Outdoors in Chicago

By The Obsidian Collection Archives

Chicago boasts scores of outdoor
festivals, concerts and events every year.  With 77 neighborhoods and many
different cultures, Chicagoans and tourists come together when it is time to
celebrate.  In the late 1970s and early ’80s, At
the end of the decade, 1979 and the start of
the eighties two Chicago Defender photographers decided to capture
the people capturing the magic of
celebrations in the city.

Soon the show starts (1980-07-12) by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

The crowd awaits the start of the show at Grant Park. (July 12, 1980)

Man with binoculars by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

Chicago's Air and Water Shows bring out the crowds. The planes in the skies over Lake Michigan keep everyone's attention.

No parking by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

Robert S. Abbott, founder of the Chicago Defender Newspaper in the late 1920s, started the Bud Billiken Parade.  It has grown to be the largest Back-to-School parade in the country.  Tens of thousands of African Americans line Martin Luther King Drive to view the parade.   The parade route travels dozens of blocks before ending in Washington Park.  The fellowship of barbecues and bands playing are as important as the parade itself.

A young viewer by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

The youngest children often have the most opportunities to get the best views!

Wading and watching by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

Chicagoans decide to cool off while enjoying the Air and Water Show on Chicago's lakefront.

Parachuters at the air show by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

Parachuters dazzle onlookers at the Air and Water Show.

Resting and anticipating by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

The festivals often take place in tremendous heat. Coming to the lakefront early to get the best "seating" requires planning. The children can rest until the show starts.

Boy on shoulders (1979) by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Three in the shade (1980-07-12) by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

This photo ran in The Chicago Defender Newspaper shortly after it was taken on July 12, 1980.  The caption read: "The music was loud, the food was hot, and the people were there as Blacks, young and old gathered at Grant Park.  The young people danced to the music despite the scorching heat."

Crowd leaning forward by Chicago Defender ArchivesThe Obsidian Collection Archives

The largest festivals bring out the most diverse crowds in Chicago.

Credits: Story

Source: The Chicago Defender Archives
Partner: The Obsidian Collection Archives

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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