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Labor Day weekend activities in Chicago

We can hardly believe it, but it’s almost Labor Day, which means the unofficial end of summer here in Chicago. But before we say goodbye to the summer 0f 2012, there is one last extra-long weekend to take advantage of all this city has to offer. NBC 5 Chicago has put together a nice slideshow: 25 Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend.

Some of our favorite ideas?

  • Ravenswood Remix — For the street fair and art show lover, the cozy northside neighborhood of Ravenswood is putting on a recycled art fair Saturday and Sunday.  A $5 suggested donation benefits Hamilton Elementary School and gets you access to “eclectic artists that use recycled, re-purposed materials and found materials in their work, an ec0-friendly workshop area, kid’s activities, food trucks and live music,” according to the website. Sounds like the perfect summer send-off to us.\
  • Chicago Jazz Festival — Starting today and running through Sunday, downtown Chicago is the place to hear live jazz music. Scheduled performers include some of the top names in jazz music today, including Diane Reeves and Allen Toussaint. Performances take place in Millennium Park, Grant Park and the Chicago Cultural Center; admission is free.
  • Pullman Labor Day Bike Ride — What better way to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of workers this Labor Day than a bike ride through the historic Pullman neighborhood, site of the infamous Pullman Strikes in 1884, in which unionized railroad workers went on strike for fair wages and humane work days; 13 strikers were killed when President Grover Cleveland sent in the U.S. Marshals. The backlash against these actions led to the establishment of Labor Day. Honor this rich history with a bike ride, then celebrate at the end of the 30-mile course with a gathering at the Hotel Florence in Pullman, where speakers will talk about labor history.
  • Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute and fireworks at Navy Pier — This weekend marks your last chance to see two popular summer spectacles. The much-celebrated retrospective of the work of Roy Lichtenstein will be showing at the Art Institute through Labor Day. It’s been lauded by critics around the country as one of the best collections of the pop artist’s work every assembled. Then head over to Navy Pier on Saturday for the last fireworks show of the summer. Send summer out with a bang.

 Photo courtesy of Flickr user Graffiti Photographic