In another step toward a return to normalcy, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Park District announced the city’s lakefront beaches will officially open Friday for the first time since 2019.
“Welcome back, beaches,” Lightfoot declared in a lighthearted video shared on social media.
The 2021 beach season will kick off Memorial Day weekend and run through Sept. 6. Beaches are open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with swimming only permitted while lifeguards are on duty: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Concessions and other amenities, including indoor/outdoor dining and recreational activities, will return as well.
Among the exceptions to business as usual: Drinking fountains will remain off, so people should be prepared to tote their own water to the lakefront. And several far north beaches — Juneway, Rogers, Howard and Fargo — remain closed due to high lake levels and erosion. Humboldt Beach in Humboldt Park will open later in the season, officials said.
Even with the reopening of beaches, the mayor cautioned people to remain vigilant against the coronavirus.
“While we are excited for folks to return to our beaches this summer, we still encourage everyone to be safe and continue to get vaccinated,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “This exciting announcement is the result of the tremendous progress we’ve made in our efforts to slow and stop the spread of this virus, and I urge everyone to keep up the good work so we can reopen even more of our iconic summertime attractions in the near future.”
Daily swim status updates are available by calling the Chicago Park District beach hotline at 312-74-BEACH, checking chicagoparkdistrict.com or following the Park District’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Lake Michigan’s water temperature is tracked by the National Weather Service.
Beaches. Are. Back.
Under the City’s guidelines for the Chicago Bridge Phase, we’re happy to announce 22 beaches will be open Friday, May 28 for the 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/sw3nlEg74l
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) May 26, 2021