Chi-Town Rising 2016: An epic New Year Countdown in Chicago

For the very first time, Chicago had an outdoor New Year's countdown called "Chi-Town Rising." An epic countdown featuring a "gigantic" Chicago star that will rise from Hyatt Regency tower and an amazing fireworks display at Chicago Riverfront. The event was held in Upper Wacker drive (in front of Hyatt Regency Chicago). This is a private funded event produced by Arena Partners and major sponsors like Corona Extra and Hyatt Gold Passport. The countdown was televised live in NBC 5.


I booked my room at Hyatt Regency in September before the proper Event announcement. I thought that the event will be free for public but I understand that the organizers pushed this to ticketed event because of security measures. Hyatt offered a good package for guests who would like to attend the event and stay overnight. You may also purchase your Broadcast Boulevard tickets if you have booked to other hotels (they also partnered to some establishments nearby).


We arrived few hours before the actual check in booking time because we were advised that the hotel accepts check in at 10 am and we were avoiding the traffic due to road closure in Chicago. Huge crowd were expected to arrive at the same time. I requested for a "riverfront" view so we can check the action outside while we were inside in our room. The temperature was chilly, cold, freezing.....We have to bundled up prepared our warm clothes, boots, scarves, gloves and hats.


We went down to the main lobby at 1pm to pick up our wristbands which were in different colors. Ours was a "gold wristband" indicating that we purchased the "Hyatt Gold Passport ticket." Some wristbands were colored Red (for ballroom party), blue (people who check in but not attending any events) and others for different entrances (like Corona Beach House access and VIPs).


The event began at 7pm wherein some local performers started the countdown party. The main event was broadcasted in television at 11pm hosted by Mario Lopez. We were standing near the "media" booth so we didn't get the chance to take a glimpse of American Authors performing onstage.

Let's party! #chitownrising

A video posted by misyel coladilla (@daomisyel) on

I didn't know that the area we were about to claim our New Year props was designated to Hyatt Gold Passport holders. Our spot was too close to the CHI TOWN STAR RISING and Riverfront.

Here's the video I took during the countdown and fireworks displayed were amazing!

My personal reviews about the event:
1. We were clueless that the star is about to rise. Until the band Chicago performed, lack of communication onstage and live audience.
2. The countdown was few seconds delay. I checked my watch and it's already 12mn when the star began to rise.
3. The 30 seconds countdown in the Star was too off when it reached the highest level. We were like, what? 30 seconds? It's already 12mn!!! I think they should have designed the countdown when it rises by floor level, like a step by step seconds from 30 to 1 (it's a 36 storey building).
4. I would like to commend the security. They were friendly to give directions and strict asking to show our wristbands whenever we passed by on doors. I don't like crowded events because of the security, but last night - we feel very secured.
5. Hyatt's crew were accommodating. I would like to thank them for adjusting my booking purchase since I told them I had my reservations few months before the event announced that it was a ticketed event.. They helped me to fix my reservations through email - hassle free!

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Overall, Congratulations Chi-Town Rising for the successful event. I hope and wish there will be improvements if you will organize another outdoor countdown for 2017.


Happy New Year To All.

You can read more information about Chi-Town rising by visiting the official website at


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