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Chicago Detours Presents Interactive VIRTUAL HOLIDAY STORIES HAPPY HOUR

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Starting November 27.

Chicago Detours Presents Interactive VIRTUAL HOLIDAY STORIES HAPPY HOUR

Chicago Detours, voted "Best Tour of Chicago" by the Chicago Reader in 2019, today announced a live, interactive virtual event, taking viewers to the city's most beloved holiday landmarks and hidden gems, all while telling the historical stories that celebrate Chicago's festive spirit. The hour-long "Virtual Holiday Stories Happy Hour" will stream live on Zoom Beginning Nov. 27, with virtual events taking place Mondays at 6 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m., through Dec. 28.

Instead of having to navigate a trip to one or two attractions, Chicago Detours allows native Chicagoans and tourists alike to experience bits and pieces of all that the city typically has to offer during the holidays. The expert event host narrates a virtual tour down State Street along with Google Maps 360-degree street views. Sites range from The Palmer House to view the lobby decorations, to Macy's on State Street to gaze at the window displays and visit the Walnut Room's Great Tree, to catching a glimpse of the Magnificent Mile's Lights Festival, Art on theMART and more. Hidden gems of Chicago neighborhood life include Simon's of Andersonville, the CTA Holiday Train, the history of Kwanzaa in Chicago, the Mexican La Posada tradition of Chicago and the Toys for Tots massive motorcycle parade that crosses the South and North Sides. About 20 scenes and original stories are told throughout the tour.

Chicago Detours encourages viewers to cozy up on the couch and dress up in their festive wear while the guides take viewers down "Great State Street" to see holiday landmarks, marvel at must-see holiday locales and hear origins of familiar and forgotten holiday characters. Interactive holiday-themed activities that viewers are welcome to participate in include:

· A Holiday Names Icebreaker where guests change their Zoom display name to a holiday-themed nickname for the duration of the event

· A "Reindeer Disco Party" in which guests are invited to dance to the music or cheer on the other participants

· A Festive Decor Contest in which guests are challenged to a decorating contest and taught how to create a Zoom virtual background or dress up in holiday fashion.

· Two Chicago-based holiday stories where outgoing guests can volunteer to be performers in the storytelling experience. Each will be provided with a script and encouraged to dress up in character or activate a Zoom video filter; one story concluding with a custom animation

· An awards ceremony at the end of the tour where guests cast their votes for "Most Humorous Performance," "Most Realistic Performance," "Best Background" and "Most Festive Fashion."

Tickets for the "Virtual Holiday Stories Happy Hour" are available at $20 per individual or $35 per household and can be purchased www.chicagodetours.com/virtual-tours/holiday-event/. Group and corporate bookings are available as well, with a maximum of 45 participants per event. $20 Chicago Detours gift cards can be purchased for loved ones from the website and redeemed for any available virtual event.

Looking ahead to 2021, Chicago Detours will host another event in March to honor National Women's Month. "The Badass Women's Tour" informs viewers about the historical and powerful women from Chicago, visiting their inspirational spots and homes in the city. More information will be announced at a later date. In the meantime, the "Badass Women's Journal" is now on-sale for purchase and can be found on in the website at www.store.chicagodetours.com to make for a meaningful holiday gift. The 5.5" x 8" booklet includes blank pages with thought-provoking quotes form female heroes such as Michelle Obama and Gloria Steinman, eight fun and colorful illustrations of inspiring women and brief stories of each, including daredevil pilot Bessie Coleman and community activist Guadalupe Reyes.


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