This New Year’s Eve, Chicago saw the combined efforts of two longtime Chamber members culminate in Chi-Town Rising, a city-wide celebration. Freeman Audio Visual and Hyatt Regency Chicago both played instrumental roles in the creation of this first-ever riverside event.

Thousands of Chicagoans watched as a lighted, 71-foot star rose to the top of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on New Year’s Eve. While Hyatt provided the setting for the spectacle, Freeman handled the technical aspects, ensuring that the entertainment and live music could go off without a hitch. Hosted by Mario Lopez, the event showcased several bands, ending with the iconic band Chicago. The star rose at midnight, followed by fireworks.  

The Chamber has worked closely with both Freeman and Hyatt Regency Chicago for several years. Bill Kubiak, General Manager of Freeman and Chamber Board Director, currently serves as the Chair of the Events Forum. Patrick Donnelly, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Chicago and Chamber Board Director, sits on the Chamber’s PAC Board of Directors as well. The two members will once again work in tandem for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting of Membership in June, with Hyatt Regency serving as host and Freeman serving as production company.    

Chi-Town Rising sparked such interest that Chamber member NBC 5, which aired the event live, dominated the evening’s television ratings.  

“Chicago Business Journal” recapped the New Year’s Eve ratings:

For the crucial 11:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. hour Thursday night when both stations were airing their respective New Year’s Eve bashes live, Channel 5 notched an average 12.7 rating and Channel 7 scored an 11.8. One rating point equals 35,000 households in the Chicago market.

The event was first in Chicago history to resemble New York City’s yearly celebration on a smaller scale. Thanks to the hard work and success of those involved, Chi-Town Rising will ring in subsequent years as well.