Fun Fireworks and Free Events in Chicago over Labor Day

Did you know that Chicago is the most popular city to visit over Labor Day?  This year’s the most popular U.S. cities to visit over Labor Day Weekend include:

  1. Chicago
  2. Orlando
  3. Atlanta
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Washington, D.C.

For the second year in a row, Chicago holds the top spot at #1 surpassing Orlando and Atlanta, who also remain strong again at #2 and #3 respectively. With more than four major events for 2017 in the area from a spectacular firework show to a music and food festival, Chicago is planning to host the biggest Labor Day bash in the city to date. Las Vegas moved up significantly on the list from last year and Washington, D.C. made a reappearance since ranking in 2015.



September 1, 2018
Navy Pier

Don’t miss the last chance to catch Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks this summer. The night sky lights up at 10:15pm, but make it a whole day of fun. Navy Pier is home to 50 acres of scenic boardwalk boasting new restaurants, boat tours and attractions like the climate-controlled Centennial Wheel.






    • FREE Navy Pier Fireworks and Fun — Navy Pier is hosting a weekend full of events in celebration of Labor Day. The Great American Lobster Fest on Friday and Saturday bills itself as the largest seafood festival in the Midwest, offering lobster flown in from the East Coast, beverages, activities and live music. At the Labor Day Rooftop Party, stylish folks are invited to sip cocktails on Saturday night, listen to music provided by three DJs and enjoy prime viewing of the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m. Or, you can gather in Navy Pier’s Beer Garden to watch the final fireworks display of summer. Details: Various times Friday and Saturday, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.; Saturday fireworks show is free, admission charges apply for other events;


    • FREE Chicago Jazz Festival —  Known for its artistic creativity, the Chicago Jazz Festival is a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition in Chicago. It promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through free, quality live musical performance. Since 1979, the festival’s mission is to showcase Chicago’s vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.  The 39th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival returns September 1-4, 2016 at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. The free event is a showcase of local and international jazz artists. The Chicago Jazz Festival kicks-off with performances by the Dave Rempis Quintet, the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective, and Jon Faddis on Aug 31.  Jason Moran (pictured) headlines on Friday where he presents In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959 on Friday, Sep 1 Saturday’s headliners include: the Mary Halvorson Octet, the Low Down Brass Band, the Bradley William Trio, Sheila Jordan, and Dee Alexander .  The festival comes to a close with performances by Sheila Jordan featuring Steve Kuhn’s TrioMatt Wilson’s Honey and Salt and Rebirth Brass Band.   Parking at the event is $35 in the Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage (5 S. Columbus Drive), Grant Park North Garage (25 N. Michigan Ave), or at Grant Park South Garage (325 S. Michigan Ave.).    Date: August 31 – September 3
      Hours: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
      Address: Millennium Park & Chicago Cultural Center
      Admission/ Ticket Prices: Free Admission


    • FREE Taste of Polonia — The Taste of Polonia over Labor Day weekend at the Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park offers 4 days of non-stop live music, food and fun. Festival Highlights 4 stages and 30+ live bands: rock, pop, jazz, polka, reggae, world & more Varieties of Polish food and beer.    Since 1980, Taste of Polonia Festival 2016 — which benefits the Copernicus Foundation — fills the Copernicus Center and grounds with non-stop LIVE MUSIC, food, and activities for all ages yearly over Labor Day Weekend! The Taste of Polonia has been a festival in Jefferson Park since 1980 and encompasses four days of Polish food and beer, plus family-friendly music performances and carnival rides. Free admission. 5-10 p.m Friday, Sept. 1; noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3; noon to 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4 at 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.,


    • The FREE AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour will make its return to Chicago this summer for the AVP Championships at Oak Street Beach. Chicago has been an annual stop nearly every year since 1983 and is the most frequent location for a beach volleyball tournament outside of California. All within view of Chicago’s skyline on the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to the world’s best beach volleyball talent, this ultimate beach festival will feature interactive activations, music, food, and more.  Admission – General admission is free with tickets available to special covered premium seating areas and a hosted lounge.  Tickets will be available on-site based on availability at the AVP Box Office.    Oak Street Beach,  1000 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611
      August 31      : 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Qualification
      September 1: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Opening Rounds
      September 2: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Elimination Rounds
      September 3: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Semi-Finals & Finals


    • For more fun and music, head to the North Coast Music Festival from September 1-3 at Union Park featuring an electric array of bands from Deadmau5 to Gucci Mane and more. Single day tickets and weekend passes are available for purchase with kids 10 and under free with a general adult ticket. Parking is limited with pricing TBD. The best recommendation is to access Union Park by CTA. Take the bus and get off at the #9 Ashland stop or by train, take the Green Line to the Ashland stop where either transportation will drop you off right on location.


  • Get two events in one location with a trip to the Great American Lobster Fest from September 1-3 at Navy Pier. Enjoy live music, eat delicious seafood, and on September 2nd at 10:15 pm, catch the Navy Pier Summer Fireworks for the last time this summer for free. General tickets to the seafood festival are $44 per person with the outside festival area free and open to the public. Purchase an array of seafood and other fare. On-site parking starts at $25 at Navy Pier in the West and East Garages.

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