Upcoming Downtown Events

Celebrate the growth and momentum of The Wabash Lights at the projects first fundraising event, LIGHTBASH. It will be an unforgettable night where Chicagos creative, tech, philanthropic, and civic worlds come together to celebrate the vibrant community that has grown up around this public arts movement. Live DJs, dancing, interactive light activations, glass-blowing demonstrations, heavy hors doeuvres, open cocktail bar featuring Moet Hennessy and Revolution Brewing, raffle prizes, silent auction, and spectacular surprises. 6:00-9:00 p.m., Ignite Glass Studio, 401 North Armour Street. Map. More info.
Friday – Gala
Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation’s 14th Annual Illumination Gala. The black-tie gala gathers more than 500 supporters for a celebration of the Loop’s rich cultural amenities and its continued transformation due to the work of CLA Foundation and its supporters. An evening of food, drink, and live entertainment. Funds raised support CLA projects and programs, including ACTIVATE, public art initiatives, The Gateway, and more. 6:30-11:00 p.m., Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street. Tickets: $375. Map. More info.
One of Chicago’s most unique eating experiences is back – McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum’s Bridge Lift Breakfast. Noshers can view the raising and lowering of the DuSable Bridge (Michigan Avenue) from inside the Gear Room of the museum located in the five-story, 98-year-old bridge tower while enjoying a light breakfast of bagels, muffins, pastries, coffee, and fruit by Corner Bakery Café. Saturday Bridge Lift Breakfasts are scheduled for September 22, September 29, October 6, October 20, and October 27. Call the museum at 312-977-0227 or email JColes@chicagoriver.org to make a reservation. Bridge Lift Breakfasts are $15 per person. Saturday lifts begin around 9 a.m. Map. More info.
Free paper shredding, electronics recycling, and medication takeback – provided by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins. 9:00 a.m. to noon, 1400 North Ashland Avenue, in the parking lot behind the alderman’s office. Enter from Blackhawk Street. Limit three boxes of paper shredding per household. Map. More info.
September 26
City Club of Chicago presents Jim Dodge, candidate for Illinois Treasurer. A rare combination of private sector executive with decades of elected public service. In 1989, at age 26, Jim became the youngest elected official in Orland Park history when he defeated a 14-year Democrat incumbent village clerk who all local pundits thought was unbeatable. As a member of the Orland Park Board of Trustees, he has been a leader in one of the fastest growing and economically vibrant communities in Illinois. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
September 28
Get your day off to a great start when Shoreline Sightseeing and 105F Yoga Studio team up for Sunrise Yoga, a yoga class on the upper deck of a Shoreline boat overlooking the Chicago River. The energizing class will be led by an instructor from 105F Yoga, one of Chicago’s premiere yoga studios. 8:15-9:15 a.m., Shoreline’s dock at the northeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, 401 North Michigan Avenue. Map. More info.
September 28 – Performance
Leading a powerhouse quartet on saxophone, Ari Brown presents an evening of music in tribute to Chicago jazz great Muhal Richard Abrams. The quartet includes Yosef Ben Israel on bass, Avreeyl Ra on drums, and Kenny Cooper on trumpet. 5:30-8:00 p.m., Terrace at Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. In case of rain, event takes place inside the MCA’s Kovler Atrium. Cost: Free for Illinois residents. Map. More info.
September 29
Inaugural program of Art on theMART, featuring work by four renowned contemporary artists, projected across 2.5 acres of theMART’s exterior river-facing facade, creating the longest-running and largest digital art projection in the world. Beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m., Wacker Drive will be closed to traffic between Wells and Orleans Streets to enable public viewing of the projections. The program will begin after dusk, around 7:15 p.m., running for approximately 35 minutes and culminating in a one-minute pyrotechnic display. Map. More info.
September 29 – Exhibition Opening
Museum of Contemporary Art presents Italian-born, London-based Enrico David, who has distinguished himself as one of the most original and fascinating artists working today. Using a wide range of media, David’s imagery revolves around the human figure and its many states of being, creating an encyclopaedic yet extremely personal accounting for the human form, from fragile and vulnerable to grotesque, tortured, and ecstatic. Gradations of Slow Release runs from September 29, 2018, through March 10, 2019. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
September 30
Turn it up! A new soundtrack provides the playlist for the 2018 Grand Cru presented by UnitedHealthcare and Bon Appetit. Guests will experience samplings of dramatic cuisine and unforgettable pours of elite wines from around the world. This year’s exclusive showcase includes an impressive lineup of chefs curated by first-time co-hosts Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges. 2:00-4:00 p.m., Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 East Randolph Street. Tickets: $205 per person. Also requires general admission ticket to Chicago Gourmet. Must be at least 21. Map. More info.
September 29-30
Sayonara, summer! Randolph Street Market wraps up its summer outdoor series with a Fall Fashion & Home Preview celebration. Located in one of Chicago’s most happening neighborhoods, this beloved market offers locals and visitors with an endless array of smartly priced antique, vintage, and modern goods from over 300 vendors, creating the perfect one-stop-shop for all your autumnal essentials. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 1341 West Randolph Street. Admission: $12. Free for kids under 12. Map. More info.
September 30
Annual Beer, Brats and Boats Oktoberfest celebration and cruise, presented by Shoreline Sightseeing and Paulina Market. The evening will feature a classic German dinner and selection of Oktoberfest brews, including a free drink with souvenir beer stein. Enthusiastic German-themed singing and dancing with Paloma Band, dressed in their traditional Oktoberfest finest. The two-hour cruise on Chicago’s waterways departs Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $59. Must be 21. Map. More info.
October 1 – Panel Discussion
City Club of Chicago presents Crisis in the Catholic Church, moderated by Anne Burke, member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s First Judicial District. With former federal prosecutor Robert Bennett and Kathleen McChesney, who has held leadership positions in the FBI, United States Catholic Bishops Conference, and The Walt Disney Company. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 2
City Club of Chicago presents Darlene Senger, candidate for Illinois Comptroller. Senger is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Previously, on the Naperville City Council, she worked to reduce property tax rates, improve the city’s infrastructure, and enhance the community’s public safety network. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 5
Hard cider is one of fall’s most delectable beverages and Shoreline Sightseeing returns with their guest cider brewers for its annual Hard Cider Tasting Cruise. The evening features cider experts from around the Midwest who will provide background on the characteristics of each hard cider sampling. Samples will accompany custom-paired appetizers designed to bring out the distinct flavor of the brews. Guests will also enjoy live music, full beverage service, and dramatic, nighttime views of Chicago’s world-famous skyline on a relaxing 90-minute river cruise. Departs from Shoreline’s dock at Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park at 7:30 p.m., returning at 9:00 p.m. Tickets: $49. All passengers must be 21. Map. More info.
October 6 – Performance
Lyric Opera of Chicago launches its 2018/2019 season with a new production of Puccini’s captivating and tragic love story La boheme. One of the most popular – and most performed – operas in the world, La boheme inspired the hit musical Rent and follows six relatable young-adult Bohemians experiencing the highs and lows of 1830s Paris. Opens October 6 and runs for eleven performances. 6:30 p.m. Lyric Opera House, 20 North Wacker Drive. Tickets start at $89. Map. More info.
October 3-7 – Performance
Museum of Contemporary Art presents Unwanted, a powerful testimonial of female strength by Rwandan performance artist Dorothée Munyaneza that draws from stories told to her by women who are survivors of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. Munyaneza, who fled Rwanda at the age of 12 with her mother, traveled on a commemorative journey back to her homeland to uncover stories, emotions, and memories of the tragedy. 7:30 p.m., October 3-6. 2:00 p.m., October 7. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago Avenue. Map. More info.
October 9
City Club of Chicago presents Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Superintendent from 2011 to 2015, overseeing a $1.4 billion budget and 13,000 sworn and civilian employees. Under McCarthy’s leadership, Chicago saw four straight years of reduction in overall crime and the fewest violent crime incidents since the 1960s. Through policy and training efforts, he reduced police related shootings by 70 percent and police complaints by 50 percent. 7:30 a.m. reception, 8:00 a.m. breakfast. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 15
City Club of Chicago presents Negotiating the Path of Chicago’s Financial Future with Paul Vallas, a nationally recognized education and finance expert who has served the public interest for four decades. He currently serves as the founding CEO of the School Construction Fund, a new national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting K-12 schools finance. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. lunch. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 16
City Club of Chicago presents Going ON to 2050 – The New Comprehensive plan for Chicagoland, with Joseph Szabo, executive director of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. CMAP and its partners are developing a new comprehensive regional plan to help the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
October 23
City Club of Chicago presents Lori Lightfoot, former federal prosecutor and President of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018. As chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Accountability, she and her colleagues issued a frank and powerful report revealing systemic problems within the Chicago Police Department and calling for a significant overhaul of Chicago’s police accountability infrastructure and reinvestment in training and other areas. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.
Got an event coming up in downtown Chicago? We want to hear about it. Send information to events@loopnorth.com. Please include date, time, location, cost, and a URL for more info.

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