Chicago to Spend $1 Million on Boat-Burning Festival

Despite facing a staggering $369 million estimating operating deficit in 2014 and a $1 billion deficit in 2015, Rahm Emanuel’s “World Class City” has scraped together a $1 million for a “Great Chicago Fire Festival” in the fall of 2014.

The city has partnered with Redmoon Theater Company and is planning to commemorate the “Great Chicago Fire” of 1871 by setting boats on fire in the Chicago River.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Redmoon plans to work with artists and community groups to ‘imagine the thing they most want to be rid of in their lives' and create floating sculptures symbolizing those impediments that will be torched in a 'huge public ritual’ with ‘cathartic’ power.”

The festival’s $1 million budget is more than three times the $300,000 budget of the Venetian Night festival, an annual parade of illuminated boats, which was scrapped by former Mayor Richard Daley in 2009, after city hall claimed it could no longer afford it.

City Hall recently announced several new taxes and fees on residents to help offset city services such as "movies in the park."


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