When: Saturday, June 25, 2016; 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m with the Awards Ceremony. Races begin at 8 am. The Opening Ceremony begins with a Lion Dance at 9 am. Admission is free.
Where: Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W 19th St, (312) 747-6515.
In addition to the exciting races, guests can enjoy riding a Free Chinatown Trolley sponsored by Fashion Outlets of Chicago which will travel from the park and loop around Chinatown throughout the day.
- Opening ceremony with Lion Dance 9am
- children’s activities
- vendor booths
- entertainment programming including Chinese dancers, performances by the Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts, a concert by VanderCook College of Music, Chinese drummers and martial arts demonstrations
- a special visit by Chicago White Sox’s mascot Southpaw at 10 am and more.
- Trolley looping Chinatown all day.
Consider riding the water taxi to Chinatown from downtown. Here’s a guide.
Over 10,000 people will watch and participate in the activities. Proceeds from this year’s race will be donated to support and promote local literacy, cultural, and diversity programs.
The Chinese Dragon Boat Race dates back to over 2,000 years and is a popular sport amongst Chinese and Asian communities all over the world. Started in 2000, the Chicago Dragon Boat Race is a family-fun activity enjoyed by the residents of Chinatown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Approximately 30 teams fielded by businesses and other groups compete in the fast-paced boat tournament.
Other things to do in Chinatown:
- Shopping: Chinatown has great deals on inexpensive knickknacks, lanterns, tiny silk purses, grosses of chopsticks etc. Try Chinatown Bazaar, 2221 S. Wentworth Ave., 312-225-1088. For cheap Woks ‘n’ Things try the store of the same name at 2234 S Wentworth Ave, 312-842-0701. Chinatown Square is the main shopping center 2133 S. China Place (312) 808-1745.
- Check out the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center, 238 West 23rd Street, 312-949-1000. Suggested donation $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors.
- Dining: Many restaurants in Chinatown don’t take reservations except for large groups so you’ll have to make your way through the crowd and get on the list. At the minimum try calling ahead to get a reservation.
- Lao Sze Chuan is one of the best restaurants in Chinatown but getting in quickly may be difficult. Lao Sze Chuan, 2172 S. Archer Ave., 312-326-5040.
- Architecture: Check out the new Chinatown Library designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill at 2100 South Wentworth Avenue, (312) 747-8013.