Grant ParkGrant Park, proudly referred to as “Chicago’s front yard,” is a 313-acre public park located right in the heart of the city’s central business district. It is home to notable features like Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus.

Chicago officially designated the land as a park in 1844 under the name of Lake Park. It was renamed for President Ulysses S. Grant in 1901. The park was expanded through land reclamation, with several expansions utilizing excavations from a freight tunnel network under the city.

In the 1910s and 1920s, the sites for the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History and Shedd Aquarium were parceled out, creating what is today known as the Museum Campus. Additionally, Grant Park holds many pieces of public art, including a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the sculptural installation “Agora,” and “Cloud Gate,” also known as The Bean.

The park annually hosts some of Chicago’s biggest festivals, including Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival.

A centerpiece of Chicago, Grant Park provides the city with vast outdoor space and a place to gather for a diverse range of events. To learn more about the park, events and hours of operation, visit the Chicago Park District website.

 

video gamesMaking video games is a popular hobby, and it provides artists a chance to showcase their incredible talent. Champaign plays host to Volition Entertainment, formerly known as Parallax Software. The company has been around since the early ‘90s and is a source of pride in Champaign. It employs roughly 200 people and is still going strong.

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ed6ed2debec4fb57174eeabc6e53396efd86ea7dToday is National Love Your Pet Day, and it’s a perfect time to give an animal a second chance. Second Chance for Pets is a non-profit organization specializing in giving cats and dogs a second opportunity at life. They are based out of DeWitt County in central Illinois.

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113983Katrina Markoff, the founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolate, has a remarkable story about faith, love, and chocolate. Her journey across the world led her to establish what is widely considered one of the best chocolate businesses in Chicago. Sadly, in 2019, Katrina’s journey took a wrong turn, when her husband, Jason, lost his limbs to sepsis. Then, in 2020, Katrina’s business was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and she was forced to reevaluate how to interact with customers. However, Katrina has found a way to fight through the adversity.

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APhilipRandolph 8dd6f19fc6ea4ee7b181b7afb0312a26February is National Black History month. It is an annual tradition that celebrates the achievements of Black Americans throughought the history of the United States. Though there are many places in Illinois to visit and learn more about the successes of Black Americans, one that stands out is The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.

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