Chicago prepares for Memorial Day weekend

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By noon today, the mad dash to get out of Chicago had begun and cars were bumper to bumper all afternoon inching slowly to their destinations.

There are lots of drivers, but not as many last year. AAA estimates 35 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend, down nearly 10% from 2012.

Experts believe the reason is partially due to high gas prices.

The average price for regular in Chicago is about $4.40 gallon, 12 cents higher than last year.

On the flip side, higher fuel isn’t affecting air travel. The Chicago department of aviation is expecting 2 percent more travelers this year than last.

Many tourists have come to Chicago as well, as Kayak has ranked the city the second-most traveled destination over Memorial Day behind Las Vegas.

Additionally, the city’s beaches opened for the season today and will remain open from 11am – 7pm through Labor Day.

There will also be a series of events taking place in the city.

On Saturday, fallen soldiers will be remembered and honored in a parade on State Street. It begins at noon and takes place between Lake and Van Buren.

On Sunday, Lake Shore Drive shuts down to traffic at 5:30am for the annual Bike the Drive event.

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