Chicago’s midnight fireworks display will again light up the skies at the end of 2023 once again launching from several different barges and bridges along the Chicago River. Last year’s show was reported to be the biggest to date stretching over 1.5 miles and this year the Merchandise Mart is upping its game too adding to the immense New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Holding the title of the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, the Mart is this year celebrating its 5th anniversary of Art on the Mart and will conclude its winter schedule on Saturday, December 30.
The following day, however, the 2.5-acre river façade will put on one more sensational show wrapping up the year with a collection of greatest hits from the last five years counting down to the astounding annual firework extravaganza at midnight.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m., shows will light up the Merchandise Mart until a countdown display kicks in at 11:55 p.m. Fireworks will then coincide with Navy Pier’s lakefront display before a special New Year message designed by Firebelly appears on the Mart at 12:15 a.m. on January 1, 2024.
The best viewing spots along the Chicago River are on Upper Wacker Drive from McClurg Court to Franklin Street. The Wabash and Michigan Avenue bridges will also be open throughout the event but the Columbus Drive bridge and bridges at Franklin, LaSalle, Clark, and Dearborn streets, will be closed between 11:45 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.
“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,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “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.”
Art on the Mart’s New Year’s Eve projections will include:
- Jonas Denzel | explore
- Nick Cave | Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop (12:15)
- Derrick Adams | Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons (10:00)
- Charles Atlas | The Geometry of Thought (8:30)
- Wills Glasspiegel and Brandon Calhoun | Footnotes (6:39)
- Jan Tichy | Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago (10:00)
- Jason Salavon | Homage in Between (Chicago Art, 20th Century) (5:35)
- Spectralina | Woven (5:31)
- Yuge Zhou | Love Letters (10:00)
- Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project | The Big Bang: Movement Theory + the Black Dancing Body (15:00)
More information can be found at artonthemart.com.
[Featured image from Art on the Mart]