Look out, New York City. Chicago is ringing in 2016 with a big outdoor celebration and a twist on the Times Square countdown and ball drop.
Here the event organizers answered 10 of the most-asked questions about the first-of-its-kind party:
1. WHAT IS CHI-TOWN RISING?
Chi-Town Rising is a new tradition for celebrating New Year’s in Chicago, featuring a lineup of celebrity and musical guests, an epic countdown featuring a gigantic Chicago Star rising into the night sky, and a dazzling fireworks display at midnight. “Chi-Town Rising” was named for the ascending star that differentiates Chicago from “ball drops” around the world, and symbolizes the city’s rich history of rising in the face of adversity and meet the opportunities of the New Year.
2. WHERE IS IT?
Chi-Town Rising will take place along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. As the countdown to 2016 begins, the star will ascend 36 stories up Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, culminating in iconic imagery and an unprecedented fireworks show for the city.
3. WHAT TO WEAR
Everyone likes to dress up for a party, but remember that a lot of the action will be happening outside, so dress for the weather. There is no dress code, so wear something that will allow you the feel comfortable, warm, and festive!
4. WHEN TO ARRIVE
Live entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. on the countdown stage. The television broadcast begins shortly after 11 p.m., and ends at 12:30 a.m.
5. HOW TO GET THERE
Uber — Uber is offering a free ride (up to $20) to new users on New Year’s Eve. Just download the Uber app and use the promo code: CHITOWNRISING
Public Transportation — CTA "L" Trains: Take the Orange, Green, Purple, Pink or Brown “L” train lines to State and Lake stop. Walk 2 blocks east to Michigan Avenue and 2 blocks north to Wacker Drive. CTA Buses: Take the #2, #6, #10, #134, #135, #136, #146, #148 to the Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (Upper) stop. For public transit directions from your location, visit TransitChicago or search “CTA” in your mobile phone app store.
Parking — For those with designated drivers, ample parking is available downtown, according to Chi-Town rising event organizers. The Grant Park North and Millennium Park garages are a 5-minute walk from Broadcast Boulevard; head north from the garages up Michigan Avenue or Columbus to Upper Wacker Drive. If you are heading to the Corona Beach House, the entrance is just north of the Chicago River off Columbus Drive at Lower North Water Street.
6. HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO ATTEND?
Most of Chi-Town Rising’s events are geared towards an adult audience, and the City of Chicago’s curfew rules will be enforced. At Broadcast Boulevard, guests who cannot provide proof of age 21 and over will not be allowed to purchase or consume beer or wine. At Corona Beach House, the event is exclusively 21 and over only.
Millennium Park will be offering a free family-friendly countdown and a number of activities for the entire family.
7. WHAT CAN YOU BRING?
The following items will be prohibited in any of the Chi-Town Rising events: Oversized bags larger than 12” x 12” x 12, backpacks, duffel bags, tote bags, satchels briefcases, luggage of any kind, oversized purses, outside food or beverage, chairs, coolers or ice chests, fireworks, smoke devices, confetti cannons, weapons of any kind, laptops, portable speakers, oversized electronics, poles to display banners or flags, cameras with lenses longer than 3 inches, strollers, umbrellas, unmanned aircraft systems or drones, illegal drugs, laser pointers and devices, and alcoholic beverages.
8. HOW CAN I BUY TICKETS AND WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED INSIDE?
Tickets for all events can be purchased online. All purchases made within the Corona Beach House will be CASH ONLY. There will be ATM’s on site for your convenience. Credit cards will be accepted for entrance tickets at the door ONLY. On Broadcast Boulevard, guests will be able to purchase concessions and merchandise using cash or credit card.
9. HOW TO WATCH
Chi-Town Rising will also be broadcast live on NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago, as well as in more than 40 other markets from Minneapolis to Dallas-Fort Worth. Watch from your TV on NBC 5 at home or here from your laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
10. WHEN WILL MUSIC HEADLINERS BEGIN AND AT WHAT STAGE?
The legendary Grammy award-winning rock band Chicago will usher the city into the New Year with a midnight performance, but NuBlu Band will kick things off with a performance at 7 p.m. All the artists can be seen here.
For more information, visit chi-townrising.com.