Venetian Night is cancelled. Navy Pier will still have fall fireworks.
Venetian Night is a parade of illuminated boats along Navy Pier. This year’s theme is Celebrate Chicago with twenty boats decorated as some of your favorite fairy tales.
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016, 8:30PM Fireworks will still take place.
Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, East End Plaza and South dock. Free. The boats will travel from the east end of Navy Pier toward the city.
Venetian Night was once a popular parade of illuminated boats in Monroe Harbor that the City ended in 2009 due to budget constraints. After that smaller non-city sponsored versions were held in Monroe Harbor after and at other harbors such as 31st Street. Beginning in 2014 it moved at Navy Pier.
Venetian Night is organized by the Chicago Yachting Association and entrants pay a nominal fee to participate as well as the cost to decorate their boats. In the old days some boats had sponsors.
The first Venetian Night was in 1958 when the call went out from Richard J. Daley for a celebration of the city’s shoreline. He wanted to call it the Festival of the Lake but someone told him to call it Venetian Night.
The gondolas of Venice were the inspiration for the boat parade in Monroe Harbor, but it doesn’t otherwise borrow from any specific Italian tradition. It’s the longest-running city-produced event in Chicago history until it was cut in 2009.