Navy Pier Celebrates 101st Birthday with Free Star-Studded Concert

Navy Pier Celebrates 101st Birthday with Free Star-Studded Concert

101 never looked so good! Navy Pier, Chicago's mission-driven cultural district, is celebrating its 101st Birthday on Saturday, July 15 with a star-studded bash and full day of free cultural programming in the new Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns from 11 a.m. through the Aon Summer Fireworks Show at 10:15 p.m. The marquee event is part of the ongoing Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration and is another example of the Pier's commitment to offer guests free, one-of?a-kind experiences created to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe.

Navy Pier's Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration will be highlighted by Lakefront Swing, a centennial celebration of jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Lena Horne at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Stage. The free, live music concert will feature a lineup of world-class performers, including Chicago-natives Felicia Fields, the accomplished actress and vocalist known for her 2005 Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple and E. Faye Butler, decorated theater actress and singer, alongside Grammy Award-nominated trumpeter Victor Garcia - all of whom will perform in tribute to the jazz legends who have inspired their own professional artistry. The entire production will be directed by international icon Fred Nelson III, Aretha Franklin's music director and former opening act for Ray Charles.

At noon, Fifth Third Bank and Navy Pier will celebrate their second annual give-back to the Chicagoland nonprofit community by presenting the recipients of the 101 Rides 101 Nonprofit Partnerships program. The program awards 101 Chicagoland nonprofit organizations a special package to experience the reimagined Pier - including complimentary tickets to the iconic Centennial Wheel to share with their constituents and the communities they serve. The full list of nonprofit recipients will be published on the Navy Pier website.

Other exciting programming will be offered earlier in the day as the celebration officially kicks off at 11 a.m. with a special opening ceremony at the Lake Stage, featuring traditional Native American drumming and dancing by Seven Springs, a procession by Native Veterans and local community youth dancers, and a vibrant performance by World Champion Fancy Dancer Larry Yazzie. The cultural performances will resume at 1 p.m. with an African drum performance by Oyotunji, followed by an Asian drum and lion dance performance, presented in partnership with the Chinese Fine Arts Society, at 2 p.m.

Navy Pier also looks forward to welcoming other milestone birthday celebrants as it hosts its second Group Quinceañera Celebration on July 15. As part of the event, the Pier is offering free professional group photos along the lakefront to young ladies celebrating their quinceañera, a popular Latin American and Caribbean tradition which marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register here and gather in their finest quinceañera dress at the base of the Pier's Wave Wall staircase on the South Dock at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Participants will receive a link to download a free digital copy of the photo, taken by a professional photographer, along with one complimentary ticket to ride the Centennial Wheel. The celebration will also feature free, live musical performances by the popular Mexican band, Sones de Mexico.

Navy Pier's 101st Birthday also denotes the official opening weekend of the new Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns. The new space, which serves as the setting for many of the day's festivities, completes the 13-acre Polk Bros Park, Navy Pier's green entrance and the city's front yard.

"Navy Pier's 101st Birthday not only marks another anniversary for the treasured and iconic landmark; it is a shining moment in its long history of being the People's Pier," said Navy Pier Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer Michelle T. Boone. "We look forward to commemorating the start to the Pier's second century by offering a full day of free arts and cultural entertainment that honors our new programmatic direction and showcases the best of Chicago's diverse talent. We invite Chicagoans and beyond to join us as we continue the Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration, honoring the legacy and future of Navy Pier."

"Fifth Third Bank is proud to lead the Centennial Celebration of Navy Pier," said Eric Smith, Chicago Market President, Fifth Third Bank. "We are honored to support the mission of this iconic landmark and join Navy Pier in inviting the people of Chicago and beyond to experience Navy Pier in its second century."

Navy Pier's 101st Birthday celebration is free and open to the public as part of the Pier's ongoing commitment to raising its profile as a mission?driven cultural organization, with continued focus on offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through meaningful partnerships and programs. As the Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration continues in 2017, the Pier looks forward to introducing more exciting and innovative year?round programming for guests to experience and enjoy for free. For more information on this and other special offerings at the Pier, please visit

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People's Pier, Chicago's lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit cultural destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than nine million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2017, Navy Pier continues to celebrate its centennial with a series of special events and programming, year-round rides on the Centennial Wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the Centennial Vision. Navy Pier, as a nonprofit organization, maintains and manages the 50-acre pier that is being redeveloped as a contemporary, environmentally responsible urban space. More information is available at

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $140 billion in assets and operated 1,155 full-service Banking Centers and 2,471 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. As of March 31, 2017, Fifth Third also had a 17.8 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2017, had $323 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $33 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust, Brokerage and Insurance businesses.

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