You’re Invited to Chicago’s Birthday Bash; Please, No Gifts

By Patty Wetli | Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy birthday Chicago. You don't look a day over 160. Credit: Courtesy of Chicago History Museum

To celebrate the city’s 175th birthday, the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., is throwing a party for all Chicagoans. Instead of feeling compelled to bring a present (um, wouldn’t that be our taxes), guests are on the receiving end of the gift exchange: the museum is offering free admission on March 4.

It’s no Chuck E. Cheese, but the party will include balloon entertainer Smarty Pants. Adults can attend a panel discussion about what makes Chicago unique, featuring Rick Kogan from the Chicago Tribune, Ald. Ed Burke (14th), Northwestern University professor Bill Savage, and Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington. On hand to creep everyone out: first-person interpreters of Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, Bertha Palmer and Jane Addams.

It wouldn’t be a birthday party without a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”–performed as a drum song by the American Indian Center–and cake, in this instance provided by Bleeding Heart Bakery.

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  • Anonymous

    Neighbors and Fellow History Buffs,


    I visited the museum’s website (http://chicagohistory.org/planavisit/exhibitions) for more
    information about the timing/events/exhibits on Sunday. Thankfully
    there’s no mention of clowns but there will be balloons!

    what I found:

    p.m.      The Tony do Rosario Trio  

    p.m.      Chicago first-person interpreters Jean Baptiste Point du
    Sable, Bertha Palmer, and Jane Addams 

    p.m.        Award-winning balloon entertainer Smarty Pants 

    p.m.        Panel
    discussion “Chicago’s Identity”  (Rubloff Auditorium) with Rick
    Kogan, Alderman Ed Burke, Laura Washington, and Bill Savage.


    Between events, I plan on
    wandering through the current exhibitions:

    Charles James:
    Genius Deconstructed (Closing
    April 16)

    Lincoln’s Chicago

    Abraham Lincoln

    Out in Chicago (Closing March 26)


    Lincoln Park Block by Block

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