Chicago’s 101st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

christmas tree lighting

The City of Chicago and UL are pleased to announce the lineup for the 101st Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 25, at Daley Plaza (Washington and Dearborn). The FREE event begins at 4:30pm with performances headlined by rocker Dee Snider of Twisted Sister fame. The official tree lighting will be at 5pm.

Dee Snider, best known as the front man for the legendary rock band Twisted Sister, headlines the event. Snider will perform a medley from Broadway In Chicago’s Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale which begins its world premiere at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place on November 4 through January 4, 2015.

Hansel and Gretel from Emerald City Theatre’s Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat will also perform a song from their classic story reimagined as a family rock musical. The musical will be playing at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place starting November 22 through January 4, 2015.

Since 2009, Chicago’s Christmas tree has been donated by a Chicago-area family. During the summer and early fall, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events received more than 80 submissions from Chicagoland residents who hoped that their tree would be selected to shine on Daley Plaza during the holidays. Chicago’s Christmas tree will be on display at Daley Plaza through January 8, 2014.

Santa Claus will once again set up shop on Daley Plaza in an all-new Santa House provided by ECODOME Inc. Santa’s Midwest headquarters will be open to children of all ages where they can experience the wonder of the North Pole and have their picture taken with Santa Claus throughout the holiday season.

Visits with Santa Claus begin on Tuesday, November 25 at 6pm until 8pm, with special hours on Wednesday, November 26 from 11am-8pm and Thanksgiving Day from 11am-4pm. Santa’s regular visiting hours and house tours will begin on Friday, November 28 and continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 21 from 11am-8pm. During Christmas week, December 22-23, the house will be open each day from 11am-8pm, with special hours on Christmas Eve from 11am-4pm. Santa will be available for photos, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

Admission is FREE. For information, visit the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events website at  or click here for the official press release.

Thank you River North Families-Halloween Parade 2014

DSC00112Thank you to all our families and sponsors who attended RNRA’s 3rd Annual Halloween Parade last month. A big thank you to our River North Family Programs chair, Lana Berkovich. As our neighborhood grows so does our families, we could use some moms, dads and friendly residents to help us with future events. Please contact Lana at even if you only have a 1/2 hour, we welcome all volunteers.

We have lots of pictures to share. Please visit our Facebook page and to see pictures of our trick or treaters.

Chicago’s Clean and Green Day of Service

imagesHGDALIVHOn Saturday, November 8, River North neighbors can make an immediate difference in our community by volunteering your time and efforts to take part in Chicago’s citywide Clean & Green Day of Service.

This fall, Chicagoans can join a two-decade long tradition of teaming up with community groups and the City of Chicago to help beautify your communities by cleaning up and recycling fall leaves and other yard debris. All you have to do is team up and sign up to clean a neighborhood location near you.

By cleaning up leaves and other debris, you can help keep storm drains and curb lanes clear before snowfall this winter to benefit your whole community. The City will work with you and your community team to provide you with all the bags, rakes, shovels and brooms you will need to get the job done.

Join in on November 8 and help make a big difference in your neighborhood! To register or for more information, call 3-1-1. The registration deadline is Friday, October 31, 2014.

Flu Shots Available in the 42nd Ward

The Chicago Department of Public Health has also collaborated with Aldermanic offices and various community partners to host Immunization events where residents can get their flu shot. Residents can attend any of the walk-in clinic events and should bring their Medicare or insurance card if they have one.

42nd Ward Flu Shot Clinic

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

12:00pm – 3:00pm

First United Methodist Church at Chicago Temple

77 W. Washington Street

In addition to vaccinations, everyone can take the following basic precautions to avoid the flu:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Teach children the same healthy habits.
  • Make an extra effort to clean commonly-touched surfaces, such as countertops, tables, doorknobs, telephones and TV/stereo remote controls.
  • Do not share anything that goes in the mouth, such as drinking cups and straws.
  • Eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruit, get enough rest and stay physically fit to help the body fight off disease.
  • If you have the flu or any cold, do not infect others. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, and promptly discard used facial tissues. If you are ill, stay home from work or school until you recover.

To get vaccinated, talk to your doctor or call a pharmacy. If you do not have a doctor, call 311 to locate one CDPH’s Fast Track Immunization Clinics. You can also use the Flu Clinic Finder to locate a place nearby.

General Election Day – Tuesday, Nov. 4th

imagesRiver North residents don’t forget to participate in the General Election tomorrow – Tuesday, November 4th, 2014.

On Tuesday, November 4th voters will cast ballots for the following offices:

  • United States Senator
  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • Comptroller
  • Treasurer
  • Representative in Congress (one in each District)
  • Three (3) Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
  • President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners
  • County Clerk of Cook County
  • Treasurer of Cook County
  • Sheriff of Cook County
  • Assessor of Cook County
  • Cook County Commissioner (one in each District)
  • Commissioner of the Cook County Board of (Tax) Review (only in District 3)
  • Appellate, Circuit and Sub-circuit Judges (to fill vacancies as needed)
  • Whether to retain various Appellate and Circuit Judges (yes or no)

At the November 4, 2014 General Election, Chicago voters will also DECIDE various referenda on:

  • Whether to amend the Illinois Constitution to protect victims’ rights (binding)
  • Whether to amend the Illinois Constitution to protect the right to vote (binding)
  • Whether to increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour (advisory)
  • Whether to impose a tax on incomes of $1 million or more to benefit education funding (advisory)
  • Whether to require all health-insurance policies to cover birth control and contraception (advisory)

Vote on Election Day!

This election, all polling locations will be open between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm. Polling stations will promptly close at 7:00 pm; however, voters still in line to cast their ballots at 7:00pm will be allowed to vote. To check on the status of your registration, please click here and enter your address and last name.

Election Day Registration Offered!

Chicago voters who are not yet registered or who need to update their registration records may do so, and cast a ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, between 6:00am – 7:00pm, at any of five Chicago locations, including:

  • Board of Elections  –
    69 W. Washington Street, Lower Level Conference Room

How to Locate Your Polling Place

You can locate your polling place by entering your home address into the Chicago Board of Elections Jurisdiction Search.

Complete information for voters is available on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website, The website allows you to check your voter registration status, find your polling place and view a sample ballot.


Chicago Bike Maps Now Available for River North Residents


The Chicago Department of Transportation publishes a Chicago Bike Map each year. The 2014 bike map illustrates all the bike lanes throughout the City of Chicago, other routes that are considered good streets for bicycling, and locations for Divvy stations.

If you would like a 2014 bike map, please stop by Alderman Reilly’s constituent service office at 325 W. Huron St., Suite 510, Monday through Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am – 2:00pm to pick up a map and start bicycling safely today!

Ward Park Dog Friendly Area Dedication-Sept. 13th

298[1]Alderman Reilly is excited to announce the official opening of River North’s new and improved dog park at A. Montgomery Ward Park, located at 630 N. Kingsbury Street.

Construction of the new dog park began in June of this year, after Alderman Reilly secured funding for the project with Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

This dog-friendly area (DFA) has already been a hidden gem of the River North neighborhood, offering residents and visitors an open space where dogs can play and interact, leash-free, in a fenced-off open space. Improvements include a new entry and fencing, dog-friendly running surfaces, and a drinking fountain (complete with a water source at dog-level).  Humans can enjoy new benches and ADA accessibility.  The A. Montgomery Ward Park now has one of the best dog parks in the entire city!

Alderman Reilly looks forward to enjoying the new dog park with residents of the 42nd Ward at the Official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!


Please join Alderman Reilly, Max and Buster (the Alderdogs of the 42nd Ward) in celebrating the opening of the dog park:

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 11:00am

A. Montgomery Ward Dog Park

630 N. Kingsbury Street

Chicago, IL 60654

Please note the new Dog Friendly Area (DFA) is located off Erie Street. A. Montgomery Ward Park which along the river and includes the children’s playground prohibits dogs at any time. Please be considerate, thank you!

“Chicago Fire” Continues to film in River North

Filming Notification on Kingsbury with Simulated Building Fire

Date and Time: Wednesday, September 3rd, NBC’s Chicago Fire will be filming a scene that includes simulating a fire in the building located at 678 N. Kingsbury. The production company is working closely with the Chicago Fire Department and the neighbors to ensure the shoot is done in a safe manner.

Location and Traffic Impact: Huron (between Kingsbury to Larrabee) will have a full closure. Kingsbury (between Superior and Erie) will also experience intermittent road closures.

The following streets will have a “No Parking / Tow Zone” from 3 am to 9 pm: Both sides of Kingsbury (from Superior to Erie), North side of Erie (from Kingsbury to 400 W. Erie), West side of Sedgwick (from Huron to Superior)

Support The Anti-Cruelty Society Aug. 15th-31st

anticruelty competition

Special Alert – State Street Bridge Closure Begins Aug. 13th

The State Street Bridge over the Chicago River will be closed beginning at 6:00am on Wednesday, August 13 through Saturday, August 23, 2014. This closure is required for the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to complete the Riverwalk Construction project.  During this time, the State Street Bridge must remain raised for the contractor to construct a pedestrian under bridge to connect the path below. The bridge will be closed to vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.


  • Northbound traffic on State Street will detour west on Wacker Drive, north on LaSalle Street, east on Illinois Street, then back on State Street.
  • Southbound traffic on State Street will detour west on Grand Avenue, south on Clark Street, east on Wacker Drive, then back on State Street.
  • Northbound bicycles on State Street will detour west on Randolph Street, north on Dearborn Street, then east on Kinzie Street to get back to State Street.
  • Southbound bicycles on State Street will detour west on Kinzie Street, south on Dearborn Street , then east on Lake Street to get back to State Street.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will also be rerouting buses as needed and will post signs at bus stops