By Dave Wischnowsky
The WISCH LIST
In many ways, the Great Chicago Fire has come to define the very city that it destroyed by spawning an enduring bovine legend, providing a clean slate upon which to build even grander metropolis, and more recently even providing the nickname for a Major League Soccer team.
Never in the 143 years since it was first sparked on Oct. 8, 1871, has the Great Chicago Fire gotten full-blown star treatment, however. But come next weekend it will with the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival.
Billed by the city as “celebrating Chicago’s epic resurgence and strength after the Great Fire of 1871, and the true grit of its people that propelled us forward to build anew,” this intriguing event is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, along the Chicago River between State and Columbus.
Free and open to the public, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District are hoping that the fest staged by Chicago’s Redmoon Theater and grand marshaled by Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, stars of NBC’s hit TV show “Chicago Fire,” will become an annual tourist draw – and revenue generator. And if you’re now getting fired up about the idea of checking out the festival for yourself, here’s what you need to know.