Venetian Night — Chicago’s annual parade of illuminated boat floats that draws up to 500,000 people to the lakefront — could be sunk, thanks to cost-cutting tied to Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.
Special Events Director Megan McDonald said the decision to end a time-honored tradition that dates back to the days of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was dictated by a decline in corporate sponsorships.
Chicago’s production costs were $100,000. But that taxpayer tab was multiplied by the cost of police, fire, traffic and sanitation needed to stage the event.
Other potential changes to some other summer festivals that are close to the Sloop:
The sponsorship drought will also force the city to shave another day off an already reduced Jazz Fest - from three days to two - and move the Country Music Fest, Celtic Fest and Viva Latin from Grant Park to Millenium Park.
(image courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times)