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Millennium Park Just In Time For Millennium

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 16, 2004 5:40PM

Cloud Gate: Photo, Millennium Park wsMillennium Park is finally opening, late and over budget as all good things are. Now that we’re a few years into this millennium, we’re probably better able to enjoy its futuristic features. But we don’t want to be grouchy: we’re actually really excited not only for this weekend’s events but for the park in general.
Today kicks off the three-day opening celebration with music, dancing, and a lantern installation. From 5-7:30, check out the “polka action, ‘gypsy swing’ (Ed: no idea), stilt walkers, a magician/juggler,” etc. wandering the park. At 7:30, the real action starts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion—or the Gehry bandshell for the uninitiated. Carlos Kalmar will conduct the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus’s performance of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Copland. John Corigliano, whom we all remember from his days at composer-in-residence at the CSO, has composed Midsummer Fanfare for the occasion. At 10, the fun continues with an installation by the Red Moon Theater of lanterns, fire, and film, and the evening will wind down with more music back at the bandshell.
Saturday, park happenings start at the buttcrack of dawn. From 6:30-10 a.m., you can enjoy a drum circle, tai chi, yoga, and other trendy and pleasant fitness activities on the Great Lawn. From 12:30-3:30, get your ass rocked by Chicago On Parade, where over 20 Chicago music and dance ensembles will perform. The night ends on the Harris Theater’s roof, with eighth blackbird, Ira Glass, Chris Ware, and the Aluminum Group all performing.
Sunday cools things off a bit, but you can still catch a live taping of Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me. Music events will continue throughout the day. Feeling ambitious? See all the weekend's events here. The weather is supposed to be nice, so slap on some sunscreen and head downtown.