Chicago commemorates its Chinese connection with Chinese Cultural Week taking place through Saturday, July 25. The next six days will be filled with various events, from an array of music, theater and children's activities to the ongoing Cirque Shanghai spectacle at Navy Pier.
The Far East festivities will kick off today, Monday, July 20, with a free opening ceremony from 12-1PM at Daley Plaza. You'll get to experience performances by the high-flying Cirque Shanghai troupe, the Chinese Fine Arts Society and the Tianjin Dance, Drama and Opera House to get in the spirit of things.
Daily activities throughout the week include free tours of Millennium Park's outdoor sculptures created by contemporary Chinese artists, a Wednesday afternoon appearance by 20-year-old piano prodigy Ran Jia at the Chicago Cultural Center, a Wednesday evening film screening of "A Letter from an Unknown Woman" set in Beijing in 1948, and the 2009 Chicago Dragon Boat Races for Literacy on Saturday along the Chicago River. Children's programming during Chinese Cultural Week features "One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure," a Sesame Street-themed exhibit at the Adler Planetarium, and Chinese art, music and dance performances during the Family Fun Festival at Millennium Park.
An encore event will wrap up Chinese Cultural Week at 6:30PM on Monday, July 27. "In Tribute: A Chinese Voyage," a free concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, will take place in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Then, it's time to say "zai jian" until next year.