In its 10 years, Chicago’s Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier New Year’s Eve party has become one of the hottest NYE parties in the world.
Party-goers from all over the United States and as far away as London head to the Windy City every Dec. 31 to ring in the new year in one of the city’s most beautiful and unique atmospheres. But how did this party, which every year sells out to about 1,500 people, get its start?
Party organizer Jon Landan said it was actually with a relatively small group of friends.
“It started 10 years ago with a group of friends and family that went to Big 10 schools from Wisconsin to Michigan State,” Landan said. “We got too big for nightclubs/restaurants and Phil Stefani’s team reached out and offered The Crystal Gardens. It quickly became the biggest and best scene to be seen party in Chicago as everyone’s friends from across the country heard this was the party to go to on NYE. So now it is no longer just Big Ten schools, but the entire world selling out every year!”
After its fairly small start in various Chicago restaurants and clubs, Landan said Chicago’s Navy Pier New Year’s Eve party quickly grew in popularity for many reasons.
“At The Crystal Gardens we offer one of the most unique spaces in the country — a crystal ballroom surrounded by gardens, water, looking over the lakefront, Chicago’s skyline, and the county’s best fireworks show.”
This year’s 10th Annual New Year’s Eve at Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier promises to be just as impressive. Along with premium top shelf drinks and a Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants food package from 9pm to 2am, Chicago’s top DJ, DJ Dante, will keep the music spinning all night long. Dante has opened for Miley Cyrus, is the personal DJ for New England Patriot tight-end Rob Gronkowski and is the official DJ for the Chicago Cubs.
“Every year someone gets engaged, and we always have local athletes and celebrities in attendance,” Landan said. “It truly is the hottest place to be on New Year’s Eve in Chicago.”
Tickets for this year’s event are going fast, but can still be purchased for $115 for general admission or $149 for VIP. Riva Crab House at Navy Pier is also giving away two free tickets to this year’s Crystal Gardens party. Contest entry is ongoing through Dec. 20 on Riva’s Facebook Page.
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Photography by Nick Ulivieri