Chicago Scene Boat Party Canceled

Organizers unable to get proper permits for annual event

By Marcus Riley
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:06 PM CDT
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Year in Review 2010: Skimpy Chicago

www.vertigophoto.us

A Chicago summer staple hits the docks.

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One of the most popular events of the summer on the lake is kaput.

The Chicago Scene Boat Party scheduled for July 30 has been canceled, according to the magazine's publisher Ted Widen. The annual Lake Michigan bash attracts hundreds of boats to the so-called Play Pen on Chicago Avenue Beach.

Widen says he wasn't able to get the proper special event permit for the party, so he decided to move it 13 miles away to Hammond, IN.

But that plan was scrapped because it was too dangerous to have all the boats travel that far, according to Widen, and if City of Chicago personnel were called in to help patrol the event at a neighboring municipality, the party's organizers could be forced to reimburse the costs.

Last month, Widen also told Crain's that he objected to a City of Chicago rule that prohibits boats from displaying sponsored billboards, because they can distract drivers on Lake Shore Drive.

Widen was attempting to set a world record for the largest tie up of 1,650 boats at this year's event.

A smaller party at a local bar or restaurant is planned for July 30th instead, details of which will be revealed later.

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