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Great Chicago Fire Festival coming again soon — this time with a twist

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CHICAGO -- It's an extremely busy week at the Redmoon Theater, as crews finish building, and then dismantling, sets and art for this year's Great Chicago Fire Festival.

The works comes with months of collaboration with neighborhoods and projects with After School Matters, personal thoughts covering the centerpiece structure set to burn at the festivals end -- all new this year.

But the biggest change? The second festival, a rebirth of sorts, will be set in the center of Northerly Island. Last year tens of thousands of spectators watched as the floating houses -- the centerpiece of the show -- fizzled on a cold wet October day. Onlookers complained, calling it a waste of money-- a dud. But Mayor Emanuel vowed its return.

Event Creator Jim Lasko says water also prevented them from testing to ensure success, something this year he says they have done extensively. With the stability of the venue, Lasko says they were able to get communities more involved, and participants will be able to join in as well, after unique performances on the festivals three stages.

Lasko is hoping for large crowds, and like last year, the festival is free. But getting tickets now is a good idea because there are space limitations, and its likely not all attendees will be there just for the entertainment.

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