What Pension Crisis? Chicago River Fire Festival Coming: Watch Your Wallet

The city of Chicago stopped fireworks displays because they were too expensive.  It canceled a long tradition in Venetian Night.  Now there is an idea to have a Fire Festival.  I think it’s just a diversionary tactic so people won’t notice the pension problem.

It’s fine to have a festival if you can afford it, but this one seems like a pretty silly idea.  A tidbit:

“The idea is each float would represent an obstacle for the community or something they want to be rid of,” he said. For example, Lasko said, a community might want to purge “greed.”

Lasko said the shell of the community-created floats would be set on fire by a “floating mechanical crane” as they coursed down the river, revealing an interior designed to represent a larger revelation or hope for the future.

He said the hope is that the more affluent neighborhoods will not only participate but sponsor less prosperous parts of the city.

“We’re hoping a neighborhood like Lincoln Park could sponsor Homan Square’s participation in the event,” Lasko said. “We want everyone to have an opportunity.

Of course, to make their socialist agenda acceptable, they are couching it behind celebrating the public workers of the Fire Department.

“We hope to use it as an opportunity to educate people about fire safety,” Boone said. “We wouldn’t think about doing something like this without partnering with the Fire Department.”

No, they wouldn’t ever think of showing their true hand.

A small flotilla of boats passes through the o...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The festival will take place along the Chicago River.  One of the interesting things about Chicago is that all the valuable real estate is along the lake.  The river was a second class citizen.  In most European cities, the river real estate would be the most valuable. Recently, $100 million was pledged to develop the Chicago River.

I am all for developing the river.  It would be a really nice addition to the city like Millennium Park.  Once you go under the Congress Street bridge, the river gets really industrial and messy.  There is a lot of raw potential down there for all kinds of creative development.

The area north of the Merchandise Mart up to Chicago Avenue has a nice dog park, a river walk and some really great condos, offices and restaurants.  I’d love to see that same sort of thing built in the South Loop.

When you head north on the river up to neighborhoods like Sauganash, they have docks and canoeing. It’s really incredible that this sort of natural resource is available to a city dweller.

The money is going to retrofit the river right downtown, which will add to the vibrancy of life in the city.  Chicago has engineered it’s river and it’s one of the true untapped gems of the city.  When they dug the IM Canal back in the late 1800′s, it put Chicago on the map.  Once that was dug, the river became heavily industrialized, with factories lining it.  The Chicago Fire destroyed many of those factories.

Why don’t we just let the greedy capitalists develop the river and make it nice for all of us?

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