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The Great Chicago Fire Sale

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Nov 29, 2004 1:58PM

Vintage Playboy Bunny Costume - Photo: APLast time Chicagoist was strapped for cash we looked around us and tried to figure out what we could sell for cash.. and that's just what the city is doing. Facing a great big arts and culture budget deficit, Chicago is turning to eBay to auction off city-related events and emmorabilia.

Among the items for sale -

» Dumping green dye into the river on St. Patrick's Day
» A walk-on role in "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre
» Behind the scenes tours of Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo and historic firehouses
» Architectural drawings of the Millennium Park band shell
» A decommissioned city parking meter
» A 1960s vintage Playboy Bunny costume (one sold for $14,340 at Christie's last year!)
» A dinner party for 12 anywhere in the country prepared by Art Smith, Oprah's chef
» A painting by Ed Paschke (he just died so the value on this probably just spiked)
» Dinner and hotel packages
» An original Chicago Theater sign
» An official resolution absolving Mrs. O'Leary's cow from starting the fire of 1871

The auction runs from December 2-16 and a preview of all of the auction items (300+) with full descriptions can be seen at The Great Chicago Fire Sale website. Also, new items will be added daily through December 16th.

A city worker said that they're not only raising funds for the arts but they're also "helping people all over the world get a sense of what Chicago is about."

The Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs is hoping to raise about $200,000 - 250,000 from the auction. And while we're not the first city to auction off stuff on eBay, we're the first to auction city-related items for specific programs. Most cities just try to get rid of surplus office furniture and crap they have laying around.. much like Chicagoist does when we're strapped!