Technical Difficulties Hamper Chicago Fire Festival

October 7, 2014

An inaugural festival commemorating the Great Chicago Fire drew crowds to the city’s waterfront but was marked by technical difficulties.

Organizers of the Great Chicago Fire Festival estimate about 30,000 people attended the free Saturday event. But there were delays and problems with igniting displays that were supposed to be set ablaze. Organizers say there was an electrical issue with the ignition system caused by recent heavy rains.

Several neighborhood organizations participated in celebrations on and along the Chicago River, including included fireworks and kayakers.

Organizers say the event was to commemorate and celebrate the period of renewal and rebuilding that followed the fire of 1871.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn attended the event, as did actor Martin Sheen, who’s campaigning for Quinn’s re-election bid.

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