Chicago will shut down three of its busiest streets this summer to make room for outdoor dining and live music, officials announced, in an effort to bring life back to the city after the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan Avenue, LaSalle Street and State Street will all close on select days over the next few months, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced this week.
"Meet Me on The Mile" is a set of activations along Michigan Avenue in the summer and fall featuring performances, family activities, outdoor dining and shopping spots, the mayor's office said.
We’re thrilled to invite visitors back to the Mag Mile this summer to experience its vibrancy and magic in new and surprising ways with ‘Meet Me on The Mile,” said Dan Russell, chair of The Magnificent Mile Association.
On Tuesdays during lunchtime this summer, Chicago will start "Lunch on LaSalle," blocking off LaSalle Street in front of the Board of Trade building for dining outside.
On State Street from Madison to Lake, the city's "Sundays on State" will close to cars for live performances and outdoor dining every Sunday starting July 11.
According to Chicago officials, the performances will feature a wide array of art forms, including a disc jokey, dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, Irish dancers, jazz bands and aerial shows, among others.
‘Sundays on State’ will offer the perfect opportunity for connection and celebration as the City continues its full reopening and recovery,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards.
The new Central City Recovery Roadmap is a plan from the mayor's office and other Chicago leadership to better the city's economy after the impacts from the pandemic over the past year.
Chicago, along with the rest of Illinois, entered a full reopening and Phase 5 of the state's reopening plan, removing capacity limits and most coronavirus mitigations.
"Our city cannot fully bounce back from the pandemic until the cultural, retail and financial engines that power our economy are able to return at full capacity," Lightfoot said.