Reporting Mai Martinez
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CHICAGO (CBS) – For many out celebrating on Monday, the unexpectedly cold temperatures made this Labor Day seem much more like an official end to summer.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, Montrose Beach is normally packed on Labor Day, but there was hardly a soul on the sand on Monday and grills were also few and far between, as temperatures were only in the low 60s throughout the Chicago area on Monday.
Humboldt Park resident Brian Slackert said Monday’s cool temperatures didn’t provide the best grilling weather he could have hoped for as he cooked up burgers and shish kebabs.
At least he had the heat of the grill. His wife and friends weren’t as lucky, but they didn’t want to cancel their cookout.
The Rico family also didn’t want to cancel their plans, but instead of eating on their picnic blankets, they were bundled up under them.
“It should be a little hotter,” Omar Rico said.
People out at the African Festival of the Arts in Washington Park were also caught off-guard by the cold.
“I didn’t realize it until I go here, so I went around and bought a scarf from one of the vendors here just to stay warm,” Chevonne Collins said.
New York resident Andrew Nichols said, “It’s freezing out here in comparison to New York.”
Even seasoned Chicagoans were breaking out the winter gear.
Reginald Ellis said he never imagined he’d have to dress in layers, including a hooded sweatshirt before the end of summer.
“No, not on Labor Day, not on Labor Day,” he said.
Leroy Slater said when he left the house Monday morning, “It was icebox cold, with wind chills feel like they was below zero.”
Some were proud of it.
Del Jones said, “In Chicago, weather changes in a minute, so you have to be prepared at all times.”
Others tried to hide it.
Mike Saunders was wearing fur-lined winter boots.
“This is called New York swagger,” he said. The problem is, Saunders isn’t from New York, but he did give a good explanation for his shorts and snow boot combo.
“It’s part of the Chicago weather, like it was 80 two days ago, and it’s 60 today, so you never know which one of the weather is going to show up, so I’m prepared for both,” he said.
Fall temperatures were expected to stick around for several days, with highs expected to be in the low- to mid-70s through Sunday.