June 24, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Announces Launch of Chicago Riverwalk Programming with Events This Week and Weekend

Full Day of Music, Food and Family Activities Highlight the Grand Opening of the Riverwalk; Friday Evening Events Celebrate Downtown Worker Appreciation Day

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the newly transformed Chicago Riverwalk will feature several special events this week and weekend, June 26 – 28, along the waterfront stretch from LaSalle to Lake Shore Drive. Highlights include yoga, kids’ activities, live music, a boat run and bridge lifts, as well as multiple dining opportunities. In addition to the already announced lineup of vendors providing dining, live entertainment, biking, kayaking, cruises, boat rentals and water taxis this summer season, these events are exciting opportunities for residents and visitors to check out Chicago’s newest attraction.

“The Riverwalk is becoming a premier amenity for Chicago families and visitors,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With this new and exciting programming, the Riverwalk will offer entertainment and opportunities for all to learn, relax, have lunch or dinner, meet new friends and enjoy our great city from the Chicago River.”

The following schedule of events is set to begin today, June 24.

Schedule of Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 24

  • Friends of the River Wilderness Boat Tour http://www.chicagoriver.org/events/festive-evening-summer-cruise

Thursday June 25

  • Food and drink specials from various vendors with live music at O’Brien Riverwalk Café, 45 E. Riverwalk South, www.obriensrestaurant.com
  • 6 pm – 8 pm - Mercury's Canine Cruise benefitting The Anti-Cruelty Society www. anticruelty.com

Friday, June 26

  • Loop Office Party – Downtown Worker Appreciation Day -After work, meet your co-workers at the Chicago Riverwalk for food and drink specials at various vendors.
  • 4 pm - Hawaiian Luau Pig Roast with live music at Island Party Hut, 355 E. Riverwalk South, 312.600.0488, www.islandpartyhut.com

Saturday, June 27 – Family Day!

  • 6:30 am- 9:00 am - Fleet Feet Sports is providing a Hydration Station on the Riverwalk to promote The Magnificent Mile Women’s Half Marathon and 5K, September 6, 2015.Registration is open at www.themagnificentmile.com/race 
  • 9 am - Yoga by the East Bank Club at Island Party Hut, 355 E. Riverwalk South
  • 11 am – 6 pm - Family Activities
    • Face Painters
    • Balloon Artist
    • Caricature Artist
    • Arts + Crafts
  • 11 a.m.- 6p.m. Art and Activities with Chicago Loop Alliance at Wabash
    • Plant sale
    • Mural painting
    • Arts + Crafts
  • 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Family Music Performances at The Cove area between Dearborn St. and Clark St.
    • 12 – 12:45 pm - Wiggleworms from the Old Town School Folk Music
    • 1 – 1:30 pm - Million Dollar Quartet
    • 2 – 2:30 pm TBD
    • 3 - 3:45 pm TBD
    • 4 - 5 pm - The Ones
  • 1 pm - Boat Run & Bridge Lifts along the River (approximate start time)
  • 4 pm - Hawaiian Luau Pig Roast with live music at Island Party Hut, 355 E. Riverwalk South, 312.600.0488, www.islandpartyhut.com
  • Chicago Police and Fire Departments boats on view

Sunday, June 28

  • Urban Kayak River Clean-up event

In addition, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will offer weekly music series and programming, which will take place throughout the summer.

Located along the main branch of the Chicago River, the Chicago Riverwalk is being constructed as a continuous walkway and recreational amenity connecting the lakefront with the heart of downtown.

As part of the Mayor’s efforts to transform the river into a recreational frontier, phase two of the Chicago Riverwalk opened on Memorial Day Weekend. The newest section connects to the existing Riverwalk east of State Street to Lake Shore Drive. The three new sections are thematically named: The Marina (from State to Dearborn) featuring restaurants and area for boats to dock; The Cove (Dearborn to Clark) offering rentals and other amenities for kayakers; and the River Theater (Clark to LaSalle) connecting Upper Wacker to the River through a series of steps and a ramp designed to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers.

The final phase of the Riverwalk will begin this summer extending the River walk to Lake Street, with the following three themed sections: The Water Plaza (LaSalle to Wells); The Jetty (Wells to Franklin) and The Boardwalk (Franklin to Lake).

The six new sections of the Chicago Riverwalk are financed through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.

Mayor Emanuel’s goal of making the Chicago River the city’s next recreational frontier launched in 2011 with the construction of three new boathouses in neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as a fourth in the Bridgeport neighborhood that is set to be completed by 2016. The city’s commitment to investing in increased recreational usage of the river ways is also evident in the recent expansion of Ping Tom Memorial Park that opened along the Chicago River, north of 18th Street at the edge of the Chinatown and South Loop neighborhoods. The park reflects the City's pledge to river development with a $6 million investment in new parkland, riverwalk, native plantings, topography, new vistas, boat landings and a "disappearing" staircase into the water.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been working on the Chicago Riverwalk since East-West Wacker Drive reconstruction began in the 1990s. The roadway was reconfigured to accommodate the expansion of the riverwalk to promote a pedestrian walkway and activate the space as a public amenity. The East-West Wacker Project included utility build-outs for the future Riverwalk build-out for the entire length from Michigan to Lake Street. For more information on the Chicago Riverwalk, please visit www.chicagoriverwalk.us.