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The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival was held on the Chicago River to celebrate the city's renewal after the 1871 fire.
Photograph: Max HermanThe inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival was held on the Chicago River to celebrate the city's renewal after the 1871 fire.

The Great Chicago Fire Festival moves to Northerly Island

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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Last year, the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival fizzled when organizers were unable to set fire to the structures floating down the Chicago River that served as the event's centerpiece. This year, the troubled event is getting a second chance, accompanied by a change in venue that will move the festivities away from the river and onto dry land.

The closing ceremony for the 2015 event will take place at Northerly Island on September 26, allowing attendees to join a celebration of Chicago's people, history and culture. Organized by Redmoon, the festival will include a neighborhood bazaar, performance stages, food vendors and more. Of course, the evening will be capped off with a burning building (hopefully it will be extra flammable) and a fireworks display.

Before the sparks begin flying, the Great Chicago Fire Festival gets started on July 9 at a kickoff event in La Villita Park, where Chicago artists like FM Supreme, Buya and DJ Fast$Mike will participate in interactive art workshops. On August 15, a similar event in Ping Tom Memorial Park will feature art workshops and a parade back to the Redmoon headquarters, where pieces created by Chicago youth will be unveiled. 

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