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Chi-Town Rising New Year's Party Returns After First-Year Hiccups

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 6, 2016 6:52PM

Chi-Town Rising

Chicago finally made its entry into the New Year’s Eve sweepstakes last year with Chi-Town Rising, and the results were, well, a little bit mixed. Bait-and-switch pricing and questions about turnout had the prospect of a sophomore edition up in the air. But even with its problems (and also because of them) Chi-Town Rising was a spectacle. And spectacles get sequels. The NYE party will officially be back for a second go, organizers announced last week.

Last year, the celebration took plenty of flak after, having billed itself as free, it announced that some admission would cost between $119 and $150. With that presumably in mind, this year’s announcement spells out that at least two “viewing zones” will be free of charge. Those anxiety-ratcheting throngs of humanity zones will allow view of “video entertainment” throughout the evening plus fireworks and a glimpse at our own flyover-country version of the dropping of the ball: the ascension of the Rising Star along the Hyatt.

This year, there will also be indoor, ticketed venues plus a new 5K marathon run on New Year’s Eve morning—because nothing says "NYE party" like an exhausting cardio workout.

Last year's Rising drew 90,000 live attendees, according to Chi-Town Rising. It was hosted by Saved By the Bell actor—The Max diner—Mario Lopez. No word yet on who will lead us through "Auld Lang Syne" this time around.