Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Park District announced 22 beaches will open this Friday, May 28, for the 2021 season.
The city released a video (at youtu.be/FMpaaHD4IkQ&; that shows Lightfoot knocking over a cardboard version of herself and removing a barricade that blocked beach access. At one point, she yells, "Attentionwelcome back, beaches!"
The return of beach season is another step forward with Open Chicago, the Mayor's initiative to safely and fully reopen the city. May 28 will mark the first time Chicago beaches have opened for public use since Sept. 2, 2019, due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions. The 2021 beach season runs through Monday, Sept. 6.
Under the city's current guidelines for the Chicago Bridge Phase, residents can look forward to typical beach experiences. With the exception of drinking fountains, which remain shut off due to public health guidance, all traditional beach amenities will be available.
Juneway, Roger, Howard and Fargo beaches remain closed to the public due to high lake levels and erosion.
The following flag notification system tells patrons the current status of beaches:
Green — Swimming is permitted. Weather conditions are fair and water quality is good.
Yellow — Swimming is permitted, but caution is advised. Weather conditions are unpredictable, or bacteria levels are higher than the water quality criteria set by EPA for notifying the public.
Red — Swimming is not permitted. Weather conditions are dangerous, or water quality conditions are dangerous.
Additional signage that reads "Swim Only When Lifeguards Are On Duty" is installed on every lifeguard perch last year to reinforce swim guidelines. Flag poles are also placed at all swimming beaches. Lifeguards will prominently post a red flag at the end of the night to remind patrons that swimming is no longer permitted. That flag will remain in place throughout the night until the start of the next lifeguard shift.
Patrons are asked to observe the following beach rules:
Obey lifeguards and swim only when lifeguards are present.
No glass, alcohol, or smoking on the beach.
Properly dispose of food, diapers and other refuse. Do not feed birds. Dogs are only allowed in designated dog areas.
Please put swim diapers on small children.
Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed of in the red-hot metal containers.
Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding, or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at 12th Street Beach. For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails.
Kiteboarding is not permitted at 12th Street Beach; kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.
Swimming is permitted and lifeguards are on duty at all beaches from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless otherwise posted.
Beachgoers can also access information on swim status by calling the Chicago Park District Beach Hotline at 312-74-BEACH, checking ChicagoParkDistrict.com or visiting Facebook and Twitter for the swim status at each beach.
Admission to Chicago's beaches is free. For a list of locations or for more information, visit ChicagoParkDistrict.com . or call the Beaches and Pools Unit at 773-363-2225.