April 27, 2016

Getting Ready for Summer

Millennium Park prepares for an estimated 3 million visitors this summer.

Sunny skies, blossoming flowers, and the increase in the number of visitors flooding the streets of downtown Chicago are sure signs that warm weather is approaching, but for the team at Millennium Park, it's time to get the Park ready for the 3 million visitors it expects to see this summer. 

The Park’s water lines have been cleaned and tested; the fountain in Wrigley Square and the pool in the Lurie Garden have been flowing since mid-month. Cloud Gate received its quarterly power washing, when the Park’s maintenance team worked its magic to undo the effects of winter on Anish Kapoor’s shining sculpture. Back in time for summer is Dan Peterman’s Running Table, the large picnic table that sits in the center of the Park and is a magnet for visitors to enjoy their lunch while they stare at the Bean.

For the past two weeks, Jonathan Laney, designer of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s sound system has been in town inspecting and re-installing the speakers on the stage and on the trellis over the Great Lawn, balancing the levels and re-optimizing the entire sound system. “Each year, we have to recreate an indoor immersive experience in an outdoor setting,” said Laney.

The Pavilion’s state-of-the-art sound, along with the Park’s world-class collection of architecture, landscape design and art provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs, including our own Grant Park Music Festival concerts. More free programs presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events begin in late May and include a mix of jazz, world music, indie-rock, family activities and exhibitions. As the weather heats up, the Park, once again, becomes a lively, spectacular gathering spot in the heart of the city.

Learn more about free events hosted by the Grant Park Music Festival, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the Millennium Park Foundation.