CHICAGO — Ferris Bueller showed you don't have to be the Sausage King of Chicago to afford an epic day off.
The much-publicized "Ferris Fest" celebrating the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy set in Chicago strives to re-create the truant teenager's famous skip day, with events including a north suburban movie screening, a trip to the top of Willis (née Sears) Tower and and even a Downtown parade with a "Twist & Shout" song and dance number.
The event has drawn local and national press, and because everyone loves that movie, deservedly so.
David Matthews on ways to have your own Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
But here's the catch: it's a ticketed event that costs $175 a day, or $300 for a weekend pass. You can revisit the actual stuff Bueller did during his famous skip day for much cheaper than the Ferris fête, running May 20-22.
Here's a breakdown:
•Stealing a Ferrari: Free
Seriously, who wouldn't lock their garage though?
•A Cubs game at Wrigley Field: $22-$149
The Cubs' next home stand starts May 27 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Easily the most expensive part of Bueller's day off, tickets range from $22 to $149 per the Cubs website. The field box seats near the left field foul pole, where Bueller and his friends took in the day at Wrigley, cost $94 each.
•Visiting Sears Tower and the Art Institute of Chicago: $50
Fun Fact: two of the city's most popular tourist attractions sell a combo ticket for $45. Sears Tower now has a new (little-used) name, but some of the Art Institute's best-known pieces from the film including "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" and Marc Chagall's "America Windows" are still around.
•Touring the trading pits at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange: You can't.
CME Group closed most of its pits last year in response to most commodities trading moving online, and also ended its tours.
•Von Steuben German Day Parade: Free
The annual parade coming up Sept. 10 is in North Center now, though.
•Chez Quis restaurant: ????
The scene at a fancy Chicago restaurant was actually filmed inside the shuttered L'Orangerie in Los Angeles, while the "Chez" exterior is that of a Gold Coast home.
David Blanchard, the Los Angeles-based organizer of the festival, acknowledges the events of the film collectively are much cheaper than his "Ferris Fest" in Chicago. But he's running a small business, and his event is bringing hardcore fans of the film together with a vintage Ferrari and supporting actors of the film. A Ferris bus will shuttle fans through the city and suburbs throughout the weekend, and only people who buy tickets will learn where the "flash mob" parade Downtown will be.
A portion of the event's proceeds will also go to an anti-bullying charity, Blanchard said.
"Yes, people could get to these places on their own, but they wouldn’t get the stars, they wouldn’t get the [movie] streaming, they wouldn’t get the sharing of the passion, and the energy of people celebrating 'Ferris Bueller,'" he said. "If you went by yourself you wouldn’t have all that."
And after all, life moves pretty fast.
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