Countdown on for the Eastland's 100th Anniversary

Countdown on for the Eastland's 100th Anniversary

According to my countdown clock, there are only 88 more days until the 100th anniversary commemoration. The three-day event has been planned in detail by the dedicated staff at the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. EDHS has announced the following schedule of events:


1 p.m. Public Ceremony  Attendees are invited to the new Chicago Riverwalk (the site where the Eastland capsized) to commemorate the thousands of people whose lives were affected by the Eastland Disaster. The ceremony is open to the public.


8:30 a.m. Families Chicago River Cruise (ticketed event) 

Attendees will enjoy a chartered cruise along the Chicago River. Boarding will take place at the exact location where passengers boarded the Eastland 100 years ago.

11 a.m. Public Ceremony 

The “formal” 100th commemoration ceremony will feature two musical performances and a flower-laying memorial. Several keynote speakers (including dignitaries and families with a connection to the tragedy) will discuss the significance, relevance, and importance of the tragedy. The ceremony is open to the public.

12:30 p.m. Families Luncheon (ticketed event)

Enjoy a delicious lunch while gathering and socializing with hundreds of individuals and families who are directly connected to the tragedy.

2 p.m. Connecting Families Program (ticketed event)

A full slate for the afternoon that includes a panel of authors discussing why they wrote about the Eastland Disaster; a new song about the Eastland Disaster being performed live for the first time; the answer being revealed to the question: “Why is the Eastland Disaster so obscure?”; and several personal accounts/stories being shared. There will be ample opportunity for all to network/minge, share their stories with others, get authors to sign their books and soundtracks, etc.

5:30 p.m. Dinner Break

Enjoy the beautiful city of Chicago with your family and friends for dinner.

8:30 p.m. Sunset Ceremony and Concert

Join us at sunset for a candlelight ceremony and special musical performance at the new Chicago Riverwalk. The ceremony and concert are open to the public.


9-11:30 a.m. Connecting Families Reception (ticketed event)

The commemoration weekend comes to a close by bringing families with personal connections to the tragedy together one last time. Families can share their stories and history, engage with other families, and speak with EDHS staff and board members.

As you can see, there are three free public events, all held at the newly renovated riverwalk at the site of the Eastland Disaster between the Clark and LaSalle Street Bridges. In addition, four ticketed events have been organized. Tickets can be purchased for a single event or bundled together for a full weekend pass. Prices differ for members and nonmembers of the EDHS. And prices go up after April 30th. So hurry and get your tickets today!

Bring the kids, invite your friends, tell your co-workers. Come and be a part of history. Remember the 844. Honor the first responders and survivors, and meet their descendants. An event like this only comes around once every 100 years, so don’t miss out. I’ll be there. Hope to see you there, too.

For ticket info and all the latest Eastland news, visit the EDHS at:

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