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Photos: This Year's Great Chicago Fire Fest Lives Up To The Hype

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 28, 2015 3:30PM

Last year's inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival was famously a bit of a dud.

Rain and the river kept the event from every truly catching fire. This year's edition, crafted by Redmoon Theater in partnership with the City of Chicago and numerous other community and cultural partners, was far more successful.

The festival took place on Saturday in its new location of Northerly Island, and perfect weather and clear skies set the proceedings up to be enjoyable for attendees of all ages. A non-stop series of acts—musical, theatrical and dance-based—overlapped with each other, ensuring the crowds never wanted for some sort of entertainment. Breakdance battles took place, freestyle hip-hop melded with opera, and both actors and members of the community all contributed to taking part in the overall spectacle.

A number of neighborhood-related installations also dotted the grounds, as they did last year, underscoring the event's community-building ethos.

It also didn't hurt that Northerly Island's recent renovations and unveiling as a new park for citizens to enjoy offered another layer to the festivities as participants roamed the new fields, and explored the lakefront's newly bolstered outcroppings.

The centerpiece of the event was a two-story house constructed on the grounds, destined to provide the great and fiery spectacle that would act as the cap on the evening's party. Its inner and outer walls were lined with handwritten notes on both paper and wood with statements beginning with “I Celebrate” and “I Overcome," with the thought that these personal reflections would ceremoniously burn, providing the evening with an emotional finale as well as a physical one.