Welcome to Memorial Day Weekend, Chicago – the unofficial start of the summer season. And this year, the weekend will be filled with perfect beach weather, just in time for the 2023 season opener.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be filled with mostly sunny skies, with temperatures high in the 60s near the lake but warming to the 70s in most other areas, says the NBC 5 Storm Team.
Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, visitors to the Residents’ Sand will have the chance to dip their toes in the sand when Chicago’s beaches open for the 2023 summer season. But this year, guests You will see a big change.
In a public safety announcement Thursday, Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Police Department said beachgoers can expect to see more patrol cars nearby, as well as bag checks.
“We are going to need everyone, not just the police, not just the city government, to ensure that our communities can live and thrive in peace and safety,” Johnson said at 63rd Street Beach, while surrounded by department heads. .
“Regardless of how you decide to spend your Chicago holiday weekend, your safety is my top priority,” he said.
Memorial Day weekend in Chicago historically means a violent start to the summer months. Over the 2022 holiday weekend, more than 50 people were shot, nine fatally.
Acting Superintendent of the Chicago Police. Fred Waller said Thursday that his department has a “comprehensive security plan” for the weekend that includes posting more officers on public transportation and in commercial areas, as well as conducting baggage checks at beaches and Millennium Park.
In addition, the Illinois Department of Human Services and Governor JB Pritzker announced earlier this week that the state will send a citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend in a effort to help keep residents safe.
As you look to plan your Memorial Day weekend in and around Chicago, here’s a roundup of events coming up, what to know if you’re planning to hit the beach, and more.
Chicago Beaches Open
Chicago’s beaches open for the 2023 season at 11 a.m. Friday, with the season running through Sept. 4, the Chicago Park District says.
“We are excited to welcome Chicagoans and tourists alike to Chicago’s 26 miles of pristine shoreline, a backdrop for Chicago summer fun and home to 22 beautiful lakefront beaches,” said the General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, Rosa Escareño, in a press release.
According to the park district, swimming conditions are updated daily around 11 a.m. “depending on weather and surf conditions, and around 1:30 p.m. depending on water quality conditions.”
“The flags can be updated throughout the day as needed,” the park district continues.
This year, the park district says its safety team unit will “provide additional resources to support our busiest beaches.” According to the city, this team is trained to de-escalate situations and will be monitoring beaches and concession areas.
Here’s how to check the water temperature in Lake Michigan.
Things to do on Memorial Day
In and around Chicago, Memorial Day weekend is filled with festivals, flea markets, food, and more. Here’s a look at some of the events planned around the city and suburbs.
Dreams Music Festival
The Latin music festival featuring Fied, Wisin Y Yandal, Grupo Firme and Nicky Jam takes place Saturday and Sunday in Grant Park. The event also features a number of after parties and other events. The full lineup can be found here.
Passes are currently on sale and start at $199.
Randolph Street Market
The fan-favorite Randolph Street Market, a curated antiques and antiques market, takes place on Saturdays and Sundays and includes over 200 vendors.
Tickets are required and start at $12. The market is held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, at 1341 W. Randolph St.
Giant bouncy house in Aurora
An “Inflatable Festival” of eight inflatable attractions will come to Aurora over four weekends, beginning Memorial Day weekend.
“Bounce The Mall,” located in the parking lot of the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora from May 27 to June 18. Advance tickets are recommended. General admission starts at $23 for a 90-minute bouncing session. More information here.
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
The 38th annual street festival in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3200 N. Sheffield features tribute bands, food, shopping and more. The festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 10 pm every day.
Navy Pier Fireworks
The iconic fireworks displays at Navy Pier will make their thunderous return on Memorial Day weekend, and the biweekly shows will last all summer.
The fireworks take place at 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Here is a complete list of other events that will take place.
Memorial Day Traffic
More than 42 million Americans are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend, and according to researchers, there are specific times when traffic will be worst.
AAA, in conjunction with transportation analytics website INRIX, recently released their findings on peak travel times over the holiday weekend, identifying stretches of highway where traffic will be most impacted by those looking for a getaway.
According to those researchers, the busiest stretch of highway in the Chicago area will be the eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Chicago.
The estimated travel time between those two cities will increase by more than 30% during the peak of congestion, which is expected to occur at approximately 5:00 pm on Thursday.
Commuters moving between Chicago and Milwaukee on the west side of Interstate 94 will likely see their worst traffic around 11 a.m. Saturday, according to the researchers.