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July 4th Events In Chicago History

By Jenn Harrman on July 1, 2014


Celebrate Independence Day this year with July 4th events in Chicago history. Each week we bring you our favorite architecture and history events and this week’s events honor Chicago’s place in American history with a Chicago History Fair exhibition, a Chicago music festival, and a tour of Chicago’s beginnings.

chicago history fair newberry library
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chicago Metro History Education Center


Ruggles Hall, 60 W. Walton St. – Wednesday, July 2nd, 4:00pm


This is the fourth consecutive year that Chicago’s Newberry Library has hosted the Chicago History Fair’s Blue Ribbon Student Exhibition. Three dozen high-acheiving projects from the fair are on display for a couple of weeks, this year from June 27th through July 11th. This Wednesday stop by Ruggles hall to learn more about the fair and the exhibition. Some of the student exhibitors as well as two gold medalists from this year’s National History Day competition will be in attendance to take questions and discuss their projects.

2. The Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic – MUSIC FESTIVAL

Jackson Park, 63rd St. and Hayes Dr. – Saturday, July 5th, 6:00am-8:00pm


Get your dance on, because this weekend marks the 23rd annual Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic, a grand get-together for “house heads” around the world. What once began as about 40 friends from the early days of house music having a picnic is now one of the largest house music festivals in the world. This is not surprising as Chicago is the home of house music thanks to the late Frankie Knuckles, who died earlier this year, but who had performed in years past during the festival. This year’s event will feature the legendary Chosen Few DJs as well as guest DJs.

3. Chicago Portage National Historic Site Tour – WALKING TOUR

4800 S. Harlem Ave. – Saturday, July 5th, 10:00am


Stand on ground traversed by the early explorers, settlers and creators of Chicago while you learn how the city was born on a free tour of the Chicago Portage National Historic site. Hosted by the Friends of the Chicago Portage, this tour will explore the Portage from its geological beginnings to how it is still functioning in Chicago today. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes or boots and wear long pants as the 1/2 mile walk will last two hours on a gravel path through the woods in rain or shine. You can pick up the tour at the monumental statue of Marquette and Jolliet and their Native American guide.


Chicago Detours offers guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups. We are a passionate team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, and are proud to be one of very few tour companies in Chicago that is rated five stars on both Google and TripAdvisor.


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