On May 1, 1893, the eyes of the world were on Chicago and more specifically Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance.
The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition opened for visitors and before it ended six months later at least 27.5 million visitors had come from all over the world to see the magnificent splendor that became known as “The White City”
Over 200 buildings, one large enough to contain 23 football fields were spread over 600 acres between Jackson Park and The Midway Plaisance. Every state and territory in the union was represented as well as 51 nations and 39 colonies from around the world. The world got its first ride in George Ferris’s wheel which rose an impressive 256 feet and took up to 1,500 riders for an hour long ride. It was once estimated that it would take a person over two weeks and over 200 miles of walking in order to simply lay eyes on all the spectacular exhibits in the fields of science, architecture, art, education, agriculture, horticulture, manufacturing, religion, anthropology, music, and many others. All of this was to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the “New World” and only a little over 20 years since the Great Fire had burned the City of Chicago to the ground!
Jackson Park is still a vibrant place for events and this coming Saturday, May 6, 2017, there are plenty of free things going on.
International Migratory Bird Day
From 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Jackson Park celebrates International Migratory Bird Day where free family activities include nature/bird walks, educational programs, and projects such as building your own birdhouse or bird feeder. All of this starts from Bobolink Meadow adjacent to the parking lot for the Jackson Park Driving Range which is just west of Lake Shore Drive on Hayes Drive.
Visit the website for the Jackson Park Advisory Council for more details!
Free Historic Walking Tour of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition “White City”
From 11 am to 1 pm enjoy a free walking tour of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The tours are provided by Friends of The White City in cooperation with the Jackson Park Advisory Council. Tours start at the east side of the Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge immediately south of the Museum of Science and Industry. The start location can be reached by a lovely walk through Bobolink Meadow if you are parked in the Driving Range parking lot or you can park directly in the Park District Lot south of the Museum.
For more details, directions and to register free visit the tour site of Friends of The White City.
Free Jane’s Walk Flashlight Tour of Jackson Park
From 8:45 pm to 10:30 pm the more adventurous can take a free flashlight walking tour of historic Jackson Park. (Bring your own flashlight!) Tours will start at the Statue of the Republic “Golden Lady”on Hayes Drive with parking at the Hayes Drive Lot directly across the street and north of Jackson Park’s Cecil Partee Golf Course. The tours are led by historians Julia Bachrach, Tim Samuelson and Ray Johnson and ecologist Lauren Umek and center around the spectacular nature and history of Jackson Park.
For more detailed information and to register for the tour visit the Chicago Park District Jane’s Walk Event Page.
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