The Crusader Newspaper Group

Chicago’s Memorial Day weekend: citywide events kick-off summer, Friday, May 26-Monday, May, 29

OEMC encourages residents and visitors to utilize public transportation and to report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1 

With many festivals, concerts, athletic events, the opening of beaches and simultaneous events throughout the city and along the lakefront this Memorial Day weekend, the City of Chicago is advising residents and visitors to be aware of street closures, additional crowds, increased traffic and to plan accordingly. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is reminding residents and visitors of security measures in place and stresses the importance of always being aware of your surroundings and to report suspicious activity to on-site event security or by calling 9-1-1.

The City of Chicago will have citywide deployments for Memorial Day Weekend to ensure the safety and security of the public. The OEMC will monitor weekend events and weather conditions citywide from the Operations Center and coordinate public safety resources with critical stakeholders.

Earlier this month, OEMC and the Chicago Police Department activated the Summer Operations Center. The OEMC will also be activating its Emergency Operations Center for the weekend to allow for enhanced citywide coordination amongst the Chicago Police Department; Chicago Fire Department; and City of Chicago infrastructure departments, city agencies, and private partners.

To supplement resources already within police districts, CPD will increase its presence across the city and on the lakefront this summer to maintain public safety in areas of large-scale events, gatherings, and car caravans. In addition to these precision deployments, the Bureau of Patrol has also held numerous tabletop exercises and drills to ensure appropriate police response to active situations. CPD is also working closely with community organizations and leaders to provide safe spaces for youth and families to enjoy the city.

As beach season also approaches, CFD is reminding everyone to be careful and safe near and in the water. Tips include swimming with a partner, keeping children in sight, and making sure that all boat passengers have life jackets. CFD is also asking those grilling to be cognizant of their surroundings to prevent serious injury and damage to property. Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors and never on porches. In addition to never leaving the grill unattended, grills should be placed away from the home and deck railings and remain away from leaves and overhanging branches. 

Report Suspicious Activity: If You See Something Say Something. The city reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.

Pole Markers/Location Identifiers: For public safety on the lakefront, event and concert attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the poles throughout the Grant Park area as well as 2400 North DuSable Lake Shore Drive to 6600 South DuSable Lake Shore Drive to help them reference their location along the lakefront and within the park if they call 9-1-1 in an emergency. OEMC call takers and dispatchers will be able to provide the location to first responders. They can also be used between friends and family members as meeting points if you become separated. For complete details click HERE.

Public Transportation: As for any large–scale event, public transportation is encouraged, and both CTA and Metra are providing additional service for the event. Public transit is the most affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to get to and from summertime events. For more information, visit CTA at and

NOTE: Due to the Kennedy/Edens Expressway construction, motorists may experience delays and increased traffic on local area streets as drivers find alternative routes to avoid impacts of the project. For complete details on the construction project, visit the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) website at

Motorists in the areas where events are happening should be prepared for heavy traffic and possible reroutes. There will be some street closures in effect for larger events to ensure public safety. Traffic Control Aides (TCAs) will be on hand at select events citywide to direct flow and impacts from heavy traffic. Residents and motorists should be aware of the following large events

Chicago OEMC App — Know Before You Head Out 

For safety and preparedness at your fingertips this Summer, residents and visitors are encouraged to download the new Chicago OEMC App. The public safety tool provides safety information, preparedness tips, emergency alerts, CHI Safe Walk, weather information and more in the palm of your hand. Users will also have access to current events, as well as forecasts, radar, and other weather-related information. The app is now available through the Apple App and Google Play stores. To immediately download, click HERE or visit the website

Memorial Day Weekend Events  

Lakefront Beaches Open 

City of Chicago beaches will open for the Summer Friday, May 26. The Chicago Park District urges patrons to enjoy the beaches safely and responsibly and look for “No Swimming Allowed” signage that indicates that swimming is not sanctioned in that area. Visitors should consult the district’s website or social media platforms to ensure water conditions are safe for swimming before heading out to the beach and only enter the water when a lifeguard is on duty. Swim hours are 11 a.m. to 7p.m., daily, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Swimming anywhere else along the lakefront is not permitted. For details and information on a beach near you, visit

Mole de Mayo Festival (18th Street, Blue Island to Ashland) 

Friday, May 26, 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 27, Noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 28, Noon to 9 p.m. 

The food and music festival in Pilsen is located on 18th Street from Ashland to Blue Island Avenue. Entrances are located at 1801 S. Ashland Avenue and 1400 W. 18th Street. Public transportation is encouraged:

Get there via CTA: 18th Street Pink Line, Bus #18, #60, #20, and Metra (16th & Halsted). For complete details, visit  2023 — Mole de Mayo Festival.

Soldier Field 10-Mile and 10K 

Saturday, May 27, 7 a.m. 

The Soldier Field 10 returns to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Country on Memorial Day weekend. The annual 10 mile and 10K option will start with a pre-race playing of taps and a military salute. Both courses run south on DuSable Lake Shore Drive before looping back, along Lake Michigan to the finish ON the field at Soldier Field. Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be closed from 31st Street to 57th Street. There will be a post-race tailgate in the Stadium Green immediately following. For additional details, visit

Memorial Day Parade (State Street – Lake to Van Buren) 

Saturday, May 27, Wreath Laying Ceremony (Daley Plaza) at 11 a.m., Parade on State Street at Noon 

Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade honors all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. They gave their lives to protect our nation’s freedom. The Wreath Laying Ceremony is on Daley Plaza (50 West Washington Street) at 11 a.m., followed by the Parade at noon on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street. For additional details, visit

Belmont/Sheffield Music Festival 

Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 

The 36th annual street happening on Sheffield Avenue, from Belmont Avenue to Roscoe Street in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood (and just steps from the Belmont ‘L’ station). For additional details, visit Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest — Special Events Management (

Sueños Fest (Grant Park) 

Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, Noon to 10 p.m. 

The highly anticipated festival is expected to draw fans to Chicago’s lakefront for the two-day event. Concertgoers can enter the festival on Buckingham Fountain Plaza located at Columbus Drive and Ida B. Wells Drive. All attendees must be 18 years or older to purchase tickets and to enter the festival and this is strictly enforced. The festival boundary is from Columbus Drive to DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt Road to Ida B. Wells. All motorists, pedestrians, and residents in the area are reminded of the street closures and traffic impacts throughout the weekend. For complete festival information, visit Sueñ

Street Closures in Place for Sueños Chicago: Traffic control aides will be deployed to facilitate traffic around the area. The following closures are in effect:

  • Balbo from Columbus Drive to DuSable Lake Shore Drive: Wednesday, May 17, at 6 a.m. to Thursday, June 1, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Columbus Drive from Roosevelt Road to Ida B. Wells: Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. to Monday, May 29, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Balbo Drive from Columbus Drive to Michigan Avenue: Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. to Monday, May 29, at 11:59 p.m.

Navy Pier Fireworks 

Saturday, May 27, at 10 p.m. 

Beginning on Memorial Day weekend, Navy Pier will present a fireworks show each Wednesday and Saturday through Labor Day weekend. Wednesday shows begin at 9 p.m., and Saturday shows begin at 10 p.m. For additional details, visit

Ridge Run and Parade 

Monday, May 29, 8 a.m. 

The annual Beverly/Morgan Park Memorial Day tradition takes place in Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Drive with a 10K, 5K, Youth Mile Race, and Parade. The parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. at 110th Street and Longwood, heading north to Ridge Park. For complete details, visit

Weather and Public Safety

OEMC will monitor events through a collaboration with public safety partners. OEMC advises Chicagoans to be aware of weather conditions and to follow instructions and heed all warnings from public safety officials. We encourage residents to check the weather before heading out. For the most up-to-date weather information, please tune into local media or download a weather app.

OEMC will issue any alerts and notifications needed to keep residents and attendees up to date on weather conditions and emergencies. Sign up for NotifyChicago alerts at OEMC also issues TEXT alerts for lakefront notices, issues affecting businesses or COVID-19 updates:

  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
  • CHIBIZ: For alerts affecting businesses, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3

For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook (@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).

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