspicious packages to 9-1-1. OEMC will monitor all citywide activities, traffic, and weather conditions and coordinate public safety resources with the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and City of Chicago infrastructure departments. Traffic Control Aides (TCAs) will be on hand to direct flow and impacts from heavy traffic. Public transportation is encouraged. For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit TransitChicago.com or call 312-836-7000 from any area code/1-888-YOUR-I CTA. To receive weather, traffic and emergency alerts from OEMC, download the Chicago OEMC App at Chicago.gov/OEMC (OEMC).
Suspicious Activity: If you See Something Say Something. The city reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city—to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city—serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit Chicago.gov/DCASE and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.
ART on THE MART
ART on THE MART, presented in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), is an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, spanning over 2.5 acres of THE MART along the city’s Riverwalk. Founded in 2018, ART on THE MART is a platform for cutting-edge moving image work by renowned local, national and international interdisciplinary artists. Under the direction of Cynthia Noble, the program has commissioned work by celebrated names like Nick Cave, Barbara Kruger and Charles Atlas, along with projections by Chicago-based artists and local organizations that elevate voices and artists from underrepresented communities.
The program is a result of a 30-year commitment by THE MART owner Vornado Realty Trust, in close collaboration with the City of Chicago, with a shared goal to provide public access to innovative contemporary digital art for thousands of visitors traversing the Chicago Riverwalk each day. The project marks the first time a projection of its size and scope is completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging. The permanent projection system illuminates THE MART with 34 state-of-the-art projectors totaling almost one million lumens. The program content rotates seasonally and is selected with the assistance and expertise of the Curatorial Advisory Board, along with the support of a curator that was appointed in 2023.
For more information, visit artonthemart.com or follow us on social media:
THE MART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in business, technology, culture, art, media and more. As the largest privately owned commercial building in the United States, it is also one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, THE MART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and design forward showrooms, THE MART serves as the home to Chicago's most creative and technologically innovative companies including Motorola Mobility, 1871, PayPal and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies ConAgra Brands, Allstate, Medline Industries, Beam Suntory and Grainger. For more information, visit themart.com.
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