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Navy Pier’s Global Connections Presented by ComEd Spotlights Cultural Celebrations from Around the World

CHICAGO – Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, invites guests to participate in traditional ethnic celebrations from around the world as part of its inaugural series, Global Connections presented by ComEd. This free, three-part series pays tribute to the world-wide cultural celebrations of Carnivale, Chinese New Year and Holi – all brought to life in the Pier’s historic Aon Grand Ballroom through art, dance, food and music!

On Saturday, February 10, join Navy Pier for International Carnivale, a vibrant celebration that occurs in many Catholic regions each year prior to the Lent season. This exciting event will shed light on how different countries and cities across the globe – including Brazil, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans and more – observe this exuberant tradition. The program includes live performances by Planeta Azul (Brazil), La Tosca (Italy), Windy City West Indian Carnival (Trinidad and Tobago), LowDown Brass Band (New Orleans), DJ AfroQbano and Joe Sonnefeldt.

On Saturday, February 24, guests are transported to China to ring in the “Year of the Dog” with a traditional Chinese New Year celebration, featuring festive décor, bold costumes, customary music and more. Performers include the Cheng Da Drum Team, Chicago Chinese Cultural Center Lion Dancers, Eight Tones Chinese Music Ensemble, the award-winning Flying Fairies Dance Troupe, martial arts by Bei Dou Kung Fu’s Master Wu Jing Tao and his studio, among many other mesmerizing acts. This program is presented in partnership with the Chinese Fine Arts Society.

On Sunday, March 4, experience the colorful Hindu festival of Holi – also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love” – celebrated in India and Nepal. Guests will have the thrilling opportunity to immerse themselves in this popular celebratory tradition of tossing colored powder at one another in the outskirts of the Aon Grand Ballroom while enjoying a festive program inside, complete with lively music and classic Bollywood dances. Performers include Bollywood Groove, Cabinet of Curiosity Events, Funkadesi, Mandala Arts, Surahbi Ensemble, Zeshan B and more.

“As the People’s Pier, we are proud to continue the tradition of celebrating our diverse guests through programming that is reflective of the assortment of cultures and backgrounds that are represented at the Pier each and every day,” said Michelle T. Boone, Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer, Navy Pier. “Together with our valued partners at ComEd, we hope to inspire, entertain and educate guests through this exciting new series.”

“It’s vital that we support arts and culture organizations like Navy Pier because they are integral to the health and vitality of the communities we serve,” said Fidel Marquez, SVP of Governmental and External Affairs, ComEd. “The Global Connections series enhances our understanding of different cultures and contributes to education in fun and interactive ways.”

Please see below for the series schedule.

International Carnivale Celebration

Saturday, February 10 | 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Aon Grand Ballroom

Chinese New Year Celebration

Saturday, February 24 | 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Aon Grand Ballroom

Holi Celebration

Sunday, March 4 | 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Aon Grand Ballroom


Global Connections is part of Navy Pier’s ongoing commitment to offer guests free, one-of-a kind arts and culture programming, designed to inspire, educate and connect communities and guests across the city and globe. For more information on this and other special offerings at the Pier, visit www.navypier.org.


Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.


Visit our new website, navypier.org. The change to .org is small, but impactful. We’re excited to move in to our second century as a mission-driven cultural district, welcoming all and inspiring our more than 9 million guests.

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit cultural destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than nine million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2017, Navy Pier continues to celebrate its centennial with a series of special events and programming, year-round rides on the Centennial Wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the Centennial Vision. Navy Pier, as a nonprofit organization, maintains and manages the 50-acre pier that is being redeveloped as a contemporary, environmentally responsible urban space. More information is available at www.navypier.org.


Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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