Visitors to the Windy City have numerous choices of places to go, and one of the most active areas for live music, food fests, cultural festivals, and parades is at Grant Park in Chicago Illinois. The park was created after the Great Fire, when the city was in the midst of cleaning and removing debris from the area. The debris was moved into the lake, creating a landfill that ultimately was transformed into an open park, so visitors have an uncluttered view of the area.
The design of Grant Park Chicago follows the examples of the many parks found in France that utilize bridges and statues along with sectioned lawns and gardens in a geometric design, creating a beautifully detailed park space.
One of the most popular attractions at Grant Park in Chicago Illinois is Clarence Buckingham Fountain. The fountain is fashioned after the famous Bassin de Latome fountain at Versailles Palace in France and is equipped with spotlights to make it come alive with color in the evening. Grant Park Chicago also maintains the 24-acre Millennium Park bordered by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, and Columbus and Monroe drives.
The park contains a visual wonder with the stainless steel Cloud Gate sculpture. The sculpture is 33 feet high and 66 feet long and has a bean shape. It's popular with photographers as the skyline of the city reflects perfectly against the highly polished stainless steel exterior, providing a panoramic backdrop for pictures.
Crown Fountain is a favorite of both adults and children, as the 50-foot tower displays continually changing videos of faces. Water streams from each of the faces and between the images' changing, the tower becomes a cascading waterfall.
Grant Park Chicago is popular for outdoor recreation as it is an excellent location for running, jogging, biking, and walking along the 2.95 mile Grant Park Path. In addition, Lurie Garden, a 2.5-acre area within Millennium Park, is a quiet area for relaxing and enjoying the perennial flowers.
Grant Park in Chicago Illinois is well known for its variety of activities, and the array of Grant Park events fills the area throughout the year. Music festivals are significant in the city and include the Chicago Blues Festival, Grant Park Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Gospel Music Festival, and Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival. Cultural Grant Park events include the Celtic Fest Chicago, which pays tribute to the music and dance of Celtic traditions, and the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Food is an important part of Chicago's history and culture as well, and the annual Taste of Chicago, featuring food samplings from casual to fine dining cuisine from multiple restaurants around the city along with wine tasting and live music, is another of the popular Grant Park events.
The city honors America by starting the Fourth of July celebration early with the spectacular Independence Eve Fireworks display taking place on July 3 at 9:30 pm following the festivities of the Taste of Chicago festival. Additional popular Grant Park events include the Chicago Summer Dance Festival featuring different styles of dance performed to live music, the Chicago Marathon, which starts and ends at Grant Park, and the Race for Taste, which includes a 5K run and 2-mile walk through the park along the lake.