If there was any doubt summer in Chicago is back “on” after 2020’s coronavirus shutdown, a 150-foot spray of water should send a clear message the city is bouncing back to life.
On Saturday, Buckingham Fountain will be switched on for the season, with a virtual celebration streamed live on Facebook beginning at 2 p.m. The fountain was closed last year along with most other attractions in the city.
“For almost a century, the reawakening of the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain from its long slumber is undoubtedly one of the premiere summer kick-off events and serves as a symbol for all the fun and joy that comes along with summer in Chicago,” Mike Kelly, Chicago Park District CEO and general superintendent, said in a statement.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and WGN-TV’s Tom Skilling will take part in the event, along with the winner of a ComEd sweepstakes, who will flip the switch.
Visitors can expect a return of the fountain’s hourly water displays and nightly light and music show, officials said.
Buckingham Fountain opened on May 26, 1927, as the centerpiece of Grant Park. It was inspired by Latona's fountain at the Gardens of Versailles.