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Great Chicago Fire (1871)

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  • Flaming out in a very public way

    Flaming out in a very public way
    Long after the news outlets had stopped talking about the failure of the Great Chicago Fire Festival to deliver its marquee moment, the ignition of the houses floating in the middle of the Chicago River, I continued to wake with a start. I had left tens of thousands of people standing in wait for a climactic event that never materialized. I had involved thousands in the invention of an event whose highly promoted conclusion fizzled. Literally. A failure to ignite the flame.
  • Emanuel festivals chief defends Taste loss, Great Chicago Fire fizzle

    Emanuel festivals chief defends Taste loss, Great Chicago Fire fizzle
    Chicago’s arts and festivals chief on Wednesday defended last summer’s money-losing Taste of Chicago festival along with the first-time Great Chicago Fire Festival that culminated in a flame-out that disappointed tens of thousands of...

    Chicago fire festival organizers seek redemption

     Chicago fire festival organizers seek redemption
    In the year leading up to the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival, organizers put safeguards in place in case the fire from its main event grew too large. But they never thought there would be no fire at all. Redmoon Theater artistic director Jim...

    Great Chicago Fire Festival left a bad taste

    The Great Chicago Fire Festival was in the worst possible taste. It was a disaster — painful and long lasting.  Is the Eastland disaster the next festival they'll come up with?  Think of the suffering that incident evoked. Shame on the city...

    Open letter to Redmoon: What to get right next time

    Open letter to Redmoon: What to get right next time
    Memo to Redmoon regarding the Great Chicago Fire Festival: Your less-than-successful event last weekend has been the spark for all kinds of Monday-morning quarterbacking, finger-pointing, calls for investigating and, on the part of you and your...