Chicago hosts New Years Eve event


courtesy of Wagstaff Worldwide

Chi-Town rising will be the first citywide New Years Eve event in Chicago.

Chicagoans can countdown to the New Year at the city’s first Chi-Town Rising New Year’s Eve event, set to be headlined by indie rock band American Authors and classic rock band Chicago.

“They were the best fit for the atmosphere we were looking to create…. This is meant to be a celebration of Chicago for Chicago and we really wanted to make it as Chicago-centric as possible,” a event spokeswoman said.

Modeled after the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City, Chi-Town Rising will allow Chicago residents to watch a 70-foot-tall Chicago star rise 36 stories alongside the West tower of the Hyatt Regency in front of the backdrop of a fireworks display, according to the event spokeswoman.

“It really symbolizes the city rising to meet the challenges of the New Year,” she said, adding that the second star on the Chicago flag represents the Chicago fire in 1871.

Corona Extra and Hyatt Gold Passport will host the event, and Arena Partners is producing it.

The event will run along the Chicago River between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive and feature family-friendly activities and entertainment. 

It also aims to boost Chicago tourism and the city’s status as a winter destination.

The event’s entertainment will feature a diverse lineup of artists, including DJ Sye Young, Kweku Collins and funk band The Heard.

Collins said he will perform new music from his upcoming album, set to be released in spring of 2016.

“We just want to help people have a good time, and we are excited to do our thing,” said Mike Starr, the bassist for The Heard.

Corona Extra will create a ticket-only beach house along the Chicago River. The beach house will feature palm trees, heated outdoor and indoor spaces and entertainment starting at 7 p.m., according to a Chi-Town Rising Dec. 7 press release. Early bird tickets are $99.

“We are thrilled to welcome a new tradition to our city, changing the way Chicago and the Midwest celebrates New Year’s Eve,” said John Murray, founder of Arena Partners and Executive Producer of Chi-Town Rising, in a Sept. 17 press release. 

The event will  feature sculpture artwork relating to the theme of resolution from local artists.

Rayna McKinley, a junior television major, said it is important that the celebration feature work from local artists.

“Chicago is such an artsy community, and if you’re trying to make the event stand out from places like New York, having people from Chicago contributing could help so much,” McKinley said. “There is so much going for us as a city and it’s really cool that they’re tying it into their event.”

Kelly Kroyer, a social media and marketing manager for the Radisson Blu Hotel, one of the event’s sponsors, said the Radisson Blu will offer a special hotel package that includes two VIP tickets for the event and a weekend stay.

Kroyer said New York and Los Angeles have always been the go-to hubs for New Year’s Eve celebrations until now. 

“It’s going to be nice to have something in the Midwest and we are doing it differently with the star rising, so that will be unique to Chicago,” Kroyer said.