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Chicago Is Getting A Major Party On A Barge In Lake Michigan Next Month

By Austin Brown in News on May 4, 2016 5:04PM

Rendering via America's Cup

I've never been to the America's Cup World Series, because 1. I do not own a boat and 2. I don't quite get the appeal of watching more athletic people than me race each other in theirs. But over a hundred years can't be wrong, and the longtime boat race known as "Formula One on water" is finally coming to the Second City.

On June 11 and 12, Chicago will host the competition for the first time, and to commemorate the occasion, the America's Cup organization has also planned a "floating party" called the Boaters' Bash, to go on during the races. Boaters who want to view the event from their own boats will be able to bring them out to the barge and enjoy the festivities there. Think: the Playpen, but possibly more purposeful. This party is also not to be confused with plans for yet another floating party barge proposed by Breakwater Chicago.

The barge will be placed just off the shore of Monroe Harbor, not far from the race course itself to give attendees the best view possible. Drinks will be served to attendees, and local Chicagoan DJ Rock City will be manning the turntables for the party, organizers told Chicagoist. And worry not about bringing a television or radio—a massive jumbotron on the barge itself will be following the race and broadcasting commentary throughout.

Dan Lobring, a media representative for America's Cup, emphasized the historic nature of the event as grounds for the celebration. This will be "the first time America’s Cup racing is happening on fresh water in 165 years," said Lobring, "so the event organizers want to embrace sailing fans, sports fans, and all Chicagoans by throwing a great party all weekend long, on and off the water." Okay then.

Passes are $50 per boat per day at any Chicago Harbors office, but admission is free for boaters who bought the America’s Cup World Series Chicago Boaters Pass. Just make sure you, you know, own a boat. There will be plenty of on-land activities around the competition, but to get to this event you'll need your own marine transportation, not to mention a place to go if the barge gets a little cramped.