Chicago’s summer fun is back: Outdoor events and activities reopen

Chicagoans are ready for summer fun, and after a pandemic hiatus, several events are finally back.

Even though temperatures were only in the 40s on Wednesday, Chicagoans were beaming with excitement after seeing a sign of summer boating along the Chicago River. The last four-masted schooner named “Windy”, along with several small sailboats made it to Lake Michigan and Navy Pier.

“We love it, it’s fantastic, Chicago, summer! And I can’t wait to go skiing next week!” joked Ben Wozniak, referring to the cold weather.

His wife, Vanessa Wozniak, added, “Summer? It’s really cold.”

Yes, Wednesday turned out to be a cold day. But people were still standing along the Chicago Riverwalk, snapping photos of the majestic schooner. And Mr. Wozniak summed up the sentiment well.

RELATED: Tall Ship Windy Makes Way for Summer Mooring at Navy Pier

“We spent two years confined to our homes and afraid to go anywhere and do anything. We’re extremely excited, we’re just going to explode with pleasure,” he said.

And there were lots of fun announcements on Wednesday, including the Chicago Summerdance schedule, which will be on June 18.

“It’s really beautiful to be together, and we know that will be the experience of people who come to SummerDance as well,” said SummerDance programmer John Rich. “It’s very emotional, but it’s also energetic, it’s about enthusiasm, seeing old friends and making new ones.”

The parades are back too! On Saturday, May 7, ABC 7’s Alan Krashesky is the Grand Marshal of the Polish Constitution Day Parade.

The Little Village Chamber of Commerce also announced Wednesday that the Mexican Independence Parade is back after a two-year hiatus. It’s happening Sunday, September 11 on 26th Street.

If you’re looking for a gig, Ravinia has a full season. Public tickets went on sale at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

“We had over 14,000 people on our website at 8:15 a.m. starting to buy tickets. We sold hundreds of thousands of tickets,” said Jeff Haydon, President and CEO of Ravinia Festival.

The Chicago Food Truck Festival returns to Daley Plaza every Friday starting May 20.

The Wozniaks perhaps speak for many of us.

“We are very excited, very excited,” Mr. Wozniak said.

Vanessa Wozniak added: “We want to go out, we want to do things, we want to breathe, we just want fresh air and lots of fun.”

Of course, there’s always baseball too. The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox played Wednesday night. The next Crosstown Classic will take place on Memorial Day weekend.

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