A float party with a purpose!
Summer is always a glorious time in Chicagoland. Our calendars are marked with an array of our favorite annual events and it feels like every weekend something special is taking place. From exhilarating events like the Chicago Air and Water Show and festivals like Lollapalooza to charitable traditions like the Chicago Ducky Derby, the summer months are packed with all kinds of occasions.
This weekend, a new event hopes to inaugurate itself into Chicago folklore. Instead of ducks, on Sunday people of Chicago will take to the Chicago River and float downstream themselves rain or shine from River Park in Lincoln Park to North Center’s Clark Park. Though at this event you can’t bet on a winner, it is also a charitable endeavor organized by Friends of the Chicago River, a nonprofit that since 1979, “has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people, plants and animals”.
Starting at 12:30 pm on Sunday, August 14, hundreds of participants will take to the river from the banks of River Park at 5100 N. Francisco Avenue and bring with them their own floaties and inflatable toys of all shapes and sizes.
People wishing to get involved must purchase a ticket starting at $45 by 10 pm tonight, the proceeds of which will go towards improving and protecting the Chicago River.
According to organizers, there will be an inflation station situated in River Park so participants can wait until the last minute to fully inflate their chosen vessels and parking will be available at Clark Park with shuttles operating between the finish and start points.
An after-float celebration will then take place in Clark Park from 3 pm until 5 pm featuring music and food trucks.
After being piloted in Skokie last year, this will be the first in-the-water event of its kind since swimming competitions were carried out in the Main Stem of the Chicago River in the early 20th century.
“When Friends of the Chicago River was founded in 1979, it would have been inconceivable to float down the river on inflatable chickens and giant unicorns, but not anymore,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]