Chicago’s autumn attractions

By | Category: Travel news
Chicago reflected in the bean

Chicago’s skyline reflected in the “Bean”

In the early autumn, Chicago provides a number of events for the visitor so that when you have finished wondering at the architecture, stopped shopping on the Magnificent Mile or in the out-of-town centres, walked your legs off along the lakeside and supped both at he shows and the restaurants on offer then there is always spmething else to see.

In a few day’s time,  the 16th annual World Music Festival starts and runs until the 21st.  And it’s free. Then on the 18th and lasting just four days is Expo Chicago at Navy Pier, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art. 138 leading galleries representing 17 countries and 42 cities from around the world merge to provide film, media and new thinking in the arts. There will be talks and debates as well as the art to see.

One of the most appealing for visitors is the 7th Annual Chicago Gourmet. What’s different about this event is the sheer size of it. It showcases more than 150 of Chicago’s restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries. The event takes place in Millennium Park September 26-28, 2014. There is also a BBQ pavilion packed with barbecue restaurants from across the state, pit masters, artisan sauce makers, expert ribbers, and craft beer, a Global Street Food Market complete with vendors and performers, and a special Centennial pavilion featuring throwback Chicago fare to celebrate the Illinois Restaurant Association’s 100th anniversary.

From late September until the new year, the Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting what some might think is a rather unusual exhibition. This is the only place in the US where you can see David Bowie exhibition, expected to be the most attended show in the museum’s history. This exhibition presents the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie – one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time. More than 300 objects, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decades are brought together from the David Bowie Archive for the first time.

In 1871, the “Great Fire” demolished much of Chicago. This year there is a new festival – The Great Chicago Fire Festival – which follows various summer celebrations of the resurgence of the city. Right in the heart of the city on October 4th will be a free conclusion to those other events with a day of machines, fire and pyrotechnics.  As the tourist board puts it, “What Mardi Gras is to New Orleans and the Running of the Bulls is to Pamplona, the Great Chicago Fire Festival will become to the Windy City, making Chicago a major international destination each fall.”

Earlier I mentioned the architecture of the city which is one of the city’s great visitor draws. Over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of October, the city has an open house weekend where 150 buildings will be open to visitors. Called Open House Chicago, it gives visitors access to buildings that tell the stories of Chicago’s communities and cultures, and the chance to venture into diverse neighbourhoods for self-guided exploration.

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