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Chi-Town Rising Falls: New Year's Eve Party Won't Be Back This Year

By David Matthews | September 7, 2017 12:39pm
 The Chi-Town Rising star prepares to soar on New Year's Eve 2015
The Chi-Town Rising star prepares to soar on New Year's Eve 2015
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Twitter/Chi-Town Rising

DOWNTOWN — After ringing in two New Year's in Chicago, Chi-Town Rising won't be back for a third.

Organizers of the fledgling outdoor New Year's Eve party meant as a Midwestern equivalent to New York's celebration in Times Square shared last month that the party likely won't be back to usher in 2018.

Chi-Town Rising, organized by event company Arena Partners, debuted for New Year's 2016. The celebration culminated in a big star ascending the riverfront Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, and was broadcast nationally on NBC. The debut festival reportedly led all local New Year's Eve broadcasts.

The festival returned for New Year's 2017 after Arena Partners said 90,000 people came out for the first Chi-Town Rising.

But the celebration still failed to draw the A-list names that appear annually during similar telecasts in New York, Miami and other cities. Arena Partners revealed that the first festival failed to turn a profit, and didn't disclose 2017 figures. The second Chi-Town Rising in January fell to second in local New Year's Eve broadcasts. 

John Murray, founder of Arena Partners and Chi-Town Rising's executive producer, did not return a message seeking comment. Representatives of local tourism booster Choose Chicago, which threw its support behind the event, also did not return messages.


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