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Many consider the summer season unofficially over. You can't wear white anymore. You've got to root for the Chicago Bears. Leaves will soon turn, snow will soon fly!
But where did many Chicagoans travel this summer on vaction? In increasing numbers - very close to home!
For my wife Sue and I, we passed on the expensive Texas and Aruba trips, instead opting to visit close friends in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Our "Getaway Weekend" this year - with friends, to the MI Lakefront Resort Town of South Haven- about two hours away from Downtown Chicago.
Apparently, hundreds of Chicago families had the same idea!
The weather was nice here most of the summer, and virtually without heavy rain over the last month or so.
The Chicago Cubs and the White Sox have played good baseball all year, and are both still in first place.
Neighborhood and City Festivals abound every year in Chicago and the suburbs. Taste of Chicago. The Chicago Blues Festival. Gospel Festival. Jazz Festival . . . and more!
Every weekend, there was one major local festival - often, several - across the city and throughout the suburbs.
Ron Onesti is a Professional Festival Organizer whose company organized suburban Carol Stream IL's "Summer in the Center" and several others. He attributes gas prices exceeding $4.30 per gallon, along with concerns about the economy and the security of their own jobs, for the surge in local fest attendance.
"It's forced them to take a step back and ask what experiences are available 5 miles from here," Oresti said.
Those taking long road trips, away from Chicago, dropped significantly for each major holiday this summer - Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. During the Labor Day weekend just past, the AAA estimates as many as 300,000 fewer drivers hit the road to head out of town nationally.
The Outdoor Film Series in Grant Park, Chicago saw its best attendance ever each Tuesday this summer. Music Festivals at Grant Park reported eight capacity crowds this season, according to the Chicago Office of Tourism.
In North Suburban Highland Park IL, home of the Ravinia Music Festival, attendance held steady, despite major construction on the Edens Expresswayserving Ravina concert goers.
Although attendance at the Annual Taste of Chicago was down slightly this year - just over 3.16 Million - record-breaking crowds attended the expanded three-day 50th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show on the lakefront last month.
Attendance for baseball at Wrigley Field averaged 40,728 per game- on pace to set an attendance record for the Chicago Cubs. The White Sox also had strong attendance at U.S. Cellular Field, especially, club officials say, among African-American and Latino baseball fans.
Said Cindy Gatzolis of the Mayor's Office of Special Events in Chicago, "You still need entertainment. Even if you're struggling a little bit Monday through Friday, you still need something to pick you up on the weekend."
We and our Team members have gone to more BBQ's this summer, gone to local Lake Michigan Beaches, and just enjoyed the fun of walking our dogs every day.
Simple pleasures - most close to home!
See our post via BlogChicagoHomes.com today for more info, as well as a link to Vikki Ortiz's article in today's Chicago Tribune.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.