Memorial Day is a holiday that honors the men and women in our nation’s armed forces who have given their lives in defense of our country. While the focus of the holiday works to remember fallen soldiers, it also celebrates their lives and marks the beginning of summer in Chicago. There will inevitably be countless backyard barbecues during Memorial Day weekend but there are also a number of coordinated events strewn about the city. Whether you’re looking to attend a ceremony or just celebrate the warm weather, there are some great Memorial Day Celebrations In Chicago to make the most of the holiday.
Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Fest 2014
6119 W. 147th St.
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Dates: May 23-26, 2014
This Memorial weekend celebration is being held May 23, 24, 25 and 26. Adult tickets range from $10 to $15, seniors and children ages four to 12 are $12 and all children under four are free. Admission includes all stages, events, shows, parking and unlimited free carnival rides. This is an indoor/outdoor event that includes new and traditional Irish music, dancing, food and refreshments. Children will love the magicians, puppets, jugglers and clowns. Because there are a number of days to choose from, your family will still be able to attend their local parade, but include a festival to celebrate the changing season as well.
The Randolph Street Market Festival
1340 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Dates: May 24-25, 2014
The Randolph Street Market Festival will be held on May 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located at the Beaux Arts Plumbers Hall, this Memorial Day weekend event is both indoors and outdoors to ensure fun shopping come rain or shine. Admission price ranges from $8 to $10, with students and seniors paying a discounted price of $5. With so many markets within the same event, this can be a fun way to take your antique shopping to the next level. Whether you’re looking for some rustic charm or a fun new project, some outdoor shopping can be a great way to celebrate your Memorial Day weekend.
MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive
Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Date: May 25, 2014
On May 25, 2014, this biking event helps to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with some fun outdoor fitness for a good cause. Bicycles take over Lake Shore Drive for your choice of either a 15- or 30-mile non-competitive ride. The course begins between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. with stops at Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive, Bryn Mawr rest stop, Museum of Science & Industry rest stop, Fullerton checkpoint and Oakwood checkpoint. Snacks and water are provided at three rest stops and the post-ride festival at Butler Field features live music, contests and all-you-can-eat pancakes. Check out the website for registration information.
Lake Zurich’s Memorial Day Parade
51 Lions Drive
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Date: May 25, 2014
This annual parade will be held on May 25, 2014, with a start time of 10 a.m. The parade begins at the Lake Zurich American Legion Hall and ends at the Veterans Memorial on Mohawk Trail. This is a free event that celebrates fallen soldiers and local veterans, within an hour’s drive from the city. Viewers can expect to see the marching band members, firemen, policemen, EMS personnel, veterans and much more. A ceremony honoring POW/MIA’s will be held by the VFW, giving a great mix of remembrance and celebration to this meaningful holiday.
Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade
State St. from Lake St. to Van Buren St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Date: May 24, 2014
This annual event is in the heart of downtown Chicago and is considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades throughout the U.S. It will be held May 24, 2014 and is a free event for all to witness. The Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at Dearborn Street and Washington Street at the Daley Plaza. The parade starts at noon and heads south on State Street. Check out the website for information on public transportation routes.
Related: The History Of Memorial Day
Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.