Memorial Day weekend is here! It's the official start of summer in Chicago, and with it comes all of the great family-friendly events, activities, and festivals Chicagoans live for throughout the rest of the year.
Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five multicultural events for families in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend - Friday, May 23, Saturday, May 24, Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26:
1. A Celebration of Yemanjà
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 East 56th Place (Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood)
Friday, May 23, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
On Friday, the Dusable Museum will celebrate Yemanjà, who is known throughout the Diaspora as "the goddess of fresh water lakes." Yemanjà is considered to be "the essence of womanhood and the protector of children." The celebration features the carnival tradition of Bahia Brazil, which expresses African identify through singing, drumming, and dancing. It also will include storytelling, a sampling of Brazilian cuisine, and a "positive wishes" balloon release. The event ends with a parade from the DuSable Museum to the Washington Park lagoon.
Do your kids dream about being great martial arts warriors like mine do? If so, you'll want to check out Cirque Shanghai's ninth summer season at Navy Pier. This year, the production is called Cirque Shanghai: Warriors. It combines "awe-inspiring acrobats with the martial prowess of Chinese Kung Fun and Wu Shut masters." The acts featured in Cirque Shanghai: Warriors include The Kinetic Poles, Water Meteor, Pageant of Arms, Wheel of Destiny, and Imperial Thunder. Cirque Shanghai: Warriors opens at Navy Pier on Friday where it will wow audiences all summer long. The show schedule is available online.
3. Asian Pacific Heritage Month Celebration: Art Walk on Broadway
Broadway St. from Wilson Ave. to Argyle St. (Chicago's Uptown neighborhood)
Now through the end of the month
Just a few days remain to check out art from featured Asian Pacific American artists that's on display in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month, and to celebrate, local Uptown businesses and vacant storefronts have been featuring a diverse selection of art, which includes everything from oil paintings to unique installations. Maps are available at the Bridgeview Bank Building located at 4753 N. Broadway St.
For information on restaurants, bakeries and shops to visit in the area, check out the Raising World Citizens guide to Chicago's "Little Saigon" neighborhood.
4. Chicago's Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony
State St. from Lake St. to Van Buren St. (Chicago's Loop neighborhood)
Saturday, May 24 at 12 pm
This holiday weekend, we honor the men and women who have so bravely served to defend our country. On Saturday, the City of Chicago will hold a wreath laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame at Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets) at 11 am. The ceremony will be followed by Chicago's Memorial Day Parade at noon. The parade kicks off at the intersection of State and Lake Streets and then heads south towards Van Buren Street. It is considered to be one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the U.S.
One of the best ways to see Chicago is on bike. And, this weekend, riders have the unique opportunity to do so while riding up and down Lake Shore Drive. Yes, on Sunday, Lake Shore Drive will be closed cars, allowing bikers to rule the road for nearly five hours. Bike the Drive offers bikers a scenic, lakefront course that extends from Bryn Mawr Ave. to the north to 57th St. to the south. Riders can stop at three designated rest stops to relax, enjoy the view, and explore the area. A post-ride festival will be held at Butler Field near the Bike the Drive's central rest stop. Information on how to register for the event is available online.
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